Archive for November, 2009

CES, week 17: Pop Eco!

November 29, 2009

Pop Eco = population ecology. This is the pivot before the pivot. It’s been my experience that to really understand human population growth we need to understand how all naturally occuring populations grow and find balance with their environment. These next two weeks will be a combination of discussion, lab work and simulations.

Monday (11/30): Set up Lemna Growth Study

Tuesday (12/1): Population Ecology Concepts (1)

Wedensday (12/2): Population Ecology Concepts (2) (check Lemna)

Thursday (12/3): Exponential Growth Simulation

Friday (12/4): Campus Recycling (check


apes, week 17: PESTLE approach to air quality

November 29, 2009

This should be an exciting week. It’s time to start our final project on Birmingham air quality and Birmingham’s potential economic development.

We’ve got two weeks to work together and a 90 minute wrap-up session on the day of the final. Both weeks are about collaboration. This week is focused on getting the information on the table and framing the question. Next week will be all about writing.

Before the end of Monday, I will have a “PESTLE page” on this blog dedicated to the final project. We can put all the papers and all the bullet point documents up on the “PESTLE page”.

Monday (11/30): Finish work on Research Papers/Begin collaborating with other members of your small group.

Tuesday (12/1): Finish small group work. Develop one page synopsis available for everyone. If time: begin small group presentations (7-10 min each)

Wednesday (12/2): Small group presentations (7-10 min each)

Thursday (12/3): Framing the Question/Weekend assignments

Friday (12/4): Values and Beliefs

CES, Week 15: Short Week

November 23, 2009

Monday (11/23): Community Ecology Final Assesment

Tuesday (11/24): Carbon Footprint of your favorite Thanksgiving Food

Weds-Fri (11/25-11/27): Thanksgiving Break

APES, Week 15: Short week, loose ends

November 23, 2009

With only 74 minutes of instructional time, Thanksgiving break looming, and 15% of the class out with Wisdom Teeth extractions, there’s not a whole lot we can do. We will, however, be productive and talk a little about agriculture.

Monday (11/23): Finisih up Regional Energy Policy Presentations. Estimate Carbon Footprint of your favorite Thanksgiving food.

Tuesday (11/24): Finish estimates of your favorite Thanksgiving food’s Carbon Footprint.

Weds-Friday (11/25-11/27): Thanksgiving Break.

APES: Check out the demographics links

November 18, 2009

Hey y’all, check out the blog roll for a look at different demographics projects. They were all well made and quite informative. It’s amazing, this research stuff, you actually learn something.

Two groups did power points. The South American and European projects will be up on Sharepoint soon.

apes week 15: It’s all about Energy

November 16, 2009

Hey kids, we’re still talking energy, only this time we’ll dive into renewable fuel and your fuel…food. 7 Days of “traditional class”. When we come back from Thanksgiving Break it’s PESTLE time.

Monday (11/16): Finish up non-renewable energy: Natural Gas and Nuclear

Tuesday (11/17): Non-renewable Energy Overview/Regional Energy Plan (groups of 4)

Wednesday (11/18): Regional Energy Plan Research

Thursday (11/19): Regional Energy Plan Research/Turn in Regional Energy Matrix

Friday (11/20): Who wants culture…Agriculture!

APES, Week 14: Non-renewable Resources continued

November 9, 2009

This should be an interesting week. We get two days together and you get two days away from me. Whether I’m there or not, the theme of the week is getting it together. One big assignment (Human Demographics) and two small assignments (Personal Water Use and Mining) will be due by the end of the week. I think the best plan of attack is to focus all class time on these three projects so we can come back next week and focus on our last in-class project and our Final PESTLE project .

Monday (9Nov09): a) Partern Up to talk about Human Demographi; b) look at Coal Mining data and continue with mining assignment

Tuesday (10Nov09): Use EIA data to estimate your home’s energy use

Wednesday (11Nov09): Veteran’s Day. No School.

Thursday (12Nov09): Work on Personal Water Budgets/do what you gotta do for specialty or college apps. Turn in Personal Water Budget by end of class.

Friday (13Nov09): Finish Mining and Energy assignment/work on PESTLE ideas/do what you gotta do for specialty or college apps. Turn in Mining and Energy Assignment by the end of the day.

