Tuesday, February 26, 2008

News from the People Could Fly Project

Kalimah (sister 2 of 5) just screened The People Could Fly documentary this past Friday (Feb 22) at the Dumas Arts Festival in Roanoke, VA - which showcases local African American talent. S
he was also interviewed on a radio station in that area. Listen! to Kalimah's radio interview with Studio Virginia 89.1FM Regional arts and culture news magazine, hosted by Gene Marrano & Cara Modisett. When you visit the site that's her in the picture!! She is talking about the PEOPLE COULD FLY DOCUMENTARY - the why and how and what REALLY we're doing.
For those of you still kind of wondering what this is really all about here's a good way to get it straight from the source. Listen here.
And you can also hear and see more from Djibouti and other places at thepeoplecouldfly.blogspot.com

Thanks again,
Intisar (sister 1 of 5)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wolves making a comeback - and an impact

When I was in college I LOVED wolves. I had 6 posters of wolves on my dorm room walls. I just *knew* I would be a veterinarian. My interest in wolves were mainly sparked by concern about this animal being threatened with extinction.
Well, I didn't become a veterinarian. But I did become something better suited for me - an ecologist. As an ecologist I join a long list of other life scientists (including veterinarians) who work to keep animals safe and off of the endangered species list.

In reference to my love of wolves and my interest in promoting their protection I'm sharing these interesting links.
A rare video of wolves in Canada's Arctic region: Elusive wolves caught on camera
A quick read about wolves helping more aspen trees grow in Yellowstone Park:
Aspens Return to Yellowstone, With Help From Some Wolves. (If you can't get this, but want it, let me know and I can email it to you.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Space Camp for Middle School Girls

I MUST share this link with you. SISTER - Summer Institute in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research Camp (Think NASA Space Camp, except for middle school girls).
This is perfect opportunity for anyone who knows, teaches, parents, or mentors young people.
The Link comes from CT Herd. Thanks.

Spread the word.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sharing Science - Lusty Voles

Related to my last post on a new way to share science with the public, here is a percet example.
A team of researchers had a quick science news article released on ScienceBlog about their research on voles: Lusty voles, mindless of danger, mate like rabbits. Now this article interests me for 2 reasons. One, I work with voles, so here I am engrossed in the story. Two, I'm thining to myself, I know who did this research. There are only a handful of vole researchers, in this case prairie vole researchers, and we all know one another. And sure enough, I see some familiar names - Alex Ophir - a buddy of mine from waay back - hanging out at conferences and we've actually studied at the same institution but not at the same time. Check it out and enjoy. Scary how similarly lusty people and voles are, eh?

photo credit: www.gpnc.org

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The New Way to Share Science with the Public

Scan through your local newspaper or favorite news magazine. Notice anything missing? Perhaps its the science section. Over the years, the science section of periodicals has been shrinking. In some major cities with large paper circulations, the staff science writer(s) have been eliminated. There are fewer and fewer science journalists today, than say 25 years ago. But sharing science with the public is still a public service. So with the expanding use, popularity, and dependence, the internet is become a great place for people to receive the science news. With that in mind, I had to link to this article Framing Science An Early Look at the Future of Science Journalism. Also check out the comments. They are worth a read.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

America's Greenest Cities

Do you live in one of these Urban Oasis? Popular Science Magazine ranked America's 50 Greenest (or Eco-friendly) Cities. Cities on the west coast, specifically the Pacific Northwest top the list. That's no surprise, I've visited Oregon and Washington and the citizens in those states are SO environmentally progressive.

I bet the Urban Ecology and wildlife appreciate such considerate human neighbors.

Monday, February 18, 2008

6 word memoirs - The Green Life

Smith Magazine and Treehugger are hosting contest -- Six Word Memoirs: The Green Life. I entered the Green Life 6 word memoir. contest and decided to use something I'd created already that summed things up nicely. I submitted my name.

About the Contest
What can you say about yourself in just six words? In its new book,
Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs from Writers Famous and Obscure, SMITH Magazine offers hundreds of minuscule yet insightful life stories. And now the short, short life story sensation is going green.
SMITH and TreeHugger challenge you to define your green life in just six words. Got a swell philosophy? Traveled a strange path? Fall off the eco-wagon often? Lay your tiny tale on us and you could win a copy of
SMITH's new book, a Planet Earth DVD set, or even an iPod nano (personalized with your winning submission, of course). Everyone on this big, blue marble has a green story. So, what's yours?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Great Blogs I am recommending

Thanks to my every popular and fantastic cousins at The People Could Fly Project, they tagged this site as one of their favorite blogs. Thanks girls.

