Browsing Archive: March, 2013

Teaching About Fuel Cells

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, In : lab procedure explanations 

Some of you who are mostly trained in biology will see the Lab 3-6 (Fuel Cell Dynamics) and get turned off before you even purchase the lab manual. For the record, my doctorate is in zoology, and the title of my dissertation is “The Hormonal Control of Vitellogenesis in Decapod Crustacea” (are your eyes glazing over?). I teach classes peripherally related to my specialty because my post-doc did not take me anywhere (mostly my fault). In fact, I never heard of environmenta...


Continue reading ...
 

Department of Energy Website Overhaul

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Friday, March 22, 2013, In : modified lab procedures 
Someone totally redesigned the Department of Energy website making the information that you need for the Lab 2-2 (Transportation) is harder to find. Worst of all, the links on the main website (which has been renamed www.energy.gov) are little more than window dressing for impressing impressionable taxpayers. This page is useless to us because we cannot use it to navigate to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Even putting this name in the "search" box does not work! So here it the li...

Continue reading ...
 

Using Grazers to Reverse Desertification

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Saturday, March 16, 2013, In : environmental news 
This is not an update on my lab manual. It is environmental news that some of you might find interesting. Here is a lecture by Allan Savory on using grazers to reverse the process of desertification, thereby addressing one of the worst consequences of climate change. Here is the link: 

http://vimeo.com/8291896

I am not an agronomist, but what he suggests is both counterintuitive and contradictory to what we teach from our textbooks. Nevertheless, his hypothesis on how this impr...
Continue reading ...
 

Quick and Dirty Spreadsheets

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Friday, March 15, 2013, In : modified lab procedures 

Lab 2-3 (Development and Quality of Life) entails the construction of a large spreadsheet from scratch. If you have plenty of time (as in my case when I worked at Saint Anselm’s) you can apply it as a cooperative assignment in which students are assigned different sections. This does not work if you are pressed for time (as I am in my current job), so I used a different strategy: I took the students to the computer room and had them navigate the CIA fact...
Continue reading ...
 

Quick and Dirty Conductivity Readings

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Monday, March 4, 2013, In : modified lab procedures 
Last week we carried out Lab 1-5 (Solution Chemistry of Natural Waters) without the benefit of the conductivity meter I had in my previous job. Though I probably could have borrowed one from the chemistry department, I chose to use my digital multimeter (easily available in most electronics hobby shops and hardware stores). A physics instructor had told me that all I needed to do was to set the multimeter for measuring ohms, then simply measure the electrical resistance of the solution (which...
Continue reading ...
 
 

About this blog

This blog was originally created in January 2013 to serve as a means for providing updates on science activities from the environmental science lab manual Ecology, Development, and Sustainability. I have now expanded its purpose to include other items of interest to science teachers. 

Make a Free Website with Yola.