Wednesday, May 29, 2013


During Tuesday's Biology classes, students were asked to complete a worksheet based on the video 'Cracking the Code of Life.'  The video viewed in class, and thus the handout based on it, can be viewed on-line here:

There is an entire PBS-sponsored web site to accompany this program. It's truly excellent, and since I can't show the entire program within a regular class. I can, however, assign a segment of it along with Section 14.3 of our text to help students understand the material and complete the worksheet. So, read that section, watch video segments 4-8 and complete your work, students!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Seniors:   Your take-home final was given out in class TODAY (Tuesday, May 28th).
It is due tomorrow (Wednesday, May 29th).   If it is not handed in tomorrow, it is PAST DUE and you have a limited amount of time to return it, or else it will be scored as a "zero" out of 300 (owch).   Make sure you hand it in!

Regarding other work not yet graded in the course: at this point, while there is much not entered on ATLAS, there are only so many points left, and so it is possible to determine the likelihood of certain outcomes.   Seniors will receive an Evaluation form this week.  It will look like this:

This is NOT a Final Evaluation, because your percentage grade (and the letter grade attached to it) can not yet be estimated with complete accuracy.   But it will specify the likelihood of certain outcomes.   If you are a Senior, I certainly have no desire to issue a failing grade, but I also feel an obligation to provide you with a realistic assessment of likely outcomes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


The Power Point with the Notes on Biotechnology is available here. All students will need to download the entire Power Point in order to finish the Lecture Guide, so make sure you do it!

Students who have lost their original Lecture Guide and need to get another copy can download the Guide as a PDF file here.

Below you will our final syllabus for this year.   Students, the clock is ticking.  There really isn't much time left.   Make sure you keep your Cornell Notes current!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


This post contains the notes on water resources (from Ch. 11), as well as links to complete the video in class on water development in Southern California ("Mulholland's Dream").

 Environmental Science students are studying the impacts of water delivery systems on the environment and human civilization. They have received a worksheet that contains questions based upon a video, shown on class, called "Mulholland's Dream", which is based, in part, on a famous book by late environmentalist Marc Reisner, called "Cadillac Desert".

For students who were not in class when the video was shown, or who wish to see the entire (unedited) program again, I have provided the following links:

In addition to completing the worksheet, Environmental Science students must research and answer the following questions:

1. What is the estimated current population of Los Angeles County? Make sure you tell me the source of your estimate!

2. Water has many uses, but let’s just focus on drinking water. Find a source that estimates the amount of water in liters needed by a single human being, each day. Tell me the source, and provide the estimate.

3. Using your research from questions 1 and 2, estimate the total amount of drinking water in liters required annually by the population of Los Angeles County. SHOW YOUR WORK!

4. Based on your answer to question 3, do you think that Los Angeles County will have to find new sources of water in the future? Give a reason to support your claim.

5. Los Angeles relies on aqueducts and canals to obtain most of its water. What are the sources of water here in Fresno County?

Friday, May 10, 2013


Episodes from PBS's "Evolution" series have been previously featured in instruction.   The centerpiece of that series, a two-hour episode entitled "Darwin's Dangerous Idea", will be shown in class in its entirety over the course of several lessons (we are, in fact, close to completing it).   Students have been given a study guide to this video, which not only uses actors to reenact key events in Darwin's life, but provides vivid demonstrations of Darwin's ideas, and how scientists explore these ideas today.

Students will be expected to complete the study guide based on the video, which will involve writing short responses (1-2 paragraphs) to a series of prompts to specific parts of the video.   As such, they may find it necessary to review the video.  

The paragraphs generated by students will be critical to completing their final quarter project in this course, so it is vital that all students complete the study guide immediately.   The entire video is available through this YouTube channel, broken into 11 segments that roughly correspond wtih the 12 chapters in the assignment.

(For your convenience, I have embedded all 11 videos on this page, but these may not be visible on FUSD computers or on others that do not have recent versions of Java to run flash-based media.  If you are unable to open the individual videos on this post, go to the link above and watch them directly on YouTube)

Chapter 1. Prologue
Chapter 2. Common Ancestry

Chapter 3. Ecuador and the Tree of Life

Chapter 4. Natural Selection

Chapter 5. Mutation and HIV

Chapter 6. Complexity

Chapter 7. How The Eye Evolved

Chapter 8. God

Chapter 9. A Scientist Discusses Religion

Chapter 10. The Human Question

Chapter 11. Humans and The Tree of Life Chapter 12. Epilogue

Finally, here is the PBS web site that accompanies the entire series.
You can also watch parts of the videos there, but they are lower in resolution.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Seniors will take their final the last week of May.  

Since many seniors currently have grades less than 51 percent, it is vital to raise those grades as much as possible before the senior finals period (May 28-31).   Thus, this week's test and next week's project (both discussed in class today) are critical for all students, but especially for seniors. 

The Study Guide for the Unit 7 test on atmosphere, climate and fossil fuels was issued at the beginning of Monday's classes.  

The Unit 7 test will occur THIS WEEK on Wednesday, May 8th.

Mr. Hatfield will be available at lunch and after school on both Monday and Tuesday.  Additional time is available on exam day at lunch and during 7th period for Seniors who haven't completed their final.   There will be no additional time given after the day of the test, and students who fail to take the test on Wednesday the 8th will find themselves taking an extensive take-home test to "make up" that test score.   That is not, to put it mildly, the best possible choice a student could make.

Links to Power Point notes are found below: