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Showing posts from February, 2015

Healing Plants Part Two

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Part two of the ethnobotany class healing plant presentations. Lina Lawrence of Pohnpei covered the use of spider lily, Crinum asiaticum, to protect wounds from flies. This use is covered on page 253 of Balick's Ethnobotany of Pohnpei.


As cultural knowledge of their plants is lost, students are likely to turn more often to sources such as Balick's excellent text for material. A decade ago students could ask an elder for something to share with the class. Today the knowledge continues to erode and be lost.


Gordon Loyola of Pohnpei covered the use of ilau, Clerodendrum inerme, to treat pink eye. The juice of the leaf is squeezed into the eye to relief the condition.


Patty Mario of Chuuk spoke of the use of "rho" - roasted copra - to treat facial rashes. Initially she refers to the rash as not being related to a boil, but later she used the word boil. Unclear the exact nature of the rash which rho treats.


Patty Mario presenting.



Brian Mwarike of Chuuk covered the use of…

Island Food Community of Pohnpei visit for the ethnobotany class

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On 25 February the SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class visited the Island Food Community of Pohnpei offices for an introduction to the CHEEF benefits of local food.

Gordon Loyola listens to the presentation
There the students learned that local food is important to the culture, health, environment, economy, and food security of Micronesia.

Elizabeth Augustine takes notes
Local foods promote local cultural practices and traditional  culinary arts. The serving of local foods in traditional manners conserves traditional handicraft forms such as coconut frond plates and baskets. The growing of local food also supports traditional artisanal agricultural practices.

The class was honored with the presence of IFCP Board Vice Chair Moses Pretrick
Local foods are good for the health of the people of Micronesia. Local starches are complex carbohydrates that digest more slowly than rice, this slower rate of conversion to sugar appears to help reduce the risk of developing type II adult onset diabetes. Lo…

071 Search for and rescue the instructor

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On Monday I demonstrated how to turn on a Garmin eTrex GPS unit and to navigate to the screen with the latitude and longitude. On Wednesday I hid at:

The view from my hide was not all that wonderful.


By 12:15 I heard search voices. While not the fastest time, this was still a fairly fast time. The first group to find me had walked the road until the east coordinate, E 158° 09.309', was correct. Tyrone had noticed that the north coordinate, N 06° 54.599, increased along the road - the road is slightly southwest/northeast in orientation. With the north coordinate having climbed to too high a value, Tyrone knew to turn left and lead his group south. Working alongside him was Joemar with a second GPS unit.

Arnold Tawerilfeg
The second group to arrive was led by Lesleena. She led the group west. Once the north coordinate was correct, she then kept the north coordinate constant and walked due west. This route took longer than the road as she was moving cross country, off road. That said…

An exploration of heat conductivity

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Laboratory six explored the conductivity of heat for various locally available materials. The equipment is basic and the results are crude at best, but the laboratory does demonstrate that some materials conduct, some do not, and the conductivity varies with the material and the size of the material.
Vancyleen monitors the time
This is another of those laboratories that I tend to let evolve each term. This term I started a table with times and temperatures on the board. The students naturally followed and many chose to use the same time intervals. The result was a time series for each material. Ultimately the decision was taken to use the temperature out at 12 to 13 minutes, rather than the peak temperature which could have occurred earlier or later in some of the materials.

Marlynn and Vancyleen
At 11:00 I went for a simpler start and peak temperature table. In neither class did I move to the group of pairs phase for discussing chart types, that is something that maybe should be retu…

An introduction to forces

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On Monday I simplified the RipStik demonstration by having a student hold the spring scale while I pulled myself. I did not try to measure the velocity nor acceleration directly. I used force = mass times acceleration to calculate the acceleration.


With a combined mass of 71.1 kg for the RipStik and I, the student saw a force of 40 Newtons. This yielded an acceleration of 0.56 m/s²


On Wednesday I covered Newton's laws from a momentum perspective. On the board above can be seen a calculation using Jereen, seen below, a visitor to the class on Monday.


I finished Wednesday with the yurt circle exercise - the day was sunny and clear. The exercise went well. The Thursday pulley lab went unphotographed. This term I eliminated the single load line pulley and opted to use only multiple line block and tackle set-ups. This eliminated spurious slopes of greater than one.

Pwunso gymnosperms, spice, and timber plants

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On the 17th of February the class visited Pwunso to see, touch, and taste the gymnosperms, spice trees, and timber plants.


Lilina with the leaf of a clove tree.

Elizabeth Augustine


Apparently the female cone of Araucaria columnaris, a rare find that had fallen from atop the tree.


Cinnamomum verum examined by Kohsak and Daryll.


Lilina pulls some of the bark, Gordon on the right.


Lilina, Alexander Kenrad, Patty Mario, John Yilbuw, and Sebastian.


The Mindanao gum tree, also known as the painted gum tree or rainbow gum. Eucalyptus deglupta. Beverly called it "the naked tree."


Miki Fritz with a the Agathis lanceolata, another gymnosperm. The hardened resinous sap smells like pine sol.


Daryll under the Agathis lanceolata - kauri pine.


Miki and Lilina studying what is, for Pohnpei, an unusual tree.


Patty Mario, the class in the field near the allspice trees. Beverly Billy in red on the left.


Lilina, Simon, Darlene, trying to name the Calophyllum inophyllum (ituc, isou, rekich, biyu…