Showing posts from January, 2019

Monilophyte and lycophyte hike

As I have the past couple of terms, I used an eastern start to to the hike. Mosses with sporophytic structures and Davallia pectinata are intermingled there. Of note is that the following two images are from the same combination seen at South Park. Find a tree with sporophytic moss and you will also likely find Davallia pectinata perhaps. Start was perhaps a couple minutes late as I handled some  academic support for Schoology.

The Davallia pectinata at South Park included fertile fronds. I noted that the fertile fronds produced spores as part of the reproductive cycle of ferns and that group seven would be describing this cycle to the class on Thursday. Throughout the walk I related plants to the group that would be responsible for covering that plant. The assignment of presentation groups ahead of the walk makes this possible.

Davallia solida on a tree east of A101

Microsorum scolopendria, fertile frond. Frond shape is lobed.

Davallia pectinata and Lemmaphyllum accedens

Asplenium ni…

Linear motion

Linear motion began as I began fall 2018, by pre-marking a 30 meter stretch of sidewalk at three meter marks. The shift to meters was documented as being helpful fall 2018.

A failed attempt at a selfie while riding the RipStik: forgot to switch to the front camera
I intentionally came in slow with no acceleration on the downhill from the LRC, using gravity only. I then did a slow swizzle to offset the slowing effect of the flat portion of the sidewalk.

This yielded a very slow 1.53 meter per second run, and the linearity was excellent. Note that with a slope near one, the graph axes do not have to be "desquared" - basic screen "pinching" shows the graph. The use of centimeters prior to fall 2018 proved problematic - students inevitably obtained what appeared to be a vertical line on the y-axis because the distance was in thousands of centimeters (as in 3000 cm!) and the time was on the order of two seconds or less.

Wednesday remains a challenge, the segue to the lab…

Banana patch weed whacking and identification

The banana patch is simply the best demonstration garden for aggressive invasive species that Palikir has to offer. Clidema hirta, Cheilocostus speciosus, and Spathodea campanulata are the primary invasives. Shade tolerant, aggressive, and possibly allelopathic.

Kayleen surrounded by Clidemia hirta
This particular activity serves the Agriculture and Natural Resource Program learning outcome number two, students will be able to demonstrate basic competencies in the management of land resources and food production. This program learning outcome is served by course learning outcome number three, students will be able to demonstrate basic field work competencies related to management of culturally useful plant resources and foods. Which is the case of the class today was banana plants.

Nayme cleaning a banana tree

The invasives and lack of regular visits by the class inveigh against consistent production
Mailyn, surrounded by invasive species, proved capable with a machete
Mailyn a…

Mars and Murrie Milk Chocolate Statistics

For a sixth term the MS 150 Statistics course began with a problem solving open data exploration leading to a presentation. The exercise effectively flips the role of the students from that of being students in a class to that of being statisticians reporting on their statistical findings. This shift allows the instructor to begin the second week of class by saying, "I know you already know how to calculate statistics and make charts..." This gives the students an early sense of success and a sense that they can succeed in the course.

Students starting work on their MMs
For fifteen years the statistics course started with gathering data on body metrics and then launching into a lecture driven course. In 2008 I added statistics projects to the lecture and test mix in an attempt to both increase student engagement with statistics and to integrate more writing into the course. The statistics projects did not result in increased student engagement with statistics.

In 2013 the exp…

Beginnings with the density of soap

Beginnings are perhaps the single most important moment in a relationship. The complication with starting off day one with a community building exercise in a collegiate class - unlike the scenes shown in movies - is add/drop. For the first three days the class role is an unstable and shifting field of play, with students appearing on and disappearing from the role. Last spring I had opted to do an introduction to physical science and that the mathematics underneath a system explains the system - juggling stationary versus juggling on a RipStik produced parabolic arcs of different widths to an external observer, but the quadratic nature of the mathematics remains the same.]

Fall 2018, however, introduced new 50 minutes class periods (class periods have been 55 minutes since I came on board in 1992). There was still the requirement to be met of introducing the syllabus, and, in the wake of the adoption of Schoology January 2018, I also distributed a tech websites and apps handout aimed …


The southwestern ethnogarden was still in relatively good shape at the start of this term. so I opted to start the class in the Haruki cemetery area and introduced the class to the plants in the cemetery before moving over to the ethnogarden to the east of the cemetery. I noted that the cemetery gets cleaned up only on the week of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.

Cleaning up around the Senna alata
On the left Senna alata, on the right Jasminum sambac
Cleaning around the Cymbopogon citratus
Jacqueline hand pulls the Ischaemum polystachyum (paddle grass)

The class is large this term - 27 at the start. There were more hands than space in which to deploy those hands. There was a fair amount of standing around, but that was for a lack of tasks to be done and not idleness.