You are hereBlogs
Geoffrey West, a physicist and former director of the Santa Fe Institute, writes about the super linear potential of cities - in cities, both innovation and other amenities accrue at a faster rate than they would in more rural regions. Environmental and social disamenities are also (and equally) prevalent. This is an interesting phenomenon that he argues, is also cautionary because the rate at which change is occuring. Implicit in his argument are a few themes worth exploration:
1. Disamenities are unintentional biproducts of the accumulation of wealth
2. The current system of problem-innovation-problem embodies a "sustainable growth" perspective which relies on being able to innovate over increasingly short intervals or shifting to a different model of social and economuc arrangements.
As detailed on our projects page, our National Science Foundation study of sustainable viticulture is in full swing. But sustainable viticulture is not only a California phenomena. It is also occuring in countries like Australia, as illustrated by an interview about the Yalumba Wine Company.
In a rare instance of navel-gazing, there is some new research that shows more than 2/3 of ecology studies are focused on "protected" areas where human influence is minimized.
Knowing what to ask to get to what you need to know
I'm currently putting together the template of questions to be used later this Summer for interviews of local groundwater users. These interviews will inform my survey design that will be conducted late Spring 2011. Making sure I ask what is relevant and what will create a complete picture of groundwater knowledge, practices and cooperation among the resource users is not a simple task. I'm collecting survey instruments from various researchers to get ideas and make sure I'm on the right track. If anyone out there has any suggestions I'm all ears!
I have been pedaling the idea of "Extension 3.0" in the context of several grants and also meetings with administrators. It is beginning to get some traction within the college and UC Division of Ag and Natural Resources. When an official of DANR forwaded some of these materials to his staff, he described the reaction as "shaking up a can of soda in the hallway" because everybody got excited. I think this is good news in the context of a bureaucracy. See the attachment for a summary of the idea.
Our new website is almost up and running. It will be good to have something that is a "living" manifestation of the work of our group.