OSEA-CITE: Ethnography of the Future / Interdisciplinary Cultural Anthropology / Study Abroad

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Electronic Course Reserve and Program Materials

The materials below are exclusively for OSEA Program Participants. Documents are in MS Word or PDF designed for download. All rights are reserved and all other use requires the written consent of OSEA

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Basic Supplies Checklist

  1. Required Mexican Cell phone: You may either bring a second hand, unlocked disposable $30 phone and get a Mexican simm card in Pisté or purchase a $30-40 Mexican cell phone with simm in Pisté.
  2. Required:  Laptop, with CD/DVD Burner, WIFI, and USB ports
  3. Required:  Portable Hardrive, min. 100 gigs FREE; at least double if you are using video extensively as part of your research project. 
  4. Required:  Two or three Flash drives/memory sticks/ thumb drives, each minimum 4 gigs.
  5. Required: Digital Camera, minimum 10 megapixel, 10 optical zoom, 3200 ISO
  6. Required:  Digital Audio Recorder, battery run with AC adapter and mode of uploading to computer
  7. Batteries for all equipment.  If you use AAA batteries then bring 2-3 backup sets of rechargeable batteries for digital camera and for digital recorder.  Make sure the batteries are rated a min. 2400 mhz rating for batteries to use on digital equipment.
  8. Battery Recharger, capable of recharging all your battery types you use
  9. Memory cards for digital still camera and audio recorder, minimal 3 cards of 8 to 32 gigs each
  10. Optional:  Digital Video Camera, for those doing video ethnography
  11. Microphone-headset for using skype or other computer telephony
  12. Waterproof carrying cases and bags for everyday storing/carrying equipment in any context; for cell, audio-recorder, cameras, back up batteries, memory sticks, memory cards -- ideally with straps for hooking onto belt or elsewhere for accessibility according to your personal preferences.  More than one person has a lost a cell phone, digital camera, or other technological toy due to being caught in a massive rainstorm that leaves you utterly drenched.
  13. Your favorite notebooks (not just pads of paper) to write fieldnotes on site during fieldwork; optionally these can be bought on location; remember your favorite pens & pencils.
  14. Word 2010 document processing software.
  15. Required:  Photo/Image management software is required for you to purchase.  We recommend ACDSee photo manager 2009 as the minimal software purchase.  This is a $30-$50 purchase
  16. Advanced photo/Image editing software is optional. We recommend Adobe Photoshop. Check your university for significantly reduced pricing.
  17. A six outlet surge protector with minimum 5ft cord. Ideally get one that will allow for cumbersome, oversized plugs.  Review your electronics to see what you need and what can be used.
  18. Electrical adaptors as needed, three prong to 2 prong. Available on site for less than $2 in US or Mexico. Mexican electricity is the same as the USA but typically the outlets in rural homes are not calibrated for three prong or for plugs that have one fat prong-ground.
  19. Firewire-USB cords for direct connection of digital equipment to laptop and uploading.
  20. Optional: tripod for still and/or video camera, depending on research interests
  21. Miscellaneous: duck tape is always good! as well as waxed string for sewing bags/backpacks, small sewing kit with a variety sized needles -- normal to large for repairing bags
  22. Gifts for your host family, if you are scheduled to be in home-stay, or for family with whomt you will be eating meals.

If you have any questions about needing to bring something other than what's on this list, don’t hesitate to contact myself or to connect with past participants via OSEA Facebook


Supplies:  Batteries

Among all the supplies you should bring make sure that you have two sets of rechargeable AAA batteries.  By this I mean your photographic camera usually takes 4 AA, your flashlight (yes, get a small handheld one is recommended) takes another 2-3 batteries, your alarm clock, your mouse, and what ever else.  Calculate non-rechargeable batteries for those things that are not huge consumers of energy – i.e., cameras. Buy a second set to carry around and buy a light portable recharger.  There are a dozen rechargers on the market, sometimes it really takes some studying of the boxes to figure out what is what.  For cameras buy rechargeable AAA/AA batteries that have at LEAST a 2600 mhz power capacity.  Do not buy batteries for your camera that have less than this as they do not have the ability to sustain use throughout the day.  I suggest buying one set of four of one brand, Duracell, and then another brand of Energizer, and if you are really into camerawork then get a third set as well.  Why different brands?  First, I don’t really know which is superior but buy the high end brands.  Second, it will be so much easier to have each SET of four batteries visibly distinguishable from each other so that you don’t confuse which batteries have been recharged, which have are half empty, etc.  Visible brand differentiation of the battery helps you keep track of batteries, their use, and recharging status.

If you buy SONY brand still and video cameras you will have to buy special Sony brand batteries and buy extra replacement batteries as well. This is a problem if you have Sony and other brands, but if you are 100% Sony lover, then this is ok.



Research Equipment and Software

In order to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in today’s world, you need specific minimum technological devices.  Thus, you are required to bring a digital audio recorder, a laptop with specific flashdrive and portable harddrive accessories, a digital camera, and a simm-card using cell phone.  The relevant technology for all these devices changes rapidly and cannot in any brief discussion be adequately detailed. Thus, we ask you to read closely the detailed information about equipment that we have posted on the osea website:


Please review this information soon so that you can formulate your questions about the technology that we may be able to address.  As well, your own searches for equipment creates information that is well worth sharing with other participants.  Let us know about what you discover.

In previous seasons we required the purchase of ACDSee Photomanager 2008 and 2009 however the rise of prices from $30 something to $69 for the current version of Photomanager 12 has prompted our change in policy.  If you are serious about visual ethnography and photodocumentation then you can only help yourself by buying this software.  We also recommend you searching for the older versions to download. One such site is http://adobe-discount.com/software/ACDSee-Photo-Manager-2009.html

ACDSee Image Management SOFTWARE is REQUIRED for you to purchase and familiarize yourself with it prior to program start date.


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