Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, noteworthy for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students in addition to white males. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, part of the college, is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the country." Oberlin is noted for its political and social significance, often serving as "the prototype for progress even in the face of strong resistance."Oberlin is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association and the Five Colleges of Ohio consortium. Wikipedia.
Scofield J.H.,Oberlin College
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2013
In this paper 2011 energy consumption, green house gas (GHG) emission, and ENERGY STAR Energy Performance Rating (EPR) data for 953 office buildings in New York City are examined. The data were made public as a result of New York City's local law 84. Twenty-one of these office buildings were identified as LEED-certified, providing the opportunity for direct comparison of energy performance data for LEED and non-LEED buildings of the same type, time frame, and geographical and climate region. With regard to energy consumption and GHG emission the LEED-certified buildings, collectively, showed no savings as compared with non-LEED buildings. The subset of the LEED buildings certified at the Gold level outperformed other NYC office buildings by 20%. In contrast LEED Silver and Certified office buildings underperformed other NYC office buildings. The average EPR for the LEED buildings was 78, 10 pts higher than that for all NYC office buildings, raising questions about the validity and interpretation of these EPR's. This work suggests that LEED building certification is not moving NYC toward its goal of climate neutrality. The results also suggest the need to re-examine some aspects of ENERGY STAR's benchmarking tool. © 2013 John H. Scofield. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Stinebring D.,Oberlin College
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2013
Time variable delays due to radio wave propagation in the ionized interstellar medium are a substantial source of error in pulsar timing array efforts. We describe the physical origin of these effects, discussing dispersive and scattering effects separately. Where possible, we give estimates of the magnitude of timing errors produced by these effects and their scaling with radio frequency. Although there is general understanding of the interstellar medium propagation errors to be expected with pulsar timing array observations, detailed comparison between theory and practice is still in its infancy, particularly with regard to scattering effects. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.
White S.,Oberlin College
Environmental History | Year: 2011
This article examines the history of how Chinese pig breeds came to Europe and later America. While Asian hogs were domesticated for feeding on waste and agricultural by-products, ancient European hogs had to range in forests for mast, producing a leaner, more wild type. As European forests were cleared, mast feeding came under recurring pressure, creating incentives for improved swine management and breeding. In the eighteenth century, as Northern European agriculture intensified, Chinese pigs were imported to create improved varieties first in England and then in America. These new breeds, with their enhanced capacity for rapid weight gain, played a vital role in the pig's transformation from a small-farm subsistence animal into an industrial meat producer. The article analyzes this history of pig breeds as a microcosm of early modern globalization and the emergence of industrial capitalism, as well as a case study of how interdisciplinary evidence and evolutionary perspectives can contribute to the emerging field of animal studies. © 2011 The Author.
Laskowski M.,Oberlin College
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2013
The locations in which lateral roots arise are determined by local peaks of auxin response driven by whole-plant physiology. The architecture of a plant root system adapts it to the conditions in which it grows: large shoot systems demand large root systems, and growth in soils that have low or patchy nutrient distributions is often best managed by non-uniform patterns of root branching. It is not surprising then that the regulation of lateral root spacing is responsive to a wide array of stimuli. Molecular genetic studies have outlined a mechanism by which multiple modules of auxin response in specific cell types drive lateral root initiation. These peaks of auxin responsiveness are functionally controlled by the growth of the plant and the changing environmental conditions it experiences. Thus, the process of lateral root initiation, which depends on strong local auxin response, is globally mediated. © 2013 © The Author . Published by Oxford University Press [on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology]. All rights reserved.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: DECISION RISK & MANAGEMENT SCI | Award Amount: 329.32K | Year: 2015
The greatest challenges humans currently face - climate change, poverty, epidemics, financial meltdowns - are the result of humans acting within enormously complex systems without the ability to fully understanding how these systems work. Many have argued that people will make better decisions under these circumstances if they can engage in systems thinking. Systems thinking is a way of conceptualizing reality and making decisions that emphasizes enhanced understanding of relationships and interdependencies. This research identifies simple and scalable methods of increasing systems thinking and enhancing everyday decision making that do not require extensive training or cognitive resources. In particular, this research examines whether metaphors and conceptual models that encourage people to think about the broader system can shift the way people think about a problem, and improve their ability to identify effective solutions. For example, do diagrams and maps that help people to situate themselves and visualize their relationships to ecological, social or economic systems help them make choices that benefit the community around them? Do some metaphors (describing a national park as the backbone of the park system, as opposed to a pearl) help people see the relationships between that park and the larger ecological system? The most important facet of this research from a practical point of view is the possibility that relatively simple metaphors and conceptual models have the potential to improve decision making among large groups of people every day.
In eight studies, this research project identifies metaphors and conceptual models that promote systems thinking, and test the contention that systems thinking improves decision making. Two experiments identify systemic metaphors and test their psychological effects, as well as their effects on risk assessment and decision making. Two experiments test whether valuing the system in question is a prerequisite for systems thinking to result in better decision making. Four field studies will test the impact of systemic metaphors on conservation behavior (electricity use) and political action (involvement in social media-based campaigns orchestrated by the non-profit communications firm Resource Media). These studies are important because none of the existing work on systems thinking is grounded in psychological processes, nor has it fully evaluated the effects of systems thinking on decision making and behavior. The research program proposed here will use psychological theory, empirical measurement, and experimental techniques to address these large gaps in knowledge.