Student News

Climbing the Walls With Dartmouth’s Bouldering Team

Team member Michael Everett ’19 likes bouldering because it marries muscles to mind. “It’s intellectual, but not academic,” he says. Yet he sees a connection between climbing and his academic pursuits. An anthropology major, Everett is so interested in the way climbers use their hands and feet that he has begun studying the phalanges (what we would call our fingers and toes) on fossilized remains of early humans. He’ll do field work on his second trip to South Africa this winter with Jeremy DeSilva, associate professor of anthropology, and Nathaniel Dominy, the Charles Hansen Professor of Anthropology.

Click here to read the full article at Dartmouth News

Bipedalism: The Science of Upright Walking - edX

Have you ever wondered why humans walk on two legs rather than four? In this course, we will explore how science investigates this unusual form of locomotion. We will start our investigation by looking at the mechanics of upright walking in humans and comparing that to bipedal locomotion in large birds, bears, and apes.

Learn more about the course and enroll.

Study: Stress Can Jeopardize Health of Mothers and Children

Zaneta Thayer ’08 is concerned about stress, though not her own. As a biological anthropologist, she studies how stress shapes patterns of human biology and health.

“The thing I focus on most is the social environment, how factors such as poverty and racial discrimination can impact human biology and, in turn, shape health,” says Thayer, an assistant professor of anthropology.

Read the full article in Dartmouth News.

ANTH 70 Students Make a Remarkable Discovery in South Africa

It’s not every day that a couple of college students discover a fossilized piece of bone likely to have come from a 2-million-year-old ancestor. But that’s what Keira Byno ’19, Julia Cohen ’18, and Kathleen Li ’17 did this winter during a three-week field trip to South Africa for their anthropology class, “Experiencing Human Origins and Evolution.”  

Read the full article in Dartmouth News.

BBC quotes Sam Gochman '18, Anthro major

BBC's story "Our ancestors were drinking alcohol before they were human" discusses "It is possible to trace the evolution of boozing back to the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees". Sam Gochman '18, Anthro major, is quoted. 

Samuel R. Gochman, a student at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and his team offered aye-ayes a choice of liquid foods made of sugar water and varying concentrations of alcohol (0 to 5%). The two captive aye-ayes could differentiate between the different alcoholic foods. They preferred to drink from the containers with higher alcohol doses of 3 and 5% over those with 1% and zero alcohol.

When the containers holding higher alcohol contents had run out, the aye-ayes continued to compulsively dip and lick their fingers. "This suggests that they really like those concentrations," says Gochman.

But the animals did not show any obvious signs of inebriation, which goes back to their ability to breakdown alcohol because of a super-efficient ADH4 enzyme.

Anthropology Students Digging Cool Things and Making Fire

Students digging up skeletons of New England mammals in Belchertown State Forest (Massachusetts) in late August of this year. These skeletons have been accessioned into the collections in Prof. DeSilva's laboratory thanks to the work of these students. They are: Ellie McNutt, Cindy Ramirez, Jessica Kittelberger, and Sarah Miller. In the foreground are skeletons of bobcats and coyotes. 


The Anthropology 70 class having an x-hour fire at the organic farm last night. In order to teach about the importance of fire in human evolution, they made a fire. Simple enough, but fun and an important bonding experience as they were preparing for their trip to South Africa over the winterim.

Dartmouth students discover early human fossil in South Africa

On their second day of excavating at the 2 million year-old site of Malapa, South Africa, a team of Dartmouth students recovered a fossil of Australopithecus sediba, an early human predecessor. The fifteen Dartmouth students are participants in ANTH 70: Experiencing Human Origins and Evolution. The course entails a 3-week excursion in South Africa—an emerging model for experiential learning at Dartmouth, supported by DCAL and the President’s Office.

In this photo are (left to right): Kathy Li ‘17, Lee Berger, Keira Byno ‘19, Maropeng Mpete, Jerry DeSilva, and Julia Cohen ’18.

Gibson '16 and Anderson '16 start a new website to memorialize the old Lodge

Sharing the Mountain is a project that aims to memorialize the expansive and intricate community that has been established at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, by sharing the stories and experiences of Dartmouth students, alumni and community members.

Throughout the site you will be able to explore a digital oral-histories archive. We invite you to discover stories, photos, videos, and interactive panoramas of the Ravine Lodge. We encourage you to engage with the site, and to contribute you own stories and photos through the “Share Your Story” feature. We hope that Sharing the Mountain serves as a forum for sharing, reminiscing, and sustaining the memory of a building that has meant so much, to so many over the past 78 years.

Click here to read the recent story in The Dartmouth about Connor Gibson '16 and Gigi Anderson's '16 Goodman-funded project.

NSF Picks 17 from Dartmouth for Research Fellowships

Seventeen Dartmouth students and alumni have been awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF) for 2016, and another nine received honorable mentions. The Dartmouth winners were among the 2,000 selected from 17,000 applicants nationwide.

Aylin Woodward ’15, left, and Nina Maksimova ’15 were on campus when they received the news from the National Science Foundation (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Q&A with Andres Mejia-Ramon '16: Stamps Scholar and Seeker of Ancient Canals

Andrés Mejía-Ramón '16, one of the inaugural Penelope W. and E. Roe Stamps IV Leadership Scholar Awards recipients, will soon find out if the archaeological council of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico has granted permission to Agustín Ortiz Butrón, Luis Barba, and himself to excavate features he has been analyzing since 2013. "You'd be surprised", says Mejía-Ramón, "how hard it is obtaining permission to dig. As of late, a lot of the work has been being patient in waiting."

The Stamps Scholar Award has allowed Mejía-Ramón, a physics and anthropology double major, to finance a study of the paleohydrology of the Teotihuacán Valley. Teotihuacán is an ancient Mesoamerican city in Mexico that Mejía-Ramón believes thrived agriculturally through its own intricate system of canals. Using satellite imagery and geophysical prospection, Mejía-Ramón has spent the last two years studying the region to locate these canals. He has worked with Deborah Nichols, the William J. Bryant 1925 Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth, and other faculty from Boston University and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.