In the America's with David Yetman

Hosted by research social scientist David Yetman, explore the landscapes, peoples and history of North and South America — from the coldest towns in Canada to the tropical islands of the Caribbean.

Panama: A City and a Canal

26m 46s

Panama City has been a pivotal shipping port for hundreds of years over water and over land. Today it has become an economic powerhouse, the Hong Kong of the Americas, thanks to its booming canal. But the canal cannot function without the services provided by the huge rainforest that envelopes it.


  • Re-claiming the Gulf in Baja California: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Re-claiming the Gulf in Baja California

    S9 E907 - 26m 46s

    Only a few decades ago, Baja California was mostly unknown to the outside world. But crowds and developers have discovered this area and arrived in droves, threatening the very features that make the peninsula such an unusual place. Meanwhile, overharvesting in the Gulf of California has caused fish stocks to plummet and threatened the entire ecosystem.

  • Mexican Carnival: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mexican Carnival

    S9 E909 - 26m 46s

    Carnival or Mardi Gras is a time of parades and exuberant partying just before the forty days of Lent, when many Christians must adopt of more austere way of life. Latin America features hundreds of variations on the festivities. Mexico has two sensational parades like no others, in towns that are otherwise obscure--Huejotzingo in the state of Puebla and Tlacayapan in the state of Morelos.

  • Brazil’s Butantan Institute: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Brazil’s Butantan Institute

    S9 E908 - 26m 46s

    Brazil is home to a host of venomous critters, mostly scorpions, spiders, and snakes. Each year many tens of thousands of Brazilians are stung or bitten and require treatment. Many owe their lives to antivenin produced by the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. It’s home to hundreds of thousands of venomous creatures, all contributing to the protection of human lives.

  • The Lower Colorado River: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Lower Colorado River

    S9 E903 - 26m 46s

    Forty million people rely on water released from Lake Mead, on the Colorado River not far from booming Las Vegas, a world leader in water conservation. Far downstream huge canals de-water the river, as farmers look to technology to maintain their productivity; Californians deliver water to their vast population and land; and Mexico receives its entitlement.

  • Snakes and Culture in the Amazon: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Snakes and Culture in the Amazon

    S9 E905 - 26m 46s

    The abundance of reptiles, especially snakes, in the Amazonian jungle is hardly surprising. Native cultures, far from fearing snakes, view them as spiritually significant elements of nature. From the gigantic anaconda to tiny tree vipers, snakes are part of life—and religion--in Brazil’s Amazon.

  • The Depths of the Canyon and its Offspring: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Depths of the Canyon and its Offspring

    S9 E902 - 26m 46s

    Phantom Ranch, accessible only by trail, is the Grand Canyon's sole permanent settlement. From there west, the canyon narrows and darkens as the Colorado River carves its way throughthe oldest rock in the Southwest. From the north and south sides, canyons “slots” reach the churning river. Finally, the tamed river meets the placid waters beyond.

  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

    S9 E904 - 26m 46s

    It’s our largest national park—larger than New England--and one-third of it is ice. One glacier is 137 miles long. The park contains active volcanoes. Its rivers of icemelt are home to salmon runs that have supported native peoples for thousands of years. Yet the glaciers are melting, and forests are drying. The park has become an enormously important natural laboratory.

  • Lee’s Ferry and Into the Depths of the Grand Canyon: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Lee’s Ferry and Into the Depths of the Grand Canyon

    S9 E901 - 26m 46s

    Boating through the Grand Canyon with a group of water experts provides a setting for reflection on the Colorado River—its power, its accomplishments, and its vulnerabilities. We put in at Lee’s Ferry and immediately are introduced to rapids and the evolution of the world’s greatest geological spectacle.


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