Dr. Tyrone Hayes
Dr. Tyrone Hayes
We have another interesting soil-related even on campus this evening – a screening of a new film on the subject:
Here’s more about this film project from its website:
SYMPONY OF THE SOIL FILMS:
The Symphony of the Soil project consists of one feature film that examines soil in all its complexity and mystery and several short ‘satellite’ films that go deeply into single topics. The feature film explores soil as a protagonist of our planetary story, including the birth of soil, its life cycle, the many creatures making up the soil community, nutrient cycling, biological processes such as the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle, and succession. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on the key role soil can play in ameliorating the most challenging environmental problems of our time. We will feature techniques from ancient wisdom to cutting edge science that preserve and improve soil. By gaining an understanding of the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, microorganisms, the atmosphere, plants, animals, and humans, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource.
SYMPONY OF THE SOIL FEATURE FILM:
For more information about the feature film – SYMPHONY OF THE SOIL – stay tuned. We are currently in post-production and will have an update on the status of the film. There are work in progress screenings of the film. Find the schedule here.
SYMPONY OF THE SOIL “SATELLITE” FILMS:
The short films, which we are calling satellite films, are stand-alone films, twelve to twenty minutes in length. The short films provide information on specific topics such as dry farming, nitrogen, the Transition Movement, biodynamic farming, composting, soil/water relationships, and carbon sequestration. Below find a list of the short films completed to date:
SOIL IN GOOD HEART (TRT: 13:31)
PORTRAIT OF WINEMAKER (TRT: 15:36, work in progress)
TRANSITION TOWN TOTNES (TRT: 10:20, work in progress)
SEKEM VISION (TRT: 13:31, work in progress)
On Darwin Day 2011, the 202nd birthday of Charles Darwin, a group of about 20, students and faculty, members of Tri Beta Biology Club and the Fresno State Nature Club, participated in a celebratory hike along Sky Harbor trail above Lake Millerton just north of Fresno, on the San Joaquin river. It was a glorious day, with the impossibly blue skies typical of this part of the world (although too often obscured by what we pump up into the central valley air these days). Signs of Spring well under way were everywhere: in the songs of the Oak Titmouse and the Towhees, in the drunken bees buzzing about the flowers dotting the lush green slopes everywhere, and in the warm afternoon sun that set everything ablaze with a wonderful light. This was a hike good old Charlie would surely have enjoyed. As it is, my hat is off to you Charlie, on this your day and everyday, for so thoroughly deepening my appreciation of nature’s tangled banks and my own wonderful place within. Thank you. And Happy Birthday, Mr. Darwin.
As part of Darwin Week at Fresno State, the local chapter of the Tri Beta Biological Honors Society organized Darwin Hour at noon on Feb 9, 2011. Dr. Paul Crosbie of the Biology Dept. dressed up as a youngish Mr. Darwin, circa 1961 to talk about how he came to write his most famous book, and answered questions about what his theory means for us.
[Pictures taken on an iPhone 3Gs, hence the low resolution]
From: Jennifer Sobieralski <jsobieralski@CSUFRESNO.EDU>Date: November 12, 2010 3:35:55 PM PSTSubject: [BULLETINBOARD] Fresno State Community Garden Survey – Please completeReply-To: Jennifer Sobieralski <firstname.lastname@example.org>Terri Payne and Lindsey Hughes are Fresno State Dietetic Interns working under the direction of Mollie Smith, Fresno State Dietetic Intern Coordinator. As part of our rotation at the Gibson Farm Market we are conducting a survey to determine interest in starting a community garden. Please take a few moments to complete the survey by Wednesday, November 17th at noon. If you complete the information at the end of the survey your name will be added to a random drawing to win a $25 gift certificate to the Gibson Farm Market. We appreciate your response.
