Hello, friends. It’s summer and I’m so ready to move on to my graduate program, but I am still making my daily trips to the library to read and write and think. One of the things that I always think about as I make my way around in Pacifica is what the fundamental basis of ecology is. I’m interested in this because of my own curiosity, obviously, but I’m also invested in becoming an educator and I think it’s important to know the basic facts about the discipline that you teach – and by basic, I mean fundamental, like the atomic theory or evolution. And I’m also really interested in how learning a field can give you a new lens with which to see the world. For instance, whenever I hang out with my cousin Brendan, a graphic designer, I start to think about the designed elements of our world and how they are affecting me. After a recent discussion on the Oikos blog, I have been thinking about growth rates. So now, when I walk by a field or by the ocean, I’m thinking in dynamical terms of growth, and wondering about constraints. Growth in population biology is modeled by the exponential growth equation, one of the few basic ecological equations I can remember from my undergraduate years, which has been called (per my memory) one of the few undisputed laws of population biology.” And here’s a picture of a population explosion that takes place every year for the last couple of years: mosquito fern in my uncle’s reservoir.
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