Monday, December 12, 2016

Final day summary for EcoEco

OK. We're done. The snow has taken away our last class meeting.

I don't hear too many complaints.

Had I chance to sum up, I would have said that the work of Daly and Farley and other ecological economists shows that mainstream modern economics, especially macro, is rife with conceptual, scientific and moral error. But I would have also said that this doesn't mean to say we can get rid of mainstream economics anytime soon. It's a bit like the British Monarchy, or perhaps some parts of the US Constitution in that regard. There's not an obvious replacement available, certainly not one politically acceptable in the USA, and it acts as one of the several institutional pillars that kind of hold up western society. Until a replacement is sufficiently developed and accepted, it's better to have it than to imagine the anarchy that would otherwise result. Having said that, the experience of the Scandinavian countries shows what can happen when you question the application of mainstream economics. I encourage you to tolerate the existence of mainstream economics for the time being, but question it at every level you can, using the tools that this class has begun to give you. You'll need to keep developing your critical toolkit, though, to be good at this. The class was just an opener.

I would also have pointed out that one of the first acts of the Trump transition team with regard to the EPA was to ask for a list of scientists that had worked on the problem of the social cost of carbon pollution and on climate costs in general. Clearly, these colleagues are about to be purged of their jobs, or at least sidelined in the bureaucracy. Here's the link:

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-transition-team-singles-out-energy-department-employees-f6c627624ef#.mu0yly5t9

There are two relevant things to say about this:

1) If externalities and social cost thinking were not already important, this would not have happened. The fact that they need to do this proves the concept in a perverse kind of a way. They just certified it for us.

2) This won't work. The idea that oil and coal companies are exporting the social costs of their activities onto the rest of society and the world is out there in the world of ideas for anyone to find. It has been since Ronald Coase first developed the idea in the 1960s. They can get away with it for one presidential term, maybe even two, but there will come a day when the cumulative social costs are once again charged to these activities. Since this attempt to erase the idea is essentially a kind of massive Ponzi scheme or fraud on ordinary people and their well-being, perhaps with catastrophic results, there may even be criminal charges. Is there a Nuremburg moment for climate deniers one day? Perhaps there should be, considering the damage they will do to ordinary peoples' lives.

Your final is in our regular classroom on Wednesday 12.30 to 2pm.

Please let me know if there are any ADA, temporary illness, or other accommodations you require. So far I have none listed for this class.

See you there.
Mick

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Day care outage -- movie for Intro to Economics

Our day-care provider is sick today and has had to cancel day-care, so with that and the funeral, I'm looking after my kid all day, and our 2.00 pm Intro to Economics class is cancelled.

Instead, I'm assigning the one-hour BBC Documentary "Masters of Money: Keynes"

Here it is on YouTube:




Monday, December 5, 2016

Climate Change Quiz

The quiz will be given in class tonight: Monday December 5th. It is worth 20 points. There will be ten multiple choice questions and a short essay.

The multiple choice questions will be based on our class discussion, as well as on the booklet Maine's Climate Future (2009) and the 2015 update, both available at this website:

http://climatechange.umaine.edu/research/publications/climate-future

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vehicle Safety Report

We held the twice-yearly Vehicle Safety Day yesterday Wednesday before Thanksgiving Break) as part of Student Appreciation week. Fifteen students from Physics: Mechanics and Energy Lab checked the safety of thirty-eight student vehicles between 12.30 and 4.00 pm.

If you planned to get your vehicle checked and were not able to because of the change of venue, email mwomersley@unity.edu and ask for an appointment.

