Archive for the ‘CES Schedule’ Category

ces, week 26: It’s all about Energy

February 21, 2010

One of the ideas floating around the room lately has been, “It’s all about money.” The point being that environmental solutions are only tenable if they’re economically feasible. After a weekend of hiking, driving, talking, and paddling, I’m coming back to the idea that the money doesn’t mean a thing if we don’t have clean air, clean water, and clean soil. You know, natural capital.

This week we’ll begin to untangle one of the thorniest issues in environmental science: energy. We’ll keep things pretty close to the surface, but we will have an opportunity to explore transportation energy, and electricity generation. The focus here is on you, your behaviors, and the cumnulative effects of individual action. Like the little signs around ASFA say, “Little Things Add Up.”

Monday (2/22/10): Introduction to Energy Resources

Tuesday (2/23/10): Transportation Energy 1


ces, week 24: Agriculture, continued

February 9, 2010

Nuts, bolts, pros, cons. What does it all mean? It means we’re all part of a food system. That’s the reality of the 21st century. You could take an entire class in any one topic that comes up in this unit. You could spend your life researching one aspect of agricultural science. Ever hear of a “cow college”? It’s a slang term for places like Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech. These are state “ag” schools, and the students who go to these schools may spend their lives wrestling with these issues.

We’re going to pick and choose our topics. Monday it’s all about local produce. Then we’ll look at global malnutrition, and finally at geneticially modified foods. There’s no “one way” to teach agriculture and food. This is our way.

Monday (2/8/10): Tour of ASAP gardens

Tuesday (2/9/10): Finish pros and cons of agricultural practices

Wednesday (2/10/10): Finish global malnutrition and introduce GM foods

Thursday (2/11/10): GM Food DNA extraction

Friday (2/12/10): Introduction to PCR: Polymerase Chain Reaction

CES, Week 23: Food, Fuel and Water 1: Agriculture

January 31, 2010

So, when we were winding down last Friday, some of you guys were getting depressed about all these people. I think it’s wise to be a bit depressed, but I also think we should be hopeful. Our species is remarkably resilient. As the next two to three decades unfold we will have to deal with remarkable challenges, but we’ll get through it. If leaders make good decisions, and people make intentional, intelligent choices we can potentially have a healthier planet than we have right now.
This week we’ll begin looking at three of our species’ biggest challenges. How can we feed 6.3 billion people?

Monday (2/1/10): Exploring The Demographic Transition/Introduction to Global Agriculture
Tuesday (2/2/10): Introduction to Global Agriculture (cont)
Wednesday (2/3/10): Pros and Cons of Hi throughput agriculture and agrodiversity
Thursday (2/4/10): Field trip to the gardens (weather permitting)
Friday (2/5/10): What if there isn’t enough food? And one solution…GMOs
Monday (2/8/10): The science behind Genetically Modified Food

CES, Week 22: Human Demographics Continued

January 24, 2010

We will finish our investigation of developed and developing countries. Remember the driving question: Is there a distinct boundary between developed and developing countries? The bell interrupted our investigation last week, but we’ll pick right up where we left off. Interesting to note the near complete inversion of TFR and IMR for Somalia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The numbers are beginning to tell us the story of development. One thing I will push you on this week: what are barriers to development? As the class unfolds, we’ll be looking at how all these people get their food, their fuel, and their water.

Monday (1/25/10): Compare Economic Data across nations
Tuesday (1/26/10): Compare economic engines across nations (compare exports, imports, and connections)
Wednesday (1/27/10): In-class writing assignment: working on follow up questions
Thursday (1/28/10): Exploring The Demographic Transition
Friday (1/29/10): Campus Recycling, finish in-class writing assignment

CES, Week 21: Human Demographics continued

January 19, 2010

We will continue our data mining on Wednesday and we will spend the rest of the week trying to answer the Big Question for this unit: What is the point at which a country becomes “developed”? On Thursday we’ll figure out how to organize all your data, and we’ll start out trans-national analysis. On Friday, the work will continue.

Wednesday (1/20/10): “Data Mining”. Last day of in-class research

Thursday (1/21/10): Whole-class activity: what metrics matter, and how shall we compare these countries?

Friday (1/22/10): Continue  trans-national  comparison (short day, focus Friday.)

CES, Week 20: Human Population Growth

January 10, 2010

Last week might have been the shortest school week in history. 1.5 days. It makes finding continuity withinthe curriculum difficult (espeically with me at the helm). Never the less, we’ll continue focusing on the impacts humans have had on the natural capital that sustains us. We will spend at least two days looking at the factors driving exponential human populaiton growth, and you will begin individual investigations of  devloped and developing nations.

Monday (1/11/10): Finish discussion on Human impacts on Biosphere. Assignment: Specific examples of human impacts on biosphere.

Tuesday (1/12/10): Human Population Growth I

Wednesday (1/13/10): Human Population Growth II

Thursday (1/14/10): Human Demographics Assignment. Each student will pull two countries (one developed and one developing) out of a hat. Batering may insue. Expectations for assignment will be discussed.

Friday (1/15/10): Begin brainstorming Human Demographics Assignment/Determine timeline for completion/Campus recycling

CES, week 19: Human Population Growth

January 5, 2010

Welcome back, kids. I hope you had a restful break, and I hope you retained some of that good knowledge on the ecology of biomes, ecosystems, communities, and populations. ‘Cause let me tell you something…it is completely neccessary for understanding human population growth, and for understanding how humans use the natural capital available on Earth.

This week will be a quick introduction of the fundamental principles of human population growth, and the basic idea of developed and developing countries. Maybe we’ll get into the sticky topic of “transitional countries”. I know you all will enjoy this unit, and I’m sure it we will have some rich discussions.

Next week you will dive in deeper to human demographics by investigating a developing and developed nation in the same region. This project is similar to your boime project, but it focuses more on how humans use the natural capital, not so much on the natural capital itself. I will tell you more about that project next week.

So, without further ado…welcome to the spring semester

Wednesday (1/6/09): An overview of human uses of natural resources

Thursday (1/7/09): An overview of human population growth (warning…this is a data-heavy presentation).

Friday (1/8/09): Wrap up human population growth and campus recycling

CES: Final Exam, Wednesday, December 16, 10:00am

December 14, 2009

Man, I hope I have the day and time right. I think I do. Anyway, I know I’ve got the content correct. As I promised, I am giving you an overview of my expectations for the final. The exam will be all graphing, tables and short answer. All your claims should be backed up with accurate evidence. Your reasons should reflect appropriate scientific principles related to population ecology and aquatic ecosystems.

Here’s what the exam looks like:

I. Graphing Data: Use the data you collected on Lemna spp. growth over the last two weeks (and a graphing template on page two) and graph all of the following:..

II. Using Thali as your population indicator calculate the miniumum maximum, and average (mean) growth rate…

III. Claims (back them up with evidence from above)…

IV. REASONS (here’s where you get to tell me what you think, based on scientific principles.)…

CES, Week 18: More on Pop Eco (Population Ecology)

December 7, 2009

Monday (12/7): Check Lemna, Meet “K” every population does eventually

Tuesday (12/8): Suvivorship Curves and introduction to “r” and “K” selection

Wednesday (12/9): Check Lemna, Life Histories

Thursday (12/10): Darwinian Evolution I

Friday (12/11): Darwinian Evolution II

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