Teaching and Mentoring

Dr. West is a tenured professor at both Barnard College and Columbia University.

Barnard College is a private women’s liberal arts college that was founded in 1889. For many years it was considered “the women’s college” at Columbia University. Today it is one of the official colleges of Columbia University (which has been coed since 1983).

Each academic discipline has developed its own relationship between the Barnard and Columbia departments. The Department of Anthropology is a joint department, meaning that the faculty comprise one faculty who work together training graduate and undergraduate students, hiring and mentoring new faculty, organizing seminars and events, and on other scholarly projects around the university.

Undergraduate Courses

The Interpretation of Culture; Anthropology of Consumption; Environment and Cultural Behavior; Environment and Development; Political Ecology; Food, Ecology, and Globalization; The Anthropology of Cultural, Biological, and Linguistic Diversity; Anthropology of the Anthropocene

Graduate Courses

Place, Space, and Nature; Decolonizing Methodologies; Political Ecology; Culture and Consumption; Cultural and Biological Diversity


Dr. West currently has Ph.D. and Masters students in both the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B). She is also on the faculty for the Ph.D. in Sustainable Development.

Some of her recent Ph.D. students are Dr. Jessica Barnes, Dr. Danielle DiNovelli-Lang, Dr. Leo DouglasDr. Adriana Garriga-Lopez, Dr. Erin HasinoffDr. Elizabeth Nichols, Dr. Lisa Uperesa, Dr. Georgina Cullman, Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Vaughn, Dr. Ariela Zycherman, Dr. Scott Freeman, Dr. Matthew West, and Dr. Vivian Valencia.

Dr. West has also mentored several international students who spent a semester with her at Columbia: Kay Lewis-Jones (University of Kent); Nina Alnes Haslie (The University of Oslo), and Dr. Arthur Laurent (Sciences Po).

Some of her current Ph.D. students are Patrick Nason (anthropology), Ann Iwashita (anthropology), Eduardo Javier Romero Dianderas (anthropology), and Enock Kale (University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea).

Many of Dr. West’s undergraduate anthropology students have gone on to careers in anthropology and related fields, some of them are: Dr. Amelia Moore, Dr. Patrick Gallagher , Florence Durney (Ph.D. student, Arizona), Rebecca Feinberg (Ph.D. student UC Santa Cruz), Sunita Kurra (Duke Law – social justice focus), and Scott Andrews (MS in sustainable development, Columbia).