M.A. in Anthropology, Colorado State University
Dr. Jeffrey Snodgrass
Brendan spent the summer of 2017 doing an Archaeology internship for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), through a contractor organization - Greening Youth Foundation (GYF). The GYF allows the Department of the Interior (DOI) to take on externally employed and either ethnically diverse, non-traditional, and/or female interns, for the sake of training them in natural resource management, archaeology, or fire mitigation. Many such interns are given a non-competitive DOI employability certificate after their internship, which allows them a veteran-similar status when applying for land management jobs. Brendan has used his certificate to gain employment as a GS9/11 Archeologist, or Cultural Resource Management Program official, at a BLM office in Wyoming. He will soon be using the skills he gained to review Cultural Resource Inventory reports, digitize and analyze data with GIS, perform archaeological survey, engage in public outreach programs, and much more. Given that his undergraduate program in anthropology was of a four-field approach which he tailored to include a Cultural Resource Management certificate, he is now well prepared both academically and bureaucratically to take on the responsibilities of this position. However, since he holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis on mixed method psychological anthropology and ethnopsychiatry, he is still interested in doing work with living populations as well. The DOI has been in the process of creating Native American tribal consultation-focused Archaeologist positions to handle social engagement and legal matters relating to living Native American peoples’ involvement with archaeological sites, Traditional Cultural Properties, and sacred sites. Brendan hopes to transfer or be promoted to such a position in the future.
Note to Current Students
Do not be discouraged by the daunting degree of competitiveness in the academic, public, or private sectors. There are, in fact, many positions available for anthropologists with Master’s degrees. It is merely a matter of thinking outside the box. The professors in the Department of Anthropology do well to instill in us the important notion that interdisciplinary research and work can go much further than narrowly focused disciplines. This is not only to say that it is highly worthwhile an investment to broaden your academic training. It is also to say that when you graduate, you must expand your horizons and discover what higher degree programs or careers may be available which would work well with your skill sets, both academic and autodidactic. I had been motivated to continue onto a doctoral program when finished with my Master’s program at CSU, but decided after graduating that I needed to take a break from the rigors of academia and also recoup some financial resources. Many would say that you can only teach, and continue on in academia, with a Master’s in anthropology. I found this to be entirely untrue. There are a myriad of jobs available which in fact require a social science BA or MA, but which may also require extra credentials or talent. Social media research, consumer research, local and state and national health research, private investigation (even FBI and DHS work), family counseling, political proactivism careers, and even cultural resource management with the federal government, are not the least of these available options. Be creative and you will find fulfillment doing work that relates to what you’ve been working so hard for! And recognize that if you do take a break from academia, like I did, that your academic credentials give you the ability to return at any time. No less, whatever extra skills you gain doing a job in the interim can apply directly towards any institutional requirements, or necessary outstanding research methodologies or ideologies, for the doctoral program of your dreams. Good luck to you all!
Contact Brendan Bombaci