Essential Partners Originally Posted: September 6, 2018 Jill DeTemple Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University Can we make space in the classroom for students to develop convictions—identify what they believe, understand why they believe it, and become willing to share it—while simultaneously inviting them to hold those convictions with humility—an openness, curiosity, and willingness to listen to others? Dialogue in the classroom has been shown to deepen learning, improve student retention, and strengthen interpersonal connections. It can also help students strike that balance between humility and conviction, a balance that is crucial not only to intellectual rigor but also to the functioning of a diverse free society. For the past three years, Essential Partners has been working with a team of faculty [...]
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A new survey reveals that not only do business executives value college, they want students with skills associated with the liberal arts.
Inside Higher Ed Originally Posted: August 28, 2018 Public May Not Trust Higher Ed, but Employers Do A new survey reveals that not only do business executives value college, they want students with skills associated with the liberal arts. Though public support for higher education seems to be waning, this skepticism doesn’t appear to extend to potential employers, who say they still have faith in colleges and universities, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges & Universities. But while executives and hiring managers believe that institutions are teaching graduates the skills needed for entry-level jobs, they reported that students usually aren’t ready to be promoted. AAC&U commissioned the Washington, D.C.-based Hart Research Associates to survey two groups: 500 or so business [...]
CBC Radio Originally Posted: July 27, 2018 For centuries, the Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains hunted the bison that once roamed across much of the continent in enormous numbers. But hunting these huge animals takes an enormous amount of skill and planning. New research has shown that First Nations people actively altered their landscape — including with the strategic use of fire — to manage and control large herds of bison. Funnelling bison into 'drivelines' A bison hunt required an enormous amount of planning. These early hunters built cairns out of rock to force the bison onto narrow paths, or "drivelines," allowing the hunters to more easily move in for the kill. Archeological evidence suggests that some of the drivelines were as much as a kilometre long. This hunting strategy, which involved actively manipulating [...]
KERA Originally Posted: August 1, 2018 Christopher Roos is an archaeologist at Southern Methodist University and lead author of a new study that looks into how that use of fire affected the ecosystem. LISTEN Interview Highlights On how the land was managed by Native Americans One of the primary uses of fire on the landscape was to refresh the prairie. Bison was one of their prime prey and the center point for their economy, in terms of food, clothing, shelter and tools. Bison prefer to graze recently burned patches of prairie — it's tastier, it's more nutritious. And so they manipulated the location of bison herds by selectively burning patches of prairie, and one of the things they did for most of the last millennium is burn patches of prairie to [...]
Newsweek Originally Posted: July 19, 2018 Dr. Catrina Whitley, Gwen Bakke, and Abigail Fisher are working on a historic African American cemetery in Houston. Dr. Whitley is a Dedman College alumna and a former adjunct lecturer in the Department of Anthropology. Gwen Bakke and Abigail Fisher are SMU anthropology Ph.D. students. A school district in Texas unearthed a long-forgotten cemetery, during a construction project, which archaeologists now believe contains the bodies of black forced-labor prisoners. The remains of 95 people were discovered in February in the city Sugar Land, just southwest of Houston. This week, researchers announced the bodies likely belonged to black people who were working in forced-labor camps, at a moment in history, between 1878 and 1910, when slavery had already been abolished. The discovery was made [...]
Earth and Environment Originally Posted: July 26, 2018 Native American communities actively managed North American prairies for centuries before Christopher Columbus and his ilk arrived in the New World, according to a new study. Fire was an important indigenous tool for shaping North American ecosystems, but the relative importance of indigenous burning versus climate on fire patterns remains controversial in scientific communities, researchers say. As reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that, contrary to popular thinking, burning by indigenous hunters combined with climate variability to amplify the effects of climate on prairie fire patterns. Human dimension “The important contribution of this research to paleoenvironmental science is a demonstration of the impact that relatively small groups of mobile hunter-gatherers could have [...]
COSMOS Originally Posted: July 18, 2018 A mystery concerning how some of North America’s first farmers survived on a diet that appears manifestly inadequate may have been solved. The ancestral Pueblo people who lived in what is now known as the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States shifted from a nomadic to a settled lifestyle centred on crop-growing around 400BCE. The primary crop cultivated was maize (known in the US as corn), which accounted for an estimated 80% of calorific intake. During the ensuing 800 years – a stretch known as the Basketmaker II period – the settlers’ diet contained very little meat. This was perhaps a cultural choice. Basketmaker II people became efficient turkey farmers, but the birds were raised primarily for [...]
Eureka Alert Originally Posted: July 23, 2018 Study shows hunter-gatherers used active burning to improve grazing, drive bison, long before arrival of Columbus DALLAS (SMU) - Native American communities actively managed North American prairies for centuries before Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World, according to a new study led by Southern Methodist University (SMU) archaeologist Christopher I. Roos. Fire was an important indigenous tool for shaping North American ecosystems, but the relative importance of indigenous burning versus climate on fire patterns remains controversial in scientific communities. The new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), documents the use of fire to manipulate bison herds in the northern Great Plains. Contrary to popular thinking, burning by indigenous hunters combined with climate variability to [...]