Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Pratt students make the potential trip to Mars better designed

Posted 24 Jun 2016 / 0

Mars landscape image courtesy of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory via Wikimedia Commons Scientific American “Home Sweet Habitat: Students Help NASA Design Mars Spacecraft Living Quarters” Anyone who has regularly read my posts on the subject knows that I am a space exploration grump, particularly regarding the idea that humans ought to try to venture out Read More

A Minor Post, Architecture, Evolutionary Psychology, Human limits, Industrial Design, Mismatch theory, Pratt Institute, Psychology, Space Travel, Web

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

Go mutualistic or go home?

Posted 15 Aug 2015 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “The Great Extinction” I agree with this article’s overall perspective, which is that it is a bit weird to view humans as unnatural. What we are is unprecedented as a single species that defines a geologic time period (albeit what is likely to be a very short one). I also Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Commensalism, Population Growth, Subsistence, Survival, Sustainability

WmD Episode #00002 has been released

Posted 07 Aug 2015 / 0

It took me a lot longer than I would have wished, but I have released the second episode of WmD’s video blog: You can see this episode in its ‘native habitat’ here. The first season of WmD is dedicated to the “big questions in ecology and evolution“. This episode, “Keep on keeping on… until you Read More

A Major Post, Belief, Competition, My publications, Population Growth, Predation, Religion, Senescence, Survival, The WmD Project, Urban Ecology

In the end, climate compromise comes down to writing and editing

Posted 01 Jun 2015 / 0

National Public Radio Morning Edition “Editing The Climate Talkers: Punctuation’s Effect On Earth’s Fate” I would suggest that the future of human civilization depends on reaching an international agreement to put a halt to — and partially reverse — anthropogenic climate change. Although the history of climate change agreements is pretty fraught, it does appear Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Cooperation, Law, Political Science, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Social Norms, Survival, Sustainability, Sustainable Energy

On the verge of 400 ppm Carbon Dioxide: a symbolic threshold

Posted 23 Feb 2015 / 0

According to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, it appears that February 2015 will be the month in which the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere exceeds 400 part per million: Various sources have been predicting that we would soon reach this symbolic milestone, and it appears that this will be the month when it Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Human limits, Sustainability, Web

For the next eight months, the future of my career is (mostly) out of my hands

Posted 30 Sep 2013 / 2

It is a ritual that most academics hope to be able to participate in, but that does not make it any less excruciating. Where else but academia do we get the chance to argue for our own permanent employment? Where else but academia is the process so exhaustive and complicated? Where else is there so Read More

A Major Post, Department of Mathematics & Science, Higher Education, Pratt Institute, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Survival

Freakonomics takes the quantitative knife to how we produce and consume food

Posted 25 Nov 2012 / 0

Freakonomics Radio “You Eat What You Are” This piece delivers a much needed kick in the self-righteous pants to the locavore movement. It systematically disassembles the assumptions of the local food movement, ending by discussing the minimal quantitative ecological benefits of using the “I only eat local” rule. It pulls apart belief from reality, and Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Belief, Carrying Capacity, Climate Change, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Ecological Footprinting, Economics, Ethics, Food, Greenwashing, Hunger, Hypothesis Testing, Life Cycle Analysis, Philosophy, Population Growth, Public Policy, Quantitative Analysis, Radio & Podcasts, Resource Consumption, Subsistence, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Vegetarianism

Michael Ruse on James Lovelock’s Gaia of 2012

Posted 24 Oct 2012 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Saving Gaia From the Greens“

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Biography, Climate Change, Ecological Modeling, Ecosystem Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Religion, Survival, Sustainability

Can playing games make the world a better place?

Posted 27 Sep 2012 / 1

One of the very talented students I work with in the Envirolutions club, Rhett Bradbury, pointed me towards the work of Jane McGonigal, a game designer and evangelist for the idea that games can save the world. For Rhett, her work is important to his Master’s thesis in graphic design, as he is considering how to move Read More

A Major Post, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Development, Emotion, Evolutionary Psychology, Happiness, Health & Medicine, Human Evolution, Mismatch theory, Phenotypic Plasticity, Play, Psychological Adaptation, Psychology, Radio & Podcasts, Social Networks, Subsistence, Web