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First Year Programs News

Social Sciences

Meet New Anthropology Professor Annie Claus

Annie Claus

Annie Claus is a new assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. 

PhD and MPhil anthropology and environmental studies, Yale University
MA environmental anthropology and certificate urban and regional planning, University of Hawai’i

BA anthropology and Japanese studies, University of Iowa


Areas of research
Conservation and development, ocean studies, political ecology, Okinawa and Japan  

What initially sparked your interest in anthropology?
“My English teacher slipped a Zora Neale Hurston book on American folklore into my hands when I was in high school, and I’ve been jotting my observations down in a notebook I keep in my pocket ever since.” 

What honed your interest to your specific areas of research?
“I worked in a conservation organization for a couple of years, and became curious about what was happening on the other side of projects we implemented. Being an anthropologist allowed me to investigate how people made conservation a meaningful part of their lives.”  

What brought you to AU?
“The strong presence of policy, activist, and research communities make DC a vibrant place to live and work. At AU there are so many opportunities for students to learn experientially, through internships and study abroad, which in turn creates a rich learning environment in the classroom.”  

What are you hoping to accomplish at AU?
“At AU, I hope to become a resource for the community both as a scholar of Japan and environmental anthropology.”