Most safety checks were routine. The following specific problems were noted and are reported here so other vehicle owners can learn from them:
  1. Two vehicles were consuming large amounts of oil, as determined from low oil measured on the dipstick and the owner's knowledge of the last oil added or oil change. More than a quart of oil consumption between fillings of your gas tank is too much, and it is time to consider getting a different vehicle. The exception is if the oil consumption is due to a leak, in which case the leak should be fixed.
  2. Two vehicles had bad brake pads. This was detected first by noticing the low level of brake fluid in the brake fluid reservoir, then confirmed by using a flashlight to look at the rotors and pads through in the gaps in the wheel trim. Time to get a brake job. When your pads are this bad, you don't stop as well. This is a dangerous condition, but it also makes it more likely that you damage the rotors too, necessitating a more expensive brake job, so not replacing the pads on time is false economy.
  3. One vehicle had a loose engine fan housing. A clip had come loose. It was a simple matter to reattach. More expensive damage would have resulted, had it not been noticed. In general, you should examine your engine bay and the underside of your vehicle two or three times a year, and certainly before big trips, to look for loose components or foreign objects.
  4. Two vehicles and more than twice the oil in the sump that was needed. Apparently in both cases this was the fault of the professional oil change establishment, not the student owners. There are two obvious responses: a) don't go back to that particular Quik-Lube! b) This is asking for blown crankcase seals. Take the vehicle to a reputable shop, have the extra oil removed, or pay for an oil change and make sure the right amount is put back in this time. Drive very, very slowly in the meantime. Crankcase seal replacement can cost up to $500 or more.
  5. One vehicle's wipers had quit, but were made to restart by pulling on them while the wiper switch was on. This often happens, usually due to rusty wiper arm bearings. If your wipers stop, check the fuse first, then pull on the wiper arm gently while the switch is on to see if you can free the wipers. A little spray lubricant that can be sprayed judiciously into the cabin air intake grill where the wiper mechanism lives is called for. Use the aerosol kind with the helpful red extension hose. (Not too much, or your cab will stink of lubricant.)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Letter from Melik

Dear Unity College Community,

Yesterday, our nation voted after long, intense, and -- let's face it -- divisive months of campaigns, primaries, advertising, and debates. It was inevitable that whatever the results, approximately half of our country would wake up this morning disappointed or worse.

As America's Environmental College, we have a special responsibility and opportunity. As an academic institution, we have a responsibility to provide a safe and welcoming space for expressions of intellectual, political, identity, and philosophical difference. As Unity College we have a special opportunity to do so with grace. We have an opportunity to demonstrate that we consider our differences to be our strength. We are, after all, Unity.

No matter who you are, how you voted, and why you believe what you believe -- our community welcomes and values you. This election does not change us. Our shared responsibility is to provide a safe home for our students and a safe place to explore the issues that face us. We remain committed to inclusivity and diversity. Your teachers, your support staff, your deans and directors, your counselors and health providers, your RAs, your coaches, and your president want to know how we can support you in your ups and in your downs. We want to provide you a place to respectfully celebrate your wins and find your footing and your voice when times are challenging.

What this election has put before us is an opportunity to be a model community -- an opportunity to bridge the gap and find common ground with people who feel differently than we do. Some members of our community are hurting, or angry, or disappointed. Others are more sanguine this day. At America's Environmental College we learn together to listen respectfully and empathize with others. That is more important now than ever before.

Unity, let's agree to be kind to one another -- not just today, but every day. I am grateful for all the ways that you reach across to people you disagree with in order to reach common goals and do good work together. I see it every day and I am thankful for your generosity.

Our goodness is not measured in how we act when things are easy, when we all agree, when times are simple. The measure of our goodness as individuals and of our quality as a community is taken when things are difficult. Our goodness is measured when we disagree and when we are challenged to understand each other.

Today we have an opportunity to share our very best selves with one another.​ I am grateful everyday to be a part of this community -- a community that is full of many of the very best people I have ever known.

I know you Unity.

I know we will live up to our name. Today and everyday.

In Unity,

MPK
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
President
Unity College
Office: 207-509-7144

“Skill can be taught; loyalty can be garnered, confidence can be instilled; but attitude & integrity are inherent! So teach skill, garner loyalty; instill confidence; but never compromise on attitude & integrity.”

