"For in the end, we will conserve only what we love, love only what we understand, and understand only what we are taught."
Once again, sorry for the severe lack of updating. Updating our personal pages stopped being mandatory, as we were
putting all our thoughts and efforts towards working on the final webpage and presentation. As a class, we re-divided
into different groups, and I was in the webpage group. You can check out the final results at Mission 2006: Final Webpage.
So... this website should be completely updated and ready. From the Course Website, you can
also get to a recording of the final presentation.
For those of you who have been to this website before, you might notice a change in the format and pages. I figured
that since the project was over, there wasn't a whole lot of point in having "current" pages and "old" pages. This
page has been left the same, and I've tried to leave all the pages intact so none of the links are dead. However,
if any of them are dead, the info's all on my page.
Note: grammar and spelling problems from this page are fixed in the info page. Well, they should be.
Apparently my grade falters when I don't update my page. Isn't that sad? So I guess that means I have to add all the
pages that should be on my webpage...
I have notes from "the Bible".
However, what you really should be checking out is the team
website which has been recently updated so that it might actually be helpful. Isn't that awesome? I thought so.
A couple other webpages I've found... Project Amazonas.
Updated current page with info found in the library today. I hate the library, especially when the books and articles
you need just aren't there, and you know they're probably somewhere in the library. Enough whining. What I did find
is summarized on the current page... and will hopefully be appearing somewhere on our team website after the meeting
In class Wednesday, we addressed several issues. In answer to my questions below, we decided to not worry about individual species unless they by themselves are important to the ecosystem as a whole. However, in order to appease society, we are going to look for endangered species that act as "critical" species.
We also decided to just laugh in people's face when they ask us for a minimum area. Then, we're going to explain that for an ecosystem, there is no minimum area. The ecosystem will spread as far as it can, and anything below natural confines will shrink the size of the ecosystem, as well as lower its diversity. However, in order to get some approximation, we decided to try and find the largest range of a single species. In reality, it’s more complicated than that though. According to the CSG Species Accounts, population density for a Jaguar is one per 15 km^2. For a population to be genetically viable, population biologists predict that 500 individuals would have to live on one piece of land. (See Management 3.1.2. That means the jaguar needs 7500 km^2 area to maintain a viable population without any outside assistance. That would be approx. 3000 mi^2.
We also discussed more about indicator species. We're looking into bats and amphibians especially, as they seem to be sensitive to the environment.
For today's class, I put together a list of questions/ideas/etc.
1.To what extent are we trying to preserve the ecosystem? Are we worried about each species, or are we worried about everything put together? If we choose to worry about each species, how can we integrate that into the project, as many species are not currently viable. How do we determine if a species is past the critical point? If we choose to worry only about the ecosystem as a whole, what do we lose? What is the social effect of saying "oh, there's no hope for them." Also, what sort of economic repercussions will that bring?
2. A question brought up in class... what is the minimum area necessary to sustain an ecosystem. There is no plain answer to that. It depends on what we define as necessary, what all we're willing to give up. So should we qualify any answer we give? Can we? Especially since so much depends on conditions surrounding the critical area? How do we deal with that?
3.What else do we need for a template? The one I made seemed, tweakable, so where do we go from here with that?
The new design was put into place, and the current work and old stuff links were updated. Yay for updation!
This website is for MIT's class 12.000, Complex Problem Solving. Our class's mission is to "develop a way to characterize and monitor the well-being of one of the last
true frontiers on Earth – the Amazon Basin rainforest – and devise a set of practical strategies to ensure its preservation." Our class is divided into nine groups, designed to cover the different
aspects of preserving the rainforest.
I'm in group four, fauna. Our group goals are
"As part of Mission 2006's general goal to develop ways to characterize and monitor the well being of the Amazon Basin rainforest and devise methods of preservation,
the Fauna Group will first categorize fauna and develop exemplary case studies. Within each of these studies we will define basic requirements for healthy fauna populations by
identifying appropriate indicators of population health. We will
then proceed to identify threats to the fauna of the rainforest and attempt to develop strategies that will lessen these threats while also developing strategies to monitor fauna population health"
Our basic approach right now rests on the idea that as long there is no more deforestation and the soil, air, and water are kept healthy and happy, the current fauna population will maintain itself.
As this is obviously not correct (i.e. some species are currently on the brink of extinction, and need improved environment to sustain life), it does bring up some problems. Part of the major
decision the fauna group has to make is what we want to conserve. Are we worried about the ecosystem as a whole, or are we worried about individual species?