Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Where’s the world’s biggest solar-electric power station going to be located?

Posted 14 Apr 2016 / 0

One of the great things about teaching students in Pratt’s Undergraduate Architecture program is that so many of them come to Pratt from abroad. International students bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience that greatly broadens the dialogue in our classroom, and are especially important members of courses with an international world view. Read More

A Minor Post, Deserts, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Public Policy, Sustainability, Sustainable Energy

My ecological footprint for 2015-2016

Posted 08 Apr 2016 / 0

Ecological footprinting is a regular required exercise in my Ecology and Ecology for Architects courses. I ask my students to use the ecological footprinting tool created by the Center for Sustainable Economy to calculate how many earths their lifestyle would require to be sustainable. I also ask them to profile an older relative (for most students, a parent) Read More

A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Biomes, Ecological Footprinting, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Food, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Quantitative Analysis, Resource Consumption, Sustainability

Like to forage for mushrooms? Beware the Amanita!

Posted 15 Mar 2016 / 1

This short video, which came to my attention via the Scientific American “Observations” blog, does a nice job of explaining how an invasive mushroom species (Amanita phalloides) is causing new hazards for wild foragers in Northern California. The video is pretty basic — and a bit dramatic — but it does a good job of Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Film, Television, & Video, Fungi, Invasive Species, Mutualism, Survival, Temperate Forest, Temperate Rainforest

While we vacuum the seas, we may as well clean them of debris…

Posted 20 Oct 2015 / 0

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment “Norway to start trawling for trash” I guess this is a cool initiative, one that capitalizes on a philosophy of as long as you are out there sweeping the seas for fish, you might as well dispose properly of all the garbage that you “catch”. But I can’t help Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Marine Ecosystems, Pollution, Sustainable Harvesting

Why the “just burn it all” approach to ending fossil fuel dependence does not work

Posted 16 Oct 2015 / 0

The Washington Post “Scientists confirm there’s enough fossil fuel on Earth to entirely melt Antarctica” When it comes to discussing the problem of fossil fuel overconsumption and dependence in my ecology classes, it is not uncommon for students to advocate the “just burn it all, and then we will sort it out” approach. I can Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Climate Change, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Polar Marine, Resource Consumption, Sustainability

Charismatic megafauna offer protection to their less appealing heterospecifics

Posted 16 Oct 2015 / 0

Conservation Magazine “Pandas offer ‘protective umbrella’ to other animals” In my ecology courses we talk a lot about the different rationales for conservation, and students invariably laugh at the concept of charismatic megafauna. It is kind of weird — and very typically human — that we reserve particular conservation attention for those big animals that Read More

A Minor Post, Conservation Biology, Habitat Destruction, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Terrestrial, Web

Without sustainability in our diets, we won’t be sustainable

Posted 07 Oct 2015 / 0

NPR Morning Edition “New Dietary Guidelines Will Not Include Sustainability Goal” Man, this is a bummer. If our dietary guidelines are simply aimed at maximizing our bodily health but not the long-term health of our civilization and the planet upon which we depend, what’s the point of these guidelines? I love how the meat industry Read More

A Minor Post, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Food, Freshwater Ecosystems, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Fragmentation, Marine Ecosystems, Pollution, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Terrestrial, Vegetarianism

ECOmotion Studios on Hairston Smith Slobodkin and why the earth is green

Posted 06 Oct 2015 / 0

Here’s another fun and informative video from ECOmotion Studios. I thought that it was interesting how this short discussed the connection between decomposers and the eventual supply of oil, although I wonder if many viewers will gain enough information from this short video to fully understand this idea. The basic ideas behind Hairston-Smith-Slobodkin (HSS) are Read More

A Minor Post, Carrying Capacity, Community Ecology, Ecological Society of America, Film & Video, Film, Television, & Video, Predation, Science in Art & Design, Terrestrial

EcoMotion studios celebrates Robert Paine’s Pisaster experiments

Posted 06 Oct 2015 / 0

Back at the Evolution 2014 meeting I encountered the great “Drift” animated short, which I still use in my evolution course. Well the producers of that short have formed ECOmotion Studios, and they have made a bunch more videos in honor of the Ecological Society of America‘s centennial. This one is a fun “spoken word” jam Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Community Ecology, Competition, Ecological Society of America, Ecology Education, Film & Video, Film, Television, & Video, Intertidal Zones, Keystone Species, Methods, Predation, Science in Art & Design

Urban Wildlife Podcast on Cats and Coyotes

Posted 20 Sep 2015 / 0

Urban Wildlife Podcast “Episode 4: Cats and Coyotes” What I really enjoyed about this particular episode of the Urban Wildlife Podcast was the interaction between topics covered. The effects of both cats and coyotes are still largely unknown, even as both animals are fairly common in urban areas. Domesticated cats are pretty easy to track Read More

A Minor Post, Animal Domestication, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Birds, Canids, Coevolution, Conservation Biology, Data Limitation, Felids, Habitat Fragmentation, Methods, Predation, Radio & Podcasts, Temperate Forest, Tracking, Urban Ecology