Video Archives

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September 2005

Video Clip (Approximately 24 minutes)

Who Comes to Alaska's North Slope and Why?

Gordon Orians talks about the effects of oil and gas extraction on Alaska's North Slope. The focus of his talk is on the effects of resource extraction on the human and biological communities.

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May 2005

Video Clip (Approximately 8 minutes)

If I Were the Wind

Nina Bradley talks about Aldo Leopold's development of the land ethic and reads his lyrical essay If I Were the Wind.

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January 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 30 minutes)

Conservation of Endangered Birds on Hawaii

We spoke with Dr. Paul Banko and Dr. Chris Farmer about conservation of endangered species of birds on the Island of Hawaii. The birds face many threats but perhaps the biggest problem is loss of their habitat. Feral cats take a serious toll on nesting birds on Hawaii and diseases also work against them. Restoration of habitat and captive breeding programs may be effective for some species such as palila, but for others it may be too late.

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April 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 50 minutes)

How Evolution Works, and Why It's Important

Professor Steve Palumbi of Stanford University talks about how evolution affects our daily lives, for instance how diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV evolve inside an individual and how drug resistance evolves in common disease causing bugs.

There is an evolutionary reason why animals should not receive the same classes of antibiotics as people, and there's an evolutionary reason why people should take the full course of an antibiotic prescription.

In a dramatic example of evolution's importance public health officials continually monitor avian influenza all around the world to control outbreaks and to keep them from jumping into the human population and causing a pandemic.

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April 2006

Video Clip (Approximately 24 minutes)

Leopold Family Stories

In the 1940s Aldo Leopold wrote his masterpiece, A Sand County Almanac primarily at his family's retreat, known affectionatley as the shack. In 1936 when he bought the original 40 acres in Sauk County, Wisconsin for back taxes it was a deforested, played-out corn farm. In the following decade he and his family spent every available weekend and vacation at the property planting trees and living in the shack, a converted chicken coop, without modern conveniences. In April 2006 we recorded three of Aldo and Estella's children, Nina, Carl and Estella sharing family stories about their parents and their time growing up at the shack.

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August 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 19 minutes)

Coral Diseases and Warmer Oceans

John Bruno

Corals are sometimes called the rainforests of the sea because they are ancient ecosystems that provide habitat for a multitude of marine organisms, both fishes, invertebrates and plants. A different metaphor for coral reefs would be the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Massive die-offs of coral reef communities may be a warning of important changes in the ecological "health" of the oceans. Professor John Bruno talks about the role of warmer ocean temperatures in the disease outbreaks that have been observed in coral reefs around the world.

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August 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 14 minutes)

Market-Based Conservation:

Heather Tallis

 

If ecosystem services are valuable (clean water is such a service), then there should be a way to capture that value in the marketplace. The best known example of this approach is the program in which New York City pays landowners in its watershed to help protect water quality. This program has saved them the much larger cost of a new water treatment plant,

Heather Tallis here talks about other examples of how other people are using markets to protect the environment.

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August 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 19 minutes)

Science, Society and Conservation :

Ann Kinzig talks about ecosystem resilience, the ability of systems such as the atmosphere or a forest to take a hit and still function: greenhouse gases or forest fires are examples.

We have entered the era in which we will have to manage entire ecosystems, not just forests but the oceans and the atmosphere, and we need to develop political and social institutions that can operate at the appropriate scales.

Ann discusses how thinking about ecosystems at inappropriate scales can generate perverse incentives, unintended consequences, and free riders.

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August 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 19 minutes)

Sustainability, Scale and Robustness:

Simon Levin

 

If we wish to manage ecosystems the first order of business is to understand how they work. Simon Levin points out that ecosystems function at different scales, for example over short and long time scales or over short distances and long distances. Another scale to consider is, how far into the future are we to be concerned with equity for our descendants?

These are the kinds of questions we need to address before we can ask, What is sustainability?

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August 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 19 minutes)

Conservation and Restoration Research Based on Societal Needs

 

Jeffery Herrick talks about the tension between what scientists may think is important and interesting research and the needs of other stakeholders such as ranchers, farmers, government agencies and interest groups.

Work from the Jornada Long Term Ecological Research Site in New Mexico http:\\jornada.nmsu.edu on desertification has found that the conversion of perennial grasslands to more drought-tolerant woody vegetation (desert) results in loss of soils and associated plants and animals (biodiversity). There is a threshhold behavior in desertification in the Southwest: once the system has crossed the threshhold and converted to desert it is stable and unlikely to change back to grassland.

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August 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 17 minutes)

An Historical Perspective on Ecology:

The Subversive Science.

Sharon Kingsland

 

Ecology has historically had two different social functions. One role supports managed development to help society avoid catastrophic problems that result from development. The other function can be deeply subversive, offering a strong critique of the ethos of growth. The problem is finding the balance between these roles.

Sharon Kingsland describes how ecology developed in America during a time of rapid economic and technological development. From the beginning there has been a tension between ecology as a "pure" science and ecology as a critic of development; that is, ecology is not only the most complex or most inclusive of the sciences, it is also at least in part, a "subversive" science.

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August 2007

Video Clip (Approximately 18 minutes)

What's Poverty Got To Do With It?

Peter Kareiva and M.A. Sanjayan

 

At the 2007 annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America Peter Kareiva of the Nature Conservancy talks about how funding for conservation is a tiny fraction of the money spent worldwide on human health, economic development and poverty elimination. He argues that conservation projects seeking funds from governments and non governmental organizations such as the World Bank need to address both conservation and human needs at the same time.

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August 2008

Video Clip (Approximately 22 minutes)

Agents of Change in Wisconsin Forests:

Don Waller

 

If we want to reverse declines in forest diversity and restore their structure and function, we need to know both how forests are changing and why. Don Waller and his friends have counted what plants are growing in hundreds of sample sites in the Wisconsin woods compared to fifty years ago. There have been clear winners and losers. The question then becomes, Why? What is driving changes in forest structure? Preliminary analysis indicates deer browsing, forest fragmentation and invasive exotic species are currently the major drivers of forest change.

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August 2008

Video Clip (Approximately 22 minutes)

Teaching Ecological Literacy from the Bottom Up

Charles W. (Andy) Anderson

 

Developing the knowledge to understand "simple" scientific statements, for instance about climate change or conservation of biological diversity, is an immense intellectual challenge for students.

Science is often taught from the Top-Down, giving students the knowledge we think they should have. Andy Anderson describes a Bottom-Up learning path that takes students from their starting point by a series of steps to where they need to be; that is, to be able to use scientific knowledge creatively and critically.

For more on teaching ecological literacy see: http://edr1.educ.msu.edu/EnvironmentalLit/publicsite/html/assessment.html

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