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Sustainability

This category contains 99 posts

Reparations and Community Health

It is well documented that Black and other marginalized communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Rates of infection, hospitalization, and death are all higher for individuals who are Black compared to white. A new study led by Harvard Medical School examined how monetary reparations to the descendants of Africans enslaved in the US could … Continue reading

The role of climate change in the current pandemic

Most of the discussion around climate change and the current pandemic focuses on how actions to combat climate change have been set back by the battle against the covid-19 pandemic or perhaps the opportunity to integrate climate policy into the global and local recovery plans. But research by Beyer, Manica, and Mora (2021) indicates that … Continue reading

Why I give a group assignment

The introduction to sustainability course I teach has one group assignment that students need to do if they want an A in the course. (I use a grading approach called specifications grading where letter grades are determined by the amount and type of work rather than the overall quality which all must meet a particular … Continue reading

Birds that change colours AND wear snowshoes

I find ptarmigan quite fascinating. They live in alpine and tundra areas. These areas are not typically bird habitat, but ptarmigan like grouse primarily live on the ground. They walk around foraging for plants and occasional insects. They will live in these barren areas all year round, so it isn’t surprising that they are well … Continue reading

Do you feel safe enough to be active?

I am fortunate that I feel fairly comfortable being active outside on my own, but I know many women who are not comfortable going for a run alone in their neighbourhood, or who won’t go explore the amazing river valley through the city on their own because of safety concerns . This of course isn’t … Continue reading

What’s in a (female’s) title?

The old John Cleese show Fawlty Towers had an episode that has always stuck in my mind. A couple is checking into the hotel and Cleese’s character Basil becomes ever more confused because the couple challenge his patriarchal views of the world. You see, both the husband and wife are doctors and therefore check-in as … Continue reading

How a dog brings someone autonomy

I recently started volunteering as a dog raiser with a local service dog training organization Dogs With Wings. I have always been interested in how service dogs can support individuals. Part of my interest comes from the reality that our society is structured in such a way that it disables people who differ from what … Continue reading

What if we got rid of the allergens?

I am deathly allergic to peanuts. I have wondered for some time if I’m allergic to all peanuts or whether certain strains of peanuts might be more or less likely to trigger my body’s overreaction to what should be a mundane protein. This, it turns out, is the focus of some research recently presented by … Continue reading

Cortisol and Anxiety

Somebody asked me about the relationship between hormones and anxiety so I did some research and found some really interesting information about cortisol and anxiety. Rather than focus on a particular study I’m going to just go through some of the more interesting connections. Cortisol is a long-term (more than 3 minutes) stress hormone that … Continue reading

The benefits of hoarding

It seems like you can’t walk through Edmonton’s river valley without being yelled at by a red squirrel. It’s pretty obvious that the squirrel is unimpressed by your presence but what exactly is it freaking out about? Chances are, the squirrel is worried you are going to raid its larder and its telling you to … Continue reading

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