“Integrity, by its very existence, rekindles the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; as a cynical community is a corrupt community.” John  Gardner

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

EcoEco second midterm


EC 3003 Ecological Economics
Womersley
First Take-Home Examination
Due Friday before or Monday after Thanksgiving Break, by email

Instructions:

This is a take-home exam. You may research the answers. Cite all sources other than lecture and the Daly/Farley text. Answer all questions. Do not confer with other students. Do not submit via Canvas.

Short answers (one or two paragraphs):

1.     Write a five-question public opinion poll on an issue of your choice. Include salient demographic questions (as part of the five)
2.     Describe the role of North American fossil fuel reserves in current geopolitics
3.     Detail modern sustained yield management theory
4.     Detail the economic policy of the winner of the 2016 presidential election
5.     What is the impact of climate policy on coal production and coal economics in the USA? Use a chain-of-logic approach to answer this question.

Essay: Attempt one (only one) of the following topics in a properly researched, cited essay

Trace the history of US intervention in the Middle East since the “Carter Doctrine.” Is there evidence that this has not always been “blood for oil?”

Create a public opinion poll script to determine why some Unity College students do not exhibit an environmental ethic. Include demographic measures. Attach a list of hypotheses you are testing with the poll.

What would your economic policy be if you were elected president. Be specific. (Be very specific.) Relate to theory and ideology.



Intro to Econ second midterm

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3721mV8y-nyT2dnOFpPNExtbE0/view?usp=sharing

Monday, October 31, 2016

Climate readings

We'll start this section of the class soon. These readings are posted for those of you who want to get a jump start on them:

http://www.globalwarmingprimer.com/primer/

http://climatechange.umaine.edu/research/publications/climate-future


Third and final EII assignments

Note: Your EII grade will consist of the four assignments (20%), a climate change quiz (10%), and participation (10%).

Assignment #3:

Create a script or storyboard for your final digital storytelling assignment.

  1. Choose a group, or chose to work alone. 

  2. Chose the environmental leader or issue you wish to highlight with a presentation. Remember, presentations may be audio, video, narrated slideshow or any of the choices listed below. The only requirement is that the presentation play itself (or be staged, if a traditional play or sketch)

  3. Prepare a storyboard or script

  4. Each individual or group member must hand in their own storyboard or script. In the next assignment you will come together to make only one final submission, but for now, you work alone. This is so I can be sure that each of you learns the basic techniques

  5. If making a video, study the You-Tube how-to below, and prepare a storyboard

  6. If making audio or a narrated slideshow, prepare a script

  7. Produce an introduction to your storyboard or script that explains your project, including thesis statement, evidence, and conclusion

  8. Hand in the introduction plus the storyboard or script

  9. Due either Friday before Thanksgiving break or Monday after, by email





Assignment 4:
  1. Research an environmental leader or issue of your choice. You may work in groups or alone. Identify a thesis related to the issue and supporting evidence, as well as the environmental or conservation organizations that are working on the issue. Prepare a video, audio, narrated slideshow, or other media production built around the thesis, providing supporting evidence, highlighting the work of the leader and their organization

  2. Due either the last day of the semester (Monday Dec 12th) or in time for the student conference (Wednesday Dec 14th) -- your choice. Student conference participation is optional, but may be
    recommended for the best products. Note: You have to register!

  3. The options are deliberately wide. Don't get lost in your choices! Pick an issue and format for your presentation that you or your group feel confident you can finalize, and then stick to it.

  4. Use "backwards design" to help structure and outline your presentation, and also to organize your schedule: Start with your topic, and decide on a thesis. Then decide what your want to achieve with this topic and thesis. What is the story that you want to tell, and to whom do you wish to tell it? From that, pick a media format that will best reach your audience, and then organize your schedule so you can deliver a product using this format.

  5. Workshop time will be made available during class hours and by appointment with the
    instructor so that you can get help with this project. The Quimby Library Media Technician is standing by to help you with video and other formats.