Friday (13Nov09): Last day to complete, send links, or email me your Human Demographics projects. (Happy Birthday, Omar…even if you didn’t take APES.)

CES, Week 14: More Community Ecology

November 9, 2009

Okay CES, we get to spend a little more time out in Linn Park , and we will calculate the Shannon Diversity Indecx for the park. Following that you guys get a couple of flex days to work in your specialty. I will be at the National Association of Biology Teachers National Professional Development conference leading a bunch of other teachers through an aquatic mesocosm assignment. When I get back in town, we’ll finish our unit on Community Ecology and set our sites on population ecology.

Monday (9Nov09): Finish identifying trees in Linn Park

Tuesday (10Nov09): Calculating Linn Park Diversity Index

Wednesday (11Nov09); Veteran’s Day. No School.

Thursday (12Nov09): Flex Day 1

Friday The 13th: Flex Day 2

APES: Final PESTLE Project Revealed!

November 4, 2009

PESTLE Project: APES 2009

Question: How can Metro Birmingham (Jefferson/Shelby County) Alleviate Current Air Quality Problems and stimulate economic growth for the area?


1a) How is Jefferson County and Shelby County government set up?
1b) How has the lack of municipal cooperation lead to current air quality and         economic problems?
2) Is the Alabama Constitution a root cause of current air quality problems or will     anything get accomplished given our current constitution? What about the     current constitution lead to the current county and municipal     governments in     place?

3a) What are the traditional industries in Jefferson/Shelby County?
3b) How have they contributed to the current demographics of the area and     current air quality issues?
4a) What are the current economic engines in Jefferson/Shelby County?
4b)How have they contributed to the current demographics of the area and     current air quality issues?
5) How have other similar sized cities (in the SE) stimulated economic growth,             and decreased pollution?
If they haven’t decreased pollution, then what are their proposed solutions.         What barriers did those cities overcome to increase economic activity?

Follow up 1) Are there any hard numbers on the extrinsic value of smart growth     and open space? (Meaning, have there been any studies to suggest that per     capita income increases and property values increase when smart growth     occurs     and air quality improves?
Follow up 2) Technical/Scientific/Economic: What are the costs of these potential     solutions? Are they worth it?

6) Who, in the greater Metro Area is the most vulnerable to increased air     pollution and decreased economic activity?
7) Smart Growth? What is smart growth? Is it feasible in metro                 Birmingham? Is it Happening already? If so where. Are these smaller movements     scalable to other areas? What are some of the “roadblocks to smart growth?

no number) How should improvements to metro Birmingham infrastructure and     incentives for new businesses and smart growth be paid for? (this should be a     question in the room during the summit, not for research)
no number again) What role do individual consumers and power users play in     “cleaning the air” or decreasing air pollution? (should be in the room)

8) What is Birmingham’s current air quality Problem(s)?
What are the primary pollutants?
What are the causes of the pollution?
9) What are some proposed solutions for cleaning the air in birmingham?
a) Transportation? What role does transportation play in air pollution and                 air quality?
10)    b) Buildings/Homes? What role does increased building efficiency play in             cleaning the air?

11)     d) Energy Production? What is the role/what responsibilities do power             companies and energy resource providers (SONAT, ALAGASCO, Coal             producers) have in maintaining air quality?

12a)What local, state and federal laws are in place to clean decrease pollution?
12b) What local, state and federal laws “incentivise” decreased pollution and     smart     growth?
12c) Are there local ordinances in other cities that have paved the way for     economic growth?
13) What are the environmental consequences of decreased air quality?
What are the effects on our natural capital (forests, surface water,                 agricultural lands)
14) What are the effects of decreased air quality on human health (are there         any numbers on Birmingham residents?)

apes, week 13: Finish Aquatic Resources, Begin Energy

November 1, 2009

Monday (11/02): Receive Personal Water Use Assignment. (Due 11/10/09)


Tuesday (11/03): Introduction to Non-renewable Resources, Draw PESTLE questions!

Wednesday (11/04): Mining Lab. Show up with an open mind!

Thursday (11/05): Determine Mining Profits (or losses) and begin energy conversion lab.

Thursday (11/05): Ken Miller speaks at UAB Honors House about teaching evolution in America. 7pm, open to the public

Friday (11/06): Look at personal energy use. Determine how much coal your home would burn.