Wednesday, July 16, 2014


If Summer School Biology students, for any reason, miss getting the notes in class they are still expected to have all the notes.   For this reason, the notes are made available on-line.   Simply click on the text or images associated with the Power Point.   These contain embedded links that will take you to sites where you can either view the notes on-line or download them.

As an example, here is our newest Power Point, on Populations and Ecosystems:

Not every one has Power Point on a computer handy at their home all the time, of course.   Not to worry!   It turns out that you don't need to own the Power Point program, or spend money to get the program.  All computers on the BHS campus already have Power Point installed, for one thing.   And, if you prefer to do this off-campus at home or at a friend's home, you don't actually need Power Point.    All you need is access to the Internet!

Using a web browser, enter the following search term: 

 Power Point Viewer

"Power Point Viewer" is free software from Microsoft that allows you to open and view Power Points.    It costs nothing, and it is very small (around 60 MB), so it can be run by all systems.

Wednesday's class also featured excerpts from 'Extinction!', which is Episode 3 from NOVA's 'Evolution' series (2001).

The video begins with paleontologist Peter Ward hunting for Permian fossils in South Africa's Karoo Desert, and relates ecological pyramids (which are like a 'house of cards') to mass extinctions, which are believed to be rare but important events in the history of life.

It then follows the work of American Museum of Natural History researcher Michael Novacek in building the fossil record of small, shrew-like mammals from the Mesozoic, representative of the lineage that will survive the next mass extinction (the K/T event), which will claim the dinosaurs.

It concludes with an examination of the role of human activity in accelerating the rate of extinction, with important attention to conservationists like Alan Rabinowitz. I encourage students to watch the video in its entirety for themselves if there are points that they don't get in class. We simply do not have enough class time to review this, but I know many students will want to see the whole story again, either by going to Google Video or watching it here:

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