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James Ahern, Ph.D.

Vice Provost, Graduate Education


Dr. Jim Ahern serves as Vice Provost for Graduate Education and as a Professor of Anthropology.  As AVP for Graduate Education, he oversees the Office of Graduate Education and initiatives to elevate graduate and professional studies at the University of Wyoming.  Areas of oversight include: graduate policies and procedures, graduate assistantship and fellowship funding, graduate student recruitment, professional development, and graduate student life.  Current initiatives of the Office of Graduate Education include: centralized administration of graduate education, graduate student diversity and internationalization, student recruitment and retention, online degree programs, and transdisciplinary graduate education.

Jim brings a track record of graduate student mentoring and teaching, administration, and service.  He joined the faculty of UW’s Department of Anthropology in 2000 and has been department head and in numerous departmental, college and university service roles.  In addition to advising graduate students, Jim continues to direct the teaching mentoring program for his department’s doctoral students and teaches graduate classes.

As a biological anthropologist, Jim’s research focuses on the complex biological and cultural dynamics associated with the Neandertal – modern human transition.  He has conducted fieldwork and other research in Croatia and surrounding areas since 1992.  In collaboration with a multi-national team, his current major project examines human lifeways over the past 100,000 years through excavation of cave sites in Istria County, Croatia.   Jim received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (1998), his master’s degree from Northern Illinois University (1993) and his bachelor’s degree from Beloit College (1991).  In addition to his U.W. roles, Jim serves as Scientific Advisor with the Institute for Anthropological Research in Zagreb, Croatia.

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