Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2012

Environmental Message

Near Denham Leanto,
Catskill Mountains, New York
September 2007
photo by Tony Del Vecchio

.

In line with the themes of the Spring Term — Global Warming and Environmental Devastation — an effort has been made to reduce the amount of paper necessary to conduct the class. Transcripts, assignments, and other material can all viewed in real time via the website using smart phones, tablets, or PCs and can also be saved as PDF files. Expository writing is done directly online. 

Of course, written tests, unfortunately, still have to be done in class on old-fashioned paper. 

Presentations, however, can be done on Power Point (just send me the file and trasncript).

Just one small way to reduce the deforestation that threatens the planet.

Tony

.

.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Standing Homework

.

Upon viewing any class documentary film, students will always:

1)    Read the related transcript on the website. Save the PDF file to your computer and/or smart phone. (Bring one or the other to class, by the way.)

2)    Look up any unknown vocabulary. Consult with me during class or via email if you need clarification or help with any of these words, or with any aspect of grammar or language usage from the transcripts.

3)    Obtain the Worksheet questions for the part of the documentary we just watched. Print out the worksheet and complete by writing the answers to each question in longhand. Bring the completed worksheet to class and we’ll go over the answers. (If you’re absent and miss the video viewing, print out the appropriate Worksheet from the website and complete by using the transcript.) You’ll need to know this material for the tests, so make sure you get the answers. If you miss a class, review your answers with one of the other students who did attend, or talk to me before or after class and I’ll go over any questions you might have.

4)    Write comments on the documentary part we watched directly on the website in the “Leave a Reply” section under the correct transcript. Briefly write about your thoughts, reactions, and insights into the section of the DVD you viewed.

• What impressed you about what you saw?

• Did it affect your thoughts or views on the subject matter the filmmaker looked at?

• Do you have any strong feelings one way or another on any part of what you viewed? Discuss.

Length = AT LEAST 150 words.

DEADLINE: TUESDAY EVENING AT 11:59:59 PM. COMMENTS RECEIVED AFTER THE DEADLINE BUT BEFORE WEDNESDAY, 11:59:59 PM (i.e., WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE DEADLINE), WILL ONLY RECEIVE HALF POINTS. COMMENTS RECEIVED AFTER THAT WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY POINTS WITHOUT A VALID EXCUSE (HOSPITALIZATION, DEATH IN THE FAMILY, ETC.) AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION. HOWEVER, ALL HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE END OF THE TERM, EVEN IF SUBMITTED LATE, IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THE COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND RECEIVE A PASSING GRADE.

 

To leave a comment:

1) Go to “Categories”

HW1

2) Click on the documentary part you’re commenting on

HW2

3) Click on the title

HW3

4) Scroll to the bottom of the transcript and write your comment in the “Leave a Reply” section

NOTE: BE SURE TO WRITE YOUR FULL NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS (UNIVERSITY EMAIL ADDRESS OKAY). EACH NEW EMAIL ADDRESS MUST BE APPROVED, SO THE FIRST TIME YOU USE AN EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WILL SEE A MESSAGE “COMMENT AWAITING MODERATION,” AND YOUR COMMENT WILL NOT APPEAR UNTIL I APPROVE IT. AFTER THE FIRST TIME, HOWEVER, YOUR COMMENT WILL COME UP IMMEDIATELY (UNLESS YOU CHANGE EMAIL ADDRESS, IN WHICH CASE I HAVE TO APPROVE IT AGAIN).

 

NOTE WELL: HOMEWORK IS NOT OPTIONAL. FAILURE TO COMPLETE ALL REQUIRED HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS MEANS THAT:

That is all!

.

.

Read Full Post »

Atmosphere

The mixture of gases surrounding the Earth. The Earth’s atmosphere consists of about 79.1% nitrogen (by volume), 20.9% oxygen, 0.036% carbon dioxide and trace amounts of other gases. The atmosphere can be divided into a number of layers according to its mixing or chemical characteristics, generally determined by temperature. The layer nearest the Earth is the troposphere, which reaches up to an altitude of about 8 km (about 5 miles) in the polar regions and up to 17 km (nearly 11 miles) above the equator. The stratosphere reaches to an altitude of about 50 km (31 miles) and lies above the troposphere. The mesosphere extends up to 80-90 km and is above the stratosphere, and finally, the thermosphere, or ionosphere, gradually diminishes and forms a fuzzy border with outer space. There is very little mixing of gases between layers.

