Anthropology is the study of humankind. It is a holistic discipline that is divided into four subfields:
Archaeology, Cultural, Linguistics, and Biological. OC offers courses from all the subfields of anthropology.
The Anthropology Department at OC has developed new educational and training opportunities for students. Beginning in June 2014, the OC anthropology faculty began developing a research project focused on the study of a late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century Japanese immigrant village on Bainbridge Island. The site, called Yama (45KP105), has regional and national significance since it is one of the only well preserved immigrant sites left from this era in the Pacific Northwest. Archaeologists from OC have developed a research plan to map the site and conduct select excavations geared toward documenting the village life of Japanese families in the community, how residents adapted to American customs, and how the village of approximately 300 people over 40 years contributed to the early economic growth of western Washington. Over the past 8 months, the team of anthropologists from OC have nominated Yama to the National Register of Historic Places, established a Task Force group represented by OC, Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, Kitsap County Historical Society and Museum, Bainbridge Island Parks, Bainbridge Historic Preservation Committee, and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community. In addition, OC students spent two months last summer combing over archival records contained in the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum where there is rich information about the Yama village residents in special collections of historic photographs, oral histories, census records, Port Blakely Mill documents, and cemetery records. Yama was a Japanese enclave within a large Port Blakely Mill operation and is the only preserved segment left of this world renowned lumber operation that developed and grew in Kitsap County.
The Yama site offers special opportunities for public education, student training, and professional work in preserving an important historic property. Anthropologists Caroline Hartse, Bob Drolet, and Floyd Aranyosi have been coordinating the efforts to establish a 3-year study of Yama beginning in summer 2015. This will include an Archaeological Field School sponsored by Olympic College, Museum exhibits of the recovered research at OC, Bainbridge Island Historical Museum and at Kitsap County Historical Society and Museum. Students from OC and other US colleges and universities will participate in fieldwork, exhibits, laboratory artifact analysis and have the opportunity to present research papers at public talks and professional meetings.
The goals of the Yama Project are to preserve and protect the archaeological site, document the Japanese culture and heritage associated with the village, and offer academic and public education opportunities that will enrich the cultural history of Western Washington.
Meet the Faculty and Students behind the Yama project
Caroline loves anthropology. While trained in all four subfield of anthropology, her Ph.D. is in cultural anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Her research interests are varied but include cultural change, psychological anthropology, anthropology of religion, and communitarian societies.
Caroline is passionate about anthropology and connecting students with this dynamic and useful discipline. Caroline has received the Lawrence M. Noonan, the Bremer Exceptional Faculty, and the Distance Learning Exceptional faculty awards from OC.
Robert aka Dr. Bob is passionate about engaging with other world cultures, teaching anthropology, and doing archaeology.
Dr. Bob holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is bilingual (Spanish/English) and has taught Anthropology at the University of Hawaii, Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and Texas A&M University. He has also been a museum curator at Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History and has directed archaeological research projects and field schools in Central America and Texas.
Floyd has been teaching anthropology courses for over 20 years, 13 of them here at Olympic College. Floyd holds a Ph.C from the University of Washington. His field experience in archaeology has included survey and excavation of both historic and prehistoric sites in coastal California, the Mississippi River Valley, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Hawaii, and now here in Washington state.
He is particularly passionate about taxonomy, and considers the art and science of classifying the things that we study to be the most important “first step” in understanding. “We can’t understand what something means until we understand what it actually is, so defining categories, and the relationships between them, is the first step in acquiring knowledge.”
Etsuko graduated from the University of Japan in Tokyo, earning a degree in teaching. Etsuko’s passion is to help others learn, especially about Japanese culture and society.
She joined Olympic College over five years ago as a Japanese instructor and tutor, and is currently taking courses at Olympic College to help advance her professional communication skills. Notable awards include receiving a Certificate of Recognition in 2010, as well as Dean’s Scholar and President’s Scholar awards. She enjoys teaching and dreams of becoming a teacher again.
As a research assistant for the Yama Project, Etsuko is excited to help uncover different aspects of Japanese life in the Pacific Northwest. She provides cultural context to help identify the objects found and assists with document translations.
Mackenzie is a current student at OC working toward a sociology degree. She began her collegiate endeavors during the Fall 2013 and has made the President’s Scholar list each quarter. She intends to transfer to the University of Washington Tacoma to complete her 4 year degree.
Mackenzie has been working since she was fourteen in a variety of occupations, from waitressing to working in the engine room of a 103’ fishing vessel during a scheduled refit. She is currently an administrative assistant for a company that manages 5 fishing vessels working in Alaska.
The Japanese culture is immensely interesting to Mackenzie which led to her visit to Japan during her junior year of high school. She continues to study the Japanese language. Mackenzie has also traveled to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Alaska.