I have been privy to the dominating policies of Albany State Teachers College.
Elements of the syndrome include relaxed standards to accommodate teacher training, political bossism and the adverse treatment of the environment. Yet members of its faculty insist it is the precursor of the University at Albany.
Experienced minds know that to be a fallacy. Schools and Colleges of Education consist of teachers whose job is the training of fledgling teachers. Universities contain colleges of the Arts and Sciences, Agriculture, various divisions of Engineering, Communications, Performing Arts, Journalism, etc. The transition from College Town to University City would profit local citizens and nearly all of New York’s population.
Each Department is expected to hire faculty working to provide courses with the most recently published research findings. They are also expected to seek adequate funding for research.
Lacking in the ASTC is a scientific approach to resolve questions in the material universe. An understanding of mechanism needs to replace political expediency and questionable authority: science-science (SS) only, not the combined science and natural history of media-science. A scientific approach gathers all relevant information before casting a working hypothesis that identifies the cause of observable facts. (“Science” is both a search for cause and a cornucopia of earlier discovery”.)
Current custodians of local habitats such as the Albany Pinebush and Lake George (LG) ignore the scientific approach. The 3200 acre Pine Bush ecosystem became the victim of combustion by fire. Flames transformed Pinebush into Albany Scrub-bush. It currently consists of multiple species of unidentifiable black oaks. With above ground buds destroyed, regeneration each Spring becomes the job for root buds that survive the fire, which are unequipped to produce species specific identifiers.
Environmental awareness invites scrutiny of current practice in Albany’s “Pine Bush”. Converting vegetation to greenhouse gasses flouts New York’s efforts to reduce them. One person’s misguided attempt to provide habitat for a small reptile confined to the Chihuahua Desert of Mexico contributes to global warming, and suggests the personal vanity of a herpetologist and an ignorance of ecology. How does burning dinner in the oven feed horned toads, plain toads and salamanders?
My suggestion is why not shelve misdirection and selfishness and favor the planting of a hardwood forest for a growing volume of ecosystem services such as the absorption of greenhouse gasses. My, and hopefully the financial contribution of other donors await the installation of the necessary workforce.
Lacking a scientific approach, the commandeering engineers of RPI provide essential service by guarding the quality of water flowing into Lake George; necessary but insufficient. A scientific appraisal would hypothesize, based on gathered evidence, that the vast underwater meadows of nitella provided the hallmark clarity initially and continue to do so.
Currently the meadows suffer from inflowing plant nutrients, worse in the lake south of the Narrows. In the 23-year time span from1948 to 1971, an index of light penetration was reduced from a depth of 84 to 42 feet, the culprit, phosphate. Although evident, the effect was less severe north of the Narrows.
Light provides two services, energy for photosynthesis and information for its signal functions, known as photogenesis. Nature’s greenery owns the necessary pigmented proteins to capture photons in the signal bands of red, blue and violet radiation. A scientific perspective exposes the work of energetic and signal light.
Raymond G (Ray) Stross,