  6. Here is a winning example from a previous year
     

Examples of allowable media:

Video storytelling
Stage plays
Sketch comedy
Storytelling
Traditional video documentary
Narrated slideshows and presentations
Others, after timely negotiation with the instructor








For EII tonight




Police & Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp from Unicorn Riot on Vimeo.


http://www.valleynewslive.com/content/misc/Morton-County-Sheriff-Kyle-Kirchmeier-on-DAPL-protests-and-law-enforcement-398788621.html



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayou_Corne_sinkhole 


Bayou Corne from Anon Videos on Vimeo.



Monday, October 17, 2016

EII second response paper

This assignment is an exercise in research, critical thinking and informal writing.

Follow all instructions. Due Friday October 28th by email or hard copy.
  1. Identify two extant US environmental organizations, one you generally agree with and support, and one you don't
  2. Research their missions, goals and methods carefully, using online and print resources, as well as any other social science case study methods you like. Be sure to ask the instructor ahead of time if you choose to interview human subjects
  3. Identify some of the different types of careers that are possible within both institutions, and determine the qualifications and experience required
  4. In an informal essay, compare and contrast the two organizations and summarize these career pathways
  5. Conclude with your own considered viewpoint of each organization
  6. (Added after class discussion) Cite your research sources. No particular citation format is required, but your citations should be consistent and give complete information to the reader in case they wish to review your sources.

EII today











http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000002566509/love-canal-a-legacy-of-doubt.html












Friday, October 7, 2016

Flow chart showing causes of farm crisis, for EII

This comes from Defenders of Wildlife. It deserves careful study. Click to enlarge, or follow the link above.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hanoi Hannah obituary from NPR, for Intro to Econ

This is an interesting artifact of the war in VietNam, which was one of the "proxy wars" of the Cold War period. We'll listen to this in class today.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hansen's latest

Former senior NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen -- who is either the canary in the coal mine or beezlebub, depending on your point of view on whether scientists ought be activists -- has released an important new summary paper written with a large number of seriously scientific co-authors. The paper was intended for submission in court in Oregon, where a group of young people are suing the federal government for inaction on climate change.

These are big events in the world of climate change. My opinion is that Hansen is neither canary nor demon. He's more like the goldfinch in the coalmine. Not quite as effective as a canary, and certainly not a common metaphor, but you'll know just fine when becomes anoxic.

We will talk about this paper in both EcoEco and EII.

https://app.box.com/s/t050csk2z20iqk9u14vnllz3i15dh5i0

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lapping Lecture assignment, for EII




Next week, Unity College will host the annual Lapping Lecture (to honor the presidency of Mark Lapping, 2006-2008).

This year's speaker will be Bill Powers. He will talk at the UCCPA Thursday, October 6th, starting at 6pm.

http://uccpa.unity.edu/?q=events/lapping-lecture-william-powers

All Womersley EII students are required to attend. A sign-up sheet will be available at the door. See Dr. Spartz (host) if you cannot find one. There will be no class Wednesday, to allow you to attend without reducing the time available for other work.

See me if you have a work schedule or some other appointment and need an excuse. There will be an alternate assignment.

A limited number of seats are available for students at the celebratory dinner, 5pm. See me if you are interested. (You will be expected to present well and make conversation relevant to Dr. Power's work and life.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Joel Salatin, for EII




EcoEco exam 1


EC 3003 Ecological Economics
Womersley
First Take-Home Examination
Due Friday October 7th, 5pm, by email

Instructions:

This is a take-home exam. You may research the answers. Cite all sources other than lecture and the Daly/Farley text. Answer all questions. Do not confer with other students. Do not submit via Canvas.

Short answers (one or two paragraphs):

1.     Why and how can Dr. Mark Sagoff accuse Ecological Economics of “senescence” and being academically fit for “assisted living”? (In The Rise and Fall of Ecological Economics,” Breakthrough Institute Journal,  June 20th, 2012.
2.     Explain why Julian Simon thought the price mechanism would take care of resource shortages. Will it?
3.     Detail the “means-ends” spectrum, discuss current societal context and meaning, and explain why it is really not a spectrum.
4.     Aldous Huxley, in Brave New World, posited a future society in which “soma”, a drug that produced happiness and even euphoria, was used to exclude negative feelings such as sadness, grief, and so on. What is the lesson for mainstream economics?
5.     Thomas Piketty and Robert Reich share social theory (and a graph). Explain how and why.


