The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology


News about the High Plains Society, information on upcoming events and reports on past events.

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  • Wednesday, November 02, 2011 9:38 AM | Anonymous
    Hello HPSfAA Members, 

    We had a successful election this year. The outcome of the election is as follows:

    Shawn Kelley was elected as President-Elect
    Ed Knop was elected as the Publications Policy Committee Chair
    Steven Stewart and Joanne Moore were elected as Members-at-Large
    Peter Van Arsdale was elected as the Editor-in-Chief of The Applied Anthropologist
    Andrea Akers was elected as the Interim Webmaster

    Please visit: for an updated list of all the current board members.

    Thank you for participating in the 2011 Election and we hope to see you at the 2012 Spring Conference in Fort Collins!
  • Monday, October 03, 2011 2:27 PM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to be able to present this first volume of The Applied Anthropologist under our editorship.  A thirty-year record of publication is significant in any field, and with the changes that have been occurring with electronic media, it is doubly important that we keep pace.  This is the first full-scale e-publication to be sponsored by the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology, and one of the first among peer-reviewed journals of anthropology.

    Over the years work by (and about) many of the international leaders in applied anthropology and related social science disciplines has appeared in these pages:  Meta Baba, John van Willigen, Robert Hackenberg, John Bodley,  Michael Cernea, and Peter Kunstadter are representative.  Equally important has been the work of individuals known nationally for their accomplishments:  Muriel Crespi, George De Vos, David Fetterman, Tom Greaves, Tony Paredes, and Merrill Singer are representative.

    Editors of The Applied Anthropologist and its predecessor, the High Plains Applied Anthropologist, have been particularly pleased to publish the work of researchers, field workers, and activists who are not often in the limelight, yet who have made stellar contributions behind-the-scenes, at the grassroots, or in the classroom.  Many have been members of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology or other LPOs.  Many work outside academia.  Some have been members of groups traditionally marginalized or excluded from scientific discourse.

    The present volume features the work of applied social scientists and activists who are clearly in the forefront.   A complementarity of interests is seen as the articles by Pedro Oliveira and Howard Stein are compared.  Both are looking at clinical anthropology through new lens; both rely upon their knowledge of psychology.  A complementarity of interests also is seen as the articles by Mark Harvey and Arthur Scarritt are compared.  Both are concerned with marginalized peoples and the racialized hierarchies that confront them; both are critical of neoliberalism.  All four of these authors are empirically rigorous, as primarily qualitative methods are employed in their endeavors.

    Commentaries and integrated sets of book reviews have been a long-standing feature of this journal.  The materials included in this volume are exemplary.  Riall Nolan tackles the issue of “buried bodies” in the field of development.   Why haven’t we, through institutions, been able to translate more of our research into meaningful changes?  Whom do we tell?  Julie Reyes tackles the issue of a “culture of ethics.”  How does this culture emerge institutionally, nurtured by social networks?  How can its lessons better be applied by anthropologists?  Through a recent book, Walter Littlemoon and Jane Ridgway address boarding school trauma in their recount of a remarkable Lakota life story; Larry Van Horn, Kathleen Sherman, and Kreg Ettenger offer insightful interpretations in turn.

    Several colleagues served as peer reviewers for two or more of the articles and commentaries that appear in this volume, and we would like to express our profound thanks:  Kreg Ettenger, Ph.D.; Joanne Moore, M.A.; Teresa Tellechea, Ph.D.; Amy Van Arsdale, Ph.D. Moore and Tellechea also serve as Associate Editors.

    Please click this link to log in and see the most recent volume of the Applied Anthropologist!

    --Peter Van Arsdale, Editor-in-Chief

    --Andrea Akers, Managing Editor


  • Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:06 AM | Anonymous

    High Plains Society for Applied


    Ghost Ranch Retreat 2011 

    September 30-October 2

    Ghost Ranch, 

    Abiquiu, New Mexico

    Conference Program

    Friday, September 30

    4:00                    Arrival and Registration

    5:30 – 6:30      Dinner

    7:00 – 8:00      Story Circle Roundtable Discussion: “The Good, Bad and Ugly from Field and Work Experiences”

    8:00                    Social Hour

    Saturday, October 1

    7:30 – 8:30      Breakfast

    9:00 – 11:30    Panel Discussion: “Artistic Expression and Community Connections”

    ·         Howard Stein, Katy Little

    12:00 –1:00    Lunch

    1:00 – 5:30      Free Time

    1:00 – 2:30      Closed Board Meeting

    3:30 – 5:00      Student Panel: “What We Need to Get Where We Want to Go”

