The Dynamic Pacific Rim

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This video program features two case studies that explore the influence of physical geography in Latin America: Ecuador: Orange Alert and Chile: Pacific Rim Player.

The first case study, Ecuador: Orange Alert, examines how humans interpret the dangers of their environment. It chronicles the science and sociology of monitoring volcanic activity in the Andes. The case study features Patty Mothes, a researcher who tracks changes in an active volcano and then maps probable ash and lava flows. By doing so, she illustrates the ways in which geographic tools can facilitate better understanding of natural hazards.

The update to this program includes new interviews with geographer Mothes and geologist Peter Hall providing new insight into the Tungurahua volcano and their ongoing research, as well as new video footage and photographs of the volcano threatening to erupt.

Chile: Pacific Rim Player explores Chile's unique geography and the role it has played in the country's shift away from its traditional economy and European connections. The country's history is rooted in the Indian cultures of the Andes Mountains, but little of this heritage has been reflected since the Spanish entered Chile in 1536. Nearly three hundred years of Spanish rule has left its imprint on the architecture and demography of Santiago, Chile's capital and primary city. Recently, Chile has worked toward integrating itself into both the Latin American region and the countries of the Pacific Rim, building a dynamic, growing economy on the strength of its agricultural and forestry sectors. Global interaction continues to exert powerful forces on this country.

Updates to this case study include new interviews with geographer Robert Gwynne commenting on the changes that have occurred in Chile since he was originally interviewed in 1994.

Find additional resources, including primary source materials, interactives, and downloadable print materials, at:

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