Assignment 6

As discussed in class, I’d like you to write up a brief summary on an aspect of geology in or around New York (try to keep it in New England or NY/NJ/PA). The following sites may offer a good starting point:

Similarly, you could begin with a search for “New England geology” and see where the internet takes you (vet your sites a bit… .edu and .gov are generally safe resources). Cite your sources in your writing using the MLA format.

Use the markdown template, and shoot for approximately 600 words. Have fun with this, and look up something that piques your interest.

This is due before class next Tuesday (11/6).

Also, don’t forget to vote on Tuesday!


As you’ve probably noticed, we’re a session behind the syllabus. Also marked on the syllabus is a due date for an annotated bibliography… you’ve already turned this in (as part of the project proposal), so you don’t need to do a second one. The paper on geology will be due next Tuesday, as stated in class yesterday.

I also promised that I’d post a link about comma usage. As promised here is a link to comma usage by the Writing Center at Purdue University. It’s not comprehensive, but it covers the most common cases. There are links to other grammar guides on the page which you may find helpful.

Project proposal

I will not be giving you a worksheet to fill out. Instead, you will combine your formal research question with your annotated bibliography. Your (finalized) question should be clear, concise, and specific. Please incorporate any changes I requested in your initial question feedback. Be sure that your goal can be achieved in the ~6 weeks remaining in the semester. Submit your question along with a brief annotated bibliography comprised of a few (≥5) references (current studies, background material, etc.) and at least one possible data source for your project. The bibliography should follow the Chicago Manual of Style format for citations. Include a timeline which results in a completed draft of your poster by November 20. Assume that poster presentation will occur in class on 12/4 and 12/7.

To summarize, you should submit a proposal with the following sections:

  • Research question
  • Annotated bibliography (background material and data sources)
  • Project timeline

The proposal should be emailed to me as a Markdown document, and all authors names should appear in the metadata at the top of the document. The proposal is due before class next Tuesday, October 23rd.

IPCC report and reminder to vote

The IPCC report (Summary for Policymakers) referenced in class today is available from the IPCC website. The full report is also available on that page.

On another note: the deadline to register to vote in November is fast approaching for New York. Registrations must be submitted by Friday. Please get registered and remind your friends to do the same, then make sure to get out and vote on election day. If you need to get to class late on election day, I am happy to work with you on makeup work. All of the information for New York voting (including on-line registration forms) can be found on the New York Board of Elections page.

BioBlitz reflection – due Tuesday, 9/25

You do not need to submit your BioBlitz reflection for class tomorrow. Instead, the assignment will be due prior to class on Tuesday. If you have already submitted a reflection and you’re happy with what you’ve written, leave it alone. If you would like to work on the assignment more, then feel free to edit; I will not be looking at them until after Tuesday’s class.

Assignment due Friday

Don’t forget, assignment 3 is due Friday. Your topic should be an essay on your interpretation of “The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research”. Use specific examples from the paper and bring in your own experiences and ideas. The assignment should be written in Markdown using the template provided. Don’t forget to update the metadata in the top block (title, author, date) and submit it with the file name in the form

You should receive the graded copy of assignment 1 tomorrow and assignment 2 later tomorrow or Friday.

Astronomy homework

As promised, the homework on exo-planets can be downloaded here. A harder version of this is also available, if you want a challenge. In addition to the homework listed, here is a key for the Markdown transcription homework.

Finally, as promised, here is a comic from XKCD from a couple of years ago. I enjoy the comparison, and the illustration of a semi-log scale (check the numbers on the y-axis).

XKCD comic about "Hurling computers at Jupiter"

Assignment 2

As promised (slightly late), you’ll find Assignment 2 attached below this post. Read the instructions on the first page carefully, then write up the article using Markdown and submit the final file (with the correct filename) to me via email by Tuesday morning. Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to answer them by tomorrow afternoon.

Assignment 2 – Markdown sample

Homework due 8/31

As discussed in class, by Friday, you should do the following:

  • Email me a copy of your responses to the intro questions in class and your written response to “What is science?”, written in Markdown (see the links on the Course Info page). Remember to change the file extension on the Markdown file from .txt to .md.
    • My answers are as follows:
      • Name: Dustin Wheeler
      • Birthplace: Denver, CO
      • Favorite ____: Weather: warm drizzle
      • Interesting fact about yourself: 4th deg. black belt in TKD
      • Goal for the semester: Redefine how I view science
  • Watch the Science Forward videos on Science Senses and What is Science?
  • Watch the first five minutes of Carl Sagan’s final interview (feel free to watch the rest, but we will discuss his comments using the first five minutes)
  • Lest ye think Carl Sagan is a perfect individual (doubtful), read about his libel dispute with Apple Computer.