Archive for the ‘APES Schedule’ Category

APES: The Semester In Review

December 16, 2009

I wanted to follow up on one of the conversations we had earlier today in APES. If someone asks you what you did in school today, or for the semester, don’t tell them, “Nuthin.” Pick any (or all) of these things…

• Collected Particulate Air Pollution in downtown Birmingham and at home.
• Learned the basics of Climatology
• Compared microclimate variations in Birmingham and Summit County, Colorado.
• Remembered how water (humidity) moderates temperatures. Damn, that high specific heat and high heat of vaporization, it never goes away.
• Investigated the natural capital of Earth’s major biomes and looked at how natural capital influenced human culture within each biome.
• Applied simple ecosystem models to the Cahaba River and Little Cahaba Rivers.
• Caught six species of fishes in the Little Cahaba River.
• Caught over 20 families of aquatic macro invertebrates in the Little Cahaba River.
• Calculated the species diversity of leaf litter invertebrates. Remember, “The  Fall of the Kryptozoa.”
• Generated visual models of botched management strategies for major aquatic ecosystems.
• Investigated human demographics and economic realities of developed and developing countries.
• Uncovered the ugly truth about your family’s water consumption.
• Mined for coal and learned about profit margins and spot prices for non-renewable energy.
• Researched feasible , progressive regional energy policies for the US.
• Wrote policy to improve Birmingham’s Air Quality, decrease congestion on our highways and pave the way for sustainable economic development in the City Center.
(And you thought that first lab was just an excuse to get outside in August.)

I enjoyed having each of you in APES this year. I trust you learned something. Remember to apply what you learned to your daily behavior. Those little things do add up.
I know that some days in APES can be pretty depressing. Our resources are limited, the planet is crowded, and the environmental problems we face are tangled and thorny. Despite the reality of this moment, I believe that now is the most exciting time in human history to be alive. The opportunities for real progress, and the chance to change the world for the better, are palpably close.


apes, week 18: Pounding out the PESTLE

December 7, 2009

Hey kids, check the columns to see where we stand so far on our final project.

Monday (12/7) should be productive. On Friday you started thinking about “next steps” and forming natural partnerships with other sectors. On Monday I want us to come up  want each sector to come up with 2 or 3 agenda items for the policy paper. We will step back and look for two things. One, look for  items have natual connections. Second, look for  agenda items that are completely at odds with eachother.

As we move forward on Monday I want you to think about a couple of guiding principles. Remeber that every word we write has to be agreed upon by consensus. That means that everyone must agree that every paragraph/sentence/word matters, and they fit the goal of the final document. I think it will be easier to come to consensus on every word, every sentence, and every paragraph if we think hard about our initial ideas and make good descisions early.

Look for the pages on the right to fill up as we move through the process. I know we are dealing with a short clock, but we need to be writing by Wednesday. Oh yeah, and one more thing: Roll Tide.

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

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 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.)

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.



APES, Week 11: Human Demographics and Water Resources

October 19, 2009

Monday: Developed vs. Undeveloped Countries (work day)

Tuesday: Demographic Transition (caution: may produce queasiness)

Wednesday: Reardon’s overview of Aquatic Resources

Thursday-Friday: Aquatic Resources Case Study: Flow Charts on the floor.

Monday (Oct 26): Finish and present flow charts

Tuesday (Oct 27): Final Exam Assignment, Personal Water Use

APES, Week 10: Human Demographics

October 13, 2009

Welcome to week 10, quarter 2, the next phase in APES. It’s time to turn our attention to our species. We’ll look at Homo sapiens abundance and distribution as well as our interactions with the natural capital that sustains our existence.

Monday-Tuesday: Fall Break

Wednesday: Individual search for a definition of a “developed”, “developing”, and “transitional”
country,  with a definition for each.

Thursday: Human Demographics Intro

Friday: Human Demographics continued, receive assignments.

APES: Week 9

October 4, 2009

First, check sharepoint. I uploaded the Biodiveristy calcualtions you all made on the four leaf litter communities. The Shannon’s Diversity Idex (DI) numbers look good, but I would double check the values for Diversity (D). They don’t completely make sense to me. Check the formula (in the notes section of your biodiversity assignments).

When you guys get back from your “awkward assembly”, we will be talking about population growth and logistic growth. Ironic, me thinks. This is the last week of straight ecology. Next quarter we will focus on human populations and human interactions with the environment. I can’t wait to see what you all know and see what you learn.

Monday: Awkward Assembly I

Tuesday: Awkward Assembly II

Wednesday: Population Ecology Lab I: Driving Questions, and set up

Thursday: Population Ecology Lab II: Data Collection

Friday: Population Ecology Lab III: Data Analysis. Final Assignment