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Here is a link for the 2020 class:




Newsome Edition                                    Official Policies

CitSci-2019- Schedule

Please refresh this page (Option-Reload or Command-R for Mac) every time you look at it. 

Things will change.


Sunday, 13th

Monday, 14th

Tuesday, 15th

Wednesday, 16th

Thursday, 17th

Friday, 18th

Saturday, 19th






Readings for Thursday:

-Sedlak Ch4


-Johnson's Ghost Map excerpt.


Both in reader.



Bard water treatment


-1)Sedlak Ch6

-2)Pollan's "This Steer's Life."

-3)Newsome: Activated Carbon and Charcoal



See Weekend Assignment below....










Cell Size and Scale




















Olin Aud.

Speaker: Nicolas Franke




Weekend Assignments: There are 4 of them.

All due Tuesday the 22nd

  Don't put these off until the last minute.  (More coming....  so refresh your browsers.)


Assignment 1:

You are all writing up a short thing on the contaminant that you tested in class on Friday. 

You are writing the report so that a normal person can quickly and easily understand it.  

Remember those water reports from Red Hook and Newburg and Flint? 

They were often difficult to understand.  It is your job in this assignment to present what you know and what you don't know as clearly as possible.


The list of contaminants that you tested:


-Lye- Potassium hydroxide (made from potash... ash in a pot ...Humphry Davy named it pot-ass-ium, as in pot-ash-ium... a bit like un-obtain-ium or adam-ant-ium)  Potassium's chemical symbol, K, refers to its name in Latin, Kalium, from whence the Arabic word al-qalyah (plant ashes) derives... better known in English as alkali.

-Household ammonia

-Household bleach

-Hardware Store Acetone



-Nitrates/Nitrites (the fertilizer)


Investigate your contaminant.  Figure out its main chemical components.  For some, this is simple.  For others, like Lime-A-Way, you have to dig a little bit. If possible, determine polarity.  If you cannot figure that out, speculate on whether it is or is not polar (does it love or fear water?).  Look into its environmental issues, health issues, industrial uses, household uses, potential problems it might cause, how it is manufactured, etc.  This research needs to be cited and if necessary annotated (meaning, if it comes from an organization with the URL, "www.i_heart_eating_PCBs.com", you should point that out and look into who this ".com" is... how they are funded, who advertises on their site, what they are selling...etc.


Analyze your data from activated carbon filtration and evaluate how well that did or did not work.  Include your observations on odor, color changes, as well as PH and ppm and all the other tests from that multi-test strip (and any other observations you might have made).  Your main job here is to clearly present this information.  Also, be up-front about the testing you did.  Don't oversell your experimental methodology.  Be honest.  You're not selling anything.  You are researching, observing, describing, and speculating.

What would YOU want to know about this contaminant and if it could be eliminated or lessened by activated carbon filtration?


Make this report look and/or sound good, either by illustrating it, or by using graphs and diagrams, or by making a video or podcast to present this information. Make this report something a person would want to read or listen to or watch. Don't make it very long. I'd like you to sell this aspect of the assignment–the presentation.  The information itself should not be over sold, but the production of the report should be packaged well. 

Have a specific audience in mind and make production/presentation decisions based on this audience.  Examples of an audience: 5-year-olds, highschoolers, college students, professors, immigrants, back-hoe operators, water-plant operators, grandmothers, etc. 

It should be short and sweet.


Assignment 2

-Listen to: RadioLab Worth

Assignment 3

The readings for Tuesday.

- Read Sedlak, Ch7,  pp.112-138 and Ch11, pp. 217-237.

Assignment 4

Come up with project ideas.  If you are having a problem, come up with a list of questions about water and see if anything on your list could become a short project.


Tuesday, 22nd

Wednesday, 23rd

Thursday, 24th

Friday, 25th



See assignments due above...


Fuller's Dymaxion Map


Desalination using distillation.



For Wed:

Read Ch4 (pp. 38-51 from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) This book changed everything.

Also read, "Newsome-Osmosis..."


Reverse O.


Explain Distillation using this: A Thing Explainer






Read Ch7 from Oreskes/Conway's Merchants of Doubt.

