Stop Spillover

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. U. S. Agency for International Development Emerging Threats Program launched the infectious disease surveillance program PREDICT in 2009. It included teams from more than 60 countries that would survey the world for unknown viruses in animals and assess their risk of causing … Continue reading Stop Spillover

Spillover in the Modern World

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. Human society traded one brand of disease outbreaks for another. In the past, we lacked hygiene, medical infrastructure, and knowledge of what causes disease. Today, we’re better in all three categories, especially in developed countries, but we’re disturbing ecology more and more, … Continue reading Spillover in the Modern World

Spillover

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. We have been slow to learn the role of virus ecology in human health. J.S. Koen, a veterinarian and inspector for the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry in Fort Dodge, Iowa, became unpopular during the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918. He saw … Continue reading Spillover

Book Reflection: American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree by Susan Freinkel

The American chestnut tree, Castanea dentata, was one of the first biological icons to be virtually vacated from an integral position in both the environment and American society. We knew little about accidental imports of exotic species, and the introduction of the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica spurred the discussion and action. I was fascinated with the topic when … Continue reading Book Reflection: American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree by Susan Freinkel

Getting the Facts Straight on Tea: From a Non-Tea Drinker

Supposedly in the United States people consume some 80 billion servings of tea. Depending on the age demographic, an estimated 80-87% of the population regularly have it. On a given day half of those people will have a cup. The country is the world's third largest tea importer and the only Western nation to continually … Continue reading Getting the Facts Straight on Tea: From a Non-Tea Drinker

Soil Food Web

Introduction to Soil Science: The Best Way to Put It

Sometimes I read articles and books or watch documentaries and I always wonder what is the best way to translate what I'm learning. I find most of anything in nature and natural sciences (if you care to split those--I don't, but I understand that they sometimes elicit two different concepts) fascinating beyond measure, like concurrent … Continue reading Introduction to Soil Science: The Best Way to Put It

Beauty of Composting and the Soil Nutrient Cycle

You watch your favorite TV show. The characters discuss a conflict over the dinner table and by the time the argument resolves or exasperates the characters retire to the kitchen. They shovel the left overs of the meal into the trash bin. Perfectly good food. It had the potential to be tomorrow's lunch. Even the … Continue reading Beauty of Composting and the Soil Nutrient Cycle

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Book Reflection: Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin (Part II)

From Part I: Growing, processing, and marketing the food items all in a single region mitigate many of those secondary issues, organic or not. It’s also worth mentioning that labels require hefty fees for each individual product to the government for licensing—fees that your small-scale organic farmer cannot pay for. Part II Do you want to … Continue reading Book Reflection: Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin (Part II)

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Book Reflection: Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin (Part I)

Part I Caution: "Folks, This Ain't Normal" is a thought-provoker. If you are not intellectually qualified to discern fact from ideology and integrate that information into your brain without barfing it out because it challenges conceptions made from incomplete knowledge or pre-existing ideological leanings, you will likely flounder in this book. This is a playful … Continue reading Book Reflection: Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin (Part I)

Free Cornell Lectures at a Computer Near You

I'm not sure what possesses me to search some of the things that I search for on the internet, but one is an exciting discovery and applicable to a studious effort toward the United Nation's International Year of Soils. Cornell Transnational Learning: a YouTube channel offering full lectures of semester courses, symposiums, and forums from Cornell … Continue reading Free Cornell Lectures at a Computer Near You