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Human Ecology
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Biodiversity — Conservation
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The Sixth Extinction [electronic resource]: Human Role

The five extinctions that have impacted the Earth over the past 400 million years-the Ordovician-Silurian, Late Devonian, Permian-Triassic, End Triassic, and Cretaceous-Tertiary-may be set to include another one on a massive scale. This alarming program assesses the extent to which Homo sapiens is provoking the planet's sixth extinction. According to scientists, wholesale destruction of habitats by humans contributes to the disappearance of 27,000 species each year. With decimation proceeding at such a rate, how long can life on Earth survive? Interviews with Oxford University zoologist Richard Dawkins, Harvard biologist Andrew Knoll, and Sussex University paleontologist Richard Fortney are featured.
2006; 2002

Endangered Animals [electronic resource]: Battle Against Extinction

This Science Screen Report explains how biologists help endangered species. It highlights captive breeding techniques that have strengthened populations of Malayan tapirs and southern white rhinos; it also examines the artificial insemination of giant pandas and the teaching of survival skills to orphaned orangutans. Emphasizing that humans can learn and benefit from these experiences-for instance, several innovative ways to communicate with animals are illustrated-this program provides concrete examples of prodigious advances in zoology.
2006; 2000

Amazon [electronic resource]: Land of the Flooded Forest

When seasonal rains sweep across South America, the Amazon River and its tributaries overflow their banks to create an ecosystem unlike any other-a place where, for six months out of each year, land-dwellers and water-dwellers mingle. This program joins an expert Amazon biologist in a journey into the flooded forests of the Amazon Basin to film dolphins navigating through treetops, a male "water monkey" releasing a cloud of babies from the nest in its mouth, and the usually lethargic three-toed sloth swimming agilely among branches. The video also explores the depletion of the region's natural resources, both by indigenous inhabitants struggling to survive and by outsiders eager to clear land for mass crop production.
2009; 2002

Rain Forest [electronic resource]

The tropical rain forests of the world are home to nearly half the animal species on earth and contain some of the most fascinating examples of natural adaptation ever seen. This classic program takes viewers into the rain forests of Costa Rica to witness a richly varied habitat under threat from human encroachment. Here, a basilisk lizard walks on water, howler monkeys bask in the sun, and leaf-cutting ants carry sections of foliage many times their weight into underground fungus gardens. Still provocative after a quarter century, the film sounds an eloquent warning about the natural wonders we stand to lose if industry and agriculture continue to take precedence over rain forest protection.
2010; 1983

Water [electronic resource]: A Celebration

Nothing is so familiar, and yet so elusive, as water. A running faucet would require 136 trillion years to discharge the Earth's 326 million cubic miles of water, but only fresh water-less than three percent of the global supply-can sustain life. As we transport, utilize, and consume water, we are tempted to view it as eternally plentiful. But its protracted cycle of falling from the sky, seeping into the ground, resurfacing, and evaporating is a fickle, unwieldy process that makes water more precious than gold. This program investigates the uses and meaning of water in our lives.
2010; 1993

Extinct Species [electronic resource]: Red Alert to Humanity

Use this program to correlate the precarious existence of endangered species and the forces of global trade. Visiting Indonesia, Japan, and the Florida Everglades, the video studies the difficulty of balancing economic and ecological well-being. The plight of animal populations-Sumatran elephants losing their habitat to palm oil plantations, Oriental white storks feeding in pesticide-ridden waters, and Florida panthers struggling in developed areas-is reinforced by a comprehensive "extinction data map" showing the biosphere's most threatened areas. This program is an effective supplement for environmental studies courses focusing on worldwide economic factors.
2006; 2004

Mysterious Poison [electronic resource]: History of PCBs

They are now banned worldwide-but the toxins known as PCBs are not going away. This program explains how the compounds have almost irreparably polluted the globe and still threaten future generations. The film begins in 1927, when PCBs became integral to electric power and, eventually, a vast array of agricultural and technological products. Describing the growth of scientific awareness of PCB-related threats across the food chain, the program features compelling interviews with researchers who helped uncover the hereditary hazards of PCBs-including World Wildlife Fund senior scientist Dr. Theo Colburn and University of Stockholm professor Soren Jensen.

Clean, Green, and Unseen [electronic resource]: Nanotechnology and the Environment

The town of Sunnyville is thrilled with the jobs and development promised by a new factory, which will make efficient, inexpensive solar cells. However, nanomaterials used in the manufacturing process pose an unknown level of risk to city residents and the environment. In this Fred Friendly Seminar, Peabody award-winning correspondent John Hockenberry leads expert panelists through a series of hypothetical dilemmas, putting their knowledge and principles to the test. Should plant construction go forward? Who determines the risks - the company, the government, or the university that holds the solar cell patent? Do we need new regulations to govern production and use of nanomaterials, or are current laws adequate? Seminar panelists include Dr. Richard Denison, Senior Scientist at Envir [...]
2009; 2008

Portrait of a Coast [electronic resource]: 21st Century the Survival of America's Shores

Over two decades ago, the original version of this program depicted the effects of wind, waves, and tides on the coastline of southeastern Massachusetts. Revised and updated for the 21st century, this edition takes a new look at the problem of erosion along America's shores, emphasizing the impact of climate change and sea level rise on our coasts. Continuing its case study of Cape Cod and the surrounding region, the film shows how beaches and dunes are formed and migrate, shaped by wind, waves, and the movement of sand-all in the wider context of global warming and human development. Also included: a hard look at the future of America's once-pristine marine settings.
2009; 2008

Who's Destroying the Forest? [electronic resource]: Global Analysis

Forests protect and nurture humanity in a variety of ways. Why, then, does deforestation continue? Who is responsible for it? This program analyzes the problem through a socioeconomic lens, drawing connections between corporate interests, food security concerns, and annihilation of the planet's woodlands. Outlining the history of deforestation from Roman times to WWII, the film focuses on the rise of clear-cut and slash-and-burn practices associated with colonialism, 20th-century capitalism, and the Green Revolution. Viewers will gain insight into political and economic systems that favor lumber, mining, and large agricultural companies-while ignoring the needs of forest ecosystems and forest-dwelling peoples in Asia, Africa, and South America.
2008; 2007

Over-Exploiting the Oceans [electronic resource]: Dangers of Over-Fishing

How long will the biosphere tolerate exploitation of the oceans? Are local fishermen a doomed species? What can be done to reverse the decline of fish stocks around the planet? This program documents the environmental and socioeconomic costs of excessive fishing. The film contrasts ancient maritime practices-like those of Mauritania's Imragen fishermen and Djibouti's pearl divers and lobster hunters-with large-scale fishing off Africa's coasts. It also raises awareness of financial and political factors, such as the granting of monopolies to corporations and consortiums and the failure of international regulations to prevent illegal fishing. The harm caused by trawl and gill nets, as well as the risks and benefits of aquaculture, are crucial topics.
2008; 2007

Endangered [electronic resource]: Biodiversity and Economic Development

Year by year the tourist trade has dwindled in fictional Pingwah Falls, leaving the town practically bankrupt. When a plan was unveiled for a modern resort, everyone's hopes rose.until they learned the land is home to a threatened species of bird. In this Fred Friendly Seminar moderated by Harvard Law School's Arthur Miller, panelists including former county supervisor Tom Mullen; Christopher Williams, of the World Wildlife Fund; Kieran Suckling, of the Center for Biological Diversity; Thomas McGill, of Michael Brandman Associates; and seven others try to determine what sacrifices should be made in the name of biodiversity-and who should make them.
2005; 2001