Friday, March 30, 2007

Out in Oregon

I Was out visiting an old friend in Oregon, and came across this information. I took notice os this forr I know some people that have gotten sick due to the same type of things, back in highschool, in Canton, Ohio.

Arsenic reported in Red Rock Road soil in Sutherlin;

A public health assessment released today by the Oregon Department of Human Services reports an elevated health risk due to arsenic in the soil on the Red Rock Road near Sutherlin.

Red Rock Road is a 17-mile-long railroad grade that runs eastward through part of the city. It was constructed years ago with arsenic- and mercury-contaminated mine tailings, which now are at the surface of some parts of the road.

Residents are invited to a public meeting set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the Sutherlin Community Center, 150 S. Willamette in Sutherlin. State public health officials will be available to discuss and respond to questions about the report.

"People who walk or play on the road have the potential of coming into contact with arsenic in areas where the tailings are exposed at the surface," said Kathryn Toepel, DHS Public Health Division toxicologist.

"Because exposure to arsenic over a long period of time has been shown to cause cancer and other harmful health effects, we recommend that the roadway be cleaned up or capped," said Toepel. "In the meantime, it's advisable for residents to avoid contact with parts of the road where tailings are exposed at the surface."

Toepel said she does not expect residents who have come in contact with Red Rock Road to become sick from arsenic exposure, but that illness is possible if they frequently swallow contaminated soil or soil particles over an extended period.

Because arsenic is found naturally in higher levels in the Sutherlin area, Toepel also recommends that residents who drink from private wells test their drinking water for arsenic.

The complete public health assessment is on the DHS Superfund Web site and can also be reviewed at the Douglas County Library Sutherlin branch at 210 E. Central in Sutherlin or the Roseburg branch, 1409 N.E. Diamond Lake Blvd. in Roseburg.

Information on private well testing can be found at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Web site.

The Sutherlin assessment was developed by the DHS Superfund Health Investigation and Education Program. SHINE, part of the DHS Public Health Division’s work to protect the public from environmental health hazards, assesses risks to Oregonians who live or work near hazardous sites and reports its findings and recommendations.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

America and Global warming

The vast North American continent ranges from the lush sub-tropical climate of Florida to the frozen ice and tundra of the Arctic. Within these extremes are two wealthy industrialized countries with diverse ecosystems at risk. Yet the United States and Canada are two of the largest global emitters of the greenhouse gases that contribute to a warming climate. Examples of all 10 of the "hotspot" categories can be found in this region, including changes such as polar warming in Alaska, coral reef bleaching in Florida, animal range shifts in California, glaciers melting in Montana, and marsh loss in the Chesapeake Bay.

For North America we have many more hotspots than for some other regions of the world, although impact studies have been emerging in larger numbers in recent years from previously under-studied regions. This higher density of early warning signs in the US and Canada is due in part to the fact that these regions have more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change, in part to the disproportionate warming that has been observed over the mid-to-high-latitude continents compared to other regions during the last century, and in part to capture the attention of North Americans who need to take action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Huh, Makes you think doesn't it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Global Warming Speech


According to Gore’s climatespeak, global warming theory can be validated by record cold temperatures just as easily as warmer temperatures. Do most scientists really believe this? In a word, no.

Thousands of scientists worldwide reject Gore’s version of global warming theory. More than 17,000 of them have signed a petition saying no convincing scientific evidence supports the theory of catastrophic global warming, nor is there evidence to link human activities to such warming. You can read the petition for yourself at

These scientists and other global warming skeptics, argued Gore, have all been deceived by an evil force called The Polluters. “They are the targets of a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation lavishly funded by polluters who are determined to prevent any action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, out of a fear that their profits might be affected,” Gore said.

This is more climatespeak. Scientists who feed the climate change scare stand the best chance of collecting the billions of dollars in government grants allocated for global warming research every year, and scholarly journals are more apt to publish their articles. Environmental groups raise billions of dollars each year by featuring global warming in their newsletters and fundraising letters.

Even big energy companies, like Enron, have actively lobbied the federal government to cap greenhouse gas emissions and adopt an emissions credit trading system, because they are well-positioned to earn additional profits from such trading. Some big petroleum companies, like BP and Shell, lobby for greenhouse gas emission caps that would increase the value of their natural gas holdings.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Watch out for That Sun

Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is, at least to humans, an invisible part of sunlight. But as you well know from a sunny day at the beach, it's biologically very active. UV radiation can have severe effects on exposed skin and eyes, cause cancer, weaken immune systems, and affect plants, animals, and ecosystems.

One of the main biological impacts of UV radiation on plants is that it reduces their rate of photosynthesis, the process that plants use to trap carbon dioxide from the air to create sugars for food, releasing oxygen in the process. UV radiation with a short wavelength, called UV-B, is most effective at reducing the photosynthesis rate. This reduced photosynthesis rate can directly affect the plants' ability to grow. Because different species may vary in their sensitivity to UV radiation, this may eventually affect biodiversity and change the structure of an ecosystem.

Although UV radiation has always been present throughout the evolution of earth and life, research is showing that we are now exposed to higher levels of UV because of the thinning of the ozone layer. The ozone layer, a concentration of ozone molecules in the stratosphere, protects us from UV by filtering the sun's radiation. Ozone molecules in this layer are constantly being produced and broken down, but chemicals like halons and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that are used in refrigerators and air conditioners accelerate the breakdown of ozone. As a result, the ozone layer is getting thinner, allowing more UV to reach the earth's surface.

