The Origins of Today’s Humans

Where did we humans come from? When did we become the dominant species on the planet?

Evidence indicates that we all descended from a small population that arose in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Since then, that small population spread throughout the globe, interbreeding with other human-like species, picking up some of their DNA and eventually replacing all close evolutionary cousins – leaving only one human species.

In the last half-decade there has been a flood of new information from ancient DNA, fossils, archaeology and population studies.

Hear about how this has updated our knowledge from world renowned experts on The Origins of Today’s Humans.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

An overwhelming scientific consensus demonstrates that cumulative adversity, particularly during critical and sensitive developmental periods, is a root cause to some of the most harmful, persistent and expensive health challenges facing our nation.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was appointed as California’s first-ever Surgeon General by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019. She is an award-winning physician, researcher and advocate dedicated to changing the way our society responds to childhood trauma.

Dr. Burke Harris’ career has been dedicated to serving vulnerable communities and combating the root causes of health disparities. After completing her residency at Stanford, she founded a clinic in one of San Francisco’s most underserved communities, Bayview Hunters Point. It was there that she observed that, despite the implementation of national best-practices for immunizations, asthma, obesity treatment and other preventive health measures, her patients still faced outsized risks for poor health, development and behavioral outcomes.

Drawing on research from the CDC and Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Burke Harris identified Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as a major risk factor affecting the health of her patients. ACEs are traumatic events occurring before age 18 and include all types of abuse and neglect as well as parental mental illness, substance use, divorce, incarceration, and domestic violence.

In 2011, she founded the Center for Youth Wellness and subsequently grew the organization to be a national leader in the effort to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness, and transform the way society responds to children exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences and toxic stress. She also founded and led the Bay Area Research Consortium on Toxic Stress and Health, to advance scientific screening and treatment of toxic stress.

Watch Applying the Science of Toxic Stress to Transform Outcomes in California.

Squid Pro Quo

Exploring the undersea world has always presented challenges in terms of cost and accessibility. However, recent advances in ocean observing technology are allowing researchers to explore heretofore unfamiliar worlds at reasonable cost.

Join oceanographer Jules Jaffe as he describes his career as an ocean explorer and technology innovator. Learn how new, cost effective instruments and platforms present unprecedented opportunities for students of all ages to engage in designing, building and experimenting with ocean observing technologies with examples from underwater robots to underwater microscopes.

Watch Squid Pro Quo – A Journey Into Undersea Exploration.

2020 Writer’s Symposium by the Sea

This year’s Writer’s Symposium by the Sea truly lives up to its theme, Writing that Liberates. From the Pulitzer Prize winning reporting of journalist Sonia Nazario, to the mind-opening work of Pico Iyer, to the iconic writing of Alice Walker, these interviews show how great writing can set us free both figuratively and literally. Join founder Dean Nelson as he welcomes three prolific writers to Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.

Sonia Nazario
Sonia Nazario is an award-winning journalist best known for “Enrique’s Journey,” her story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the U.S. She details her harrowing reporting from the tops of trains barreling through Mexico, her turn from journalist to activist, and how her work on immigration is more relevant now than ever before.

Pico Iyer
Pico Iyer was named “arguably the world’s greatest living travel writer,” by Outside, and is the author of over a dozen books and countless essays. In this discussion, he regales the audience with tales of his extensive travels, discusses how walking helps him write, and explains why the neighbors in the small Japanese town he calls home have nicknamed him “parasite.”

Alice Walker
Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist, best known for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Color Purple. She discusses how she creates such relatable characters, the messages within her work, and shares insights into her unique perspective on the world.

Browse more programs in Writer’s Symposium By The Sea.

Staff Picks Featuring UCSD-TV Arts Producer, John Menier

Choosing a few favorites from among hundreds of worthwhile programs is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Let’s begin…

SummerFest: Tan Dun’s Water Passion
I’ve twice had the privilege of interviewing Chinese composer Tan Dun, best known for his movie scores (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero) and ceremonial music for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Water Passion, which draws from traditional Chinese music for inspiration, is an excellent example of his signature use of organic materials to fashion instruments.

San Diego OperaTalk: Pagliacci
UCSD-TV’s association (and mine) with San Diego Opera and OperaTalk host Nic Reveles stretches back over 20 years and dozens of operas. In the Pagliacci episode Dr. Nic brings his playful erudition and stellar musicianship to bear on Leoncavallo’s verismo masterpiece.

Pay Attention: The Stuart Collection at UC San Diego
The Stuart Collection of 20 site-specific public art installations is one of the glories of the UC San Diego campus. UCSD-TV has documented various artworks from the Collection over time, and Pay Attention is the first comprehensive history and overview.

Malashock Dance + SACRA/PROFANA: Snakeskin
San Diego choreographer and UCSD-TV creative partner John Malashock is a leading exponent and practitioner of dance theater, wherein movement is used in service of a narrative. In Snakeskin Malashock combines forces with composer Krishan Oberoi from the ensemble SACRA/PROFANA to tell a mythic story set in a small Southern town.

High Notes: The Case for Music Education
Your Humble Correspondent has a longstanding interest in arts and music education as a vital component of the curriculum. In High Notes Dalouge Smith, the president and CEO of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, guides us through an exploration of the value of learning music in school. Students in music programs have shown improvement in test scores, class attendance, cognitive development, self-esteem, and the ability to work with others.

UC San Diego Library: Celebrating Paper Theater
UC San Diego Library’s Scott Paulson is renowned for innovative live events and exhibitions, including the Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra and Short Tales from the Mothership. The 16th Annual Paper Theater Festival showcases over 50 items from Paulson’s personal collection of miniature dioramas and books, table-top re-creations of vintage European theaters, and hand-made projects Paulson designed himself for student-penned plays.

Author Luis Urrea in Conversation with Steven Schick
Born in Tijuana, raised in San Diego, and a UC San Diego alumnus, Luis Urrea writes about “border life” from a uniquely bicultural perspective. Urrea’s lively conversation with Distinguished Professor of Music Steven Schick highlights the same wit, erudition, and compassion he brings to his work.

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus: Copland’s Quiet City
La Jolla Symphony & Chorus is a mainstay of UCSD-TV’s programming, and their performance of Aaron Copland’s haunting Quiet City is a personal favorite of Your Humble Correspondent. Copland’s urban nocturne features beautifully melancholy interludes for trumpet and oboe, performed by Stephanie Richards and Carol Rothrock respectively.

Jewish Music – From Bessarabia to Broadway
UC San Diego Professor of Music Emeritus Cecil Lytle serves as impresario, host, and performer for this entertaining survey of Jewish musical traditions ranging from liturgical songs to Klezmer to Yiddish theater. Lytle’s guests include bassist Bertram Turetzky, singer Eva Barnes, and the Second Avenue Klezmer Band.

Patricia Patterson: Aran Canvas
As a young art student in 1960 Patricia Patterson traveled to Inishmore (Inis Mór), the largest of the rugged islands in Ireland’s Galway Bay. The simplicity of life there affected her deeply, as did the relationships she developed during stays over the next 30 years. Patterson’s memories of Aran became a source of inspiration for numerous paintings, sketches, and photographs.