Human Ecology: an Interdisciplinary and Place-Based Project

Many small towns are dependent upon natural resources for their survival. Just as mining and ranching are industries rooted in resources from the land, so too are tourism and outdoor recreation. Leadville’s economy and community are deeply tied to, and affected by, the land and vice versa. Leadville offers an ideal case study for the relationship between human beings and their surrounding environment.

Last semester during the Human Ecology Project, students had the opportunity to investigate the connection between the people and place by exploring the way the land has shaped people in Leadville and the way people have shaped the land. By integrating knowledge gained from readings, class discussions, interviews, presentations and data collection such as water sampling and analysis, our students explore the question:

How has the land shaped the people and how have the people shaped the land in Leadville?

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