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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 2
The Normal Environment: The Way Things Are Now


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 3, Atmosphere: Stratospheric Problems

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 seven-part series Medical Ecology: Environmental Disturbance and Disease, Dickson Despommier, professor of public health and microbiology at Columbia, illuminates the connections between the disruption of ecosystems and eruptions of human disease. In this third seminar, Atmosphere: Stratospheric Problems, Professor Despommier probes into one of Earth's great zones—the upper atmosphere. As he describes the basic constituents of the atmosphere and the ecosystem services it provides, Professor Despommier also explores how industry is destroying the atmospheric system, exposing humans and animals on Earth below to severe health threats.

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

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

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e-seminar?
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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
•    Describe the basic constituents of the atmosphere and the ecosystem services it provides.

•    Understand what ozone is and the relationship its destruction has to human and environmental health.

•    Analyze current policies regarding the atmosphere and think critically about future policies and their effectiveness.

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Outline
1. Introduction
2. Atmospheric Components
     Main Gases
     Trace Gases
3. Ozone
     What is Ozone?
     Atmosphere Services
     CFCs and Ozone Depletion
4. Impacts
     Human Health
     Ecosystem Health
5. 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
Graedel, T. E., and Paul J. Crutzen. Atmospheric Change: An Earth System Perspective. New York: W. H. Freeman, 1993.

Kump, Lee R., James F. Kasting, and Robert G. Crane. The Earth System. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 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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