    ·         Joe Garrett, Kathleen Van Vlack

    5:30 – 6:30      Dinner

    6:30 – 8:00      Evening Session: Presentation of the “Poet Laureate” Award


    Universityof Arizona Presentation

    ·         Kathleen Van Vlack, Rich Stoffle

    8:00                 Social Hour

    Sunday, October 2

    9:00 – 11:00    Panel Discussion: “Dilemmas of the Contemporary Practitioner”

    ·         Rebecca Forgash, Ed Knop, Peter Van Arsdale

    11:00 –12:00   Open Board Meeting

    12:00                  Adjournment

  • Tuesday, August 30, 2011 8:27 AM | Anonymous

    We are happy to announce that Peter Van Arsdale has been appointed Editor-in-Chief, Andrea Akers as Managing Editor, and Joanne Moore and Teresa Tellechea as Associate Editors of the Applied Anthropologist, the journal for HPSfAA.  

    The Applied Anthropologist is actively soliciting full-length articles (up to 5000 words), commentaries, and "best student papers," and some book reviews. E-mail inquiries or manuscripts to: Peter Van Arsdale or Andrea

    In addition the Applied Anthropologist is compiling a special issue to commemorate Friedl Lang to be published in early 2012.  Manuscripts for this special issue should touch on topics important to him in his career (e.g., E. African tribal development, New Guinea community dynamics, American Indian socio-economics, and/or the Bavarian "Passion Play"). Articles should follow the author guidelines located on the website and should be no more than 5,000 words. The deadline for submission is December 1st, 2011. Interested persons should contact Peter or Andrea immediately.

  • Friday, April 22, 2011 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    More than 50 people attended this year’s Spring Conference held at the Metropolitan State College of Denver on the Auraria Higher Education Campus in the Tivoli Student Union building from April 14 – 17, 2011. Presenters ranged from Metropolitan State College of Denver, Northern Colorado University, and Colorado State University.  

    The MSCD Student Anthropological Society, ALPACA was essential to the success of the conference and many thanks go out to them and their mentor President-Elect, Dr. Jack Schultz. President Kathleen Sherman acted as program chair for the conference for the last time as starting in July Dr. Jack Schultz will become President.

    Highlights of the conference included the presentation of the annual awards on Saturday afternoon. The Omer C. Stewart Memorial Award, named after a founding member of HPSfAA, was awarded to Michael Burney, an applied archaeologist and student of Omer Stewart. Kreg Ettenger, whose participation in the new website and the Society's journal, the Applied Anthropologist, is invaluable, was honored with the Bristlecone Pine Award, which recognizes long and meritorious service to the organization. The Martha and Friedl Lang Student Award went to the MSCD’s Student Anthropological Society, ALPACA. President Robert Bellamy accepted the award. 

    The keynote presentation was given by David White Bull, an Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He is a Loan Officer for The Lakota Funds, a Community Development Financial Institution. He is also a member of the Native American Church in Kyle, SD and spoke on his experience with the Church in memory of Omer Stewart and his work with religious freedom, especially the use of peyote for Native American Nations. David White Bull and his two young sons performed a Native American Church song for the audience.

    A major issue at the conference was the possibility of partnering with the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) for the 2013 Spring Conference. This partnership will provide HPSfAA with exposure to the larger population of Applied Anthropologists and will allow students to be exposed to a larger conference. In addition this partnership will be driven by issues that are important to the region and will be decided by HPSfAA. In accordance with the large amount of planning and time required for the 2013 Spring Conference the 2012 Spring Conference might be held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

    All in all, the 2011 Spring Conference was a successful and satisfying event, with great student participation and a wide range of high-quality presentations. Plans for Ghost Ranch are underway and will be held from September 30th – October 3rd, 2011 in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Hope to see you all there!

    Conference Photos

    Thursday April 14th, 2011
    Board Meeting - 4/14/11

    HPSfAA Board Meeting - 4/14/11

    Friday April 15th, 2011
    Michael Brydge - CSU - 4/15/11

    Michael Brydge - CSU
    "Decision Making Influences of Farmers and Ranchers in Weld County, CO"

    AJ Oscarson - MSCD - 4/15/11

    AJ Oscarson - MSCD
    "Addressing Sustainable Housing in Latin American and the Caribbean"

    Sally McBeth - UNC - 4/15/11

    Sally McBeth - MSCD
    "Ute Ethnobotany Project: A Collaborative Approach in Applied Anthropology"

    Robert Bellamy - MSCD - 4/15/11

    Robert Bellamy - MSCD
    "Raising Difference in Coastal Kenya"

    Emilia Gonzales-Clements - 4/15/11

    Emilia Gonzales - Clements
    Fifth Sun Development Fund

    "Identifying, Measuring and Improving Quality of Life: A Brief Overview and Insights from a Northern Mexico Case Study"

    PANEL: Addressing the Medical Needs of the Somali Population in Greeley, CO
    MSCD Undergraduate Students
    Somali Health Panel - 4/15/11

    Somali Health Panel

    Somali Health Panel - 4/15/11

    Saturday April 16th, 2011

    Andrea Akers - CSU - 4/16/11

    Andrea Akers - CSU
    "Lakota Women [the anti-systemic link in the capitalist world-system]

    Tourism, Anthropology and Quality of Life: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Panel
    Julie Reyes - MSCD - 4/16/11

    Julie Reyes - MSCD
    "The Role of Sustainable Tourism in Neoliberal Policies and Poverty Reduction Strategies: Do They Adequately Address Quality of Life?"