Please click on the link below to participate in our survey
Thanks,Gibson Farm Market
This aired earlier today on KSEE24, Fresno’s NBC affiliate station. I didn’t get to see it live on the telly when it aired, because I was actually in the studio watching it being recorded, having driven there in my parental role accompanying said young artist, Sanzari Aranyak (and listen to how she says her name!)! Our first time inside a TV studio was fun, first watching the weather guy applying makeup (definitely much more on his face than Sanzari’s) while awaiting his cue, and then doing his green screen bit – very slick. And then a full three-and-a-half minutes devoted to the story we were part of, the fundraiser for the Youth Orchestras of Fresno for which Sanzari and a number of local artists have painted violins. Julia Copeland, the Excecutive Director of YOOF, had picked Sanzari to accompany her as the young representative of the violin artists on what we had thought might be a 30-second sound-bite clip on the news. Despite being not quite prepared to actually be part of the interview, our little artist pulled off her first TV appearance quite smoothly under what would have been trying circumstances for her parents! No stage fright with this one… but then again she is a veteran of the stage having performed in a variety of shows since she was 5 – i.e., for half her lifetime!
So do forgive this proud dad’s bloggy indulgence as I share our girl’s moment in the spotlight!
Each year 160,000 Americans die from lung cancer and another 220,000 are diagnosed with the disease. About 85-90% of lung cancer is attributable to cigarette smoking and other tobacco related exposures; however, one in five American adults continue to smoke. Although there has been a decline in smoking during the last several decades, recent national data suggest the decline has leveled off, especially among young adults. In this presentation, the worldwide distribution of lung cancer, state and local patterns of lung cancer will be presented, as well as data on smoking habits and other risk factors for this deadly disease.
For those of you in Fresno tonight – a reminder: the above is the topic for tonight’s talk at the Central Valley Café Scientifique by Dr. Paul Mills of the UCSF-Fresno Medical Education Program. And note that we meet at a new venue tonight. Enjoy – even if some of us regulars have to miss it!
67.11 Wednesday, Jan. 6 Resilience in urban socioecological systems: residential water management as a driver of biodiversity KATTI, M*; SCHLEDER, B; California State Univ, Fresno; California State Univ, Fresno email@example.com
Cities are unique ecosystems where human social-economic-cultural activities prominently shape the landscape, influencing the distribution and abundance of other species, and consequent patterns of biodiversity. The long-term sustainability of cities is of increasing concern as they continue to grow, straining infrastructure and pushing against natural resources constraints. A key resource is water, esp. in the more rapidly urbanizing arid regions. Understanding water management is thus critical for a deeper theoretical understanding of urban ecosystems and for effective urban policy. Landscaping and irrigation at any urban residence is a product of local geophysical/ecological conditions, homeowners’ cultural preferences, socioeconomic status, neighborhood dynamics, zoning laws, and city/state/federal regulations. Since landscape structure and water availability are key determinants of habitat for other species, urban biodiversity is strongly driven by the outcome of interactions between these variables. Yet the relative importance of ecological variables vs human socioeconomic variables in driving urban biodiversity remains poorly understood. Here we analyze data from the Fresno Bird Count, a citizen science project in California’s Central Valley, to show that spatial variation in bird diversity is best explained by a multivariate model including significant negative correlations with % building and grass cover, and positive correlations with interactions between irrigation intensity, median family income, and grass height. We discuss implications of our findings for urban water management policies in general, and for Fresno’s planned switch to metering water use in 2013. Ecological theory, conservation, and urban policy all benefit if we recognize cities as coupled socioecological systems.
If you’re in Seattle – at the ongoing SICB meeting even – at 11:40 AM on Wednesday this week, and need some mental stimulation before lunch, why not join the throng at the above talk?
What an overwhelming response we had at Eugenie Scott’s wonderful lecture last week on “Why the fuss about Darwin and Evolution?“! Thank you, Genie, for such a great talk, for inspiring and recharging those of us in the think of the evolution/creationism culture war in the Central Valley, for showing us how to address these issues in a graceful, polite, and inclusive manner. And thank you, all of you who came to campus that evening and overflowed the Satellite Student Union. For those that couldn’t come that evening, you can still enjoy the talk, in parts via videos posted on Scott Hatfield’s blog, and also a full-length podcast of the slides with audio that I’m working on (as soon as classes are out of the way this week!). More on that soon.
