From Order to Chaos: The Attack on the EPA

From Order to Chaos: The Attack on the EPA The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 under Richard Nixon’s administration.  Now in 2017, it is likely that at least 25% of the agency will be dismantled by the Authoritarian’s administration. This is a crime against the well-being of all living things and their […]

Can EcoJustice, Citizen Science and Youth Activism Inspire New Ways of Teaching Science?

EcoJustice, Citizen Science and Youth Activism  (Library Copy) is the title of a new book edited by Michael P. Mueller, University of Alaska, and Deborah J. Tippins, University of Georgia.  It’s the first in the new Springer Book Series Environmental Discourses in Science Education in trying to bridge environmental education with science education. I received my […]

Climate Change: Are We In Trouble?

This is a reblog from the Moyers & Company website. It’s an article written by John Light that I’ve reblogged here as a follow up the May 7th post entitled Extreme Earth: Coming to an Environment Near You. The National Climate Assessment Says We’re in Trouble. This Chart Shows Why. (via Moyers & Company) This […]

Inspiration in the Rockies

  This is a view from the YMCA of the Rockies, which I first visited in August, 1975 to attend my first conference of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP). Since then I’ve been here about 15 times. But it was my attendance at the (AHP) conference that changed my outlook as a teacher at […]

NAT GEO The Wild Mississippi

NAT GEO presents The Wild Mississippi, a three-part TV program on Sunday, February 12.  I viewed the three episodes today, and recommend that you tune in Sunday night at 8:00 P.M (Eastern) to view the first of the three episodes.  The second and third episodes follow at 9:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M.  Check the schedule […]

3 Inquiry Lessons to Begin Your Science Course This Year

Do you have your plans worked out for the first days of the courses you will teach beginning this month or in September?  Here are three ideas you might consider, especially if you want to begin the year engaging your students in a science inquiry activity. I introduced these projects in the last post as […]

3 Inquiry Lessons to Begin Your Science Course This Year

Do you have your plans worked out for the first days of the courses you will teach beginning this month or in September?  Here are three ideas you might consider, especially if you want to begin the year engaging your students in a science inquiry activity. I introduced these projects in the last post as […]

Three Web 2.0 Science Projects for Your Science Courses

Web 2.0 refers to using the Web in a more interactive, and social way where students can create, share, publish and work together in collaborative groups.  Over the years, science teachers have created a variety of Web 2.0 projects for K-12 students. This post is to announce the availability of three Web 2.0 projects that […]

Summer Science Film Festival

The Learning Network of the New York Times sponsored a series of films in their Film Festival that focused on “classroom worthy” documentaries. One of the days was devoted to science, and the feature film, Footprints (synopsis shown below) is available to you free from Snagfilms. Follow this link to see all of the featured […]

AAAS Vigorously Opposes Attacks on Climate Change Researchers

Yesterday, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) published an open letter on its website with the headline: AAAS Board: Attacks on Climate Researchers Inhibit Free Exchange of Scientific Ideas.  In the letter, the Board said: Scientists and policymakers may disagree over the scientific conclusions on climate change and other policy-relevant topics. But […]

Science, Technology, Society & Environmental Education Research

Science, Technology, Society & Environmental (STSE) education has been an important part of science education curriculum development and research. STSE educators opened channels and alternative paths for teaching science in which context was seen as a more powerful starting point for learning. Although these researchers don’t use phrase “humanistic science,” others have synthesized the field […]

Science, Technology, Society & Environmental Education Research

Science, Technology, Society & Environmental (STSE) education has been an important part of science education curriculum development and research. STSE educators opened channels and alternative paths for teaching science in which context was seen as a more powerful starting point for learning. Although these researchers don’t use phrase “humanistic science,” others have synthesized the field […]

Teaching Climate Change

Is climate change real? Is the greenhouse effect based on fundamental science? To what extent are “debates” on TV news outlets using split screen technology peer review or rhetoric? Do large companies abuse the concept of peer review by using rhetoric to cast doubt on scientific findings? These are questions that should underscore student’s pursuit […]

350.org

I signed onto an organization called 350.org. According to materials I received, 350.org is sponsoring climate change actions around the world. The banner will take you to the 350.org site for further details about how you and your students might get involved. Receiving this information is perfect timing for post later this week about Australian […]

Art of Teaching Science linked on the NatGeo Great Migrations Blog Carnival

The Great Migrations Blog Carnival: Part II Minjae Ormes, of National Geographic Channel, sent me this text that announces further the NatGeo’s Great Migrations program that premiered last week.  As Minjae notes, a group of science bloggers wrote about the program on their blogs.  The Art of Teaching Science was among this group.  Here is […]

Ecology Projects

I recently received an announcement of an ecology program from John Kamman whose organization sponsors field science and cultural exchange projects.  The organization is Ecology Project International and has projects and programs in Montana, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Galapagos.  Their website describes many opportunities for students and teachers in the field of ecology and environmental […]

From England

I’ve been in England for the past two weeks, and will be writing a few posts about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill reporting on the views of this catastrophe from the U.K.