    Rebecca Forgash - MSCD - 4/16/11

    Rebecca Forgash - MSCD
    "Tourism, Local/Global Cultural Production, and Quality of Life in Okinawa, Japan"

    Enrique Maestas - MSCD - 4/16/11

    Enrique Maestas - MSCD
    "Ethnography and Tourism"

    Helle Sorensen - MSCD - 4/16/11

    Helle Sorensen - MSCD
    "Viking Village Ecotourism"

    F.I.R.M. MSCD Undergraduate Research Program

    MSCD - F.I.R.M.
    Undergraduate Research Program

    Stephen Stewart speaking about his father Omer Stewart - 4/16/11

    Stephen Stewart - MSCD
    "What I Learned from My Father, Omer Stewart"

    Keynote Speaker: David White Bull
    Oglala Lakota Native American Church Member and The Lakota Funds Loan Officer
    "The Native American Church and Community Development"
    David White Bull - Oglala Lakota - Keynote Speaker - 4/16/11

    David White Bull and Sons performing Oglala Lakota Native American Church Songs

    David White Bull and his Sons performing a Native American Church Song

    Peter VanArsdale speaking about Omer Stewart - 4/16/11

    Peter VanArsdale speaking about Omer Stewart

    Deward Walker Speaking about Omer Stewart

    Deward Walker speaking about Omer Stewart

    Awards Ceremony
    Omer Stewart Award - Michael Burney Recipient - Jack Schultz and Kathy Sherman - 4/16/11

    The Omer Stewart Award

    Michael Burney - Recipient

    Michael Burney's Omer Stewart Award Acceptance Speech - 4/16/11

    Michael Burney's Acceptance Speech

    Kathy Sherman giving Kreg Ettenger the Bristlecone Award over the phone - 4/16/11

    President Kathy Sherman announcing Kreg Ettenger as the receiver of the Bristlecone Pine Award over the phone

    ALPACA - Martha and Freidl Lang Student Award Recipients - 4/16/11

    Martha and Freidl Lang Student Award

    MSCD ALPACA Student Anthropological Society 

    Sunday April 17th, 2011
    Howard Stein - University of Oklahoma Health Services Center - 4/17/11

    Howard Stein
    University of Oklahoma Health Services Center

    "Poetry of Applied Anthropology as Life Quality Enhancement: Some Examples from American BioMedicine"

    Greg Batchelder - CSU - 4/17/11

    Greg Batchelder - CSU
    "Participation in a Support Group for People Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder: Impacts on Perceived Quality of Life"

    Joanne Peetz Moore - 4/17/11

    Joanne Peetz Moore
    "Perceptions of Higher Education as a Path to a Higher Quality of Life Among Students in Gansu Province, China"

  • Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:39 PM | Anonymous
    Due to a series of publishing problems, Volume 30 (2010) of The Applied Anthropologist has been considerably delayed. No issues have been sent out since spring of 2010, which was when the Fall 2009 issue was published.

    We are working on putting out a combined issue for Volume 30 (numbers 1 and 2) with a scheduled publication date of September 2011. This will be the last regularly printed issue of The Applied Anthropologist. After that we will be switching to digital publishing as approved by the board and members.

    We are considering options that would allow individuals to print on-demand versions of each Volume at the end of each publishing year. We will keep you posted on this and other matters with the journal in the coming months.

    Kreg Ettenger, PPC Chair and Interim TAA editor
  • Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:34 PM | Anonymous
    The transition of the HPSfAA website to this new Wild Apricot-hosted site is now almost complete. As of this week, all of our registered domain,, and point to this site. They can be used with or without the www.

    The old website, hosted by ArielIMS in Boulder, is no longer operational. All content from that site has been transferred to this site, or is in the process of being transferred.

    We are still working on one big item--the posting of all back issues of the journal on this new site. We had a hitch when a student volunteer was no longer able to continue this process, but hope to have most back issues up by April.

    Kreg Ettenger, Webmaster
  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 8:35 AM | Anonymous

    Michael J. Higgins, one of the founding members of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology has passed away. Michael Higgins, Ph.D. was a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Northern Colorado having taught anthropology for over 25 years. During his tenure as professor he served as the chair of the Anthropology department as well as the Black Studies department and the Women’s Study department. Dr. Higgins was a prolific writer, authoring numerous scholarly articles and several distinguished books in the field of anthropology. The following link is to a blog where friends and colleagues are posting memories for his family. His obituary is in the Greeley paper from February 4th, 2011.

