MAINPAGE (JAN – APR 2014)
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General details for ASIC200 such as office hours, philosophy, grading, due dates can be found in the course outline link.
This page aims to collect concurrent pertinent info regarding the weekly lectures. This includes the pre-reading assignments, copies of Dave and Allen’s lecture notes, further reading, interesting links, assignment/scheduling reminders. In other words, a good place to bookmark, and check back at least once a week.
Note that we will be using a twitter hashtag for community networking. “#ASIC200” We will ask that everyone participate in this activity, so do please sign up an account at twitter.com (You can even use an anonymous name if you prefer).
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COURSE TIMELINE/NOTES WILL BE PRESENTED AS WEEKS PROGRESS
(Details below pertain to pre-reading for each class unless otherwise noted)
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HOMEWORK: Please read “Breakfast of Champions Does Replication” (link). This is really important for being able to follow along in next week’s lecture.
Today, we started the unit on personalized genomics.
 Some context and basic definition of personalized genomics.
 Some DNA basics.
 How exactly does the code lead to phenotypes.
 Molecular biology! (Specifically, DNA replication, gel electrophoresis, and Sanger Sequencing)
 DNA sequencing was good at a few things first (i.e. sequencing little bits at a time, and then amalgamating it all = snapshot of organism)
 Screw it… why not just sequence an entire genome of a single sample/organism.
 Better ways to sequence faster and cheaper and so here we are…
Some interesting links (just because).
Some genetics humour: Congratulations! Your Ineffectual Genetic Test Results Have Arrived!
Don’t forget to start thinking (and writing) your FAQ (due March 27th). Here are some examples to give you a sense of what we’re looking for – FAQ examples. Keep in mind, however, that there is also a creative component – sometimes, like most of the ones highlighted above, an FAQ will “incorporate” this; more often, however, this is done as a separate piece. Overall, however, marks are based on good information, a reasonable mix of science and humanities, good writing, good engagement, and all backed up diligently by evidence (i.e. don’t forget your primary resources and references!). The creative element is also worth marks, but is actually quite a small part of the total mark. See FAQ requirements at the bottom of this page for full details. Good luck!
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Session 6/7: (Feb 13th and 27th)
Class time to work on PBLs
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Don’t forget to come ready for the 1st PBL session next week! (PBL link). Please email Dave or Allen if you were away and didn’t sign up for one of the PBL sessions.
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NOTE: (Feb 1) PBL scenarios are now open for viewing. (link) Please have a look at the PBLs over the first part of the week, and come ready to sign up for one Thursday before the Feb 6th class.
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Session 4: (Jan 30)
Climate Change Negotiations Simulation.
2.5 hour session simulating the Copenhagen COP15 Conference, whereupon students role played as delegates for one of 8 groups – AOSIS, BRAZIL, CHINA, COP (DENMARK), EU, INDIA, JAPAN, US.
Notes of final agreement reached (via COP delegate – see summary pdf) – apparently, an agreement was announced, but according to our records, it’s not quite there (US did not agree to “binding” for developing countries – unless we wrote it down incorrectly). Anyway, if anyone from the US team can clarify this, then that would be great!
As well, keep in mind that there is a lab/simulation reflection due. Details are as follows:
You must submit a one-page double-spaced written essay reflecting on the outcomes and process of the social science lab. This assignment is worth 5% of your course grade. Following negotiation, contemplate the outcome. If the simulation reached agreement, think about how strong an agreement you were able to achieve toward preventing dangerous climate change. Also consider what prevented reaching a stronger agreement. If the simulation did not reach agreement, consider what prevented reaching agreement. In a one page double spaced reflective essay, discuss the following questions:
• What constraints in frustrated/limited group efforts to reach agreement?
• Were the constraints political, economic, scientific, or other?
• Could those constraints be changed?
• If so, what would be required to change them?
Your written reflection is due in class the following week.
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Session 3: (Jan 23)
Climate Change Science Lecture 2: The IPCC science competition (sort of)
(Dave’s Slide’s (2.7Mb pdf)) | Dave’s Notes (0.1mb pdf)
Tour of some of the IPCC statement pronounced in the AR5 SPM. This was done via a competition designed to highlight various elements, as well as provide an opportunity to discuss some of the more prevalent science concepts not covered in the previous lecture.
Climate Change Humanities Lecture I:
(Allen’s Slides (0.2Mb pdf) | Allen’s Notes (0.1Mb pdf) )
“Climate change is a challenge for human society on many levels, and these are concerns and issues raised frequently in the social sciences and humanities. There is a vital humanistic component to climate the change issue, both in terms of its origins (how we got here) and mitigation and adaptation strategies (how do we get out of here). ”
DO NOTE: that the Jan 30th class will involve an international climate change negotiation simulation, and that there will be a commentary assigned to this task. Email Allen if you missed today’s class as you will need to be assigned a “country.”
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General Organization of lecture:
 Laying down a few facts: (i) It’s getting hotter, (ii) CO2 levels are going up (and it’s our fault), (iii) CO2 absorbs heat energy (greenhouse gas).
 Hypothesis #1: Temperature change is primarily caused by CO2. i.e. not just a correlation. We know this because we can calculate the effects of the CO2 we emit into the atmosphere.
 Hypothesis #2: Using modelling techniques (which are ultimately based on mathematical representations of physical laws), we can make predictions of future outcomes. Modelling can also provide us with targets to aim for.
 If we support the above statements (and hopefully, I’ve convinced you towards that end), then the IPCC represents a scientific consensus attempt at defining the current and future outcomes related to climate change. i.e. go read it now, with this background knowledge in hand.
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Session 1: (Jan 9) Administration and Overview of Global Issues
- “Global” as a scientific, social science, and humanities concept. Also a bit about zombies (with mention of using philosophy, baking, sarcasm, and references to perogies to combat and survive a zombie apocalypse).
Next week, we are starting the science lectures on climate change. For pre-reading, take a peek at the three pieces below. Note that it’s best to do a surface reading for now, as the lectures will clarify many of the concepts mentioned (the IPCC report in particular). After the lecture, it would be good to reread the IPCC report to make sure that it all makes sense. Note that for examination purposes, content related to lectures (except where noted) and the IPCC report will be examinable. However, in the case of the IPCC AR5, this is not from a memorization point of view, but rather in terms of being able to comment intelligently when addressing some of its statements (using the scientific concepts described in the lectures).
Reading One: Browse and familiarize yourself with the IPCC website located at: http://www.ipcc.ch/index.htm and read the AR5 “Summary for Policymakers” located at: http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGI_AR5_SPM_brochure.pdf
Reading Two: Executive Summary, The Emissions Gap Report 2013. A UNEP Synthesis Report. The United Nations Environment Program, 2013. Available at: http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/emissionsgapreport2013/
Reading Three: Anthony D. Barnosky, et. al., “Approaching a state shift in Earth’s Biosphere,” Nature, Vol. 46 (7 June 2012). 52-58. Available at: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/full/nature11018.html (get PDF) Note: access via library.ubc.ca and sign in your CWL – then search journals for Nature to gain entry to institutional access.