Daddy, Did you plug the hole yet?

As we all know, President Obama told the story that his daughter knocked on the bathroom door while he was shaving, and asked him, “Have you plugged the hole yet, Daddy?” As science teachers we are reminded that this question is the kind of question our youth asks about important issues that face us today. […]

The BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

As of today, no one really knows how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico threatening the entire Gulf Coast Region, and possibly Florida  and the East Coast. NOAA is using an estimate of 210,000 gallons of oil per day (5,000 barrels), but in a closed door meeting with members of Congress, BP […]

Earthday and the Global Thinking Project

In 1987 I met Sergey Tolstikov, who at the time was the lead English teacher at Moscow Experimental Gymnasium 710.  Sergey, along with many of his colleagues at School 710, and other schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg (Leningrad at the time), Pushchino, Yasoslav, and Chelyabinsk teamed up with American teachers to create the Global Thinking […]

Promoting Personal, Social and Ecological Science Education

Within the science education community there has been a movement to explore the relationships among science, technology and society (STS), and this movement has a long history.  In fact, its history parallels the more conventional or traditional view of science education that has dominated most curriculum and pedagogy over the last century.  But alongside has […]

From Earthday to Earthmonth: A Holistic Approach to Science Teaching

On Wednesday (Today) we celebrate Earthday, founded on April 22, 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, and around the world it is a day that focuses on educating all of us for the environment with activities, celebrations, conferences, and programs. You can visit the Earthday Network to explore a myriad of resources that are available to […]

Holistic Teaching: Integrating ideas of Vernadsky & Lovelock into science teaching

The opening sentence in John Miller’s book, The Holistic Curriculum is that holistic education attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature. Nature at its core is holistic,interrelated and dynamic. As such we have much to learn about curriculum from environmental education, and the science-technology-society (STS) movement (each developed In previous […]

Holistic Teaching: Integrating ideas of Vernadsky & Lovelock into science teaching

The opening sentence in John Miller’s book, The Holistic Curriculum is that holistic education attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature. Nature at its core is holistic,interrelated and dynamic. As such we have much to learn about curriculum from environmental education, and the science-technology-society (STS) movement (each developed In previous […]

Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky & the Gaia Theory

In the last post, I introduced Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (link to a brief bio), the Russian scientist whose pioneering work, unnoticed by James Lovelock when he first proposed the Gaia hypothesis, forms the basis for much of our understanding of the biosphere, what it really is, and how the region of the biosphere is the […]

Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky & the Gaia Theory

In the last post, I introduced Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (link to a brief bio), the Russian scientist whose pioneering work, unnoticed by James Lovelock when he first proposed the Gaia hypothesis, forms the basis for much of our understanding of the biosphere, what it really is, and how the region of the biosphere is the […]

Global Thinking & the Gaia Theory

In 1989 I met Dr. Anatoly Zaklebyney, professor of environmental science education, the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow. I was working with American and Russian teachers on a project that had emerged from teacher and researcher exchanges that I directed for the Association for Humanistic Psychology. Our project in Russia was organized by the Russian […]

Global Thinking & the Gaia Theory

In 1989 I met Dr. Anatoly Zaklebyney, professor of environmental science education, the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow. I was working with American and Russian teachers on a project that had emerged from teacher and researcher exchanges that I directed for the Association for Humanistic Psychology. Our project in Russia was organized by the Russian […]

The Gaia Theory: Its Origins & Implications

The Gaia Theory was the result of collaboration between the British scientist, James Lovelock, and the American biologist, Lynn Margulis. They proposed the Gaia “hypothesis” in their 1974 paper entitled Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere: the Gaia hypothesis and was published in Tellus, Volume 26. According to the Gribbin’s account, Lovelock and Margulis […]

The Gaia Theory: Its Origins & Implications

The Gaia Theory was the result of collaboration between the British scientist, James Lovelock, and the American biologist, Lynn Margulis. They proposed the Gaia “hypothesis” in their 1974 paper entitled Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere: the Gaia hypothesis and was published in Tellus, Volume 26. According to the Gribbin’s account, Lovelock and Margulis […]

