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Archeologists Uncover Clues on Beginnings of Agriculture - Voice of America

Archeologists Uncover Clues on Beginnings of Agriculture - Voice of America | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
New findings by archeologists excavating a prehistoric site in Jordan may shed new light on the way early humans transitioned from hunter-gatherers to farmers. But the discoveries also reveal th...
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Ireland's Generous Nature: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants in Ireland - Irish Times

Ireland's Generous Nature: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants in Ireland - Irish Times | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Review: Peter Wyse Jackson has written a unique survey of our island’s rich vegetation
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

Wyse Jackson is the new President of the Missouri Botanical Garden. This book looks gorgeous :)

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This Timeless Living Document Is Helping Scientists Discover More About Bears - Co.Exist

This Timeless Living Document Is Helping Scientists Discover More About Bears - Co.Exist | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
This Timeless Living Document Is Helping Scientists Discover More About Bears Co.Exist The resulting paper, which relied on both DNA analysis as well as cultural principles passed down verbally for generations translated into a written document,...
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

THIS is what I believe will help us conserve our world...integrating the cultural knowledge of local peoples with hard data.

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The wrongheaded obsession with “vanishing” indigenous peoples

The wrongheaded obsession with “vanishing” indigenous peoples | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Photographer Jimmy Nelson is just the latest artist to act like indigenous groups are about to die out

Via Robert DesJarlait
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

its good to hear a new perspective sometimes!

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From athletes to couch potatoes: humans through 6,000 years of farming | University of Cambridge

From athletes to couch potatoes: humans through 6,000 years of farming | University of Cambridge | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Human bones are remarkably plastic and respond surprisingly quickly to change.
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To Decode the Mystery of Corn, Smithsonian Scientists Recreate Earth as it Was ... - Smithsonian (blog)

To Decode the Mystery of Corn, Smithsonian Scientists Recreate Earth as it Was ...
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Pivots and Loss of Habitat in Flyover-Country | Big Picture Agriculture

Pivots and Loss of Habitat in Flyover-Country | Big Picture Agriculture | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it

If you’ve never looked at this region using Google satellite maps, I wish you would. Maybe you’ve seen how pivots have taken over as you’ve flown over. It seems like they are almost everywhere that they can be, by now. For those of us who never invested in Valmont, we’ve missed out on a great investment opportunity.

 

Along with population losses, rural areas such as this one in Nebraska have lost too much wildlife habitat and biodiversity. A couple of barometers for us are the monarch butterfly and the pheasant. According to Harvest Public Media, in Nebraska, wild pheasant concentrations have fallen 86 percent since their peak in the 1960s. As for the monarch, there are no longer milkweeds in the Midwest which are necessary for them to breed on, and so their population is falling dramatically. No longer will first graders in science classes be able to marvel at the story about the massive and mysterious annual monarch migration, like you and I did.

 

Yesterday, I was reading a twitter feed from the Renewable Fuels Association, because they were testifying to defend ethanol mandates by our government at a hearing discussing the new EPA proposal to cut back the mandate to levels more in line with the blend wall problem. The ethanol-industrial-complex representatives kept saying that the ethanol industry is providing new jobs for rural America.

 

From what I’m seeing, if anything, the opposite is true, as increased corn production is leading to larger and too-expensive farms making it difficult to begin farming. As farm depopulation continues, the small communities also depopulate and lose their goods and services so that remaining rural residents drive farther for off-farm jobs and groceries.

 

There is a new USDA report out about ethanol industry job growth. It revealed that the new jobs created, which are negligible in number, are primarily for truck drivers and natural gas pipeline workers (to get the gas piped to the distillation plants and to get the corn hauled to the ethanol plants). Sadly, too, the USDA reports that net job growth in nonmetro areas since 2011 have been near zero, and that between 2010 and 2012, the rural areas have, for the first time ever, experienced a net population loss.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

This article is important just for the satellite photo if nothing else...the loss of native habitat in the prairie is dramatic and tragic. I read an article on the drastic decline in monarch populations this year and almost cried.

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Disease and Agriculture in Mississippian Period N. America | Bones ...

