Friday, September 5, 2008

Starting at Cal


I didn't know if I was ever going to start blogging here again, but after I saw Joe up and churned some new things out, I decided to get back into things a little.

Since moving cross country in mid-July, things are just starting to settle down. I had a flurry of visitors and trips for a little, including WUGC's and Yosemite. Myself and Tubs are up top pushing out a set at the top of Half Dome after a crushing night hike. My form sucks.

Research here has centered around creating course modules for the Engineering and Business for Sustainability program here at UC Berkeley. It's gotten pretty challenging as I'm now trying to create lectures for classes and subjects I have very little background in. If any of my many, many readers happens to have some awesome, free sources for Industrial Ecology pleases let me know. I feel lost at times but am now taking it as a challenge and really want to complete my tasks as best I can.

Classes are interesting, I'm taking public health risk assessment, civil systems and the environment (LCA), and lean construction I. I'm allowing myself not to be so focused on construction management and came into each class with no subjective ideas of what I thought would be most interesting to me. I think it will help when I look for jobs and can be much more open to different career paths. I still find myself really drawn to the lean production concepts, and the more I learn about them the more I find it applicable to everything.

One thing that really caught my attention, other than lean things, was during the civil systems course. I was really impressed when looking through past student group reports, and one group did a well thought out criticism of LEED. Using LCA techniques, they argued that the point system even rewards things that are incredibly inefficient in an environmental sense. When looking at the life cycle inventory of a building, worker commutes and materials completely overshadow other aspects such as construction. LEED does not acknowledge this well by awarding points for multiple level parking garages (to reduce land use). Guess I wish I had thought of that.

On a side note, not playing club ultimate this fall and being in a new place has been pretty good to me thus far. Still, I am dying to play, but the knee tendinitis is constantly getting better, and I am getting into a solid workout regime I haven't really had since last summer. And being really, truly excited for college ultimate is something I haven't really had since... um... end post.

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