Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Food is personal, sometimes ethical, but rarely political

Posted 15 Jan 2016 / 0

Image courtesy of Nick Gray via Wikimedia Commons The Chronicle of Higher Education “The Vegetarian Lesson” This article by Chad Lavin neatly distills ideas and issues that I have been grappling with for more than half my life. As a current-day ecologist who was a vegetarian more than a decade before I took my first ecology course, Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Behavior, Belief, Cooperation, Food, Parasitism, Political Science, Predation, Public Policy, Resource Consumption, Uncategorized

Is New York City a “sustainable” metropolis?

Posted 14 Jan 2016 / 0

Brooklyn garbage bag photo courtesy of Tom W. Sulcer via Wikimedia Commons New York City has endured a pretty bad environmental reputation for decades. If you find yourself on a Manhattan street on the right warm summer night, it is hard not to feel that the place is an environmental nightmare. Those piles of garbage Read More

A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Climate Change, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Pollution, Quantitative Analysis, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Sustainable Transportation, Sustainable Urban Design, Web

Are technological optimists too optimistic about technological sustainability?

Posted 23 Nov 2015 / 0

Image courtesy of Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons The Chronicle of Higher Education “Ecomodernists Spark Rhetorical Heat” In my Ecology for Architects course I have students work on an activity that asks them to advocate one of four “extreme” environmental positions: Population bombers; Neo-luddites; Deep ecologists; or Read More

A Minor Post, Activism, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Environmental Justice, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Public Policy, Resource Consumption, Risk & Uncertainty, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Transportation, Sustainable Urban Design

Does the rapid spread of a culture of over-exploitation intensify our impact on wild food sources?

Posted 20 Oct 2015 / 0

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment “Contagious exploitation of marine resources” This seems like a really great case study for cultural evolution: the authors describe the spread of sea cucumber fishing as an “epidemic”, but what they really mean is that the idea of economically exploiting this marine food source spread rapidly and in a Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Cultural Evolution, Resource Consumption

Cargo ships a major source of NOx emissions

Posted 20 Oct 2015 / 0

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment “Ships steam slowly toward emissions reductions” Not surprisingly, all those cheap goods shipped overseas are not so inexpensive when their full environmental impact is accounted for. And regulating trans-oceanic emissions is going to be a challenge… although the study discussed in this article seems to be using satellite technologies Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Climate Change, Pollution, Resource Consumption, Sustainable Transportation

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

Urbanization is not urbanization: density, not size, drives sustainability

Posted 16 Oct 2015 / 0

Source: Scientific American Scientific American Graphic Science “Bigger Cities Aren’t Always Greener, Data Show” I do not love the headline here, because it suggests that size rather than density is the issue at hand. It is pretty clear what this data show: building low density cities is not sustainable. The issue here is that we Read More

A Minor Post, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Pollution, Population Pressure, Public Policy, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Sustainable Urban Design, Urban Planning, Web

I will speak about the tension between biological and cultural evolution at St. Francis College (December 11th, 2015 @ 3pm)

Posted 08 Oct 2015 / 0

I am excited to announce that I am scheduled to speak about the tension between biological and cultural evolution at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. The title of my talk is “Highly-creative baby-breeding idea propagators: what human (re)productive choices mean for the future of our species“, and it will provide a partial overview of Read More

A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Behavior, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Carrying Capacity, Cultural Evolution, Economics, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Parenting, Population Growth, Population Pressure, Psychology, Public Outreach, Reproductive Fitness, Resource Consumption, Sex and Reproduction, Sustainability

My ecological footprint for 2014-2015

Posted 06 Apr 2015 / 0

Every year in my ecology courses I have my students complete an ecological footprint analysis of their own lifestyle and the lifestyle of an older relative. I have been asking my students to do these for each of the eight years that I have taught at Pratt Institute, so I have accumulated a lot of 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

Envirolutions brings bottle transformation to Green Week 2015

Posted 03 Apr 2015 / 0

I have been lucky to serve as faculty advisor to the Envirolutions student club at Pratt for the past six years. There have been a lot of great projects done by the club over these years, and some of the best have been centered on Pratt’s Green Week, an annual on-campus celebration of sustainability. This Read More

A Major Post, Envirolutions, Life Cycle Analysis, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Sustainable Pratt