Carbon Dioxide

A greenhouse gas emitted through the burning of fossil fuels by humans. It is also formed naturally by the combustion and decomposition of organic substances and is absorbed by photosynthesis of plants.

Carbon Footprint

A measure of carbon dioxide emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, usually expressed in tons. The U.S.’s carbon footprint is 5.8 billion metric tons.

Climate

The average weather (usually taken over a 30-year time period) for a particular region and time period. Climate is not the same as weather, but rather, it is the average pattern of weather for a particular region. Weather describes the short-term state of the atmosphere. Climatic elements include precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and hail storms, and other measures of the weather.

Deforestation

The change of forested lands to non-forest uses. This is often cited as one of the major causes of the enhanced greenhouse effect for two reasons: 1) trees that are burned or decompose release carbon dioxide; and, 2) trees that are cut no longer remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Drought

A period of abnormally dry weather long enough to cause serious shortages of water for agriculture and other needs in the affected area.

Ecosystem

The complex of a community of organisms and the community’s environment functioning as an ecological unit.

Environment

The complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism (a living thing) or an ecological community (a collection of living things) and ultimately determine its form and survival. The circumstances, objects, and conditions that surround each of us.

Fossil Fuel

A general term for a fuel that is formed in the Earth from plant or animal remains, including coal, oil, natural gas, oil shales, and tar sands.

Glacier

A very large body of ice moving slowly down a slope or valley or spreading outward on a land surface.

Greenhouse Effect

The effect produced as greenhouse gases allow incoming solar radiation to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, but prevent most of the outgoing infrared radiation from the surface and lower atmosphere from escaping into outer space. This process occurs naturally and has kept the Earth’s temperature about 60 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it would otherwise be. Current life on Earth could not be sustained without the natural greenhouse effect. We amplify or enhance the natural greenhouse effect when we load the atmosphere with an excess of greenhouse gases. Usually, the term “greenhouse effect” is used to refer only to the amplified greenhouse effect and not to the natural greenhouse effect.

 

Greenhouse Gas

Any gas that absorbs infra-red radiation in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), halogenated fluorocarbons (HCFCs), ozone (O3), perfluorinated carbons (PFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Global Warming

Although sometimes used interchangeably, technically global warming is not equivalent to the greenhouse effect. Instead, global warming is the result of the greenhouse effect. It is the warming of the planet’s atmosphere. Natural global warming is a result of the natural greenhouse effect and is what makes the planet hospitable to life.

Habitat

The place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows.

Infrared Radiation
That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that extends from the long wavelength, or red, end of the visible-light range to the microwave range. Invisible to the eye, it can be detected as a sensation of warmth on the skin, i.e., heat.

Industrial Revolution

A rapid major change in an economy marked by the general introduction of power-driven machinery or by an important change in the prevailing types and methods of use of such machines.

Methane

Colorless, odorless, flammable hydrocarbon (CH4) that is a product of decomposition of organic matter and of the carbonization of coal. Methane is one of the greenhouse gas chemical compounds.

Precipitation

Rain, hail, mist, sleet, snow or any other moisture that falls to the Earth.

Solar Radiation

Energy from the Sun. Also referred to as short-wave radiation. Of importance to the climate system, solar radiation includes ultraviolet radiation, visible radiation, and infrared radiation.

Weather

Weather is the specific condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time. It is measured in terms of such things as wind, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloudiness, and precipitation. In most places, weather can change from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate is the average of weather over time and space. A simple way of remembering the difference is that ‘climate’ is what you expect (e.g., cold winters) and ‘weather’ is what you get (e.g., a blizzard).

Download PDF here:

Climate Change Vocabulary

.

Read Full Post »

Spring Term – Global Warming & Environmental Devastation

Week 1

• Course Introduction

• Brainstorming and Discussion on Global Warming

Week 2

• Earth Day Quizzes (not for credit)

• Obtain: Climate Change Vocabulary (via website)

Week 3

• Documentary Viewing: An Inconvenient Truth – Part I

• Obtain: An Inconvenient Truth – Part I transcript (via website)

• Worksheet: An Inconvenient Truth – Part I (via website)

Week 4

• Climate Change Vocabulary Quiz

• Review and Discussion: An Inconvenient Truth – Part I Worksheet

• Documentary Viewing: An Inconvenient Truth – Part II

• Obtain: An Inconvenient Truth – Part II transcript (via website)

• Worksheet: An Inconvenient Truth – Part II (via website)

Week 5

• Review and Discussion: An Inconvenient Truth – Part II Worksheet

• Documentary Viewing: An Inconvenient Truth – Part III

• Obtain: An Inconvenient Truth – Part III transcript (via website)

