The School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona offers one of the nation's most attractive and unique programs in applied anthropology. The Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology is a research unit withinn the School, and its faculty are actively engaged in the teaching and mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students within the School and other campus units. BARA also offers applied students a rare opportunity to participate in on-going research and outreach projects. This dynamic synergy between classroom theory and applied field experience is the hallmark of the applied program at the University of Arizona.
Applied anthropology at Arizona is committed to the development and training of professional anthropologists, who will use their applied skills to help understand and solve problems in our increasingly globalized and diverse society. The applied faculty is comprised of members of the School of Anthropology and BARA. In the graduate program, applied students take the suite of required core courses in the School as well as the core applied courses that have been developed by BARA faculty. The applied curriculum also includes courses on the skills areas associated with each of the research programs in BARA. Since much of BARA's research is interdisciplinary across departments and colleges, applied students are also exposed to skill area courses in other departments, such asremote sensing, GIS applications, planning, and education.
The philosophical and pedagogical foundation of the applied program is built upon the critical interdependence of theory and practice in the production of knowledge. Thus, BARA systematically incorporates students into its array of research projects and seeks to help them develop the essential analytical and research skills that will propel them into fulfilling careers both inside and outside of academia. At any given time, BARA provides research support to around 20 students, and BARA offers the William H. Kelly Award to one incoming graduate student each year.
One of the major attractions of the applied program at Arizona is the sense of camaraderie and collaboration among the applied students themselves. These students have outstanding intellectual credentials and, as importantly, highly diverse and interesting backgrounds. BARA acknowledges the tremendous amount of co-learning that occurs as students share their experiences with each other and work together, and BARA seeks to foster a sense of the applied family of faculty, staff, and students who are all engaged in the same important mission of the pursuit of knowledge.
At BARA, education also extends beyond the university campus. In applied research, knowledge is advanced within a problem-solving context, and through BARA the University of Arizona brings the relevant training and experience of its faculty and students into the community - locally, nationally, and internationally. Employing highly participatory research methodologies, BARA faculty and students are challenged to be mediators and facilitators as well as researchers. This approach leads to the creation of long-term partnerships with community groups, partnerships whcih result in collaborative problem-solving. In effect, the BARA outreach model seeks to transform the collaborative problem-oriented research activity into a community empowering experience, helping BARA to fulfill its responsibility to play a role beyond the academy in all aspects of its applied resarch.