The 5th Annual Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) is the largest student-run environmental film festival in the world.
Come see some of the most revealing films of the year that raise awareness and provoke thought about current environmental and social issues.
All events are free and open to the public, and include panel discussions with filmmakers, Yale faculty, and special guests.
FULL SCHEDULE AND DETAILS: environment.yale.edu/film/films.
Posts tagged education.
Mo is adorable. Here’s more on Oregon Zoo’s conservation projects.
While water allocation, drought, and fires seems to be the theme of climate adaptation for 2013, pollution and conservation will play a dual role. The EPA has announced that nearly 55% of U.S. rivers and streams are in rough shape - mostly due to little to know local interest.
More than half of the country’s rivers and streams are unable to support healthy populations of aquatic insects and other creatures, a survey of nearly 2,000 locations by the Environmental Protection Agency reported Tuesday.
The study found more than 55 percent of the rivers and streams “in poor condition, 23 percent in fair shape, and 21 percent in good biological health,” The Associated Press noted. High levels of nutrient pollution—phosphorous and nitrogen from farms, cities and sewers—were found in the waterways. Phosphorous was found in 40 percent of rivers and streams.
Land development along waterways was found to have enabled erosion, flooding and the introduction of pollutants as well.
“This new science shows that America’s streams and rivers are under significant pressure,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator of the EPA’s water office. “We must continue to invest in protecting and restoring our nation’s streams and rivers, as they are vital sources of our drinking water, provide many recreational opportunities and play a critical role in the economy.”
We invited you to ask Carl Zimmer your science-related questions via the Yale Tumblr…and here’re his responses!
In this short video, Carl Zimmer (Yale College Class of 1987) drops knowledge on everything from whether it’s possible to clone dinosaurs, to the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.
Sweet. Thanks for the very cool interaction Yale!
Nigeria’s Cost & Energy-Efficient Floating Schools (by NLÉ)
The Makoko Floating School is an ambitious project that is currently under construction in the water community of Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria by NLÉ, a collaborative agency whose mission is to provide architectural change for developing cities. The project seeks to create floating buildings that are designed to serve as educational classrooms for neighborhood children.
The three-story architectural structure, built as a triangular prism, is intended to float on water with a base made of 256 plastic drums. The floating construct is built with locally sourced wood, electrically powered with solar panels, and designed to house about 100 students.
While this first generation of floating buildings is being designated solely as educational center, the project is opening a new chapter in architectural design that can be applied to a variety of facilities for poor communities like Makoko to urbanize efficiently. Because of the project’s green initiatives, each building is more affordable and cost-effective. Additionally, they accommodate for the climate changes that are resulting in the rise of sea levels.
I’m sorry. I have neglected you. Over the past 2.whatever years on tumblr, I have ignored two of your most asked questions: Where can I find resources on climate change adaptation? and Where can I find resources to improve my writing?
I am blown away at how often I am asked these. And am equally blown away at how successful I have been at ignoring answering them both.
Since I believe in preservation of traditions, I will continue to ignore the first most asked question (because wow procrastination is fantastic). Instead, I’ll tackle the second most asked question:
Dear Michael, What are good resources to improve my writing?
The best way to learn how to write better is to write more. There is no substitute for practice. In fact, you’ll find that nugget of wisdom contained in every (good) book on writing. “Write more” is at the heart of every writing educator’s repertoire. If you want to learn to write, just start writing. Learn from failure. Ask all your friends for feedback ad nauseum. Thank them with sincerity. Avoid the trap of getting defensive upon receiving feedback (after all, you did ask for their edits).
But guidance is still valuable. So here is a selection of books and resources I use most often.
I have on my book shelf about three dozen books on how to write mo beddah. I won’t list them all, but here is a sampling of popular books by famous authors on how to write: E.M. Forster’s must have Aspects of the Novel; Geoff Nunberg’s unreadable Going Nucular; John Jerome’s amusing The Writing Trade; Patricia O’Conner’s visually painful (comic sans!?) but useful Woe Is I; Norman Mailer’s indisputable The Spooky Art; Anne Lamott’s student friendly Bird by Bird; the decent The Elements of Journalism; and of course Stephen King’s epic On Writing.
The above are books will, in the end, help you understand structure and context creation. They are good books to own, but take much dedication to actually read. It takes even more effort to incorporate their advice into your writings, so take ‘em with a heavy dose of salt and, I suppose, a libationational shot of bourbon.
There are more important books, in my opinion, that will tangibly help your writing. I have about 20 or so books on style, research, and reference guidance that I reach for often. Here’s a sampling of the most used: The Associate Press Stylebook (incidentally, my 2006 copy was donated to me by a journalist at the AP); the painful, hellish, and evil The Blue Book, A Uniform System of Citation; Black’s Law Dictionary; Chicago Manual of Style is my preferred guide for major report writing; MLA Handbook is often quite useful for citation style in a pinch; Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style has no equal.
I’m surprised by how often I flip through Eugene Volokh’s Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review; and Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Examples is a must if you read a lot of cases and need to learn to summarize quickly.
I also pick up more often than not, Legal Method and Writing; Writing Empirical Research Reports; and Persuasive Writing for Lawyers and the Legal Profession,
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s Making Your Case was an enjoyable surprise, and I am convinced Scalia did not write a single sentence in that book.
