Of any topic we can ask these questions:
...and very often the underlying question is: how do we find out more about...
- ?how does it work?
- ?what's its current state?
- ?what's its trajectory?
- ?cui bono?
- ?who decides?
We have a pretty good range of powerful tools for information-finding, among them:
Demography is a basic building block for what we'll be doing.
- Annie, which ought to be the first place to look.
Pimm's book carries a single Library of Congress Subject Heading: 'Environmental degradation'. What else do we have in the library that falls within that LCSH? more than 50 books... including such polar opposites as Julian Simon's Hoodwinking the nation (Leyburn GE40 .S55 1999) and Edward Flattau's Tracking the charlatans : an environmental columnist's refutational handbook for the propaganda wars (Science GE197 .F541 1998).
- various electronic databases, including
- Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, which includes the three parts (1) Medical and Biological Sciences, (2) Environment, and (3) Social Science
- Web of Science, a citation index that can help you figure out the influence of an article (1996 to present)
- Annual Reviews, a large collection of titles that contain secondary ('review') articles (Ecology & Systematics, Energy & Environment, others)
- Science 1996-present and Science 1880-1996 --arguably the premier American scientific journal. See The Origin and Control of Pandemic Influenza (Laver and Garman, from the 7 Sept 2001 issue) for an example of an Enhanced Perspective, or Sustainability Science (Kates et al., from the 27 April issue), and note that the site links to a variety of other resources, including a "find more like..." feature.
- many of the current periodicals in the Science Library offer online full text. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is especially noteworthy. Example: Hypsographic demography: The distribution of human
population by altitude (Joel E. Cohen and Christopher Small, Vol. 95, Issue 24, 14009-14014, November 24, 1998)
- ...and of course there's the Web.
- Historical trajectories
- exponential growth? WHY? B>D ...but how and why? ==> 'demographic transition' (see exponential and logistic applets and demographic transition)
- Individual events: Birth, Death, Marriage, Migration
- Population processes: Fertility, Mortality, [Mobility] ==> CBR, GFR, TFR; causes of death; push and pull
- Population structure: sex and age (see population pyramids)
- Population projections (see PRB World Population Data Sheets)
- spatial distribution (see CIESIN gridded population and The Night Sky)
ArcView introduction, metaphor and bare bones (vector GIS) using p:/leblanc/11sept.apr
...and beginning to think about Projects:
Each participant will select a geographical region (which may be large or small, but should be clearly delimitable, and should be negotiated with the
instructors) and use available information resources to explore and analyze its past history and present situation as a locus of anthropogenic
change. The final product of this research will be a suite of Web pages introducing the region, including maps and an annotated guide to information
resources for the region. We expect that work on projects will be continuous through the term, and will be reflected in Web pages, including (1) an
ongoing log file and (2) material related to topics discussed in class. The instructors will monitor evolving Web pages, and will review and grade
progress in mid-October and mid-November.
?Making Web pages?