Instructor: Robert L. Welsch, Department of Anthropology
Project: Anthropology students have watched documentary films and videos about the world’s exotic peoples for many decades. These carefully edited films illustrate different ways of life and different cultures. But such documentaries rarely allow students to observe how anthropologists actually conduct interviews, sift through contradictory interview data, or reach conclusions. This project was designed specifically to address this limitation in existing ethnographic and anthropological videos.
During a month-long research field trip to Papua New Guinea Welsch interviewed Papua New Guineans about a variety of different topics. These interviews were videotaped on mini-DVs with the assistance of Kellen Haak (Registrar of the Hood Museum) and Sebastian Haraha (Senior Technical Officer at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery) who accompanied Welsch on the field trip. With the assistance of Alice Matthias ’07 who served as video editor, Welsch used Blackboard to distribute several 15-30 minute clips, allowing students in Anthro 1 (Intro to Anthropology), Anthro 3 (Intro to Cultural Anthropology), Anthro 17 (Anthropology of Health and Illness), and Anthro 38 (Peoples of Oceania) to see some of these interview clips and make sense of this raw anthropological data.
These video clips show how anthropologists conduct interviews in difficult and exotic settings. They illustrate how anthropological informants can disagree with one another, and how a single informant can draw upon a complex mix of explanations. These video clips allow students to try to reach conclusions from confusing, ambiguous, and conflicting informant statements in much the same ways that professional anthropologists do in their own research. The project demonstrates the utility of using field video clips in the classroom, and the effectiveness of Blackboard as a means of providing student access to these materials.
Instructor: Benjamin Forest, Department of Geography
Project: Residential racial and ethnic segregation in American cities has evolved and persisted for well over 100 years. Census data provide a rich source of information about demographic patterns, but it is difficult to comprehend these patterns without maps and other visual aids. The Visualizing Segregation website includes several resources to help students understand current patterns of housing segregation, and some of the dynamics that produce and maintain these patterns.
The site features a java-based segregation simulator that demonstrates different dynamics of segregation based on residential preference and aversion. Students can set preferences and aversions based on similarity and dissimilarity of neighbors, and can create zones of exclusivity. The simulator allows students to change the parameters of the model to visualize the effects that these changes have on residential patterns. Moreover, the simulator calculates three common measures of residential segregation (the index of dissimilarity, an isolation index, and an entropy index) to allow students to compare the visual patterns of segregation with quantitative measures.
We are planning to add a separate web application which will enable students to use 2000 Census population data to visualize and analyze current patterns of racial and ethnic segregation. Students will be able to select groups of Census blocks or tracts, to create thematic maps of these areas, and to calculate the same three indices of segregation used in the segregation simulator.
Project Site: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~segregation/
Instructor: Francis Magilligan, Department of Geography
Project: With the ever-expanding sophistication of satellite imagery and other remote sensing technologies, it becomes increasingly critical to expose our students to these new styles of acquiring, expressing, and analyzing spatial data sets. Our department wants to expand our use of spatial imagery. Funding from the Venture Fund for the acquisition of four Global Positioning Systems (GPS) units is critical for our expansion. GPS provides specially coded satellite signals that can be processed in a GPS receiver, enabling the receiver to compute position, velocity, elevation, and time. GPS can be used in at least eight different classes within our current curriculum, from the introductory to the advanced level, including our human and physical geography classes. These GPS receivers are mobile, hand-held units that can be used in the field for single node mapping (e.g., a ground control point (GPC) for geo-rectifying an aerial photograph, location of a single tree or house, etc.) or for three-dimensional mapping of topography and other geomorphic applications. For human geography courses, these spatial data from the GPS receivers can be linked to existing data sets, such as TIGER files and other Census Tract data, and can also be integrated into a GIS.
Instructor: Diederik Vandewalle, Government Department
Project: This project will be developing two resources. First a set of digitized, color-coded maps of the Middle East will be developed. Much of this work has already been accomplished in the computer labs in the Geography department. Second, software will be written that will enable the “delivery” of these maps over the network to students and faculty. Initial course applicability will be Government 46, 52 and 88.