Happy 5th birthday (yesterday), Fort Collins Museum of Discovery!
The museum’s birthday coincides with International Science Center & Science Museum Day; celebrations included a panel entitled Ecosystem Sustainability: Seeking Solutions through Research.
The panel brought together five scientists from Colorado State University. All five were engaging — I need to learn a lot more about soil, for instance — but Dr. Melissa McHale best captured my attention with her overview of Urban Ecology and Sustainability. Ask Dan, he can tell you I am mildly obsessed with cities… how they work, how they look, sharing economies, you name it. While I could never live in New York City, I would love to study it. Or paint it. Or dissect it.
Dr. McHale considers cities a natural ecosystem — though cities are built by humans, humans are part of the natural world. McHale also has a lot to say about equity. If I have solar panels on my house (and I do), but China is shouldering the pollution and labor of the panels’ creation, am I really contributing toward sustainability? The entire panel, including four speakers, was only an hour long, and thus very high-level — I would have loved to discuss urban sustainability much further. (And maybe I can. CSU’s Natural Resource Ecology Lab has an open-to-the-public International Colloquium coming up, including sessions on Fukushima and citizen science. Strap. Yourself. In.)
P.S. Because it’s hysterical to me, I’ll share this: I installed an SEO plugin on this blog, which provides a “readability score” based on my word choice. It has all but given up on me — it would much prefer I focus on pictures of my kitchen instead of colloquia and urban ecosystems. I choose to take it as a compliment.
One thought on “The science of cities”
I promise I’m not stalking! Just enjoying reading about your move and discoveries!
You should definitely check out my friend Meg’s blog Urban Fort Collins. She’s very interested in all the planning and design decisions that make Fort Collins more and less liveable.