PLN Portfolio

This Personal Learning Network Portfolio is a little collection of posts from my social media platforms. The Personal Learning Network (PLN) is my own social network, spanning across online platforms, consisting of friends and colleagues, acquaintances, and companies I’m following and hoping to get noticed by, or maybe just want to get a little inspiration from. On LinkedIn and Twitter, I followed my classmates and professors, as well as tech celebrities, scholars, companies, and organizations that I admire or want to work for.

Dr. Daniel C. Wahl is a scholar I have been following since early on in my Twitter account’s life. I had no idea who he is, but both his bio summary on his profile and the kind of material he was putting out seemed more than relevant to my field of study. There is a lot to break down in this article, so I’ll keep it simple. “A regenerative human culture is healthy, resilient and adaptable; it cares for the planet and it cares for life” (Wahl 2017). The term “Biophilia,” which is in the name of my eport and in my Twitter handle, essentially means “love of life,” and it’s the idea that all life loves all other life. As much as our human existence seems to resist this idea, it still exists for us. This concept is important in creating a sustainable and regenerative world.

Trees For Life, an organization I would like to work with in the future, has been trying to reforest Scotland, using the science of FUNGI, which, frankly, is one of the coolest forms of life around. Trees couldn’t live without mycorrhizae, a symbiotic fungi that helps feed nutrients to trees through their roots and connects them with other trees. This fungi is especially important when trying to plant new forests in places where the soil has gone dry of nutrients and isn’t held together very well.

This mesmerizing video is one of many reminders we have of the beauty the natural world has to offer. Originally when I retweeted this, I wanted to add a comment, but I was in a bit of a rush. As much as we must study the natural world and all of its complexity in great detail, sometimes we need to take a step back and remember the splendor we’re trying to save.

The Biomimicry Institute was co-founded by Janine Benyus and Dayna Baumeister, the person to coin the term “biomimicry” and the scholar being interviewed here, respectively. Sustainable cities that work with their ecosystems are essential for the future.

Blue Ventures is the primary company that I want to work for in the future. They do a lot of work in international communities, many of them coastal communities, teaching them how to live more sustainably with their environment and helping them fight for their land and fishing rights. I’ve always wanted to travel for my job, and if I work with them, I will be working in my field, traveling, helping people, and having adventures. That sounds like the kind of life I want to live.

Setting up the database was the most challenging part of my applied project. It involved redirecting a page on my WordPress (Plymouth Create) website to an Omeka website that could actually handle the database thing, downloading something called Cyberduck to actually be ABLE to download and install the appropriate plug-ins, identifying the appropriate plug-ins, downloading them, making sure they were in the right place, installing them, configuring them, downloading the Google Sheets database document as a CSV file (comma-separated value), installing and uninstalling it on the website three or four times before I actually got it right, and matching up the elements with the correct taxonomic designation. From this one element alone, I learned a lot. And accomplishing this gave me the confidence that I could complete this part of my capstone with gusto.

I was so proud of myself for making my applied project website PSU Algae look as good as it did. Of course it wasn’t until after I tweeted this that I should’ve taken a screenshot and posted it instead of taking a photo and getting that weird reflective glare of my laptop screen. Still! Look at that beautiful webpage!

This was posted a few days after I actually finished and submitted my capstone components, but this was my announcement to the world! I’m ready for you! Look at what I can do!

This recent tweet was of a TED Talk where Suzanne Simard talked about what she discovered about the communication of trees. Hub trees, or mother trees, send extra carbon and other nutrients to their young saplings, and the roots of the community form a very real social network. With the loss of hub trees, or loss of diversity, even, forests have a harder time bouncing back from disturbances – like clear cuts. This could inform how we harvest lumber from now on. Save the hub trees to encourage faster and healthier growth for a new stand! This is part of conservation and sustainable harvest.

My professor, Bonnie J. Toomey, mentioned me at length in her article about our class. That moment where I had that realization that for the first time in my life, I wasn’t expecting to go back to school, happened just a week ago. I hadn’t realized my words had made that kind of an impact.

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