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The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth

Examines how plants and animals adapt to their physical surroundings in a variety of environments.
2001; 1984
Clemons (Stacks)

Latin America [electronic resource]

In Guatemala, a historical geographer explores the reasons for the decline of the Maya and their present-day explosive growth. In Ecuador, physical geographers work toward reducing the potential hazards of living near an active volcano. Classroom segments feature students investigating the migration of Mexican populations and, after discerning patterns of volcano location, discussing the issues of living near volcanoes.

The Secret World [electronic resource]

The Tara Oceans research team came together to better understand the marine world, arguably the most important ecosystem on Earth. This program lays the groundwork for their three-year expedition, introducing the personnel, their on-board lab, and their mission-to learn more about plankton, and to gain insight into the health of the planet as a result. Viewers travel with the crew as they sail the western Mediterranean searching for plankton colonies and observing microscopic interactions between phytoplankton and zooplankton. The team also maps out a plan to draw up a complete planktonic inventory.

Man and the Oceans [electronic resource]

With no obvious predators to curb the population, humans are experiencing a growth in numbers that stands outside the laws of nature. What role does man play in the decreasing biodiversity of the earth, and of marine life in particular? In this program, the Tara Oceans researchers go to the Indian Ocean to investigate human influence on the health of the seas. Around the Austral Islands, the team finds copepods are being attacked by viruses, leading to speculation about the role of viruses in a balanced ecology. Sailing on, they encounter former fishing zones overrun by jellyfish and areas of damaged coral-troubling signs of rising oceanic temperatures.

Southern Exposure [electronic resource]: Causes and Consequences of Illegal Immigration

Three years in the making, Southern Exposure tears down a curtain of lies, half-truths, and misinformation to scrutinize the many aspects of illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States. The result is a hard-hitting investigation that chronicles the backstories of drug cartels and human trafficking, the effects of demographic changes, the resurgence of contagious diseases, and the escalation of racism. Southern Exposure is unflinching in identifying the consequences of illegal immigration, sensitive to those who risk everything to make the border-crossing, and comprehensive in its analysis of the effects-both direct and indirect.

Holy Lands 2 Israel [electronic resource]: Globe Trekker

This Globe Trekker episode follows Zay Harding as he explores Israel. In part two of the Holy Lands, Zay's journey starts in Nazareth, where he embarks on a two-day hike along the Jesus Trail to the Sea of Galilee. He visits the tiny hilltop town of Tsfat, famous as the birthplace of Kabbalah, and the medieval town of Akko to explore the ruins of an underground city from the time of the Crusades. Traveling down the coast, Zay stops for a few days of R&R in Tel Aviv that includes a visits to Tel Aviv's Pride Festival. His visits end in the Negev Desert, where he visits Ben Gurion University and sets out on a breathtaking mountain biking trip to Mitzpe Ramon.

The Cost of Sushi [electronic resource]: Emptying the Seas

The bluefin tuna, called by BBC News "one of the most highly-prized-and fought over-species and foodstuffs in the world," is known to fishermen as a "floating goldmine." But the world's taste for sushi has pushed this species to the brink of extinction, and now it is the Mediterranean spawning grounds that are coming under attack. Should bluefin tuna fishing be banned? From Croatia to Greece, from Japan to the coast of Spain, this program investigates the global impact of tuna fishing and asks if there is such a thing as sustainable sushi. The efforts of independent fisheries consultant Roberto Mielgo, who is trying to protect bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean, are spotlighted.

The Mountain Barrier [electronic resource]

Rising to heights of 13,000 feet, the Sarawat Mountains of Western Arabia extend for 1,000 miles along the entire length of the Red Sea, and are home to numerous species of wildlife. High juniper forests, fed by moisture rising from the Red Sea, support large troops of Hamadryas baboons, and exotic African birds such as the hornbill, Abyssinian roller, and thirteen other bird species found nowhere else in the world. The abandoned mountain village of al-Fawqa has become home to fruit bats, sunbirds, and weaver birds. In the vast volcanic moonscape that exists behind the mountain wall, spring growth provides a nursery for millions of migrating birds.

