Monday, July 28, 2008

Like to breathe?

Did you know plants help you breathe? How do they do that? The process of photosynthesis helps cycle oxygen through the environment so that we can use it to breathe. You may have heard about that process before. But to understand this process, perhaps you can design a few experiments and with the help of a parent or other mentor, you can figure out what happens in photosynthesis. Plants do many more things than that, but often, people barely see them. For example, people describe a picture of a bee or an elephant, but, in each case, they do not describe the plants. Similarly, people talk about dinosaurs but ignore the plants they had eaten. Not all people, of course, but many.

Today scientist-educators from all over the world, joined the many Canadian and American plant societies at Botany 2008 to discuss the direction of botany in science education. They discussed botanical education, past, present and future, focusing on the direction education will take. Government recommendations and educational standards were also discussed in light of current educational practices in the sciences.

If you are interested in teacher training at your school, or at a scientific meeting, where you can add botanical inquiries, and concurrently teach the required standards, to your teaching repertoire, please send an e-mail to and put Botany 08 in the reference line.

One can use inquiry to find out so many things about plants. Be sure to let us know what experiments you are planning, J

Fungi offer Unique Opportunities

The Plenary Session of Botany 2008, the international botany conference currently going on in Vancouver, BC, Canada, was filled with excitement. Dr. Paul Stamets gave the talk, science highlighted with his personal flair.

The audience continued to talk about the great ideas he presented at a social event where science ideas get exchanged rapidly in a fun way. Many discussions continued long into the night, so stimulated by Dr. Stamets' presentation.

Go to his abstract
or read his works, Mycelium Running, for example. You will learn about fungi that offer unique opportunities.

A problem with ants? No problem. Too many toxic wastes? No problem. Oil spill? What do human hair and fungi have to do with cleaning that up? If you aren't excited yet, you really need to read Stamets. He is giving you ways to save the world and reduce ecological disaster. It's time to step up to the plate. (And if you'd like to contribute to the cause, contact him directly. His work is soooooooo great, you might like to donate a few pennies or a few million to the the ten million dollars needed for starters...but in the meantime, you can see what is available now and you can plant a forest destined to become an old growth forest!) Imagine all your descendants walking through the forest you planted. And, oh yes, you might just find a few tips on how to make your garden grow or how to survive the bird flu pandemic.

Mushroom Books
Mushroom Books
Mushroom Cultivation
Texts, Identification
Guides & More...

Higher Order Thinking Workshop a Success

If you are a school teacher or are concerned at all about science education and you were near Vancouver, I hope you attended. Dr. J S. Shipman led a dynamic group of scientists and educators through activities leading to exciting science lessons...Lessons where students learn, under guidance, how to direct there own science learning. Why is that so important? Because during your lifetime, the world changes and keeping up with new developments in science, or even finding them yourself, can lead to your survival.
. . . TM
An updated version of Bloom's Taxonomy applied in a new way, the H.O.T. Skills Wheel is key to building student confidence in their own ability to think deeply about and be creative in sciences like botany and ecology.
. . . TM
Trying Shipman's H.O.T. Skills Wheel will lead to independent learners who can become great global citizens. Read more here. Contact Dr. Shipman through the, "Read more here," link and then clicking Dr. J's name at that link if you would like to find out more. You can send an e-mail.

Via the internet, participants were also able to connect with the ideas of Dr. Suzanne Kapelari. They had opportunities to try out Plants Cafe, too.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Writing from Vancouver, BC, Canada

July 26 2008
Botany 2008 is underway beginning with workshops and field trips. Updates will be posted as the conference continues.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Program of Assisted Migration—selectively moving Certain Species to New Locations better suited to their Survival

Here's a topic to think about. Use higher order thinking skills, stepping through the six levels as you explore this topic. Write about what you find out. Don't forget to cite your sources.

Source: In the news---Today (left hand column)

Teachers can come to the International Conference!

Teachers are welcome to attend the Botanical Society of America Conferences.

Teachers get a special (affordable) rate for the conference. Perhaps your school will sponsor you. Information on dates of the next two conferences is shown below. however, you can get much more detail at the BSA website:

BOTANY 2008 - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 26 - 30, 2008, Joint meeting with the Canadian Botanical Association-L'Association Botanique du Canada, American Fern Society and American Society of Plant Taxonomists

Note that the H.O.T. Skills Wheel Workshop will be held on Sunday at the conference. There are still a few openings if you would like to attend.

Botany 2009 - Snowbird, Utah, July 25 - 30, Joint meeting with the Mycological Society of America, ABLS, AFS, and ASPT