Essay: Attempt one (only one) of the following topics in properly researched, cited essay

Trace the history of Peak Oil theory and explain its failure. What bias was inherent in ecological economics such that it failed to identify current trends in oil supplies?

Relate “Jeffersonian democracy” to ecological economics. What is the role of the “Common Ground Fair”?

Explain the failure of sustained yield theory in the Gulf of Maine cod fishery.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Scientists' Open Letter on Climate Change

On September 20, 2016, 375 members of the National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel laureates, published an open letter to draw attention to the serious risks of climate change. The letter warns that the consequences of opting out of the Paris agreement would be severe and long-lasting for our planet’s climate and for the international credibility of the United States.
A full list of signers follows the text of the letter.  
Members of the media interested in speaking with one of the organizers of the letter should contact responsiblescientists@gmail.com.

An Open Letter Regarding Climate Change From
Concerned Members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth’s climate.

Our fingerprints on the climate system are visible everywhere. They are seen in warming of the oceans, the land surface, and the lower atmosphere. They are identifiable in sea level rise, altered rainfall patterns, retreat of Arctic sea ice, ocean acidification, and many other aspects of the climate system. Human-caused climate change is not something far removed from our day-to-day experience, affecting only the remote Arctic. It is present here and now, in our own country, in our own states, and in our own communities.

During the Presidential primary campaign, claims were made that the Earth is not warming, or that warming is due to purely natural causes outside of human control. Such claims are inconsistent with reality.

Others argued that no action is warranted until we have absolute certainty about human impacts on climate. Absolute certainty is unattainable. We are certain beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious, and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks: to our ability to thrive and build a better future, to national security, to human health and food production, and to the interconnected web of living systems.

The basic science of how greenhouse gases trap heat is clear, and has been for over a century. Ultimately, the strength of that basic science brought the governments of the world to Paris in December 2015. They went to Paris despite pronounced differences in systems of government, in national self-interest, in culpability for past emissions of greenhouse gases, and in vulnerability to future climate change. The leaders of over 190 countries recognized that the problem of human-caused climate change is a danger to present and future citizens of our planet. They made national commitments to address this problem. It was a small but historic and vital first step towards more enlightened stewardship of Earth’s climate system.

From studies of changes in temperature and sea level over the last million years, we know that the climate system has tipping points. Our proximity to these tipping points is uncertain. We know, however, that rapid warming of the planet increases the risk of crossing climatic points of no return, possibly setting in motion large-scale ocean circulation changes, the loss of major ice sheets, and species extinctions. The climatic consequences of exceeding such thresholds are not confined to the next one or two electoral cycles. They have lifetimes of many thousands of years.

The political system also has tipping points. Thus it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord. A “Parexit” would send a clear signal to the rest of the world: "The United States does not care about the global problem of human-caused climate change. You are on your own." Such a decision would make it far more difficult to develop effective global strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The consequences of opting out of the global community would be severe and long-lasting – for our planet’s climate and for the international credibility of the United States.

The United States can and must be a major player in developing innovative solutions to the problem of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Nations that find innovative ways of decarbonizing energy systems and sequestering CO2 will be the economic leaders of the 21st century. Walking away from Paris makes it less likely that the U.S. will have a global leadership role, politically, economically, or morally. We cannot afford to cross that tipping point.