Disease and Agriculture in Mississippian Period N. America | Bones ... | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Diseases are an interesting thing. The development and location of an area can drastically change the types of diseases present, and which are most deadly. If you look at global health maps, such as HealthMap, you can see ...
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Cleaning Up Ancient Human DNA - Science AAAS

Cleaning Up Ancient Human DNA - Science  AAAS | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Cleaning Up Ancient Human DNA
Science AAAS
He and his colleagues are now trying it on ancient dog DNA to elucidate the domestication of dogs.
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

ok, this is about humans, but they do talk about dog domestication...and this is just cool:)

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Growing Dialogue: Austin's Grassroots Agriculture - The Daily Texan

Growing Dialogue: Austin's Grassroots Agriculture - The Daily Texan | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
In a changing ecological and social landscape, local innovators explore sustainable food production in Austin.
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

Good little video to introduce students to the concepts of urban ethnoecology!

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Agriculture is the New Golf: Rethinking Suburban Communities | The Neighborhoods Issue on GOOD

Agriculture is the New Golf: Rethinking Suburban Communities | The Neighborhoods Issue on GOOD | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
There is new movement to plan suburban communities around farms instead of golf courses. Can it catch on?

Via Alan Yoshioka
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

But will the agriculture itself be sustainable? People cannot live on land so close to the pesticides and fertilizers used in modern agriculture. We would need to input ways to practice organic agriculture with less labor...more of a Maya forest garden approach:)

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Indigenous Peoples Vow to Map Customary Forests - Jakarta Globe

Indigenous Peoples Vow to Map Customary Forests - Jakarta Globe | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Indigenous Peoples Vow to Map Customary Forests Jakarta Globe An organization representing Indonesia's indigenous people is determined to map out the country's customary forests in order to save them from the encroachment of palm oil companies and...
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

indigneous mapping of their managed lands would be fantastic!

 

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India's rice revolution

India's rice revolution | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
In a village in India's poorest state, farmers are growing world record amounts of rice – with no GM or herbicide. Is this a solution to world food shortages?
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

Amazing! A potentially sustainable, organic method of agriculture that may increase productivity even more than the chemical-laden methods of the green revolution. Even if the results are not as spectacular as suggested, this could be key to helping people see that technology and GMOs are not the only way to feed the planet. Does anyone know anything about this SRI method?

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We are all in this together - DesMoinesRegister.com

We are all in this together - DesMoinesRegister.com | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
DesMoinesRegister.com
We are all in this together
DesMoinesRegister.com
On a whim, I sent Merton's quote to a Drake University professor of ethnobotany, which is the study of the inter-relatedness between plants and human populations.
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

wow...fun to see this on here! I am quoted in this article in the Des Moines register :)

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Force of protection - Pipeline News North

Force of protection - Pipeline News North | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Force of protection
Pipeline News North
Just northeast of Fort St. John, British Columbia, there is swath of boreal forest straddling the border between that province and Alberta that is rich with both cultural and ecological treasures.
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A Tale of Ethnic Minorities, Rhododendron, and Conservation in Yunnan Province, China

This is a presentation at the joint meeting of the Society for Economic Botany and Society of Ethnobiology: "The Energy of People, Places, and Life". Cheroke...
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

this is an area where I've done some ethnoecology research...gorgeous place!

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The genome sequence of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and evidence for independent domestication : Nature Genetics : Nature Publishing Group

The genome sequence of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and evidence for independent domestication : Nature Genetics : Nature Publishing Group | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Mingsheng Chen, Klaus Mayer, Steve Rounsley, Rod Wing and colleagues report the genome sequence of African rice (Oryza glaberrima), a different species than Asian rice. The authors resequenced 20 O. glaberrima accessions and 94 Oryza barthii accessions (the putative progenitor species of O. glaberrima), and their analyses support the hypothesis that O. glaberrima was domesticated in a single region along the upper Niger river.

Via Francis Martin
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Did hunter-gatherers really spend more energy than modern humans? - Scienceline

Did hunter-gatherers really spend more energy than modern humans? - Scienceline | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Did hunter-gatherers really spend more energy than modern humans?
Scienceline
“If you want to talk about ecology, anatomy, behavior, reproduction, aging, all of it, the whole shooting match is plugged into metabolic energy.
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Farmers, smelters and caravans: Two thousand years of land use and soil erosion in North Pare, NE Tanzania

Farmers, smelters and caravans: Two thousand years of land use and soil erosion in North Pare, NE Tanzania | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it

Slope deposits in North Pare provide evidence of two millennia of anthropogenically driven land clearance, soil erosion and land degradation. Drawing on deposit stratigraphy, soil magnetic parameters, stable carbon isotope composition and radiocarbon dating, three phases of soil erosion are distinguished characterized by distinct surface processes and increasing levels of agricultural land use.

