Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Mirsky on Poop in Space

Posted 29 Nov 2010 / 0

As an ecologist one of my biggest pet peeves is the way that manned space travel is treated in the mainstream media, both fictional and non-fictional. Without going deeply into the details, suffice it to say that our dependence on ecosystem services makes manned space travel of any appreciable duration or distance completely unrealistic. Of Read More

Articles, Astronomy, Ecosystem Services, Space Travel

Using Ecological Footprints to Teach Sustainability

Posted 27 Nov 2010 / 1

Technically- and traditionally-speaking, an ecology course should not really deal too much with policy. A strict definition of ecology should limit the topic to the study of the interaction between organisms and their environment, and for decades now that has meant looking at how non-human animals and other organisms constitute ecosystems. Discussions of policy, economics, Read More

Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Ecological Footprinting, Ecology Education, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Ethics, MSCI-270, Ecology, Pollution, Public Policy, Quantitative Analysis, Sustainability, Teaching Tools, Web

Reclaiming a Rigorous Definition of “Sustainability”

Posted 18 Nov 2010 / 0

The latest issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment features a great guest editorial by David N. Laband and David B. South entitled “Walking the talk on sustainability”. In this short piece, Laband and South make a point that is brought to light far too infrequently: that we use the word “sustainable” in a Read More

Articles, Environmental Justice, Greenwashing, Quantitative Analysis, Sustainability

Are Eco-labels an Effective Tool for Conservation?

Posted 17 Nov 2010 / 0

On of the things that I like about the Ecological Society of America’s “accessible” journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment is that it always contains an eclectic mix of articles. The November 2010 issue contains an article entitled “Strategic tradeoffs for wildlife-friendly eco-labels” that you just would not see in most academic journals. Authored Read More

Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Conservation Biology, Sustainability

Official video of the International Year of Biodiversity 2010

Posted 17 Nov 2010 / 0

One of my current Ecology students brought this video, produced by the United Nations, to my attention today: I think what is most fascinating about this video is the premise upon which it is built. Using the video screen to represent some sort of biodiversity catalog console, it envisions a time when future generations have Read More

Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Ecology Education, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Extinction, Film, Television, & Video, Invasive Species, Pollution, Public Policy, Sustainability, Urban Ecology

Delayed Development and Human Evolution

Posted 16 Nov 2010 / 0

For hundreds of thousands of years, Homo neanderthalensis was the dominant hominid species of Europe and the Middle East. Then, somewhere in the range of 80,000 to 50,000 years ago, modern humans (Homo sapiens) expanded out of Africa and came in contact with the Neanderthals. Although there is some evidence of limited interbreeding between Homo Read More

Articles, Development, Homo species, Human Evolution, Radio & Podcasts

Greg Graffin on The Takeaway

Posted 15 Nov 2010 / 0

Back in the early 1990’s, I could be found skateboarding around the campus of Pomona College. As I rolled my way from the dining hall to those eight o’clock classes in Chemistry that served to weed out potential Biology majors who were not inclined to early rising or algebra, chances are that there was a Read More

Evolution, Music, Radio & Podcasts, Religion, Reviews

Scientific American “Controlling the Brain with Light”

Posted 09 Nov 2010 / 0

Neuroscience represents a sort of “last frontier” in biology: despite decades of research into the nervous systems of a diverse set of organisms, scientific understanding of how the web of neurons we call a brain creates complex emergent patterns of cognition and behavior remains limited. Part of the challenge faced by neuroscience has to do Read More

Adaptation, Ethics, Experiments (General), Genetic Engineering, Neuroscience

The Role of Technology in Human Evolution

Posted 04 Nov 2010 / 0

Today’s version of The Takeaway featured an interesting interview with Kevin Kelly, author of a new book called What Technology Wants. You can listen to the segment here: Although I have not read the book, I am familiar and interested in the subject matter that Kelly tackles: the role of technology in human evolution. There Read More

Cultural Evolution, Ethics, Human Evolution