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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Normal Environment: How Things Got This Way


E-Seminar 3
Atmosphere: Stratospheric Problems


E-Seminar 4
Atmosphere: Problems at Ground Level


E-Seminar 5
Water: It's Not Just H2O


E-Seminar 6
Waterborne Infections


E-Seminar 7
Food: Land Use and Health Risks


 
Medical Ecology: Environmental Disturbance and Disease
E-Seminar 2, The Normal Environment: The Way Things Are Now

Taught by: Dickson Despommier

Description
E-Seminar Description
In an age characterized by a rapidly changing environment, in which emerging and reemerging diseases continue to confront us, how can we predict the next major threats to human health? Are we, in fact, aiding the spread of disease by destroying the barriers that keep us from it? In his series of seven e-seminars, Medical Ecology: Environmental Disturbance and Disease, Columbia professor of public health and microbiology Dickson Despommier illuminates the connections between the disruption of ecosystems and eruptions of human disease. In this second of the seven parts, The Normal Environment: The Way Things Are Now, Despommier describes the producer-consumer interactions that drive ecosystems, the types and characteristics of ecoregions of the world, and the often undervalued "free" services (and attempts to assign them a value) that ecosystems provide for us.

Minimal prior knowledge of science is required for this course, including basic concepts of atoms, molecules, and cells.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

Interested in this
e-seminar?
Go to the e-seminar now*.

Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.



E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Relate the complex interactions of genes and cells to the great complexity of ecosystems and species interactions.

•    Understand trophic relationships and the flow of energy through an ecosystem.

•    Describe the range of ecoregions in the world and the distinct characteristics of each.

•    Describe the types of services ecosystems provide humans and the value of these services to us.

•    Recognize that ecosystem services are affected by environmental disturbance.


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Outline
1. Introduction
2. Genomes and Complexity
3. Trophic Levles
     The Serengeti Plain
     Decomposers and Parasites
4. Eco Regions
5. Ecosystem Services
     Types of Services
     Value of Services
6. Conclusion

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Dickson Despommier is Professor of Public Health and Microbiology at Columbia University. He earned his B.S. degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University, his M.S. degree in medical parasitology at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Notre Dame. He then spent three years as a guest investigator at Rockefeller University before joining the faculty at Columbia, where he has taught and conducted biomedical research over the past thirty years.

Despommier's research interests include molecular aspects of intracellular parasitism, river ecology, and more recently, medical aspects of ecology, which he has termed Medical Ecology. Despommier is author of over seventy peer-reviewed journal articles, three textbooks, and 13 review articles in books dealing with medical aspects of parasitism. He has been awarded the highest honor the Columbia health sciences faculty bestows, the Dean's Distinguished Medal for Outstanding Teaching, and has been elected teacher of the year numerous times, both at Columbia University, and at other Universities where he has been a visiting professor. In 2003, he was the recipient of the American Medical Student Association's (AMSA) National Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence.


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Recommended Reading
Dubos, Rene. So Human an Animal: How We Are Shaped by Surroundings and Events. Transaction Publishers, 1998.

Odum, Eugene P. Ecology: A Bridge Between Science and Society. Sinauer Assoc., 1997.

Odum, Martha and Eugene P. Odum. Essence of Place. University of Georgia Press, 2000.

Patz, Jonathan. Ecosystem Change and Public Health: A Global Perspective. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Wilson, E.O. The Diversity of Life. W.W. Norton & Co., 1999.


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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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