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The Institute of Public Anthropology

The Institute of Public Anthropology (IPA) is a regional specialist in applied projects that require qualitative research and oversight. We conduct grant based projects, partner with public and private organizations and conduct pro bono educational research with students.

The IPA serves as the organizational umbrella for three inter-related areas of applied anthropological research:  the anthropology of organizations, community planning and development, and ad hoc applied research projects undertaken at the request of community members and organizations. 

The anthropology of organizations involves the application of ethnographic methods and concepts to organizations in order to help them see and exploit their strengths and address their weaknesses.  In anthropological terms, community planning and development involves the evaluation of change, and plans for change, from a holistic perspective, encompassing all the various social and cultural implications of community change.  Ad hoc applied research projects would be conducted by our faculty and students at the request of local community organizations, depending on their needs.