Laurel Gorton

Springfield, OR, United States

About Laurel

Bio

I am a senior at the University of Oregon. I will be graduating with a major in Biology with n emphasis in Ecology and Evolution

I'm passionate about

Nature. It is beautiful and it is up to us to preserve our natural world.

Comments & conversations

185091
Laurel Gorton
Posted about 2 years ago
What will happen when the world speaks only a few languages?
Kind of going off what you said Nick, what are the harsh downfalls of language homogenization? I believe having so many different languages is a beautiful thing personally because it gives us so many different cultures in which we can gain endless knowledge and perspective. But really, what bad things would happen if we all spoke the same language?
185091
Laurel Gorton
Posted about 2 years ago
Can we control the emergence of zoonotic infectious disease?
Do you think even if the hunters were educated, they would change their actions? Do you think the costs of contracting a deadly disease would outweigh the benefits in their eyes? There also may be other factors involved besides not fearing contracting an infectious disease. Here is something I find interesting. There was an article published by Popular Science that was related to this topic of zoonotic diseases. It had an emphasis on the Marburg virus which is related to Ebola.In 2007 a team of miners who were working in a cave in Uganda filled with Egyptian fruit bats contracted Marburg and died. After their death a response team including members from the CDC, NICD, and WHO were sent to the cave. What I find interesting is that the response team dawned full protective clothing including Tyvek suits, rubber boots, goggles, respirators, gloves, and helmets; clothing all of us would expect to wear in a cave potentially housing a deadly disease. However, the local miners that were leading the team throughout the cave wore shorts, T-shirts, and sandals... Christine, have you found anything throughout your research regarding the thoughts of any of the locals, not just the bushmeat hunters on how they view something like disease? I have a feeling that a lot of people, including hunters just simply aren't aware of threats of disease, but the ones that do, as in the case of these miners seem to deal with it as a normal part of nature and are willing to take the risks. Here is the article: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-08/out-wild?single-page-view=true
185091
Laurel Gorton
Posted about 2 years ago
How do we justify consumption of palm oil? What can we do to stop palm oil companies from destroying the African rainforest?
Well, I tried really hard to find it but there was an article I once read about a country with a large population of endangered sea turtles in which a program was set up to teach the locals about how important conservation of the turtles was. The program was intended not only for education but if I remember correctly, it created paying jobs for the locals to protect the turtles in different ways (educate tourists, patrol the beaches, etc.) It ended up working really well and I believe they were able to stop the population decline. I'm sorry for the vagueness. If anyone knows the article/program I am talking about please post it!
185091
Laurel Gorton
Posted about 2 years ago
How do we justify consumption of palm oil? What can we do to stop palm oil companies from destroying the African rainforest?
I wrote a paper in a conservation bio class I took last year about palm oil plantations on Borneo. Indonesia and Malaysia provide 86% of the world's supply of palm oil with Indonesia being the world's main supplier. Here is a National Geographic article about deforestation in Borneo with an emphasis on palm oil plantations and orangutans. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/borneo/white-text/1 Here is a link to the photo gallery as well. It tends to make more of an impact when you can actually see the devastation. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/borneo/klum-photography Here is a specific paragraph from the article I find interesting. It talks about the perspective of the locals: "When Meijaard spends time in villages discussing the choice between forest conservation and oil palm plantations, he never mentions orangutans. "People get bored with that in five minutes. To them it's just another monkey in a tree that Western people want to come and look at. But if I talk to them about fish in the rivers or pigs in the forest, then they pay attention, because those are resources they can harvest from the forest." Robert or Ryan: Do the locals around the Ivory Coast in Africa have the same view as those from Borneo? By same view I mean how do they view the local monkeys and apes? I believe a really important step in conservation is educating the locals on how important it is to conserve their natural setting while still allowing them to the freedom to harvest the resources they need.
185091
Laurel Gorton
Posted about 2 years ago
Is college really as important as our society today has made it out to be?
What you want today may not necessarily be what you want in 4 years. Your ideas/wants/needs are always changing. However, if you don't want to go to college then absolutely do not go to college. You will just be wasting time and money. When I graduated high school I had the mindset that college was what everyone expected me to do and what I "needed" to do right after high school. I did not think it through. I was undeclared going to an expensive university (University of Oregon.) I ended up going to a community college the next three years after the first year at UofO. Withdrew from so many classes and wasted so much money. I finally declared a major 4 years later and here I am in my 6th year of college about ready to graduate from UofO with only a bachelor's degree. What I can say is that I feel that college was worth it for me, but I should NOT have gone right after high school until I had a set plan and had the drive. There are millions of young students out there that have the drive right after high school that end up going to college and doing amazing things. I have so many successful friends who make more than 100k a year that never went to college. These people just had the drive to do something different. If a simple life is what you want then go for it. However, just keep in mind what I said before, everyone's interests change and you may be living a life later on that you do not want because you did not prepare.
185091
Laurel Gorton
Posted about 2 years ago
Does urban “green” harbor healthier microbes?
Green roofs are a great idea and provide so many benefits from storm water management to improving the costs of the heat island effect to aesthetic value. One perhaps often overlooked benefit is the opportunity to create thousands of new jobs. If 1% of the United States' roof space in communities where the population is over 50,000 were converted to Green Roofs, it would create 190,000 new jobs. (http://www.greenroofs.org/index.php/about/greenroofbenefits) Here is something else to consider when thinking about Green Roofs: Many need to be planted with species that can withstand sometimes harsh environments. (UV radiation, wind, etc.) Here is an article from Scientific American explaining how these species may not be beneficial at all. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-manhattans-green-roofs-dont-work-how-to-fix-them
185091
Laurel Gorton
Posted about 2 years ago
Does urban “green” harbor healthier microbes?
I just think that yes, more research needs to be done (at least for allergies) instead of just correlating low allergy occurrences with living proximity to green spaces. I grew up in the country and have had ridiculous grass allergies my whole life. I also have a friend that grew up in the country that has very bad allergies. There are a lot of factors that could come into play: regional specificity, type of microbes, etc. Making cities more green is absolutely a great idea in my eyes, but on the allergy side, increasing greenery could increase people's disposition to acquiring an allergy, especially if current research suggests that the urban population has a higher incidence of it. I know there is a whole lot more involved in this idea but there is my input on the allergy side
185091
Laurel Gorton
Posted about 2 years ago
Does urban “green” harbor healthier microbes?
Why are we trying to increase densities in cities and preventing urban sprawl in the first place? I guess a better question is how? Is it that people would rather live in the city then in a rural area? Or are we as a society trying to convince more and more people this is what we should do?