ENV108: “A SOCIAL HISTORY OF BIRDS: OUR FASCINATION WITH LIFE ON THE WING”
New Course Offered: 2021 Term 4.
Next Offered: to be determined
Location: EarthDiverse, 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton (see map below under Location tab), or on-line via-Zoom.
For centuries, we have been fascinated by the lives of birds. Starting in antiquity and ending in the present day, this course explores how humans around the globe have fallen in love with, studied, and changed the world of our feathered friends, and how they, in turn, have changed us. We will look at birds in religion, myth and the arts, the rise of the natural historians, conservationists and bird-watchers, the role of birds in 20th Century statehood, and finally the history of avian domestication.
- Topic 1: The Moral Wisdom of Birds
- Topic 2: Birds in the Premodern Arts
- Topic 3: Skin and Bones — The Early Ornithologists
- Topic 4: John Gould’s Fatal Journey, and the Tragedy of His Namesake
- Topic 5: The Birdwatchers of Europe and North America
- Topic 6: The Colonisation of Birding in a Decolonial Era
- Topic 7: Kakaporiums, Foster Families and Translocations: A History of Bird Conservation in New Zealand
- Topic 8: Taming the Wild — A History of Bird Husbandry
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course.
Distance Learning: This course has distance-learning options for those unable to attend the live class sessions in Hamilton. Students have three options for attending our courses once they have registered:
- attend in-person classes in our Hamilton classrooms at the regularly scheduled day and time,
- attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regular scheduled day and time,
- watch the live-recorded class sessions at your leisure, at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.
These options can be mixed and matched throughout the course to suit your own availability and location.
Michael Burton Smith is a nineteen year old student based in New Zealand’s windy capital city and our first instructor in our new Youth Lecturer Series. Since the age of six, Michael has been captivated by everything bird. It is a passion which has taken him across the country, and brought him up close and personal with our diverse, extraordinary, and increasingly threatened feathered friends. Understanding birds for Michael has always been more than just understanding a living organism. Michael’s other love is history and this passion has led him to explore how humankind’s journey over the past few millennia has been inextricably tied to the masters of the skies, and how our relationship with birds has changed for the better or the worse with new discoveries, technologies, and political regimes. Currently in his second year at Victoria University of Wellington, Michael has embraced the challenge of a quadruple major in political science, history, international relations, and ecology. Despite his youth, Michael has significant experience in community leadership and volunteerism, including policy advising for Forest & Bird Youth, partnerships manager for the Victoria Student Volunteer Army, University Hall President, and secondary school Deputy Head Boy. In spite of these commitments, however, Michael can still be found at the nearest bird hotspot whenever the weather permits, as there is no such thing as too busy for a birding outing!
This course is offered on-line only and has no in-person component. Live-streamed classes are available via free Zoom software, which allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.
Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.
Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning sessions will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.
- Any Term can be taken independently of the others, and there are no prerequisites for any of the Term courses.
- This class has no assignments, required readings, quizzes, tests or exams.
- All classes encourage questions and group discussion.
- PDF copies of each class presentation, where appropriate, are emailed to all participants the next day so that you are free to focus on class content rather than taking notes. You are most welcome to come, sit back, relax, take part in and enjoy the discussions!
- Course fees include a short tea/coffee/snack break somewhere in the middle of each session.
- There are no refunds for missed classes. Missed classes can be made up by watching the on-line recording of the class session, which is usually posted within 24 hours.
- Guests of registered participants are welcome to attend a single class at no charge.
- Certificates of Completion for any particular Term Course or Series are available for Professional Development purposes upon request at the end of each Term or Series.
Cost per person per Term (8 one hour classes):
- Waged: $65 (includes GST + online registration fee)
- Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): $50 (includes GST + online registration fee)
Prices for Waged and Unwaged registrants remain the same regardless of your chosen method for accessing our courses. This means that you have the option to mix and match access between attending our regularly-scheduled live class sessions in our Hamilton classrooms, accessing our live class sessions on-line via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class meeting time (no matter where you are located), or watching the video-recorded sessions anywhere at a time and date of your choosing. This allows you to study at your own pace and in your own time.
Once registered, you have three choices for attending your course:
- attend our in-person class sessions in our Hamilton classrooms,
- Zoom in to our live classroom sessions and participate in discussions,
- access the live-recorded class sessions each week. This allows you to register for an entire course, even though the scheduled class session day/time may not be suitable to your schedule. You may also use this option to watch any recorded session for review, or in case you may miss a class session due to prior engagement, being away, or due to illness. This allows you to catch up with any “missed” sessions at a more suitable time.
Once registered, you will receive detailed instructions on how to access our courses via either of the distance-learning options, i.e. live access via Zoom, or watching the video-recorded sessions.
LOCATION: All in-person classes are held at the EarthDiverse offices and classrooms located at 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (located just north of the Hamilton Central Bus Station) (entrance is located on the side of the building, see map below). Those looking for parking for our evening classes can park just in front of the building in any of the available car parks. Daytime parking can be found in our dedicated car parks, or free 2-hour on-street daytime parking can be found just in front of Anglesea Street.
DISTANCE LEARNING: You get to choose your location when you Zoom in to our live classroom sessions, or access our classes at your leisure and at a time and day of your choosing by watching the video recorded sessions from each class. This allows you to study at your own pace and access class content from anywhere in the world.