I found The Chicago Guide for Communicating Science and A Field Guide for Science Writers rather late in my career, and I regret it because these are excellent guides with solid examples by actual science writers in the field.
To round this list out, there are a ton of sources for writing online. Poynter is, hands down, one of the best resources on the planet; PBS’s Media Shift is fun; Jay Rosen’s PressThink is for serious writers; the WordCount blog is a good place to hang out (there are dozens of blogs like WordCount, so google around for your niche); and you may want to join the National Association of Science Writers. A google search for “Science Communication” returns nearly 1.5 million hits, so there’s that. Also, all the J-Schools have their own writerly blogs.
My all time favorite book on writing is not really a book at all. It’s a rare and odd monograph called “Lawyer as Artist: Using Significant Moments and Obtuse Objects to Enhance Advocacy.” It was written by James Parry Eyster for the Legal Writing Institute’s Legal Writing Journal and hard copies are about as rare as a rattlesnake in Canada (they exist, but good luck finding one). It’s available free at SSRN. It is not easy to read! But I refer to it often when I need to push the limits of my writing, or need inspiration and justification to take a risk.
Again, all of these things are utterly valueless unless and until you sit down and write.
Women in science: Women’s work
It’s International Women’s Day, and Nature recently published a special series on women in science - and finds that there is still much to do to achieve gender equality in science.
Check out the series here.
Pretty good listening for Women’s Day. Did not know only 7% of women filed patents, are far less likely to get struck by lightning, drown less than men, avoid editing Wikipedia because they are more likely to avoid conflict(?!), are more likely to file the divorce papers, and play more video games than men.
Proceeds from the sale of the app go to protect marine environments in the Philippines. Thank you WWF for your good work!
EnviroPop is the first game application from WWF-Philippines. The app aims to educate people about sea creatures, and the need to address the marine pollutants that harm them.
EnviroPop is a puzzle game that allows users to clear marine threats such as PET plastic bottles, fish trawl nets, cyanide bottles, and oil drums.
The objective of the game is for players to eliminate these hazards and save the WWF marine characters like Clara the clownfish, Pattie the Green Sea Turtle, Bobby the whale shark, and Gary the grouper.
The app serves as one of WWF-Philippines’ alruist weapon to arm people with the knowledge of their marine programs and and their aim to fortify the marine biodiversity.
The full version of the app costs $0.99. For every download of the app, proceeds will go directly to WWF-Philippines’ marine conservation program.
As WWF-Philippines Individual Donor Program Officer Honey Carmona explains, Philippines is nestled at the apex of the Coral Triangle making the island the geographic point of marine life. This concludes the call to prioritize marine conservation as most Filipinos depend on the sea for sustenance and ecotourism.
It’s a war between invasive species. Stinging Asian needle ants overtaking invasive Argentinian ants in the U.S.
But, what really caught my eye was the last paragraph of the story:
Spicer-Rice works on a citizen-science project called School of Ants where people send in ants collected in their backyards to North Carolina State University for identification. Today, “Asian needle ants are the most common ants found,” she said. “Five years ago, nobody even knew what an Asian needle ant was.”
What an interesting project - people send their backyard ants to a university for study. Kids would LOVE to do that! Check out the project: School of Ants.
Why Do Venomous Animals Live In Warm Climates?
1. The majority of venomous species are ectotherms, cold-blooded creatures whose internal temperatures are governed by their surroundings.
2. This means they have limited periods of activity - mainly while it’s warm out, and can only exert short bursts of energy, so they are generally “sit and wait” predators. This may explain why they, more than mammals or birds, evolved venom.
3. It also explains why there are more of these species in warm climates. There are more of all species in warm climates, but this trend is especially pronounced for ectotherms.
4. So there are a greater number of venomous species in warm places, simply because there are more species in warm places. Cold climates still have venomous creatures, like the rattlesnakes of Canada and European vipers.
5. But history also has a role to play. In Australia, there were no snakes until 20 million years ago when a venomous sea snake from Asia encountered the land, sending venomous species to all corners of the continent. Later non-venomous arrivals have done well in the tropics but not as well in Australia’s colder climates, so venomous types still dominate there. Hawaii has no venomous land snakes and nor does Jamaica.
6. The recent ice age also would have driven ectotherms from the northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere. This is why there are no snakes in Ireland, for example.
“When I hear the sound of a violin, I get butterflies in my stomach. I can’t explain it.” - Ada Maribel Rios Bordados, 13. She lives on a trash dump in Uraguay.
Cateura, Paraguay’s residents live on top of a landfill that gets 1,500 tons of solid waste each day, exposing the impoverished communities to unhealthy conditions. Most of the town works in the dump as recyclers, including many of the young people.
When local teacher Favio Chavez decided to teach the town’s children to play music using his own instruments, he soon had more students than instruments. The solution? He started teaching the students on instruments upcycled from trash and the Recycled Orchestra was born.
This trailer for the 2014 documentary, Landfill Harmonic, introduces the story of this youth orchestra and their community’s inspiring resourcefulness. The filmmakers also hope to bring attention to Cateura’s need for improved living conditions. You can follow them here: @landfillharmoni and facebook.com/landfillharmonicmovie
(Sierra Voices) - Texas textbooks determine what children learn nationwide.
“I believe that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark … somebody’s got to stand up to these experts.” (Don McElroy, former member of the Texas State Board of Education).
Well, no wonder the GOP wants to defund PBS. Where can I send them a donation??!
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