Human ecology

Brazil: The Sleeping Giant | The Power of Place

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This half hour video program features case studies on two very different places in Brazil. The first, Sao Paulo: The Outer Ring, shows how a small Portuguese settlement grew into the world's third largest city and the largest city on the South American continent. explores how humans gauge their impact on the environment. The second part of the program uncovers a new use for geographic data collection techniques in the Amazon, a way to monitor sustainable development policies in the rain forests of northeastern Brazil's state of Para.

Holding the Hinterlands | The Power of Place

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This half hour video program, Holding the Hinterlands, is divided into two case studies. The first, Dagestan: Causcuses Disconnect, explores the dissolution of the vast Soviet Union and how the various nationalities within Russia have been confronted with a choice between nationalist anarchy and peaceful cooperation with the Russian core. The second case study, Bratsk: The Legacy of Central Planning, explores this Siberian city's historic contribution to the Soviet central economy and the problems it faces today with environmental pollution and unemployment. The contrast in location, climate, and histories between these two regions of Russia illustrate how geography relates to background, culture, traditional beliefs, and environmental limitations.

Weird Wonderful West Virginia | Alternative Agriculture: Hydroponics

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Explore the alternative methods being used to enhance agricultural production. The focus is on the early research at West Virginia State University into the benefits of the vertical hydroponic system and the use of high tunnels to promote year round production. Terms discussed include soilless culture, yield, germination, diversification, genetic work, and species. An emphasis is placed on reasons that alternative methods of production are important.

Venice and the Ottoman Empire | Crash Course World History

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John Green discusses the strange and mutually beneficial relationship between a republic, the city-state of Venice, and an Empire, the Ottomans--and how studying history can help you to be a better boyfriend and/or girlfriend. Together, the Ottoman Empire and Venice grew wealthy by facilitating trade: The Venetians had ships and nautical expertise; the Ottomans had access to many of the most valuable goods in the world, especially pepper and grain. Working together across cultural and religious divides, they both become very rich, and the Ottomans became one of the most powerful political entities in the world. We also discuss how economic realities can overcome religious and political differences (in this case between Muslims and Christians), the doges of Venice, the sultans of the Ottoman empire, the janissaries and so-called slave aristocracy of the Ottoman Empire, and how money and knowledge from the Islamic world helped fuel and fund the European Renaissance. Also, there's a They Might Be Giants joke.

The Maritime Connection | The Power of Place

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This half hour video program features two case studies focused on maritime countries in the region of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific: Indonesia: Tourist Invasion and Multicultural Malaysia. The cultural impact of economic development poses a unique challenge for both Indonesia and Malaysia. While each struggles to become industrialized, the ethnic composition and cultural variety of their people present their own set of promises and problems.

Cityscapes, Suburban Sprawl | The Power of Place

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The United States and Canada have the most urbanized and mobile populations in the world. Two of the most important results of that mobility are the abandonment of inner city neighborhoods by the middle class and the increasing loss of prime agricultural land to suburban development. This half hour program highlights the changing urban geography of Chicago, Illinois and Boston, Massachusettes.

Cavemen to Kings: Full Episode | The Greeks

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Learn about the dawning of the first great European civilization: the ancient Greeks. Learn about the dawn of the Stone Age and powerful myths the Greeks used to explain their place in the world. Then follow along to learn about the ancient Greek seafarers of the Bronze Age, the Minoans and Mycenae who lived on Crete and beyond. Finally, discover their downfall, as the first age of the Greeks descended into darkness.

Education in Fiji

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Several students on the 2010 trip to Fiji wanted to focus on the children of Fiji. Undergraduate Anna McCown’s individual project was a study of education in Fiji. Anna noted cultural differences in the interactions between teachers and students. The primary focus of her project was the loss of indigenous knowledge due to the influences of western colonialism and the development of the educational system and curriculum in Fiji. Undergraduate Lindsay Whiteaker studied the Fijian child’s perspective, how they live, their ideas about food and social relationships. She gave children drawing assignments, and then interviewed them after completion of their drawings. Her group project was a study of Fijian music. Undergraduate Helena Corzan’s individual project was to discover cultural differences by asking children to take photographs of things they thought were beautiful, things they thought were ugly, as well as their friends, family, and their home. Her findings are surprising.

Overview of the Fiji Expedition

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The National Science Foundation developed an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) grant to create opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to participate in "hands-on" scientific research. University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) anthropologist, Dr. Sharyn Jones, was program leader for a two-year grant that provided funds for 18 students to participate in a summer field school based in Fiji. Nine students participated in an archaeology program in the summer of 2009. In 2010, a different group of nine students participated in a cultural anthropology and ethnohistory program.

Dr. Loretta Cormier, associate professor of anthropology at UAB, gives a detailed overview of the 2010 Fiji Expedition. This overview, coming from a cultural anthropologist's prospective, is especially insightful. Visit the UAB in Fiji website for the "Virtual Field Trip."

Fijian Folkways

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Folkways are considered any informal mores that are followed through imitation and mild social pressure but not strictly enforced or put into law. Dr. Sharyn Jones discusses some Fijian folkways as she narrates a video tour of the town of Liku, a town of about 60 people. It is the most traditional village on the island of Nayau.

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