(pp. 216-239)


Recommended: Implicit Bias test- The test titled, "Gender (Gender-Science IAT)," tests for gender-associated biases in one's expectations of a scientist.


...and another...

Program Ass.





CAFE Forms


For Friday:

Read Jared Diamond's essay, "The Worst Mistake..."








NPR Water Series






Interactive Toxic Water Map- US






Assessment: Bring Computers



Filter Competition.


Project time.






note to self: faculty meeting at 5:15.


Fishman @ Fisher- 2:25-4:30





All meetings will be in Fisher Studio, rm. 138 unless otherwise indicated.

I have only included the mandatory times.

MLK Day events and optional meetings are not listed.

Links may appear containing assignment materials.

Remember those water samples you brought back with you?  Here is a map with much of the data so far: WaterSampleMap



Description: Description: Description: Pax HD:Users:danielnewsome:Desktop:Download:Litmus-PH-color_wheela.jpg

Above: This is the color key for the litmus paper that students have.  Neutral PH is 7.  This is the PH of distilled water.  It is neither acid nor base. 


Battery acid, hydrofloric acid


Hydrochloric acid in stomach,


Lemon juice, vinegar, gastric acid


Grapefruit and orange juice. Soft drinks.


Tomato juice, acid rain


Acid rain, black coffee, very "soft" tap water,


Urine, milk, saliva


"Pure" water,


Baking soda, seawater, eggs


toothpaste (9.9), baking soda


Milk of magnesium, Great Salt Lake (Utah),


Household ammonia


Soapy water


bleaches, oven cleaner, lye


Liquid drain cleaner, caustic soda,


Description: Description: Description: Pax HD:Users:danielnewsome:Desktop:Download:PH-Acid-Base Material:Good PH chart.jpg



AV and Web resources:


RadioLab: -Worth-RadLab



Primitive Technology: Charcoal


Charcoal in Zambia


Charcoal in Nigeria


Charcoal in Romania


Charcoal in Germany


Activated Charcoal:


Activated Carbon adsorption video


CDC-Drinking Water (Public and Private)



Useful links:

CDC- Well Water Contaminates


PFOA Links:

Delgado and Hoosick Falls


Officials: Approach To Hoosick Falls Would Not Change After New PFAS Recommendations


Bottled Water

Unfiltered Fervor


CRISPR-Cas9 Babies-Same story, different take-away

STAT-news story


DailyMail story



GapMinder- choose your x and y axes: E.g. CO2 emissions vs. malaria rate


ngram-viewer: E.g. How often does the word enigma appear in literature?




A Thing Explainer


MLK Day Information from CCE


We are all excited to welcome you back to campus today and tomorrow.  The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) has over twenty student fellows working on preparing engagement activities over the next few weeks which includes the 8th annual day of engagement on Monday, January 21 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr, which is a national day of service.  


Students can select one of four types of engagement:


1.  Traditional one day service field work with local non-profits.

2.  Attend a Mini-conference that includes a panel of local leaders with the choice of one of 16 interactive workshops.

3.  Volunteer at a Sustainability Expo at the Red Hook Community Center partially sponsored by CCE and Bard's Sustainability Office.

4.  Volunteer to run a STEM related escape room with local kids in Kingston.  


Learn more and sign-up at CCE's website.


We hope the MLK Day of Engagement inspires you to commit to regular community work.  You can get more involved with CCE by joining the science night out on January 17 and learn about year-round opportunities to do science outreach (all majors welcome - no previous experience needed).


CCE has a wide variety of opportunities that range in scope and commitment.  We welcome student input and are open to supporting multiple ways of engagement in the community.  Don't be shy - stop by Manor Gatehouse or talk to a Cit Sci fellow in Kline during tabling hours.


For more information contact CCE Coordinator Sarah deVeer at sdeveer@bard.edu.




Notes to Self.... Pay no attention for the moment.

Chapters 1, 2, and 6 are the required readings from the Fishman book.  I'll let you know when each should be done.

Fishman comments: Twitter-  #BigThirst or tagged @fishman.  He'll read all tweets from #BardCitSci19.







Egyptian Promtional Poster