Blog themes

Intro: post by Friday 9/7 before class. Write something about you and your understanding of sustainability. Include a picture of you and a hyperlink.

Week 1: on numbers, units and measurement related to carbon dioxide. Post by Tuesday 9/11, comment by Thursday 9/13.

Week 2: Water. Here are a few directions but feel free to explore more. Animal/Crop water needs: Give an example of water consumption by one type of livestock or one type of crop. Water waste: Give an example of water waste (in U.S. or other countries). Make suggestions for reducing water waste and quantify the amount of water that could be saved. Bottled water: Why is bottled water so popular? Estimate the bottled water consumption each day on Union College campus. Estimate the amount of oil to produce these plastic bottles and to ship the water here. Post by Sunday 9/16, comment by Tuesday 9/18.

Week 3: Find graphs or charts related to sustainability. Explain in details what the graphs or charts represent, show, measure, or tell, and what data are used. Helpful sources on types of graphs: Data Visualization 10144 Types of GraphsPost by Sunday 9/23, comment by Tuesday 9/25.

Week 4: Explore social justice issues on local or global scales. Helpful source: RadicalMath. Gather your data and create your own graphs. Examples:

  • Educational access, funding, testing, achievement gaps
  • Housing, gentrification, homeownership
  • Poverty, minimum/living wage, sweatshops
  • Prisons, racial profiling, death penalty
  • Public health, health care and insurance
  • Race, class, gender
  • Welfare

Post by Sunday 9/30, comment by Tuesday 10/2.

Week 5: Quantify changes and understand growth and decay. Explore your own topics on sustainability. Find examples and make sure to address/calculate increase or decrease, growth factor or decay factor, total change, percentage change, rate of change, linear growth or exponential growth or other. Post by Sunday 10/7, comment by Tuesday 10/9.

Week 6: Alternative energy sources. Take one possible source of non fossil-fuel based energy and discuss it from the (global or local) perspectives of economy (cost), feasibility (how near are we to commercial-level application), energy return on energy invested, plant lifetime, distribution mechanisms, long-term sustainability, and so on. Examples of energy forms:

  • Solar photovoltaic
  • Solar thermal
  • Wind energy
  • Wave energy
  • Tidal energy
  • Hydro-electric
  • Nuclear fission
  • Nuclear fusion
  • Geothermal
  • Biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel)
  • Wood

Helpful sources: Sustainable Energy (calculations about renewable energy); Do the Math. Post by Sunday 10/14, comment by Tuesday 10/16.

Week 7: Ideas for “Presidential Green Grants(<$2,000) orGreen Fee($2,000-$25,000). Post by Sunday 10/21, comment by Tuesday 10/23.

Week 8: Video – My sustainability action (in 30 seconds or less). This has to be your action. Make sure to include in the video mathematical content to support your action. To add a video, choose “+ New Media”. Add a title to your post.

A few very short videos were posted on the course site to help you get ideas but don’t feel constrained. Post by Sunday 10/28, comment by Tuesday 10/30.

Week 9: Mathematics, Sustainability and Global Learning. This post can be drawn from your writing. Please do not copy paste the full text. You may address all three aspects of global learning (global awareness, global perspective and global engagement), or just focus on one. Make sure to include mathematical content. Post by Sunday 11/4, comment by Tuesday 11/6.