For now I want to share an essay written by one of my students who attended the talk, identifies himself as a Christian, and has, starting from a religious background that made him suspicious of the E-word, come around to accept the evidence for evolution, while retaining his faith. I thank Eric York for allowing me to share his synopsis of and reflections on Genie’s talk here. Having a standing-room audience is one thing – and a great thing for sure – but a personal testimony from a student who has made some real progress in their thinking because of what we teach, that is the best kind of response we teachers can hope for. Note that I am posting his essay as is, although I have (and you can guess where) some quibbles with a couple of the things he says in his synopsis. You should also read Scott’s summary of the talk, which has a bit more on the core-fringe model of knowledge. If you attended the talk, feel free to share your reaction in the comments section below. Here’s Eric (continued below the fold):
“Why all the fuss about Evolution?” –Eugenie C. Scott
Eugenie Scott provided a lecture outlining the basics of evolution, followed by a detailed synopsis of the evolution vs. creationism debate. She started off the debate by outlining the different facets of evolution, and the various sciences it is deeply entangled with. These included astronomy, biology, geology, and anthropology, which are each considered evolutionary sciences. The main distinction is that evolution doesn’t necessarily address the origins of life; rather it attempts to explain how organisms have gotten to their present state, via descent with modification.
One of the complaints about evolution is that humans don’t like the idea of us being “descended” from monkeys. However, Scott cleared this up by stating that we aren’t descended from monkeys or apes. She compared this to a family tree. I descended from my dad, and my dad descended from my grandpa. My grandpa also had another son, who in turn had a son, who is consequently my cousin. I am not descended from my cousin, but we do share a recent common ancestor. This parallels the concept of descent with modification.
Scott brought up a book called, “A Consumer’s Guide to Pseudoscience.” This claims that the core ideas of science that are well tested, such as gravity and orbit, are at the center. Around the core ideas are the frontier portions, which include the current experiments and hypotheses that sciences are actively testing. Finally, surrounding the frontier is the fringe. This discusses the why and philosophical aspects of science, and includes ideas such as natural selection and perpetual motion.
Scott spent a significant portion of the time discussing the debate between creationism and evolution. She suggested that instead of looking at both as a dichotomy in which you have to choose one over the other, look at them as a continuum. This continuum starts with conservative Christians that take the Bible literally. This includes those people who, as Scott stated, base their belief on the written Word that simultaneously makes the statement that the earth is flat. This argument is based on Scripture that pictures the earth as circular. Arguments against this claim are that the old Hebrew language didn’t have an adequate term for the word spherical, or that by saying the earth was circular was merely describing its general properties and not its absolute shape. This is only one of the many arguments between evolutionists and the conservative Christians who take the Bible literally.
From the literal interpretations of the Bible comes a transition into young earth creationists, who believe the Earth is only 10,000 years old. They believe that the Earth has only recently been created, and accept that if evolution does occur, it must act much more rapidly than currently accepted. Next are the old earth creationists that believe in creationism, but accept an older earth with the possibility of evolution. This is based on the interpretation of Genesis that the seven days of creation aren’t actually 24 hour days. This is based on the Scripture that says, “To the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day.” By this reasoning, the seven days of creation could in fact imply thousands, millions, or even billions of years. Under this claim, evolution could be a feasible method that a creator used to derive the extant organisms that are alive today. This is followed by materialists, who don’t believe in creationism, and are skeptical of evolution. They are basically an in between category and don’t go one way or the other. Finally are the fundamental evolutionists. They are the ones that explicitly believe in evolution and the direct descent with modification.
Altogether I felt this was a very interesting and enlightening discussion. I personally am a Christian and take the Bible as inspired by God, which leaves several aspects up to interpretation. However, I am also taking evolution with Dr. Crosbie, and through this have learned the mechanisms, consequences, and impacts of evolution. Consequently I have come to believe that evolution via natural selection and descent with modification is in fact responsible for how organisms have changed over time to get to their present state. Although my belief is in contradiction to most views held by Christians, I personally think that science and creationism can in fact go hand in hand, and don’t have to be mutually exclusive of one another. As mentioned, I have slowly reached this conclusion by taking my evolution class, along with analyzing past and present research. I felt that it was appropriate to include as part of my analysis for this seminar the influence that Scott had on confirming my ideals, and expounding upon the inclusiveness in my own thinking of creationism and evolution.