The following signers of this letter do so as individual NAS members and not on behalf of the NAS itself or their Institutions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Physics Lab Report #1 (of 2) assignment

  1. Prepare a lab report detailing any of our experiments so far, including any of today's (Sept 21st). 
  2. Use the descriptions and data in your lab notebook.
  3. Use a typical lab report outline (introduction, methods, results, conclusions discussion)
  4. The grading rubric below applies
  5. Ask the laboratory instructor if you have any questions or concerns
  6. Due by email October 6th 2016
  7. No Canvas reminder will be made

Item/Level of Achievement
Does not meet
Meets
Exceeds
Is there a research question?
No question or wrong question
Logical question, not narrow enough
Logical, well-stated and narrow question
Identifies materials and quantities?
No/inadequate materials list, incorrectly I.D. of materials
Adequate but minimal details
Expanded, complete, relevant details
Drawing or sketch?
No/poor sketch
Labeled, clear, concise
Labeled, clear, concise, neat and organized
Procedures (narrative)
Missing steps or no procedure
All steps present, could be better explained, more specific
Complete, relevant, well-worded explanation

Monday, September 19, 2016

Assignment: Common Ground Country Fair


The fair is an all-around good time, so you should need no incentive to go; however, the following notes are added to help you along:

Assignment instructions:
  1. You are assigned to go to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Common Ground Country Fair held Friday through Sunday September 23-25 right here in Unity, and then to complete the response paper detailed below
  2. You may get into the fair for free if you volunteer. Be sure to do so well ahead of time. See the MOFGA webpage for details
  3. If you are a MOFGA member you already get in for free. Check to see if your parents have a family membership
  4. For those of you who were planning to go home, or who cannot attend the fair for any other valid reason, such as work or a medical appointment, your alternative assignment is to visit a local or organic food outlet, such as a farmer's market or food cooperative, or any other food source that seems likely to be able to give you the provenance information that will be needed, and complete the same assignment as the fair-goers (below). Be careful to actually get the information. Most non fair-goers who fail this assignment do so because they don't get the proper information.
The fair/local/organic food response paper:
  1. Obtain food for a meal at the fair, at some local or organic food outlet, or from a friend's or relative's kitchen garden. Be sure to find out where each ingredient comes from
  2. Make and eat the meal. (If you live in the residence halls and otherwise eat on the meal plan, the meal can just be a snack.)
  3. Describe the meal and track the ingredients geographically and ecologically in a short informal essay. Explain why this was (or was not) a good meal. Humor and/or pathos are optional
  4. Due Wednesday October 5th in class or via email
  5. This is the first check-in opportunity for me to evaluate your writing and critical thinking skills. Be sure to do your best, or you may find yourself getting unexpected remedial attention!



Food Inc, for EII





Sagoff and Simon, for EcoEco

http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/past-issues/issue-2/the-rise-and-fall-of-ecological-economics

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016-2017 Maine Woods Forever Roundtable

Dear Unity Community

The 2016-2017 Maine Woods Forever Roundtable kicks off this coming Friday, September 16th at 11 am  with a  presentation and conversation with Lucas St Clair, president of the Elliotsville Plantation, Inc and spokesperson for the campaign that led to the designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Come learn how the campaign was successful in its mission.  11am at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity, Maine.

Faculty members are encourage to invite students to this special event


Questions or for more information contact Tom Mullin at tmullin@unity.edu

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Wilderness Idea, for EII


Physics lab notes grading rubric



Item/Level of Achievement
Does not meet
Meets
Exceeds
Is there a research question?
No question or wrong question
Logical question, not narrow enough
Logical, well-stated and narrow question
Identifies materials and quantities?
No/inadequate materials list, incorrectly I.D. of materials
Adequate but minimal details
Expanded, complete, relevant details
Drawing or sketch?
No/poor sketch
Labeled, clear, concise
Labeled, clear, concise, neat and organized
Procedures (narrative)
Missing steps or no procedure
All steps present, could be better explained, more specific
Complete, relevant, well-worded explanation

Bottle rocket with booster -- for Physics


Keynesian stimulus, for EcoEco




http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-35636893




Friday, September 2, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More on Maine Woods Monument, for EII

http://mpbn.net/post/its-official-obama-declares-katahdin-woods-and-waters-national-monument#stream/0

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/06/05/outdoors/roxanne-quimby-sees-mood-changing-on-north-woods-park/

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/02/11/next/the-new-normal-displaced-millworkers-commuting-renting-to-remain-in-struggling-industry/

https://www.nps.gov/kaww/index.htm











Physics lab safety and procedures




Physics Laboratory Safety

Remember:
The equipment and apparatus you will use involve various safety hazards, just as they do for working physicists. You must be aware of these hazards. Your teacher will guide you· in properly using the equipment and carrying out the experiments, but you must also take responsibility for your part in this process. With the active involvement of you and your teacher, these risks can be minimized so that working in the physics laboratory can be a safe, enjoyable process of discovery.

