Naturalist Perspectives Challenge 1: Find a Flowering Plant and a Pollinator

Since there’s still quite a bit in vegetation in bloom at this time of year, your first challenge is to find a flowering plant and at least one pollinator by doing the following.

  1. Pick a flowering plant and conduct observation transect by using it as a starting, mid or end point to your transect. Are there other flowers along this transect? If so, are they members of the same or different species? Note any pollinators you observe.
  2. If you didn’t see any pollinators during your transect, look around the area for them. Or look in a different area. What kind of organisms are they? What are they doing?
  3. In your note book, use inductive and deductive reasoning to further consider what you’ve observed. What can you understand or speculate about the flowers and pollinators and the area they are in with these kinds of reasoning? Give four uses of reasoning, clearly explaining each as inductive or deductive.
  4. In your blog post, share your observations and impressions. Also share your thoughts on what these pollinators might tell you about the area you found them in. Finally, describe your use of inductive and/or deductive reasoning.

Naturalist Perspectives Assignment 1: Observation Transect in Site Alpha

ant-plot-2To start off the Naturalist Perspectives part of our course, please do the following:

  1. Obtain a notebook that you can bring out into the field.
  2. Set up a blog with a blogging service of your choice; as we’ve discussed in class, a blog will be a great way to collect and share your ideas, photos and more. Here are some blogging services that were mentioned in the last class: Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, Squarespace (know of one not mentioned here? tell us about it in the comments section of this blog post).
  3. Share your blog’s web address (URL) in our MyLesley discussion board.
  4. Choose a place that you can regularly visit during the course of the semester that you feel connects you to nature. It should be a place that is safe, where you can spend a periods of time comfortably making observations. We’ll code name this location Site Alpha as a way to easily refer to it.
  5. Sometime this week or weekend, visit your Site Alpha (the place you’ve selected) and take the time to simply use your senses (likely vision, hearing, smell and maybe touch) to just observe for at least 10 minutes. Do not use any technology, do not take any notes. Please use your best judgment to stay safe; please do not touch anything that may seem harmful.
  6. Record your observations, impressions and thoughts in your notebook.
  7. Then perform an observation transect as we discussed in class. Carefully note the path of your transect so that you can carry out the same transect in the future. Record your observations in your notebook. Feel free to collect information with sketches and photos.
  8. Post your description of your observation transect on your blog. Be sure to include enough information and explanation to give us a detailed and thoughtful summary of your transect.


In Class Sept. 13: Phenomenology—observation of the natural world codified

This video by Climate Wisconsin gives us a nice glimpse at the value of phenomenology in our lives and in our society. We’ll springboard off these ideas to work on the Naturalist Perspectives portion of the course.

The Andromeda Strain

astrainposter Today, we’ll start in on the 1971 science fiction film The Andromeda Strain which we’ll watch throughout the semester as a way to consider topics we’ll cover in this course. There’s no need for you to obtain this film (unless you’ve missed part of it in class or would like to review it) but do take note of anything you see in the film that you feel relates to our course.

For 9/15: Choose and Obtain Your Textbook

raven biology 9th ed, coverAs we discussed today in class, you have 3 choices for which textbook you’d like to use for course readings. For next week, please determine which textbook you’d like to use for the semester and get ahold of it.

If you’d like to get a head start on the reading once you’ve got your textbook, read chapter 1; all of our textbooks start with a discussion on science and life.

Welcome to Lesley University CBIOL 1101!

Greetings! This is the blog we’ll be using for CBIOL 1101: Biology 1. Here, information regarding class prep, assignments and more will be posted regularly.

To get us started, what comes to mind when you see this image?

What things in this image are you wondering about? Do you think this is a natural area? Why or why not? What does natural even mean? What connections do you think this scene has to topics in our course?