Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The God Squad v. ecology

Another paper written for my class:

We humans are very egocentric. We believe we know everything, can control anything, and it is our divine duty to conquer all. However, Mother Nature has the upper hand. From the space between electrons to beyond the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere, many connections exist in the ecological web that humans are unaware of. It is only through our actions do we learn of these connections and sometimes the actions are irreversible and negative in consequence.

Aldo Leopold is a typical human who made a bold statement towards the eradication of predators. The vicious furry buggers were in direct competition for resources that humans desired. By eliminating the competition, more deer and elk will be available for human consumption. This direct linear thinking of predator-prey dynamics is an example of human’s narrow vision and ignorance of the interconnected environment.

The article “Linking Wolves and Plants” exemplifies a terrestrial context of trophic cascades and tangent impacts to the environment. In my graduate study at UI, my research is focused on aquatic ecology; specifically a keystone zooplankton species and its role in nutrient cycling, water clarity, and trophic influence. I have read articles on ecology and trophic cascades by Pace, Paine, Carpenter, and many other important scientists. Even in the “isolated” context of a lake, the boundary between the biological and physical worlds is not defined. Every year, new knowledge is obtained and every year that knowledge is contested. Even in the scientific world, earth systems are not certain and humans continue to make mistakes.

As for management of a species or ecosystem, we strive to do our best with what little understanding we have. The most difficult part is determining the most direct holistic goal of any management activity. This includes natural systems and human interests, neither of which coincide.

Back to wolf reintroduction. In the mid 1990’s I was all for wolf reintroduction. Bring back the natural balance that our human fears destroyed! Screw the ranchers! Wolves were here first. This na├»ve view from an urban idealist has been challenged. What a better challenge than one that impacts personal ego. Two years ago, while working on the Payette National Forest, my dog and I encountered a wolf. 20 Linear feet above the road on the cut bank was a beautiful gray wolf staring down at my dog. I yelled, my dog returned to me, the wolf strolled up over the ridge.

I still today question how I fit in the wilderness with a four legged companion. However, it still boils down to my idealist view of preserving the natural wilds for what they provide to Mother Earth’s complex design. Let them (predators) come. Let us stop trying to interfere.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blue Green in Willow Creek

For those of you who may be interested in where and what I am doing for my graduate research, here is a short video of a wonderful cyanobacteria bloom in Willow Creek Reservoir. Video taken in September 2009.

The object out there is the long distance circulation machine. I(S) wOuLd put the nA(R)me of the machine But big brothE(E)r is watching and I do not need another notice to the superiors of my blogging (see prior post January 20 2009).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend..cold in McCall

This weekend was packed full of fun.
Saturday, Molly, Henry, Marius and I went to McCall.
On the way we hiked Rapid River. The dogs swam a bit in the cold clear water. We only encountered one couple with a dog. I picked this trail for the scenery and by staying in the canyon, we could avoid most of the hunters. It was opening weekend for Elk season.

After Rapid River, we went to McCall for the Cultural Day festival, hiked a little bit on Brundage Mountain, at at Crusty's Pizza, and finished the evening off at Gold Fork Hotsprings.

The next morning included breakfast at FoggLifter Cafe. Mmmm good coffee.
(Southwest: Wallowa Mtns, and Seven Devil Mtns)
On the return drive, we detoured to the Heavens Gate lookout. What a view of the area. To the north was Craig Mountain and the Camas Prairie, the East was the Salmon River Canyon and many jagged peaks in Salmon River Mountians, the south was Rapid River and the start of the Seven Devils, the WEst was Seven Devils, Wallowa mountains, and Hells Canyon.
(Northwest: Hells Canyon)
I love the beauty of Idaho.
(East: Salmon River Canyon)
I returned to Moscow with two lumps of Crusty's pizza crust and two growlers of beer from the Salmon River Brewery in McCall. Highly recommend both places should you ever be in the area.

I must mention, the temperatures were high of 10' Celsius to low of 10' Celsius. Had to use metric for the Norwegian guest. For those who are not in science or used to internationally recognized units, interpret it as really cold.

Monday, October 5, 2009

AZ video

I have been getting into video making since I did one for a class project. This phase soon will pass. There is much work to do for school.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I have been tagged.

Where's your cell phone: pocket
Your hair: thinning
Your mother: packrat
Your father: geek
Favorite Food: bacon
Dream last night: anxiety
Favorite drink: juice
What room are you: bedroom
Where were you last night: home
Something that you aren't: tall
Muffins: poppyseed
Wish list item: FinancialFreedon
Where did you grow up: Illinois
What are you wearing: REdANtsPAnts
Your pets: neurotic
Friends: Biatches!
Something you're not wearing: makeup
Favorite store: hardware
Favorite color: green
Last time you laughed: morning
Best friend: supportive
Place you go to over and over: work
Person who emails you regularly: cindyD
Favorite place to eat: Mikeys Gyros

one word answers
pass it on...

I tag Gina..