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  • Great Courses: Earth at the Crossroads - Understanding the Ecology of a Changing Planet
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Great Courses: Earth at the Crossroads - Understanding the Ecology of a Changing Planet

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Product Details

  • Studio: Teaching Co.
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: 1598035878
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

This is Course Number 1720 which contains 6 DVDs and course Guidebook. Contains 36 lectures of 30 minutes each. Course Lecture Titles 1. An Ecological Diagnosis of the Living Earth 2. Humanity and the Tragedy of the Commons 3. Ecology-Natural History to Holistic Science 4. Ecology as a System-Presses and Pulses 5. Climate and Habitat-Twin Ecological Crises 6. Human Society as Ecological Driver 7. Movement of Energy through Living Systems 8. Humans as Energy Consumers 9. Nutrient Cycling in Ecosystems 10. The Challenges of Waste and Disposal 11. The Water Cycle and Climate 12. Human Water Use and Climate Change 13. Rain and Heat-Forces That Shape Climate 14. The Ecology of Global Climate Change 15. How Living Organisms Acquire Food 16. The Ecological Consequences of Agriculture 17. Food, Energy Flows, Biomagnification 18. The Human Ecology of Biomagnification 19. The Ecological Community as a Living Mosaic 20. Wildlife Adaptation to Human Landscapes 21. Biodiversity, Disturbance, Invasive Species 22. Biodiversity Decline and Restoration Ecology 23. Microevolution and Biological Variation 24. Human Impacts on Ecological Space and Time 25. Population Growth and Its Natural Limits 26. The Human Shift to an Urban Lifestyle 27. The Ecology of Dispersal and Migration 28. Human Impacts on Animal Migration 29. Ecology and Economy of Sex and Reproduction 30. Cities and the Human Demographic Transition 31. Coevolution among Species 32. The Coevolution of Human Diseases 33. Strategies for Reversing Ecosystem Decline 34. Designing Spaces for Wildlife 35. Toward Sustainable Urban Ecosystems 36. Recovering Ecosystems-Hope for the Future

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By NancyR on December 19, 2012
Just as a background on me: I have a graduate degree in Geology with a focus on ancient environments and climate. I was viewing this course in advance of my 12 year old daughter to make sure the content would be suitable for her. For me, the content was simply review.

This course was overall very disappointing. It should have been titled "A Broad Survey of Topics in Ecology." The topics were not covered in any depth. In fact, if you've been watching Nova on PBS or anything on the Discovery or National Geographic Channels, this material will be a review for you. I would have preferred to have fewer topics addressed, but more in-depth material presented. Honestly, my 12 year old has covered much of this material already in her schooling...and since I was viewing this course to potentially give to her, I decided that it mostly would be a waste of her time to watch it.

The other big disappointments were the blatant mistakes the instructor made during the lectures. Honestly, there is no excuse for these. Someone knowledgeable in the sciences should have reviewed the content of these DVDs before this course was published. I'd be happy to do this for Great Courses in the future, as would a host of other scientists or science writers - anyone with a moderate amount of education in the natural sciences could have caught these mistakes. Here are a few:

-The instructor talks about tsunamis being "storms" and are made more intense with global warming. Not true on both counts. A tsunami is NOT a storm - it is a wave of water caused by seismic or volcanic activity near or below a large body of water (usually the ocean, but it's conceivable to have a tsunami-like wave on a very large lake).
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