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Category archives for Anthropology

Marigolds: an (agri)cultural staple

The first seeds I ever saved were marigold seeds. At the time, I was a garden educator at a small neighborhood environmental nonprofit in Camden, New Jersey. The Center for Environmental Transformation(CFET) is situated in the South Waterfront neighborhood, an old urban community enclosed by industrial facilities which not only restrict access to the nearby waterfront, but…

Our Seed Stories – a Participatory Educational Media Project this School Year

Join me this school year on my journey to India to learn about seed saving, community food systems, and how to cultivate a future for biodiversity!

A Sherlock-Worthy Look at an Ancient Horse Mummy

Tiny marks and deformations reveal clues to the ancient cultures that rode these plains for millennia.

The Last Ice: Stories From Sacred Spaces

From Pacific islands to Arctic coastlines, indigenous people have been listening to and learning from the environment for millennia. Now more than ever, it’s time for everyone to hear what it’s saying.

Life in a Harsh Paradise: Surviving Drought on Banaba Island

Drought is a way of life on Banaba—a way of life Taboree Biremon knows all too well. “My wife and I didn’t eat. We fed the children,” explained Biremon, describing life during a drought that hit Banaba a few years back. “There was no food. We fed the children first, but we were starving. We…

Rising Sea Threatens Traditional Leadership in Kiribati

Surviving on an isolated, infertile island is tough—but managing the scarce resources needed for thousands of families to survive on that island is an even greater challenge. The people of Kiribati have done so for centuries through the village maneaba, the consensus-based village leadership system. This is where the council of elders, te unimane, meet…

Lust for Loot: Collecting Is Driving the Demand for Plunder

Looting in Egypt doubled in 2009-2010, on the heels of global recession, then doubled again following the Arab Spring. It’s a powerful source of income in times of stress, but it only pays because people will buy.

Journey Into Te Bangabanga: The Sacred Caves of Banaba Island

The morning was still dark when the young men arrived with their machetes and flashlights. We were on one of the most remote islands in the world, about to venture into an underground network of sacred caves known as te bangabanga. The land below the surface of Banaba, a Pacific island nearly 200 miles from…

Celebrate DNA Day with Genographic! Join, Search and Learn

Join us at National Geographic in wishing every past, current, and future Genographic Project participant a Happy DNA Day! Sixty-three years ago today a ground-breaking paper was published that introduced us to the double helix and revealed the structure of DNA, catapulting forward the field of genetics. The scientific world never looked back. Eleven years…

The Recovery of Tromelin Island

Islands can have strange histories but few are more obscure than that of Tromelin Island of the Îles Éparses in the Western Indian Ocean.

Notes from the Field: Reporting on ‘Island Time’

After three dizzying days at sea, I was relieved to step off the boat in Tarawa, Kiribati. I’d just spent six weeks on the remote Pacific island of Banaba–a place so isolated that currently there is no phone, internet, or mail service. Being off the grid for more than a month was difficult for me,…

So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography.     The combination of light (photo), drawings (gram) and measurements (metry) are known as photogrammetry. Until recently, photogrammetry was a very specific niche within the…

Climate, Movement, and the Spread of Disease

“Diseases track human migrations all throughout history,” says Amy Winter. What will that mean as people move to adapt to the changing climate?

World of Dances #20

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, which profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels. This post is also the latest in the World of Dances series, which profiles ballet and dance photography in iconic, architectonically unique, culturally…

Capturing I-Kiribati Resilience ‘Before It’s Too Late’

For most of Lulu DeBoer’s life, the Kiribati islands existed only in dreams and in the stories she heard from her mother. DeBoer, 24, was raised in Texas, almost 6,000 miles away from the tiny Pacific island nation where her mother was born. Growing up, Kiribati “was always a mystery,” she said. “It just sounded…