Onset of slope deposit formation in Pare since about 300 BC documents soil erosion as an immediate consequence of new land use practices associated with the spread of agriculture and iron working across northern Tanzania. By AD 500, slope deposits extended into valley bottoms and to middle slopes suggesting catchment-wide land clearance and soil erosion. In the 15th century AD, progressive anthropogenic soil erosion had exhausted the topsoil resource and material changes of the slope deposits reflect widespread subsoil erosion. The exposure of subsoils represents an ecological tipping point and triggered the transition to a new morphodynamic framework dominated by runoff-based erosion processes that are recorded as sand lenses and sand layers. The most recent deposits show ongoing accelerated erosion and severe land degradation whilst cessation of sand lens preservation indicates pre-colonial intensification of agricultural land use. Land use changes and socioeconomic transitions associated with the establishment of the Ugweno chiefdom and the 19th-century caravan trade are discussed as possible responses to imperceptible long-term land degradation in Pare.

The study demonstrates that anthropogenic soil erosion and not external climatic drivers shaped landscape development in Pare and shows that the identification of environmental thresholds is essential for the assessment of resilience in human-dominated ecosystems.


Via Dorian Q Fuller
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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, December 6, 2013 12:49 PM

Geoarchaeological evidence suggests agricultural landuse from the later First Millennium BC. This is only slightly older than current archaeobotanical evidence from the region; so is this poijting to a quite late introduction of cultivation in the hills region of east Africa? If so, it casts further questions on the reported early banana from Cameroun.

diana buja's curator insight, December 13, 2013 7:55 AM

Another great links and thoughts from Dorian Fuller.  Thanks, Dorian!

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Food Monographs

Food Monographs | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
This is a collection of videos on food, created by students enrolled in Dr. Quave's "Food, Health and Society" course in the Human Health program at Emory University.

Via Eve Emshwiller
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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, December 7, 2013 9:24 AM

Dr. Cassandra Quave's students prepared videos on foods for their term projects for the course.

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Re-sequencing reveals cucumber's evolutionary enigma - agprofessional.com

Re-sequencing reveals cucumber's evolutionary enigma - agprofessional.com | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Re-sequencing reveals cucumber's evolutionary enigma agprofessional.com This work provides new insights for understanding the genetic basis of domestication and diversity of this important crop, and provides guidance for breeders to harness genetic...
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

the search for the genes of domestication continues...

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Stalking the Wild Tomato: The Ethnobotany of Genetically Modified Crops

Stalking the Wild Tomato: The Ethnobotany of Genetically Modified Crops | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
In a place where population growth is moving incredibly fast, added pressure on farmers in India in the wake of crushing debt and failed crops calls for a new agricultural approach. Genetic modification and organic farming present promising...
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ESA 2013 Preview: Historical vs. Modern Conditions of Sierra ...

ESA 2013 Preview: Historical vs. Modern Conditions of Sierra ... | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Christopher Dolanc, a recent alum of the Davis Graduate Group in Ecology, continues our ESA 2013 preview posts. You can see Chris's talk at ESA at 10:50AM, Tuesday, August 6, in room.
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

It's almost as if the forest were growing backwards into something akin to a regenerating forest full of opportunistic species and dense underbrush. Is this from climate change?

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Green Tokyo: 5 Cool Examples of Urban Agriculture - ROCKETNEWS24

Green Tokyo: 5 Cool Examples of Urban Agriculture - ROCKETNEWS24 | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
Green Tokyo: 5 Cool Examples of Urban Agriculture ROCKETNEWS24 With its massive urban sprawl and busy streets, Tokyo doesn't exactly seem like the kind of place you would find farmland, but Tokyoites are waking up to the fact that growing your food...
Nanci J. Ross's insight:

I've always wanted to do a project on urban gardens. With such limited space, how do people decide what to grow? 

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A genetic treasure hunting in sorghum may benefit crop improvement | Science Codex

A genetic treasure hunting in sorghum may benefit crop improvement | Science Codex | Ethnoecology | Scoop.it
August 27, 2013, Shenzhen, China - A consortium of researchers from The University of Queensland, the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF Qld) and BGI has discovered that sorghum, a drought-tolerant African crop, holds...
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