The Gaia Theory: Implications for Science Teaching

I returned this week from a two week trip to Texas, and waiting for me in the mail was a book I had pre-ordered from Amazon.  The title of the book is James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia, and it was written by John Gribbin & Mary Gribbin.  Here’s what the book is about: In […]

Paradigm shifts: Education about, in and for the environment

Education about, in, and for the environment represent three different paradigms useful in helping us view environmental education and environmental science programs and activities.  Based on research by Rachel Michel (1996), these three paradigms can briefly be described as follows: Education about the environment is viewed as an approach in which information about the environment (concepts, facts, […]

Touch the earth: The case for learning outside the box

Many, many years ago I developed a book while being a writer for the Individualized Science Instructional System (ISIS) which was entitled Touch the Earth.  It was a geology mini-course, part of a large collection of earth, life, and physical science mini-courses for middle and high school science.  Although the title was a play on words, I […]

Earthday as a metaphor for a paradigm of informal learning

Informal learning as a paradigm for classroom learning suggests that learning is holistic, and is steeped in inclusiveness and connectedness.  As I suggested yesterday, John Dewey wrote about the importance of an “experiential education” more than 100 years ago, and his words are just as relevant today, as they were then. For many years I […]

From Volcanoes in Your Backyard to Snow in Mine

About a week ago, I wrote a post entitled Volcano in Your Backyard, which was initiated by the Governor of Louisiana’s comment that spending money on volcano monitoring was an other example of wasteful spending by the government. February 8, 1984, I was on board a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta to Portland, and as […]

Stimulating Innovation: The Key to Economic Recovery & Education Reform

The nation is about to embark on a path toward economic recovery and reinvestment in the future. I am confidant that we can do this. But to listen to some of the Governor’s these days, you would wonder what they are thinking, and why they are letting the citizens of their states down at the […]

Stimulating Innovation: The Key to Economic Recovery & Education Reform

The nation is about to embark on a path toward economic recovery and reinvestment in the future. I am confidant that we can do this. But to listen to some of the Governor’s these days, you would wonder what they are thinking, and why they are letting the citizens of their states down at the […]

Teaching Science Nonverbally: The Power of Visual Images and Sounds

I know that this topic seems a bit out of place, but I wanted to follow up comments made by David Calladine, one of the readers of this weblog.  David teaches science in the UK, and specializes in teaching environmental science.  One of his entries was in response to a post entitled Teaching About Global […]

New Environmental Weblog: Green Inc.

There is new weblog on the New York Times website that I want to mention today, and it is called Green Inc.: Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line.  Developed by three environmental educators and writers, this weblog focuses on the following: How will the pressures of climate change, limited fossil fuel resources and the […]

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: A Revolutionary Paradigm of Teaching for Energy and Environment

In a democracy, there are differing views on how the government and industry should deal with energy, energy sources, and the environment.  I’ve visited the American Presidency Project, and there you can read the complete platforms of the Democrats and Republicans.  You have to go the Libertarian Party and the Green Party websites to read […]

Beijing Air

Earlier this year, there were concerns that air pollution in Beijing would be a serious threat to athletes participating in outdoor events, especially running, and cycling. In fact I wrote several posts in the Spring that highlighted this issue that you read, and find out what were the concerns. China’s Olympic committee indicated that a […]

The Next President's Energy Manifesto: An STS Project for Students

In an interview on late-night television, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. outlined an energy manifesto for the next President of the United States.  His comments, which were based on an article he published in Vanity Fair provide the nucleus for an potential STS investigation for our students.  Indeed, if carried out in the early Fall semester, […]

The Next President’s Energy Manifesto: An STS Project for Students

In an interview on late-night television, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. outlined an energy manifesto for the next President of the United States.  His comments, which were based on an article he published in Vanity Fair provide the nucleus for an potential STS investigation for our students.  Indeed, if carried out in the early Fall semester, […]

Air Pollution: Monitoring the Air You Breathe

Do you think there is any harm in going for a brisk 3-mile run on a summer afternoon in the metro-Atlanta area? It’s not a good idea. The ozone level is highest in the late afternoon and early evening. Late afternoon readings of ozone are typically highest for the daily cycle of ozone levels. It’s […]

Earthday 2008 for the Birds

Earthday is a day for action and reflection. Some reflection follows: I read two wonderful books about birds this past year by Bernd Heinrich, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont. The first was the Snoring Bird: My Family’s Journey Through A Century of Biology. It’s a wonderful story of his father’s life […]

Environment Important to the People, but not at the Presidential Debates

Charles Blow had a very interesting op-ed column in the New York Times today entitled “all atmospherics, no climate.” The op-ed focused on the graph shown below, generated from survey data by the Pew Research Center, which describes the percentage of Americans who think the issues of protecting the environment, and dealing with the energy […]

Earthday: Time for A Whole Earth Energy Policy: Nuclear Anyone?