Home to the Village [electronic resource]

Most urban Nigerians retain strong ties to their home villages. Many, like the Izevbigie family, return for planting and harvesting-suitcase farming, it's called. This program compares the life of the city-dwelling Izevbigies with that of their country cousins, as well as the games they play. Grandmother tells the story of the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

Reef Life of the Andaman [electronic resource]: Marine Species of Thailand and Burma

From the coral reefs and submarine pinnacles of Thailand's Similan Islands, Phuket, Phi Phi Island, and Hin Daeng, to Myanmar's Mergui Archipelago and Burma Banks, this stunning documentary brings viewers on a virtual scuba diving tour of the Andaman Sea's variety of oceanic life. Seldom is the aquatic ecosystem as diverse as it is here. The underwater travelogue describes more than 200 different forms of marine life, including dozens of tropical fish species, sharks, rays, crustaceans, octopi, turtles, sea snakes, corals, and much more. A valuable resource for marine biology students studying up on species identification, or for anyone interested in life beneath the sea.

Regreening the Desert [electronic resource]: One Man's Global Mission

For more than 15 years, cameraman and ecologist John D. Liu has conducted a worldwide, one-man mission: inspire the global community to reclaim deserts and restore biodiversity. It all started in 1995 when Liu began filming on the Loess Plateau in China. He watched as the local population worked to transform an area nearly the same size as the Netherlands from a dry, exhausted wasteland into a massive green oasis. Since that time Liu has traveled all over the world to convince and inspire government leaders, policy-makers, farmers, and others with his films and his knowledge. This program accompanies Liu on his mission in Jordan, where the royal family has invited him to help stop their country's desertification. Scenes focusing on similar issues in Africa provide additional understa [...]

Eye of the Camel [electronic resource]

The Rub' al Khalii, or Empty Quarter, is the immense sand desert in Southern Arabia. This film follows a Bedouin family on their winter migration into this desolate landscape and examines the desert animals and plants. Camels, gazelle, oryx, desert shrimp, plants, and insects have all adapted to cope with a life of extreme heat and no water. The wildlife at the ancient al-Hasa oasis offers a glimpse at life forms few even know exist. The impacts of the modern age on the ecology of the central Arabian deserts are also discussed?

Voyage of the Dragon King [electronic resource]

In the 15th century, China was already a political and economic powerhouse in Southeast Asia, when the reigning Ming emperor decided to launch sea expeditions to countries beyond the horizon. This film explores this unique chapter in the China's history through the adventures of Admiral Zheng He: Hui-Chinese court eunuch, mariner, explorer, diplomat, and fleet admiral, who commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433. Zheng He led seven expeditions of 800 vessels capable of carrying up to 1,000 people each. Based on the maps produced on these trips, some believe these expeditions circumnavigated the globe and may have even discovered the New World before Columbus.

Megacities [electronic resource]

In 1950, New York City was the world's only megacity, but today there are nearly two dozen that qualify. This program travels to Sao Paulo, the world's third-largest megacity, to offer a glimpse of what it's like for the urban poor scraping out a living there. Visits to the slums and the streets of this 3,000-square-mile Brazilian metropolis paint a stark picture of a place where shootings, high levels of air and water pollution, and extreme traffic congestion continuously endanger the safety of its 18 million inhabitants.

Dry Leaves Reveal Past Climate Conditions [electronic resource]

Leaves are a window into local climate. Accurate measurements better reconstruct ecosystem environments.

Future Forecast [electronic resource]: More Severe Thunderstorms

Climate models show increase in severe thunderstorms over the next century.

Inside the World's Largest Artificial Watershed [electronic resource]

Water, microbes, soil and plants interact in a setting realistic enough to improve global climate models for years to come.

Mosquitoes Need Sugar, Not Blood, to Survive [electronic resource]

Sweet-tooth tactics could keep pests at bay.

Parks Monitor Noise to Protect Nature, Environment [electronic resource]

Performing acoustical measurements of artificial noise helps safeguard wildlife.