Amazon in Anthropocene

Description: (Same as Society and Genetics M143.) Consideration of major issues faced in Amazon region today using lenses of biology, geography, biological anthropology, primatology, cultural anthropology/ethnography, history, comparative literature, film studies, political science, and environmental science. Analysis of Amazon paleogeography and ecology over time to highlight charismatic species,biodiversity, and habitat types. Focus on human migration into Amazon, diversity of indigenous groups today, and historic/present interactions with environment. Study of European expeditions that carved out political boundaries within Amazon. Study of historic/current effects of human economy and land use on ecology. Exploration of changing power dynamics, inequity, and (un)sustainability of different cultural practices and technologies. Topics include rubber boom, indigenous resistance to oil exploration, hydroelectric dams and clean energy, deforestation arc, and international land grabs for soy plantations. Highlights value of different kinds of knowledge and expertise for interdisciplinary solutions for current crises in Amazon. Letter grading.

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