Earthday 2008 arrives in just a few days. I’ve been thinking and reading about Earthday, and about how our dependence of fossil fuels impacts all of us all of the time. From buying groceries, to going to work, to enjoying leisure activities. Our dependence on coal and oil as our primary source of energy has […]

Fire in the pit

For the past 10 days I’ve been in Texas enjoying the outdoor world of farmland located half-way between Austin and Houston, near the town of Burton, Texas. It’s been a wonderful week of enjoying nature, and the world of antiquing. In the morning, fog rolls over the landscape giving us gorgeous scenes of the farmland […]

Earth Hour

Today, Earth Hour was initiated in many cities around the world. Begun last year by citizens in Sydney, Australia, the 60 minute environmental social action project involved about 2 million people who turned the lights off for an hour. This year, again led by citizens in Australia, the earth hour event involved millions more and […]

Air Pollution: Regional Influences & the Beijing Olympics

In the last post we discussed the relationship between Beijing’s air quality and the impact on athletes competing in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. China is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse house gas emissions. It ranks number 2, right behind the U.S. According to some reports, China’s air and water ways are described […]

Air Pollution: Regional Influences & the Beijing Olympics

In the last post we discussed the relationship between Beijing’s air quality and the impact on athletes competing in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. China is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse house gas emissions. It ranks number 2, right behind the U.S. According to some reports, China’s air and water ways are described […]

Project Beijing Air Quality

One of the issues of concern to many people is the impact of the air quality in Beijing on the athletes competing in outdoor activities, especially those involving 5K, 10K and all of the long distance running events, as well as many swimming events. Beijing’ air quality is could impact the health of the athletes, […]

Project Green Classroom

This has been a year so far where the concept of “green” is moving into the mainstream, and is no longer relegated to “environmental activists.” However, we need to remind ourselves that it was the activists and the “gentle subversive” (Rachel Carson) who worked for years bringing environmental issues to the forefront. Highlighted in this […]

Air Quality Awareness

This week is the EPA’s Air Quality Awareness Week. And it was a good choice of weeks to select as the ground-level ozone season has begun in Atlanta, and other cities, I am sure. I live in the Atlanta area, and yesterday and today, the pollution was very evident. Smoggy and getting warmer. The quality […]

Silent Springs of Past

Today is Earthday, 2007. On today’s CBS News Sunday Morning Program, one of the feature stories was The Legacy of “Silent Spring.” We all now know that Rachel Carson, the author of the 1962 book, Silent Spring wrote the book (with fierce opposition from the pesticide industry) to inform the public the fact (according to […]

The Green Year?

Tomorrow is the year 2007 Earth Day, which started in 1970. Could the year 2007 be the Green Year, the tipping year in which government and industry embraced the importance of environmental sustainability just as the public is beginning to accept, and as the environmental movement has represented. Whether or not the environmental movement began […]

Goldilocks Climates: Do You Live in One?

In today’s NYTimes, Andrew C. Revkin, the outstanding science reporter and writer, published an article entitled Wealth and Poverty, Drought and Flood: Reports from 4 Fronts in the War on Warming. In it he compares and contrasts four locations: Blantre, Malawi and Perth, Australia, each prone to drought, one in big trouble, the other moving […]

US Supreme Court to EPA: Regulate Emissions

The US Supreme Court ruled (5 – 4) that the EPA must regulate emissions from cars, and also took the EPA to task for giving lame reasons why it should NOT regulate emissions. The decision rendered in the case MASSACHUSETTS ET AL. v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL. is an important decision in the ongoing […]

Uncertainty and Global Warming: Using the Nature of Science to Deny and Cast Doubt on a Robust Scientific Theory

In their NYTimes article, Material Shows Weakening Of Climate Change Reports, Andrew C. Revkin and Matthew L. Wald reported on recently released House committee (Oversight and Government Reform) documents that indicated that a White House official edited goverment climate reports to play up uncertainty of the human role in global warming. The key word here […]

How Many Scientists Does It Take?