Here are some of my favorite blogs to read & I think are worth sharing. Check them out.

1. Planning and Preparing for College. This is a GREAT resource for my readers. Paying for college is no walk in the park. It's getting more expensive and the colleges/universities are offereing fewer full rides. And please know, the days of the minority scholarship are dead. It's better to receive scholarships from multiple foundations. That way you can take your money anywhere.

2. Science To Life. Graduate student Karen V. posts the latest in science and medical news. News you can use. I don't think alot of people know about ScienceBlogs (people in the Black Blog-o-sphere, that is) and that's a shame. Her posts are really informative and I think we may see her on TV one day, the medical/science commentator on CNN, MSNBC or something.

3. Young Black Professional Guide. It is a great place to catch up with a little bit of everything...professional tips, financial literacy, tech updates, politics. social commentary, a little gossip. Just enough of everything without being overwhelming. They also produce rsspect.org - directory of black blogs. It's worth checking out. It's where I discovered my recommended blogs #1 and #4.

4. Science, Education, and Society. This blog is a commentary about how more and better science education and literacy are needed within the Black community. I hold-heartedly agree. Also includes some political and socioeconomic commentary that can get a little irreverant.

5. Jessie's Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Adventures. It is is wonderful blog, full of great photos and descriptions of wildlife and landscapes in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The page is defunct, but the posts and beautiful upclose photos of the area's wildlife are worth a share. My friend Jessie did a summer research internship there and she talks about the research, too. Ecology Rocks!!

Honorable Mention:
LiveScience.com. I like how it is organized. You can check out news stories about the environment, animals, technogy, more. It's all tabbed. Plus there are always some cool top ten lists. They have a blog site that features some great commentaries on the stories. It's a great way to stay up.


"The rules are like this:“This link loving in 2008 came from Not Much More Than This. I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!). It’s real easy! Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially!

The benefits of Viral Linking:- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!- Increase your Google PageRank fast- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site- Build your community- Make new friends!"Now, add/tag 5 of your friends blogs…
The Strategist Notebook Link Addiction Ardour of the Heart When Life Becomes a Book The Malaysian Life Yogatta.com What goes under the sun Roshidan’s Cyber Station Sasha says Arts of Physics And the legend lives My View, My Life A Simple Life What Women REALLY Think Not Much More Than This Jayedee Jenn Beth Christie Marla Cailin Simone FlipFlopMom Katrina Gill’s Jottings Work of a Poet WakelaModern Day GoddessLivin With Me A Simple Life Verb Random Thoughts I’m Running to Win Two Regina’s Family Seasons Lifesong The Laughs Will Go OnMilitary MomTheVasquez3Brik-See-Us Five Dollar Shake , My Three Wisemans , You Better Recognize , Miscellaneous Matters , Opinionated Black Woman, The Happy Go Lucky Bachelor, Slausin-Ass Slaus, Word On The Street, Invisible Woman, Darkbrotha, The Black Actor, The Happy Go Lucky Bachelor, The People Who Could Fly Project , The Luscious Librarian, Sincere Thoughts Urban Science, Black Girl on Mars, The Global South, Brooklyn Circus, She Real Cool,
Planning and Preparing for College Science To Life Young Black Professional Guide Science, Education, and Society Jessie's Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Adventures LiveScience.com blog site

Monday, February 11, 2008

Come on out the weather is nice.

Are Americans Afraid of the Outdoors? I hope not. But that's what recent research on visitation rates of natural areas like national parks has found. Getting outside is good for you. Perfect for exercise, recreation, and nature walking.

But this makes having urban outdoor adventures even more important. Enjoy the nature in your immediate vicinity. Then venture further, to the park, a state park or nature preserve. Notice the variety of plants and animals and the change in landscape. So let's get out there more. Plan a day trip or afternoon outing with friends and family. Need quiet time to yourself? Visit your local natural area for a morning walk or an after work/school unwind.

photo credits: upload.wikimedia.org and http://www.britannica.com/

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Physics is Fun!

