Human ecology

A Crater Lake Warns of Future Eruptions | Volcano on the Brink

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Join scientists as they examine rocks near a lake inside the crater of a dormant volcano to learn how evidence from past eruptions might inform them about the dangers of a future event in this video from NOVA: Volcano on the Brink. Use this resource to examine how the characteristics of volcanic rocks can tell scientists about past eruptions and indicate a potential risk for future volcanic events.

The Pilgrims: Native American Relationship to the Land

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Explore differences in historical perspectives with respect to Native Americans and the land at the time the Plymouth Colony was established, in this adapted DVD extra from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Pilgrims. A Native anthropologist disputes a prominent 17th-century English text that describes Native people as “heathens” and “not industrious,” and their land as “spacious and void.” Historian Linda Coombs describes how Native people lived and moved over the land, taking what they needed without destroying it. The English text and a contemporary analysis written by Plimoth Plantation historians are included in Support Materials. Teaching Tips offer suggestions for how to integrate the resources into your teaching. This resource is part of the American Experience: The Pilgrims collection.

Click on the links below to download customizable Teaching Tips and a video transcript for this resource.

Teaching Tips Transcript

A Larger Vision at Work | 1913: Seeds of Conflict

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In 1908, the Young Turk Revolution resulted in a new constitutional parliament in Istanbul. Learn about the role Ruhi Khalidi, who served as the parliament’s elected representative from Jerusalem, and Arthur Ruppin, who headed the World Zionist Organization, had in establishing the vision for Zionism in Palestine. Discover where they wanted Jewish settlements and infrastructure to be built. Then learn about how the Arabs responded to this vision and the journey they took to Istanbul to voice their concerns in parliament. 

Changes on the Chang Jiang | The Power of Place

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This half hour video program features two case studies about the Chang Jiang River valley: Shanghai: Head of the Dragon and Sijia: Small Town, Big Change. The first case study examines Shanghai, China's most populous city. Shanghai is experiencing unprecedented growth since the central government gave its approval and support to an open city policy. The second case study profiles Sijia, a small village that experienced rapid growth when a blue jeans garment factory located there. This rural township enterprise has given villagers year-round employment with steady wages and an increasing standard of living.

River Rewilding: Grand River Social and Economic Impacts

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This unit examines the social and economic role that the Grand River has played in the Grand Rapids, Michigan community. It begins with the Paleo-Indians and extends to current day. Students will look at primary source readings, artifacts, and summaries of the different time periods. They will examine the role of the River in society and the impacts of humans on the River. Specifically, students will examine how the change in population and uses of the River impacts river quality.

Population, Sustainability, and Malthus | Crash Course World History

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Join host John Green to learn about human population. How many people can reasonably live on the Earth? In 1800, the human population of the Earth passed one billion. Thomas Malthus posited that growth had hit its ceiling and that the population would level off. He was completely wrong, as there are currently seven billion people on the planet! John will teach a little about how Malthus made his calculations and explain how Malthus came up with the wrong answer.

Oil and Water | The Power of Place

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This program features two case studies that examine the interaction between humans and natural resources: Egypt: Gift of the Nile and Oman: Looking Beyond Oil. A growing population and a shrinking arable land base is the dilemma presented in the first case study in Egypt along the Nile River Basin. The second case study examines the country of Oman as it tries to diversify its economy.

Northwest Contrast | The Power of Place

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This half hour video program travels across Russia's many landscapes to see how geography influences the problems people face and the solutions they are considering since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The case study St. Petersburg: Russia's Window on the West shows a capital city originally founded to link Tsarist Russia to the culture of Western Europe. The case study Vologda: Russian Farming in Flux shows us a quintessential Russia. This region of the northwest interior, which surrounds the administrative center bearing its name, is remote and rural. Many of the changes that have occurred since the collapse of the Soviet Union have not yet reached Vologda.

The Importance of Freshwater Mussels | Iowa Land and Sky

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Freshwater mussels are historically a cornerstone species to Iowa's ecosystems. While industry and modern life has threatened their existence, they continue to be a valuable resource to every organism that calls Iowa home. 

Climate Change, Chaos, and The Little Ice Age | Crash Course World History

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Join host John Green to learn about the Little Ice Age, a period of global cooling that occurred from the 13th to the 19th centuries. This cooling was likely caused by a number of factors, including unusual solar activity and volcanic eruptions. The Little Ice Age greatly impacted human social orders, especially during the 17th century. When the climate changed, and weather became unpredictable, the world changed profoundly. Poor harvests led to hunger, which led to even less productivity, which even resulted in violent upheaval in many regions.

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