GBC Home
Great Basin College Profile

Laurie Walsh, PhD
Anthropology Professor


"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." — Sydney J. Harris


Anthropology is the study of humankind, in all places and in all time periods. When I was a kid, I became fascinated by archaeology. I'm not sure how or why this happened, but it was probably from watching National Geographic! As a first-generation college student, getting my BA in Anthropology was challenging. While my family supported me, they could not offer much advice in negotiating the landscape of higher education. My goal in teaching at Great Basin College is not only to impart an understanding of anthropology in all its breadth, but also to help students navigate the doing of college, and to see the possibilities in higher education.

I hold three degrees in anthropology. After earning my Bachelor of Arts degree, I worked in the field of archaeology doing excavations and walking across Nevada to locate archaeological sites. After several years of this, I braved the world of graduate education. My research for a Master's degree centered on a small prehistoric summer camping location at Lake Tahoe. This work along with my professional position led to my interest in ethnography and archaeology. I wanted to learn from people who had lived as hunter-gatherers what the places, tools, and foods they used meant to them. This led to my pursuit of a PhD program in anthropology. After several years of course work and grant writing, I traveled to Australia's Western Desert to work with Mantjiltjarra people; these Aboriginal people had lived fully traditional lives up to the 1950s through 1984. From their memories I was able to understand the social meaning of the places and objects they had used in their traditional lives, before they settled down into modern communities.

What all this means is that I had come to value archaeology and living peoples in a new way. As a professor in anthropology, I strive to impart an appreciation of past and living peoples in my courses. I hope that students come to understand that the past and present lives of others matter, and that as our world shrinks with globalization it is imperative that we seek to preserve and understand these diverse ways of life.


Contact Information

Office Location: EIT 123, Elko Campus
NOTE: Substitute @ for (a) when sending a message.

Office Hours

  • Monday: 2:00-4:30 pm
  • Wednesday: 2:00-4:30 pm


  • Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Washington State University, 1982
  • Master of Arts in Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno, 1995
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2003


Anthropology graphic.


  • Nevada Archaeological Association
  • Southwest Anthropological Association
Honors and Awards
  • McCandless Prize for Meritorious Thesis/Dissertation 2003. Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno
  • National Science Foundation Predoctoral Improvement Grant, 2000
  • Graduate Student Association Merit Award, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Frazier Fund Research Award for Hunter-Gatherer Architecture: House Forms in Transition. Frazier Research Fund, Depart


NOTE: Viewing syllabi in Word (blue symbol) or Excel (green symbol) requires that your computer has those Microsoft products.
Viewing PDF documents (red symbol) requries the Adobe Reader plugin for your browser, available free from Adobe.
Whether or not syllabi are posted here is up to the discretion of the faculty member.
ANTH 101
Title:Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Catalog Description: Study of human cultures across the globe through examination of the basic principles underlying the organization of societies and the ways anthropologists analyze various parts of culture. Students will become familiar with the glue that holds all groups of people together, and how that glue can divide groups of people in profound ways.
ANTH 102
Title:Physical Anthropology
Catalog Description: Introduction to the study of how humans, Homo sapiens, have emerged as a species and come to dominate the planet by examining processes of human biological and cultural evolution. Topics include inheritance, the emergence of primates, fossil hominids, the development of technology, and biological variability among modern humans. Satisfies general education science.
ANTH 226
Title:Archaeological Field Methods: Excavation
Catalog Description: Course provides the student with introductory training in basic archaeological field excavation techniques. Repeatable up to six credits.
Title:Archaeology of the Great Basin
Catalog Description: Examines the prehistory of the Great Basin region, including the Paleoindian, Archaic periods, and later prehistoric occupations. Explores what kinds of data archaeologists use to construct culture histories and the environmental and social factors that influenced prehistoric patterns.
Title:Field School in Archaeology
Catalog Description: Students will participate in archaeological survey and/or excavation. Students will work on archaeological sites in the vicinity of Elko, Nevada, in the heart of the Great Basin, to learn how archaeologists do field work and what principles underlie different types of field strategies. Students must apply for enrollment in this course. Form available from the Social Science Department Office, EIT building. May be repeated up to 10 credits.
INT 301
Title:Integrative Research Methodology
Catalog Description: An interdisciplinary integration of research methods in the natural sciences, social sciences, and history. The course is writing intensive and includes an introduction to portfolio development.
INT 400
Title:Internship in Integrative Studies
Catalog Description: A semester placement within a student's concentration (emphasis) area. The internship requires an integration of work experience and a course of study in a specific emphasis area. May be taken for credit more than once, but no more than a total of six credit hours of INT 400 may be counted toward the BA degree.
INT 496
Title:Capstone in Integrative Studies
Catalog Description: An interdisciplinary integration of ideology and praxis. The topic of the course varies but emphasis is on the major concepts and analytical frameworks that draw on field experience and previous coursework. The course is writing intensive and includes development of a portfolio.
Questions about GBC?
Great Basin College - 1500 College Parkway - Elko, Nevada 89801 - 775.738.8493
A member institution of the Nevada System of Higher Education
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
All rights reserved. Use of any content only by express permission of Great Basin College © 2018.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

This page is XHTML 1.0 compliant

This page is coded to conform to XHTML 1.0