Found this perfect definition of Ultraviolet Radiation:

The UV radiation spectrum can be divided into three bands: UVA, UVB, and UVC.8 Little UVC radiation reaches the earth because it is filtered out by the ozone layer. 8 UVC does not cause a person to tan; however, it may cause some erythema of the skin. 8 UVB penetrates superficially into the epidermis and is the principal cause of sunburn reactions.4, 7 UVB is the wavelength that is mostly associated with inducing skin cancer. 8 UVB has been reported to be responsible for causing more than 90 percent of basal and squamous cell cancers. 4, 7, 9

In contrast to the effects caused by UVB, UVA is responsible for causing a slow natural tan to develop. 8 UVA radiation penetrate more deeply to the dermis of the skin, which can alter the fibers of the skin. 3 UVA may also contribute to the cancer-causing potential of UVB radiation. 3 Sunscreen lotions are more effective in protecting against shorter ultraviolet wavelengths (UVB) than against longer wavelengths (UVA). 10

Definition comes from

1. Satcher, D. “Skin Cancer”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Skin Cancer Prevention Education Program. 1997. [available at]
2. Hurwitz S. “The Sun and Sunscreen Protection: Recommendations for Children.” J Dermatol Surg Oncol 14(6):657-660, 1988.
3. “Don’t Let the Sun Spot You.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last reviewed May 2003. [available at]
4. Nicol NH. “What’s New With Sunscreens? Choices-Choices-Choices.” Pediatr Nurs. 15(4):417-418, 1989.
5. Lewis RM, Fischer RG. “Sunscreen Agents.” Pediatr Nurs. 13(3):200-201, 1987.
6. Council on Scientific Affairs. “Harmful Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation.” JAMA. 262(3):380-384, 1989.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Parasites in Humans

Most people are not aware of the danger to their health posed by parasites; nevertheless, if one looks in the right places, one can find a lot of literature on the subject of parasites and the harmful effects they can produce.

Well over 80% of patients checked have some type of parasite or bacteria and the slight inflammation of the abdomen, and unrelated pains and aches which indicate the presence of parasites.

For instance, in a pamphlet put out by a medical manufacturer in America, we read: “Colon therapy has an anthelmintic action (this means parasites are removed). We find that over 90% of the people we examine in our clinics have some form of parasites. The most common of all are tapeworms. Our skilled technicians report seeing green, brown, grey, yellow and white ones, and various combinations. Patients report seeing pieces of tapeworm in the toilet bowl, varying from a few inches to a few feet. (The longest one reported was 57 inches.) Various other parasites are seen, including hook worms pin worms, whip worms and many other exotic forms. Tapeworms are usually beef, pork or fish variety.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Population Growth

Birth, death, immigration, and emigration rates factor into the growth rate of a population. Two simple models of population growth are the exponential model and the logistical model.

The growth pattern for a population with unlimited resources is exponential and represented by a "J" shaped growth curve. A population that is growing exponentially increases in a geometric pattern (for example, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.). In the formula dN/dt = riN, dN/dt is the rate of change in the number of individuals at any instant in time and ri represents the innate capacity for growth of the population (biotic potential) when in an unlimited environment. Populations that are introduced to a new environment or are recovering from a catastrophic event (such as a fire) usually exhibit "J" shaped growth curves.

Population growth eventually reaches a limit imposed by factors such as light, space, nutrients, or water. Carrying capacity (K) is the maximum number of individuals a particular habitat can support. Growth in a logistical model slows as it approaches the carrying capacity of the environment and forms an "S" shaped growth curve. In reality, populations sometimes will overshoot K, followed by a rapid decline, until conditions for growth are restored.

i know this is very straight and to the point, but thought it would come across better this way. Also if you ever need great site go to It's great for graphs and information. Below are some more references.


Campbell, N. E., & Reece, J. B. (2002). Biology (6th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.
Raven, P. H., & Johnson, G. B. (2002). Biology (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Critical Thinking in Ecology and in all we do.

Human culture is based on cumulative knowledge and belief of critical thinking. The validity of what we think, i.e., our mental models of the world, is largely determined by how we think. Nothing is more basic to civilized progress than these mental models formed by what is knowable or believable.

The quality of our thinking skills and knowledge tools determine how well we think. They create our mental models of reality which, needless to say, are not all the same. How do we acquire the skills and techniques to create and test our mental models? We learn them. From this comes all aspects in life, which we use critical thinking.

In Ecology we use critical thinking, just like in anything else. Take a look at the diagram amd it shows a basic idea of are process in thinking. This is from the article from class. Science ( Ecology) is no differnt. We break down the process and or the thesis of a problem or situation. Then think it out in stages as seen above. That is my outtake on it and if you are intrested in more on Critical Thinking in todays world and Ecology: I left some references below.

Recommended References

Capra, F. From the Parts to the Whole: Systems Thinking in Ecology and Education. Berkeley, CA: Center for Ecoliteracy.

Checkland, P. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. New York: John Wiley & Sones, 1993.

Kauffman, D.L., Jr. Systems 1: An Introduction to Systems Thinking. Minneapolis, MN: S.A. Carlton, 1980.

Kline, S.J. Conceptual Foundations for Multi-Disciplinary Thinking. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995.

National Research Council, Policy Division. Linking Science and Technology to Society’s Environmental Goals. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1996.

Oshry, B. Seeing Systems. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 1995.