Archive for the ‘On My Mind’
Ok, so here is my final post for the year. I wanted to share some of the results of questions on the 2nd semester class survey. Of 34 students in two classes, 31 of you responded. If you’d like to add another comment on what you see here email me or leave a comment below this post.
The bold numbers after each item are the average ratings given by the entire class.
1. The teacher was enthusiastic about teaching the course. 4.8
2. The teacher encouraged critical thinking. 4.4
3. Students were encouraged to ask questions and were given meaningful answers. 4.4
4. The teacher showed a genuine interest in students as individuals and tried to find ways to connect with or engage them during the year. 4.5
Besides these ratings, there was ample written feedback on how I teach the course. Thank you so much for that–I will use it to tweak the course for next year.
Thanks also for all your hard work on this class blog. I hope you are impressed with the global audience you have attracted. If you click on the ClustrMap, note that you’ve attracted over 1,500 unique visitors from all over the globe! Check out all the visitors by country below. And, congrats to EmilyO for her election to the Scribe Post Hall of Fame!
Finally, my wishes and advice for you all as you go on to bigger and better things:
1. I hope you make conservation a part of your life–most resources are not unlimited. Maybe give up those darned bottled waters at a minimum?
2. I hope you become mindful of your consumerism–businesses want you to buy their products whether you need them or not (that’s capitalism). They’ll throw in a little greenwashing and “ecoguilt” to get you to buy also…
3. I hope this course has not left you feeling depressed or guilty–we’ve studied some revolutionary solutions AND we can all make small changes that add up. Awareness is useless–change something. No one person can do everything, and there are always tradeoffs in the choices you make.
4. Be a giver, not just a taker (remember the mint jar). Too many takers will ruin the commons (the planet).
5. Finally, I hope you get outdoors more often than not, life happens outside books and classrooms. Enjoy it!
Enjoy your senior projects–see you all at graduation…
Here, in two 10-minute segments, is a recent 60-Minutes report on the accident in the Gulf of Mexico and a link to a report on progress (finally) capturing some of the escaping oil:
Watch CBS News Videos Online
Watch CBS News Videos Online
Day 23 (May 12): Check out this 3 minute report from ABC’s World News:
I doubt many of you are still checking this since the AP exam is over, but here are some Gulf oil disaster updates for those that might be…
After Setback, BP Scrambles to Find New Solution
Sopping Up an Oil Slick with Castaway Hair (“hair sausages?!”)
here is the slick viewed from space on April 30th:
Image Source: NASA Earth Observatory
here is another showing the progress of the slick over time:
Image Source: The Official Google Blog (using uploaded NASA imagery)
Ok, so it is the night before. As a teacher, am I anxious? Naw, I think we’ve really done a great job with covering the AP syllabus. If I had to think of one topic we just did not get to spend much time on, it might be reclamation. This is a Chapter 12 topic, so we never had a test on it (I asked you to read that chapter-did you?). Anyone remember this term?
Definition: The process by which lands disturbed as a result of mining activity are reclaimed back to a beneficial land use. Reclamation activity includes the removal of buildings, equipment, machinery and other physical remnants of mining, closure of tailing impoundments, leach pads and other mine features, and contouring, covering and revegetation of waste rock piles and other disturbed areas. The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 requires mining companies to restore most surface-mined land so it can be used for the same purpose before it was mined.
*Since your text (Chapter 12) has very little to say about reclamation, maybe investigate these resources and make notes on reclamation methods:
1. Bureau of Land Management-Cartoon Explanations of Reclamation
*read the entire page top to bottom–good source for notes
2. Mineral Information Institute–Mine Reclamation
*investigate at least three reclamation projects and the link for “Erosion and Sediment Control (read it all)”
3. United States Dept. of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining
*only if really bored and you want to know more…
Dr. Crumley sent me this one….
So, last year the APES text (published 2008) had a section on carbon offsets-first time I’ve seen it in a school textbook. There are many companies out there now marketing carbon offsets to reduce your “carbon footprint.” Terrapass is a popular one. You can offset one year’s worth of air travel (an estimated 8,000 pounds of carbon emitted) for just $50.60 as of 4/30/2010. Your money goes to support wind farms and methane capture projects-that’s how the carbon is “offset.” Some companies will even plant trees to offset carbon produced by your lifestyle.
So, does this approach mitigate (lesson) global climate change or encourage “cheating?” Watch this clever parody of carbon offsetting by a couple of Brits:
*If you want to learn more, visit www.cheatneutral.com
So, what do you think?
*Try www.carbonfootprint.com to for a carbon calculator if you want to assess how much carbon dioxide results from your lifestyle.
I haven’t done an “in the news” bit in a few weeks, but her are some hot topics you guys have brought up in class or sent to me by email. See something of interest? At this point in the year, reading the news is kinda a form of studying for the AP exam…isn’t it?
China Became Top Wind Power Market in 2009
U.S Approves Wind Farm Off Cape Cod
Drilling Deep Under the US to Dispose of Nuclear Waste
Ukraine Leader Says Kiev Needs More Chernobyl Funds
Europe Finds Cleaner Energy in Trash, U.S Lags
Oil Spill From Sunken Rig May Threaten Gulf Coast
Oil Leak Could Take Months to Stop
Coast Guard Sets Oil Slick Ablaze
Global Floating Ice in “Constant Retreat:” Study
EPA Phases in Permits for Greenhouse Pollution
How Cap and Trade was “Trashed” (Congress debates CO2 emissions trading recently)
U.S., Canada Crack Down on Vehicle Emissions
Hong Kong Issues Warning as Air Pollution Sets Record
Could Cleaner Air Actually Intensify Global Warming?
Iceland Volcano: Not Yet a Global Cooling Eruption
Green Groups Point to Ash Cloud Silver Lining
Earth’s Missing Heat Could Haunt Us Later
Industrialized Nations’ CO2 Falls 2.2 Percent in 2008
Timeline: 70 Years of Environmental Change (NEAT interactive history review!!!)
To commemorate Earth Day PDS 5th grade teachers and students made signs to carry around the Ferry Boat reminding parents to turn cars off while in line picking up their children. They also modified the “stop and go” signs to reflect the No Idling initiative for all teachers on traffic duty to carry. LS plans to launch the full program in the fall.