In today’s NYTimes, Thomas Friedman posted an article entitled How Many Scientists?which was a wonderful play on words about climate change. As Friedman points out, and as we have said on this blog, more than 1000 scientists have read and agree to the Intergovernmental’s Report on Climate Change published in February. How many more scientists […]

Views of Global Warming and Climate Change

Last week I wrote several entries on the topic of global warming, and most recently on legislation at the Federal level related to global warming. Is the Earth warming? According climate change scientists, the answer is yes, as shown in the graph below. However, making policy changes, as we have discussed here in this blog, […]

Global Warming Legislation

Two days ago, Al Gore addressed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This is the Senate Committee where legislation could direct the US on a course to join the rest of the world in realizing the crisis that is represented by global warming. In January a bill was introduced into the committee dealing […]

Gentle Subversives: Rachel Carson and Frances Oldham Kelsey

Yesterday I used the theme “Meeting of Minds”to focus on the US Congress and its hearing with Al Gore. Today, I would like to play this out one step further, and suggest how the members of the Congressional committees that are responsible for environmental issues and legislation might be informed by two great minds, each […]

Meeting of the Minds on Global Warming: The US Congress, Al Gore, and John P. Holdren

Years ago, Steve Allen, of TV fame, created a program entitled Meeting of the Minds. He would bring together historical figures such as Galileo, Thomas Jefferson, Shakespeare for discussions among themselves of important topics. So here in Washington today we witness the meeting of the minds of Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress to […]

The Anthropocene Geological Epoch & Global Warming

A few years ago Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner for work on the ozone layer, proposed a new name for the geological epoch based on the effects of human civilization on the earth. He proposed that the new epoch began in the early 1800 and should be named the Anthropocene Epoch. You can read […]

The Anthropocene Geological Epoch & Global Warming

A few years ago Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner for work on the ozone layer, proposed a new name for the geological epoch based on the effects of human civilization on the earth. He proposed that the new epoch began in the early 1800 and should be named the Anthropocene Epoch. You can read […]

Carbon Emission Leaders

For thousands of years, the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere remained around 275 parts per million, but as seen in the graph below, that value started to increase in the mid-19th century, and then steeply increased to the year 2000 and beyond. This increase has been attributed to the industrial revolution which started […]

Britain, the European Union and Global Warming

Yesterday I wrote about truth and global warming, and indicated that science does not result in truth, it results in hypotheses and theories, which could be used to inform legislation, and action by governments and citizens. Two days ago, the British government announced that it has proposed laws that will enforce steep cuts in carbon […]

Teaching The Truth About Global Warming

Teaching Truth. That’s the problem when we discuss and debate the scientific topic of global warming. As Tim Flannery points out, science is about hypotheses (and I would add theories), not truth. One of the long term problems in science teaching is helping students understand the nature of scientific research, and how science develops theories […]

Pancakes and Global Warming

Now this is a stretch isn’t it! Pancakes and global warming. You don’t have to worry, pancakes will be around, even with the Earth heating up. But, what about maple syrup? Is global warming effecting maple trees in Vermont? Well, there was an article in the New York Times entitled Warm Winters Upset Rhythms of […]

Warmer Winter in the UK and Europe

I was reading a report today on the BBC website entitled Winter ‘second warmest on record’. It was referring to winter in the UK. In fact, the five warmest winters in UK history were in the last five years. What interested me was the reference to the Hadley Centre Central England Temperature (HadCET). The HadCET […]

Teachers of Green, Part Two

Yesterday’s blog featured California, Al Gore, and scientific researchers as teachers of green. Today, I want to expand this and include one of the earliest of environmentalists, Stuart Brand. Brand authored a popular and influential book entitled The Whole Earth Catalog. A Thirtiest Anniversary Edition of the Whole Earth Catalog was published recently. Brand was […]

Teachers of Green

There was a very interesting article by PAUL KRUGMAN entitled Colorless Green Ideas in the New York Times. In it he debunked the claim that that curbing greenhouse gases would detrimental to our way of life and our economy. There are a lot of people who think that it would seriously change the way we […]

International Polar Year 2007 – 2009

The International Polar Year (actually it’s two years) is a large scale research effort that will focus on the artic and antarctic beginning in March 2007 and running through March 2009 (two annual cycles of research). The research will focus on seven areas: Atmosphere, Ice, Land, Oceans, People, and Space, as well as Education and […]

Global Warming Report Issued Today

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its report today in Paris. You can read a good summary of it at USA Today. The report says that global warming is very likely man-made caused by over a century of CO2 emissions. Warming of the Earth is very well documented, and the causual relationships are very […]

Teaching About Climate Change

There was an article today in the New York Times New Warnings on Climate Change by Andrew Revkin. Revkin is a science reporter for the NY Times, and author of book on climate change entitled The North Pole Was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World. The book is for 6th graders […]

Monitoring Beijing’s Air: Citizen Scientists in China

I want to continue my discussion of the environment in this post. I read with interest another editorial by the New York Times writer Thomas Friedman entitled The Green Leap Forward which again focused the pollution of China’s environment. He started his article with a little story about a friend of his to does his […]