• Worksheet: An Inconvenient Truth – Part III (via website)

Week 6

• Review and Discussion: An Inconvenient Truth – Part III Worksheet

• Group Assignment: Clean Ideas Activity Preparation

Week 7

• In-class Activity: Clean Ideas Activity Presentations

• Review for Mid-Term Evaluation

Week 8

• Mid-Term Evaluation

Week 9

• Documentary Viewing: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part I

• Obtain: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part I transcript (via website)

• Worksheet: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part I (via website)

Week 10

• Review and Discussion: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part I Worksheet

• Documentary Viewing: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part II

• Obtain: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part II transcript (via website)

• Worksheet: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part II (via website)

• Explanation of upcoming Written Evaluation

Week 11

• Review and Discussion: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part II Worksheet

• Documentary Viewing: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part III

• Obtain: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part III transcript (via website)

• Worksheet: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part III (via website)

• Final Presentations Assignment – Group Formation/Topic Selection

Week 12

• Review and Discussion: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Part III Worksheet

• Group Activity: In-class preparation for Final Presentations

• Review for Final Evaluation

Week 13

• Written Evaluation: An Inconvenient Truth and An Inconvenient Sequel

• Group Activity: In-class preparation for Final Presentations

Week 14

• Final Presentations; Class Q & A

Week 15

• Final Presentations; Class Q & A

 

.

Fall Term – Nuclear Proliferation and Nuclear Energy

Week 1

• Fall Term Introduction

• Nuclear Threat Awareness Quiz

• Handout: Nuclear Scavenger Hunt

Week 2

• Review of Nuclear Scavenger Hunt vocabulary and terms

Week 3

• Nuclear Terminology Quiz

• Documentary Viewing: Atomic Cafe – Part I (to :27)

• Obtain: Atomic Cafe Transcript (via website)

• Handout: Atomic Cafe Worksheet – Part I (via website)

Week 4

• Review and Discussion: Atomic Cafe Worksheet – Part I

• Documentary: Atomic Cafe – Part II (to 1:01:20)

• Handout: Atomic Cafe Worksheet – Part II (via website)

Week 5

• Review and Discussion: Atomic Cafe Worksheet – Part II

• Documentary: Atomic Cafe – Part III (to End)

• Handout: Atomic Cafe Worksheet – Part III (via website)

Week 6

• Review and Discussion: Atomic Cafe Worksheet– Part III

• Atomic Café – Questions for Review (Preparation for presentations)

Week 7

• Atomic Café – Questions for Review (Small group presentations)

Week 8

• Atomic Cafe Test

Week 9

• Nuclear Power Warm-up Quizzes

• Documentary Viewing: Frontline – Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown – Part I (to :30)

• Obtain: Frontline – Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown transcript (via website)

• Handout: Frontline – Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Worksheet – Part I (via website)

Week 10

• Review and Discussion: Frontline – Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Worksheet – Part I

• Documentary Viewing: Frontline – Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown – Part II (to End)

• Handout: Frontline – Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Worksheet – Part II (via website)

Week 11

• Review and Discussion: Frontline – Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Worksheet – Part II

• Assignment: Final Presentation – Group Formation/Topic Selection

• Handout: Nuclear Power – Questions for Discussion

Week 12

• Nuclear Power – Questions for Discussion

Week 13

• Frontline – Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Quiz

• Group Activity: Preparation for Final Presentations

Week 14

• Final Presentations: Class Q & A

Week 15

• Final Presentations: Class Q & A

 

.

Download PDF file of this page here:

Course Syllabus: Global Challenges for the 21st Century | ~~ meigaku-global-challenges ~~ (meiji gakuin university)

.

Read Full Post »

This course will look at contemporary issues facing humankind in the 21st Century. The modern world is at a crossroads and solving significant problems facing the international community — such as addressing climate change and environmental devastation, stemming nuclear proliferation, and developing alternative energy sources — should be of particular interest to all university-age students. The primary focus of the course will be on the global content, with various linguistic skills taught to improve meaningful communication. Students enrolled in the course will be engaged in a wide range of activities covering the four skill areas — listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Specific activities will include documentary film viewing and analysis, intensive reading, in-class debates and presentations, and expository writing, with help from the teacher as to how to accomplish these activities effectively. Through the class website, students will be assigned background reading and research activities to increase their knowledge and confidence about the topics and to provide a solid basis for class work. The website will also be used for students’ comments and opinions about the topic and to provide a means of ongoing communication between the students and the teacher.

.

Read Full Post »