I found this very cool article about coral patches over at TreeHugger. It basically explains how scientists are able to use satellite imaging to directly view a particular marine behaviour, called coral patches. It’s basically when a herbivore/bottom feeder will always leave a small patch of seaweed to swim back to for refuge and they will slowly eat around their homes creating these circular patterns.
One thing I found interesting about this article is how it explains that in coral reef ecosystems, there is a much greater number of predators competing for a limited supply of prey, sort of like an inverted pyramid. That is sort of the opposite of most ecosystems on land but it is apparently incredibly healthy for the coral reefs, lest all the herbivore prey eat too much of the aquatic flora.
The most challenging assignment was the one about the oceans. We were asked to create a powerpoint or similar presentation in which we highlighted the issues our oceans face in this modern era. Initially I figured I would put together a short presentation with a few pictures and I could just read off a few facts about how bad plastic debris pollution is for the numerous species of life in the ocean. At this point I had nearly no experience with powerpoint what so ever. I procrastinated and did not end up getting the project done in time. As the other students were presenting theirs I began to realize the potential for a powerpoint presentation, I had not even considered putting music into my presentation at this point. There were a lot of inspirational presentations and I found they motivated me to actually create something worth presenting. When I had completed this presentation I could confidently say it was the best powerpoint I had ever done, I was quite pleased with myself, it was entirely rewarding.
The best resources that I used were Wikipedia and powerpoint, most definitely. I found wikipedia to be an excellent source of other resources from which I could research, it was kind of a ground zero for researching topics. Powerpoint was also an exceptional resource and I felt I made good use of it for my oceans project, obviously I didn’t use a whole lot of powerpoint throughout the 12 weeks, but I must say, when I did use it I felt I used it to such an effective degree that It definitely feels to me it was one of my best resources.
Learning from YouTube clips allowed me the opportunity to learn in a rather different manner. Usually when I’m in the classroom there is a certain propensity for engagement in the activity, you can interact with your teacher, ask questions, the audience and the instructor are all on the same page, in the same moment, I find that allows me to kind of variability in how much I pay attention to the content, because there is a dripping effect where I can call upon my peers for context but when watching a video on YouTube there is a predetermined speed of the lesson and there is no interactivity involved which practically demands a whole new breed of comprehension, you can’t just pay attention, you need to really devote your mind to the stream of stimuli, I found it good practice for paying attention and absorbing information more efficiently.
Classroom discussion helped me to better understand some complex concepts. Sometimes ideas can start off kind of abstract, and when there is lots of input from numerous perspectives I find it can sometimes help to shape an idea, shed light on an intangible prospect. I enjoy the common ground that can develop with discussion, a positive learning environment.
If I were to redo the Smart Skills assessment now, I believe the three specific thinking patterns that have changed are Structure, Express and Experience.
My favourite post to write was the one entitled, “Qualia” because I personally find qualia as a concept an absolutely stunning creation of human cognition. I feel I could have actually done considerably better as far as getting my point across, to be totally honest my current work is meandering and does little to establish a particular point, but regardless, I am pleased I could establish qualia in a context suitable for this blog.
Once this course is over, I can see that I will continue using this blog because I find it to be a viable source to express my opinions and showcase my findings related to a world of drastic geological change.
My favourite topic was the oceans because I think that was the issue I was least aware of, and I definitely did not realize the magnitude of the issues our oceans face. It was a real eye opener and I am thankful to have been educated on such a serious matter.
I learned the most vocabulary and concepts while studying about the oceans because I think I paid the most attention during that unit.
I envisioned, challenged assumptions and reframed the most problems while studying about the oceans, I did not realize just how many issues plagued our oceans, from acidification from CO2 leaching into the water as bicarbonic acid, or coral bleaching and a destruction of the ecological integrity of coral reefs the world over, not to mention the disgusting amounts of plastic (and plastic bi-products) that are finding their way into our food chains.
One last thing I would like to add about what I’ve learned these past 12 weeks is that I don’t think people understand how fucking serious this is. Quit voting for politicians who are overly concerned with an economy that doesn’t involve the integrity of the ecology.