Sociology and Anthropology Alumnus – Zach Rodriguez
United States Forest Service
Career Path and Life Passions
As an archeologist for the Forest Service, it is Zach’s job to manage projects including archeological sites for local tribes. Through his ability to work with people from many different backgrounds, Zach understands how cultural values shape identity. Being sensitive to histories allows him to have successful interactions with the people he works with.
“One of the most useful concepts I learned in Anthropology is understanding biases. Every interaction we have with others, we take something away, and we give something. Understanding that we are culturally bound in systems lets us know that we might not necessarily be able to ‘fix’ things; we just have to learn how to negotiate around them.”
Useful Job Skills
The most useful thing Zach learned from the Anthropology program was understanding biases and acknowledging that everyone operates within their learned biases. He believes his gained experience in cultural anthropology set him up well for the basic archaeology principles. He adds:
“Ethnographic theory… that’s probably where I learned some of the most important concepts in Anthropology that I took with me later on to grad school”