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Christopher X J. Jensen
Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute

Water, Alfalfa, China, and a modern Tragedy of the Commons

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 / Leave a Comment

NPR Morning Edition “In Time Of Drought, Arizona’s Alfalfa Exports Are Criticized” There are so many interesting aspects to this story. First and foremost, it illustrates that “tragedies of the common” are entirely, well — common — in modern economies. The rules of resource use dictate whether that resource will be over-exploited: if there are […]

Read more A Minor Post, Climate Change, Cooperation, Deserts, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Radio & Podcasts, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Water Supply

EnviroAtlas is now live, publicly available

Posted on 30 May 2014 / Leave a Comment

For the past couple of years I have been playing around with a really cool tool called EnviroAtlas, a project of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This past semester I created two classroom activities that use EnviroAtlas, implementing them for the first time in my Ecology for Architects course. The EnviroAtlas tool was in beta-testing […]

Read more A Minor Post, Biodiversity Loss, Biomes, Bogs & Wetlands, Citizen Science, Computer Science, Conservation Biology, Data Limitation, Deserts, Ecosystem Services, Education, Educational Software and Apps, Environmental Justice, Eutrophication, Grasslands, Habitat Destruction, Invasive Species, Long Term Ecological Research, Macroecology, Pollution, Ponds & Lakes, Population Pressure, Public Policy, Quantitative Analysis, Rivers & Streams, Sustainability, Teaching, Teaching Tools, Temperate Forest, Temperate Rainforest, Urban Ecology, Water Supply, Web

If sloths endure costs to maintain closed-loop agricultural systems, why can’t we?

Posted on 05 Feb 2014 / Leave a Comment

The New York Times “The Sloth’s Busy Inner Life” This is a great story about how paradoxical behaviors can be understood through appreciating mutualisms. If you don’t understand the benefits of algae to sloths and sloths to algae,  you can’t understand this behavior. But you also need to understand how sloths directly benefit moths and how […]

Read more A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Closed Loop Systems, Coevolution, Community Ecology, Composting, Mutualism, Predation, Quantifying Costs and Benefits, Tropical Forest

What happens when a landscape ecologist takes on urban ecology

Posted on 29 Jan 2014 / Leave a Comment

What’s so cool about the work that Eric Sanderson is describing is that it really amounts to doing historical research using an ecological forensics approach. The idea of mapping out “probable areas” of different populations — including humans — using mapped data is pretty smart. It is amazing how humans have transformed Manhattan. Thanks to […]

Read more A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Architecture, Community Ecology, Ecological Modeling, Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Geography, Geology, Habitat Destruction, History, Hydrology, Ponds & Lakes, Rivers & Streams, Sustainable Urban Design, Talks & Seminars, Temperate Forest, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Urban Ecology ,

Sweet Fern Productions puts Alfred Russel Wallace to paper

Posted on 26 Jan 2014 / Leave a Comment

Sweet Fern Productions “The Animated Life of A.R. Wallace” I loved the Sweet Fern video on whale fall, but this is even more valuable as a historical account of Wallace’s life. I really like the way that this video depicts natural selection! Great way of showing differential survival as Wallace might have seen it!

Read more A Minor Post, Biography, Evolution, Evolution Education, Film & Television, Geography, History, Natural Selection, Science as a career, Science in Art & Design, Speciation, Teaching Tools, Tropical Forest, Wallace Darwin Project

Cod gone on Cape Cod

Posted on 25 Jan 2014 / Leave a Comment

NPR Morning Edition “Why The Cod On Cape Cod Now Comes From Iceland” It is fascinating how “cultural” the alteration of this fishery turns out to be. Somehow “Cape Dogfish” just does not have the same ring.

Read more A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Conservation Biology, Cultural Evolution, Marine Ecosystems, Radio & Podcasts, Sustainable Harvesting, Wild Foods

Concentrated factory farming of livestock massively alters the phosphorus cycle

Posted on 25 Jan 2014 / Leave a Comment

NPR Morning Edition “How Mass-Produced Meat Turned Phosphorus Into Pollution” This short feature provides a clear example of how human agricultural practices massively modify nutrient cycles, decoupling what used to be inseparable: where animal feed is grown and where animals are raised. This separation means that we no longer have closed-loop agricultural systems. I would suggest […]

Read more A Minor Post, Closed Loop Systems, Composting, Economics, Ecosystem Ecology, Eutrophication, Food, Pollution, Ponds & Lakes, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Rivers & Streams, Soil Ecology, Sustainable Agriculture, Vegetarianism