I was listening to NPR, (Sunday) Morning Edition and heard this amazing interview with a retired Physics professor, Russell Stannard, who now writes children books about physics. I turned the radio up and listened closely. He wrote books that would not only better relate to youngsters, but also taught them key concepts about theoretical physics. Listen to the show, To the Best of our Knowledge, Program on Future Physics, Segment 3.

The main characters are a little girl and her uncle, Albert Einstein. She has a very active imagination and can actually live out her fantasies of chasing light and visiting black holes. The book series is exciting to science educators because it actually relates true and accurate physics concepts that everyone can understand.

Check the Uncle Albert Books out at your local library or book store. Perfect for youth and adults.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Local actions have global impacts - Urbanization & Global Warming

"Cities are substantive ecosystems in their own right, replete with complex human-environmental interactions and increasing and far-reaching impacts," Grimm and co-authors write.
from the National Science Foundation Press Release on the Effects of Urbanization Extend to the Global Scale

Urban areas have an amazing impact on the environment. On a local scale, we can see how removing forests and laying asphalt and building skyscrapers can change how everything looks. But it also changes the environment itself. The grass and trees are gone. So too are the squirrels, rabbits, insects, and many of the birds. The average temperature changes, because there is no more shade from the trees and no more grass for dew to collect upon. And when it rains, there's no ground to soak it up, it just runs to the nearest drain and disappears from our thoughts. More and more people are living in cities. More land is being converted from natural and agricultural lands to urban purposes (apartment buildings, parking lots, large buildings, factories, etc.)

The world is changing.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Celebrate International Polar Year

Again, continuing with posts that related to this week's Black History Month Feature on Matthew Henson - Arctic Explorer, here is an opprtunity to learn more about Arctic/Polar Ecosystems.

2007-2008 is International Polar Year. Yes, 2 years, one year each to celebrate the unique and important polar ecosystems at each of our world's poles.

For educational activities and ideas, check out their resources for Educators and Students.
Another IPY Website
Educators' Icy IPY Activities
IPY Blogs

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Study at the North Pole

As a follow-up to the Black History Month Feature on Matthew Henson - Arctic Explorer, here is your opportunity to become an Arctic Explorer. (For College Students)


The hands-on "Field Course in Arctic Science" will be offered through Summer Sessions at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the students will have the unique opportunity to travel from the boreal forest in Interior Alaska past the alpine environment of the Brooks Range to the arctic tundra at the Beaufort Sea. The students will learn about the ecology of the arctic and boreal systems through daily lectures delivered by a variety of scientists, active participation in field sampling, and discussions of the relevant science literature. This exciting course will span a broad range of disciplines, including local natural history, fire ecology, snow ecology, plant ecology, invertebrate and mammal biology, carbon budgets, and the implications of a warming climate. The students will gain a firm background in the structure and function of the ecosystems in northern Alaska and become familiar with the tools and techniques useful to ecological field research.

The four-week, 5-credit field course will be taught both at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and at the Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska from May 20 to June 13, 2008. The course is limited to ten advanced undergraduate or starting graduate students. The cost of food at Toolik Field Station, lodging, and travel between the field sites will be covered, and students are expected to pay for in-state tuition and their travel to Fairbanks, Alaska. The students will need to bring all-weather clothing including winter jackets, rubber boots, and a warm sleeping bag.Interested students should submit a current curriculum vitae and a cover letter stating their experience and how the course would benefit them to Anja Kade.

Anja Kade
Alaska Geobotany Center PhD Candidate
anja_kade@yahoo.com phone.907-474-2459 fax.907-474-6967
mailing address:Institute of Arctic Biology, 311 Irving PO Box 757000, Fairbanks, AK 99775

Monday, February 04, 2008

Black History Feature: Matthew Henson - Arctic Explorer

Arctic Explorer and African-American Matthew Henson is considered a great figure in science and history. History records him as the first Black Man to reach the North Pole, along with Robert Peary, and 11 others in that brave expedition. The year was 1909 and they overcame amazing odds against nature to survive the journey and return to document their findings. He is considered a national hero and is buried at Arlington National Cemetary. But a very important science discovery and moment in Black History very well lose all significance and context.

