Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It Ends in Rain

The sound of the alarm rang across my floor this morning. My schedule is still being adjusted here and there, but I am pretty sure it will find a balance. I went to breakfast with a couple of friends from my suite and then headed to class after we ate.

Today my agenda was slightly altered since the class needed to use a computer lab. For the first hour and half of the morning, I worked in a group of four to classify spider communities. Thankfully, they were not real araneaes! Our objective was to use the concept of biological diversity through the classification of life forms, in this case spiders. The groups were given packets and in it were pictures with "sites" of little spiders with different shapes, patterns, and sizes. Our task was to make a chart of each different species, use the Simpson's Diversity Index formula to find diversity range, and create a collective curve graph. The task seemed simple enough, however it was actually hard to use the morphological species concept (when organisms look alike then they must belong to the same species) to determine number of species. The different phenotypes (appearances) were not always clearly defined and thus there was a lot of mistakes. My group and I were able to get the job done after splitting up the work and we had to write about which site we would save based on our data. I headed to lunch soon after.

Since my agenda was altered, I only had about an hour of lunchtime. I wanted to see the mid-day activities, so I rushed over to Lerner Hall. I was able to take a small dance lesson taught by one of the RAs. I learned a bit of the "Thriller" dance, by Michael Jackson. It was very enjoyable since I have seen the video many times. Sadly, I could not learn all the steps for class would begin soon.

My class went into the computer lab and since there was only 3 rows of 4 computers, everyone worked with a partner. This time in the lab, our objective was to look at threats to biodiversity. Using The Wold Conservation Union list of species from the Red List of Threatened Species (www.redlist.org) my partner and I searched Turkey and looked up from 12 types of threats to see which one was the greatest. We found that the highest percentage was 74% from "Natural System Modifications". Everyone was required to look up the threats globally too and the highest percentage was 64% from "Biological Resource Use". Other groups did different countries and I will see the comparisons later on.

My afternoon class began at the normal time and we had a lecture based on "threats to biodiversity". One of the interesting estimates that I learned was that approximately 50-150 species are going extinct per day! It is assumed that some have not been identified by scientists. HIPPO G.= Habitat destruction, Invasive species, pollution, poaching,overpopulation, and global climate change. This was one of the ways I was taught to remember types of threats to biodiversity. The lecture went on to go more in depth with each of the topics. I found out that the class will have a final presentation with partners during the last day of school where I shall be the teacher! It will be an interesting day. I left with more homework in hand too.

I met up with the rest of the ILC group and talked to Ms. Lilhanand about the day, which I personally enjoyed more than yesterday's 2 straight lectures. Rain, lightning, and thunder greeted us, but it did not stop me from getting to my dinner! The weather still felt pretty warm too, until it picked up. Later on tonight I shall be taking my suite picture and working on the homework before it grows!


Mrs. L said...

Your class sounds so interesting to me...except for the spiders part, I hate spiders. Given our situation with global warming, your class is so current with the issues you are discussing. I wonder if your professor will discuss the politics of global warming...

It is amazing, and sad, to think that 50-150 species are becoming extinct PER DAY. Just how many species are there anyway?

Jenna said...

Your class does sound like fun i wish i were there(even though i also hate spiders). hehe i was also suprised that 50-150 species were going extinct to. so how many are there any ways?!?!?! i hope you had fun though. when you get home you want to teach me some of the "Thriller" dance?
(how did i guess you would NEVER miss any period of time to eat. hehe well hope you have a great time.(i miss you sooooo much)

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