On Saturday afternoon, several Kansas City Wildlands volunteers (myself included) braved the frigid temperatures and helped lots of local families chop down their own invasive native cedar Christmas trees. Despite temp's in the single digits, we had a great turnout and were able to raise a respectable amount in donations for Kansas City Wildlands, a non-profit program under Bridging the Gap that works to protect, maintain and restore the wild areas in the KC metro area. These trees are native to the area but they tend to out-compete the rest of the natural vegetation, especially in prairies and grasslands, so they need to be culled out occasionally. And what better time than the Christmas season to chop down cedar trees!
Monday, December 2, 2013
All Souls Universalist Unitarian Church about the evolution of altruism yesterday morning (to be broadcast on KKFI 90.1 at noon next Wednesday). But after that, I went to Arrowhead stadium with some friends and witnessed a heartbreaking Chiefs loss to their Division rivals, the Denver Broncos. At every other game I've been to this season, we've been celebrating and giving high-fives to strangers on our way out to the car. This time, however, we were all hanging our heads. We've got four more games to go, though; so we should end this season at 13-3!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Last Thursday, my Biotechnology class and I toured Cerner's world headquarters (pictured below), and then I headed to the airport to catch a flight to New Orleans for the National Collegiate Honors Council's annual conference. I was accompanied by two outstanding honors students and officers on our Honors Student Association Executive Board. One of these students (Josh Goralski, pictured) presented a talk about the Executive Board's efforts to "put the 'fun' in honors fundraising" by working shifts at exciting events like the Warrior Dash and Color Run. We also had some obligatory French-Quarter time and Nick and Josh experienced real Cajun food, including multiple trips to Cafe du Monde for beignets. And, of course, we returned feeling inspired and motivated to improve our honors program with ideas we gleaned from the conference sessions. Good times.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Last weekend, the majority of the Biology Department, myself included, attended the Association of College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE) annual conference in Indianapolis. I served on a panel about program assessment with Drs. Laura Salem and Chris Wills, and presented a talk about our Biology Field Trip Abroad to Peru (see earlier posts). We were exhausted when we returned, but now we get to relax a bit since we are currently on Fall Break! Pictured below are Dr. Janet Cooper presenting a talk about course assessment and an activity we did using pipe cleaners to reconstruct phylogenetic (evolutionary) trees.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Project Amazonas, Inc., is the non-profit organization with whom we worked during our Biology Field Trip Abroad course to the Peruvian Amazon in May of this year. Their September newsletter just came out, and our group is featured (see below)! We worked closely with Dr. Devon Graham (President of Project Amazonas and pictured below) and his amazing staff while at Madre Selva Field Station and in Iquitos. Reading the newsletter really makes me want to go back to the jungle!
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Saturday morning I went to watch our Engineering students demonstrate the Rube Goldberg machines they had built under the direction of Dr. Mairead Greene (Math and Physics Department). If you don't know what one is, think back to the Mousetrap game from when you were a kid; or, better yet, check out the OK Go video for "This Too Shall Pass." These students did a phenomenal job with their machines (pictures of two of them below) and it was a lot of fun to see them in action.