Why? Fewer that 100 years since that team's arrival to the Artic, our generation may actually witness the sad loss of this special and important ecosystem. Arctic (and Antartic Ice) is melting...way too fast. Some researchers sadly predict that the summer Artic ice may be completely gone by 2012, much faster than predictions made only a few years ago. That's only 4 years from now!!! That is alarming. And if you thought that film footage of the exhaused polar bear on Planet Earth was heartbreaking, then get ready to buy more tissues. Polar Bear habitat is at risk..from global warming and human economic activities.

Let's get educated, become aware, and act!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Environmental Health Internship for College Students

Here is perfect opportuntity for students interested in a career in applied environmenal studies....
Collegiate Leaders In Environmental Health: Summer Undergraduate Internship 2008

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) invites qualified applicants to apply for a ten (10) week summer program for in Environmental Public Health at the National Center for Environmental Health /Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) in Atlanta , Georgia . This is a 10 week paid summer internship for undergraduate students passionate about the environment, about health, and about the link between the two—this opportunity is for students majoring in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, or related fields. This is a full time summer opportunity for rising collegiate juniors and seniors to get real-world experience in Environmental Public Health activities at the federal level. Students will assist with projects and be paired with mentors to gain experience in the fascinating field of Environmental Public Health.

Students that are majoring in Environmental Sciences/Studies or related fields are encouraged to visit our website at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/cleh.

Deadline for application: March 4, 2008
Program dates: June 4 -August 8, 2008

For questions concerning this announcement, please contact Cory Moore at CMoore3@cdc.gov

Good Luck!


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Blogging While Brown: the Science Side of things

Partly fueled by vanity, and also my interest and dedication to share science with people of color (ok, that still vanity, cut me slack), I have submitted this site to Villager's Black Blog Ranking (BBR). Urban Science Adventures! (c)wasn't included on the February Ranking list, but I asked Villager what the site's ranking was and they replied back -- #609 out of 761. Hey, that's great news.

I thank YBPGuide for listing this site on the Jan 13 posting about Great Black Blogs and also being included on the rsspect.org lineup. I am truly honored and grateful. Thanks.
I was also checking out other ranking systems like the Black Weblog Awards. They have a Best Science/Technology category. Yeah!! Okay, I'm gonna be picky. Can we see about splitting these categories into 2? Just scanning the BBR and I'm sure there are at least a dozen and a half technology weblogs alone. They deserve their own category. And it looks like science (alone) is burgeoning). It's a great way to showcase Black Blogging talent and intellectual diversity... But honestly, I am glad, very glad there is a category that recognizes science and tech.
Another site is Black Web Awards. I first learned about this ranking site because a distant relative had our family's family reunion site nominated for an award. So I checked to see if there were appropriae categories for sites like this one. I didn't see any categories related to best science site or best education site, heck I didn't see anything about technology or gadgets, either.
There is a Blogging While Brown Conference this summer. Any chance these issues can get hashed out then?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Happy Black History Month - Celebrate Science and African-American Achievements

All year is great time to learn more about science and the people who make the discoveries. But February offers a unique opportuntity to learn about the achievements of African-Americans (and others from the African Diaspora) in the sciences.

In St. Louis, Missouri, the Missouri Botanical Garden has a special George Washington Carver Garden. It is open all year and features a statue in his likeness and presentations about this contributions to botanical, agriculture and plant sciences. In celebration of Black History Month, the world-reknowned institution is hosting Carver Days.

Saturday-Monday, February 16 through 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A three-day weekend of family fun with a focus on George Washington Carver, one of America's great scientists and educators.

Activities include:
Story-telling with KMOV-TV anchor Vickie Newton. Saturday, 11 a.m.
“The ABC’s of George Washington Carver,” where children may ask questions of this famous man. Sunday and Monday at 11 a.m.
“Listening to the Still Small Voice,” an award-winning one-man live performance about Carver’s life. Sunday and Monday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Throughout the weekend:
Visit the “Jesup Wagon,” Carver’s movable school where kids are invited to explore and experiment in Carver’s footsteps.Ride the free shuttle to the Carver Garden (weather permitting).Eat Carver-inspired sweet potato and peanut dishes, available for purchase in Sassafras.

Activities are included with Garden admission. Visit us online for more information.

Check out what your local science center, zoo, conservation area or even area colleges are doing to celebrate Science & African-American Achievements.

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