Albuquerque Journal Originally Posted: December 22, 2018 BY: CHRISTOPHER ROOS / ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGIST, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT SMU DALLAS The wildland fire tragedy in California underscores the risk of living on a flammable planet. In 2017, co-occurring outbreaks cost dozens of lives in both California and Portugal. Australia also endures waves of deadly fire. Even places we do not typically associate with wildfire appear among the rolls of devastated communities. We have global wildfire problems that are varied, urgent and deadly. As an environmental archaeologist, I know that these flammable landscapes have long human histories, too. I look to this history for examples of successful coexistence between human societies and fire. I have been working with the Native American community at Jemez Pueblo, whose ancestors [...]
National Geographic Originally Posted: November 8, 2018 Ancient DNA reveals complex migrations of the first Americans Newly sequenced Native genomes showcase a wealth of surprises, from previously unknown populations to unique high-altitude adaptations. “Where do I come from?” That's perhaps one of the most fundamental questions for humanity. Now, three studies of ancient and modern human DNA are offering some intriguing answers by providing a detailed new look at the complex peopling of the Americas. Once modern humans left Africa about 60,000 years ago, they swiftly expanded across six continents. Researchers can chart this epic migration in the DNA of people both alive and long-dead, but they were missing genetic data from South America, the last major stop on this human journey. The trio [...]
American Anthropological Association Originally Posted: November 13, 2018 Katherine E. Browne earned her master’s and Ph.D. from SMU Katherine E. Browne's academic research and engaged anthropology have energized the fields of economic anthropology, disaster studies, and visual ethnography. She is currently a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Colorado State University. In her first book, Creole Economics: Caribbean Cunning under the French Flag (2004), Browne investigated the informal economy among Afro-Creole people in Martinique. Continuing her interest in the relationship between community and economic values, Browne shifted her research focus to New Orleans to address the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast. Her NSF-funded documentary film on this work, Still Waiting: Life after Katrina, was broadcast on more than 300 PBS stations and was followed [...]
Dedman College News Originally Posted: November 9, 2018 By: Ryan Garrett In the 2017-18 academic year, SMU Human Rights Fellow Benjamin Chi fought to change the Texas Family Code, advocating for underage youth without guardians to give consent to their own medical care, which would allow them to attend school and improve public health. “Working as an SMU Human Rights Fellow has been the most formative experience of my undergraduate experience,” said Ben. Inspired to study human rights through his parents’ experiences of living in poverty until their thirties, Ben has been collaborating with homelessness advocates, state government officials, healthcare specialists, and youth experiencing homelessness. In the 2014-2015 school year, 113,000 students were identified as homeless, according to the Texas Homeless Education Office, an organization [...]
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 [...]