Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

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

Science & Sustainability at the Green Meadow Waldorf School

Posted 22 Mar 2016 / 1

On Monday, March 21st I had the pleasure of visiting the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, New York to discuss the role that science plays in helping people to achieve the goal of a sustainable society. In a talk entitled “Pulling Humanity Back Inside the Boundaries: How Science Serves Sustainability“, I gave students some Read More

A Major Post, Belief, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Closed Loop Systems, Community Ecology, Conservation Biology, Ecology Education, Economic sustainability, Economics, Ecosystem Services, Eutrophication, Food, Habitat Destruction, Hypothesis Testing, Methods, Philosophy, Pollution, Public Outreach, Public Policy, Quantitative Analysis, Resource Consumption, Science (General), Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Harvesting, System Stability, Teaching, Water Supply, Wild Foods

What’s the meaning of professorial fashion?

Posted 14 Mar 2016 / 0

There’s an interesting article about professorial fashion published in Vitae today. Written by Ben Barry and entitled “Fashion Matters“, this short piece explores how professors have traditionally expressed their being “above fashion” by wearing either very predictable or very boring clothing. Barry claims that there’s a lot of under-utilized potential in the professorial wardrobe. He suggests that Read More

A Minor Post, Fashion, Higher Education, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Teaching

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