  • Monday, October 11, 2010 2:50 PM | Deleted user
    The members of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology had an intellectually stimulating and reinvigorating retreat at the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico on October 1-3.  Outstanding presentations were made on topics of collaborative research methodology, oral histories, cultural landscapes, cultural affiliation, ecology and culture, gender and economy, and cultural identity.  There were robust discussions about the ideals and realities of community collaboration, and the role of field schools in implementing social welfare programs.  The Executive Director of the Society for Applied Anthropology also attended to explore the possibility of a joint meeting with SfAA in 2013.  The group left enthusiastic for the upcoming Spring Conference of HPSfAA April 15-17, 2010 in Denver.  The Spring Conference theme will be the role of applied anthropology in improving quality of life, with a subtheme of the legacy of Omer Stewart.  Many thanks to all the Ghost Ranch presenters and participants!  See everyone in April.
  • Wednesday, April 28, 2010 9:17 PM | Anonymous
    Over 60 participants, many of them new to HPSfAA, attended the annual meetings in Denver from April 22-25. Students from the Metropolitan State College of Denver, as well as UC-Denver, Colorado State, Northern Colorado, Arizona State, Arizona and other area universities, made up a large part of the attendance and also presented a good number of the papers. 

    Metro State students, under the guidance of President-Elect Jack Schultz, helped to organize and run the event. President Kathleen Sherman acted as program chair, overseeing the first year with two full days and one half day of presentations. For the fourth year in a row, the conference was held on the Auraria Higher Education Campus, in the Tivoli Student Union Building. Many thanks go to Jack, his students, the anthropology department and Metro State for playing hosts once again.

    Highlights of the conference included the presentation of the annual awards on Saturday afternoon. Deward Walker, a founding member of the Society and 10-year editor of the Society's journal, then called the High Plains Applied Anthropologist, was honored with the Bristlecone Pine Award, which recognizes long and meritorious service to the organization. The Omer C. Stewart Memorial Award, named after another founding member, was given to David and Emilia González-Clements, who work together on applied issues including alternative energy development. The Martha and Friedl Lang Student Award went to Ben Jewell, a Ph.D. candidate at Arizona State and current Newsletter Editor of the HPSfAA.

    Presenters and attendees came from as far away as Portland, Oregon, and Portland, Maine, with strong showings from Arizona as well as northern Colorado. An intrepid group from Mesa State, led by Dr. Clare Boulanger, made the difficult trek over the mountains in the middle of a spring blizzard that dumped a foot or more of snow in the foothills and passes. Adding insult to injury, a suspected gas leak during their evening presentations forced them to abandon their session, which was made up in part the following day.

    The keynote presentation was given by Ava Hamilton, an Arapaho filmmaker and President of the Native American Producers Alliance. In addition to speaking about Native filmmaking and the appropriation of Native culture by mainstream media, she showed her short documentary Indians for Indians: A Radio Program, about a Native-run radio station in Oklahoma. The talk was the centerpiece of a conference that featured several presentations about video, photography and other media made by or with indigenous peoples.

    A major issue at the conference was the future of the High Plains Society's journal, and the possibility of switching to an online publishing format. The high costs of printing and mailing were two factors discussed, along with current trends in academic publishing and research. Students in particular stressed that for them, electronic access to journals was crucial. Increasing readership of the journal was discussed as a major factor for many Society members. More information about this issue will be shared in a planned discussion forum on this website, with members able to contribute their points of view.

    All in all, the 2010 Annual Conference was a successful and satisfying event, with great student participation and a wide range of high-quality presentations. Plans are currently underway for next year's conference, which might involve a change of venue after four years in Denver. Be sure to check back for more information!

    Conference Photos

    Dr. Deward Walker, a founder of of the High Plains Society for
    Applied Anthropology and former editor of its journal, receives
    the Bristlecone Pine Award from President Kathy Sherman.

    David González-Clements shows the Pueblo wedding vase
    given to him and his wife Emilia (left), co-winners of the
    Omer C. Stewart Memorial Award in Applied Anthropology.

    Ben Jewell, winner of the Martha and Friedl Lang Student Award
    in Applied Anthropology, gives his acceptance speech.

    Most presentations took place in the Tivoli Tower (shown),
    although the conference spread through three rooms in the
    sprawling Tivoli Student Union Building of the Auraria Higher
    Education Campus in downtown Denver. The building, now
    used for student services, stores, restaurants, computer labs
    and meeting rooms, used to house the Tivoli Brewery.

    Please send additional conference photos as medium-size jpeg files to

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