Objectives Explore a historic example of US agro-ecological system collapse. Consider appropriate prevention measures to protect from similar future events. Required Readings McLeman, R. A., Dupre, J., Ford, L. B., Ford, J., Gajewski, K., & Marchildon, G. (2014). What we learned from the Dust Bowl: lessons in science, policy, and adaptation. Population and Environment, 35(4), 417-440. History Brief: … Continue reading The Great Dust Bowl & Anticipating Uncertainty (lesson plan)
I've been debating posting my lesson plans for class here. However, I know that I frequently search the internet for materials to modify for my classroom. This is an experiment; both posting it here and my lecture videos. Depending on reactions, here is the first post. This topic comes from my anthropology course, Changing Climate, … Continue reading Past, Present, & Future Food (lesson plan)
Professional people-watching requires extensive note-taking. Ethnographers use their fieldnotes to keep track of everything as they conduct their research. They are writers first and foremost. Learning to write useful fieldnotes, to keep good research notes, is an essential skill for environmental and ecological anthropologists. It is evident from my review of the initial Field Notes … Continue reading Fieldnotes Are Research Notes
Teaching environmental anthropology can be difficult mentally and emotionally. I didn't get into this field because I felt hopeless. I got in because of my love of natural history and trying to understand why people would continue to make stupid environmental decisions despite knowing the consequences (but that's a post for another day). Yet the … Continue reading Something’s Gotta Change
Only 5 more days until the fall term starts at University of Maryland. That means my lazy summer days writing and researching in t-shirts and flip flops while sipping green tea are coming to an end. It is bittersweet. I am super excited to get back into the classroom. Like jittery and happy because of … Continue reading Happy Academic New Year!
One of the frustrating things I experience in teaching ecological and environmental anthropology is demonstrating how amazingly cool and interconnected our world is while sitting inside a classroom. People and researchers living and working in places, talking about and showing their experience of the human-environment relationship, are way more interesting than dry slides or discussions. … Continue reading Teaching anthropology with VR and Interactive Media
Despite my husband's concern that I have been wasting time on Twitter recently, I really have been doing research. Anthropologists collect data in a lot of strange places. As part of a research team focused on the African vulture decline I have interviewed farmers, pastoralists, government workers, teachers, business people, and other conservation-oriented folks in … Continue reading What I learned ‘listening’ to Vulture Tweets
When I introduce myself at the start of the term, I always try to give my students a sense of how I became a scholar. A lot of young people seem to think that you must start at point A and there is only one direct path to point B. I know that I thought … Continue reading What’s Good About a Winding Career Path
I've been working on a project for over a year now investigating the belief use of vultures and vulture parts in various sub-Saharan African cultures. One area of this belief use is for medicine - curing physical and mental illnesses. When I talk about my work, I often get an initial look of disbelief and … Continue reading Animals as Medicine Pt. 1
Internet forgive me. It has been a couple of years since my last blog post. The synergy of sending off my APT materials, the end of some personal issues, and a drive to talk about what I do (even if no one is listening) brings me here. I also need to get back into a … Continue reading Why now?