These safety rules apply in the lab

1.     Always have your safety goggles and wear them whenever using tools or equipment, or whenever the instructor tells you to.
2.     Personal apparel should be appropriate for laboratory work. On lab days avoid wearing long necklaces, dangling bracelets, bulky jewelry, and bulky or loose-fitting clothing. Long hair should be tied back. Loose, dangling items may get caught in moving parts, accidentally contact electrical connections, or interfere with the investigation in a potentially hazardous manner. In addition, chemical fumes may react with some jewelry, such as pearls, and ruin them. Cotton clothing is preferable to wool, nylon, or polyester. Wear shoes that will protect your feet from chemical spills and falling objects-open-toed shoes or sandals, and shoes with woven leather straps are not allowed in the laboratory.
3.     NEVER work alone in the laboratory. Work in the lab only while under the supervision of your instructor. Do not leave equipment unattended while it is in operation.
4.     Only books and notebooks needed for the experiment should be in the lab. One book bag may be kept by your seat. Use the atrium/mud room to store other stuff, especially skateboards and other items that could get in the way or cause an accident.
5.     Listen! Your instructor will review applicable safety precautions before the lab. If you are not sure of something, ask your instructor about it. Turn cell phone ringers off. Always heed safety symbols and cautions written in the experimental investigations and handouts, posted in the room, and given verbally by your instructor. They are provided for your safety.
6.     Know the proper fire drill procedures and the location of fire exits and emergency equipment. Make sure you know the procedures to follow in case of a fire or an emergency.
7.     If your clothing catches on fire, do not run; WALK to one of the two showers in the building, stand under it, and turn it on. Call to your instructor while you do this.
8.     Report all accidents to the instructor immediately, no matter how minor. In addition, if you get a headache, feel sick to your stomach, or feel dizzy, tell your instructor immediately.
9.     Report all spills to your instructor immediately. Call your instructor rather than trying to clean up a spill yourself. Your instructor will tell you if it is safe for you to clean up the spill; if not, your instructor will know how the spill should be cleaned up safely.
10. Student-designed investigations, such as the work for the final project, must be approved by the teacher before being attempted by the student.
11. DO NOT perform unauthorized experiments or use materials and equipment in a manner for which they were not intended. Use only materials and equipment listed in the activity equipment list or authorized by your teacher. Steps in a procedure should only be performed as described in the textbook or lab manual or approved by your teacher.
12. Stay alert in the lab, and proceed with caution. Be aware of others near you or your equipment when you are performing an experiment. If you are not sure of how to proceed, ask.
13. Horseplay in the lab is very dangerous. Laboratory equipment and apparatus are not toys; never play in the lab or use lab time or equipment for anything other than their intended purpose.
14. Food, beverages, and chewing gum are NEVER permitted in the lab room during lab hours.
15. Exercise caution when working with electrical equipment. Inspect all such equipment before use or get the instructor to inspect it for you. Do not use electrical equipment with frayed or twisted wires. Be sure your hands are dry before using electrical equipment. Do not let electrical cords dangle from work stations; dangling cords can cause electrical shocks and other injuries.
16. Keep work areas and apparatus clean and neat. Always dean up any clutter made during lab work, rearrange apparatus in an orderly manner, and report any damaged or missing items. Return all equipment and tools to where you found them at the end of the lesson or when switching to a different activity.
17. Always wash your hands with soap and water at the conclusion of each investigation.