Online Student Book

 

Science as a Human Endeavor

general issues

 

Science and engineering are human activities. People from all over the world engage in science and engineering and use scientific information and technological solutions. The types of questions a scientist asks and the types of problems an engineer tries to solve are influenced by what they think is important. And what they think is important to investigate often depends on their background, experiences, and perspective. This is why it is essential for all types of people to become scientists and engineers—to be sure science and engineering respond to their interests and needs and to be sure that there are diverse ideas to enrich explanations and arguments. Participation by a wide variety of people in science and engineering will lead to greater and swifter progress toward understanding how the natural world works and solving problems facing individuals, communities, and the environment.

To learn more about the interests and accomplishments of diverse scientists and engineers, and how people with varied backgrounds contribute to and depend on the advancement of science and technology, visit the links below.


Issues and Science for California, Grade 6

Land, Water, and Human Interactions

Nathanael Wales
Wales is a civil engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He plans projects to protect the shoreline from flooding and erosion, and to protect stream banks from erosion and collapse.

Rafael L. Bras
Bras is a civil engineer who studies rainfall and water runoff to predict flooding of rivers and coastal areas.

Aziza Amiri
Aziza manages sanitary sewer and roadway projects for the city of San Jose, California.

Alexa Ducioame
Alexa Ducioame is a project engineer in the water resources and floodplain management. Her career path was influenced by her family's evacuation from their home during the 1997 Red River flood in North Dakota.

Clint Willson
Willson is a civil and environmental engineering professor who directs a project to study the Mississippi River in order to protect the river delta.

Energy

Carrie Armel
Dr. Carrie Armel investigates how understanding human behavior can lead to improvements in energy efficiency. 

Crystal McDonald
Crystal McDonald supports strategies and programs that develop sustainable communities, install clean energy technologies, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, she is working with Better Buildings Challenge Partners in the K-12 Education. 

Bing Liu
Bing Liu leads a team to support the development and deployment of energy codes and standards for buildings.  

Weather and Climate

Inez Fung
Fung studies the interactions between climate change and biogeochemical cycles, and focuses on the processes that maintain and alter the composition of the atmosphere, and hence the climate.

Brenda Ekwurzel
Brenda Ekwurzel is a senior climate scientist and the at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She researches the influence of major carbon producers on rising global average temperatures and sea level. 

Jessica Osuna
Jessica Osuna is an atmospheric and environmental scientist. She researches ways that changes of carbon dioxide, water, and energy from the Earth's surface are modeled and measured, in order to improve climate models.

Body Systems

Edith A. Perez
Perez is a pioneering breast cancer researcher who has led numerous clinical trials for new breast cancer therapies which spurs the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. Her work bridges the Body Systems and From Cells to Organisms units.

Ben Barres
Ben Barres was a researcher of the role of glia, the most common type of brain cell, in development and disease. He was also a strong supporter for equal opportunity in science. His research bridges the Body Systems and From Cells to Organisms units.

Juleen R. Zierath
Zierath's research focuses on cellular mechanisms of Type II diabetes. Her research bridges the Body Systems and From Cells to Organisms units.

Paula A. Johnson
Dr. Johnson is trained as a cardiologist and has conducted research on women’s health issues.

Cells to Organisms

Carolyn R. Bertozzi
Bertozzi uses an integrated approach to studying how cells communicate with each other through chemical reactions involving sugars. Her research bridges the Cells to Organisms unit and the Chemical Reactions unit.

Edith A. Perez
Perez is a pioneering breast cancer researcher who has led numerous clinical trials for new breast cancer therapies which spurs the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells.

Henrietta Lacks
The cells collected from Henrietta Lacks during a biopsy in 1951. These cells, named HeLa cells, are used by researchers in laboratories to study the effects of toxins, drugs, hormones and viruses on the growth of cancer cells. Her contribution to science and medicine bridges the Reproduction unit and the From Cells to Organisms unit.

Roger Arliner Young
Young was a zoologist and biologist and the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in zoology. She studied the anatomy of paramecium and the effects of radiation on sea urchin cells.

Juleen R. Zierath
Zierath's research focuses on cellular mechanisms of Type II diabetes. Her research bridges the Body Systems and From Cells to Organisms units.

Lydia Villa-Komaroff
Her research focuses on the use of recombinant DNA, and bridges the From Cells to Organisms and Reproduction unit. She is co-founder of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists).

Ben Barres
Ben Barres was a researcher of the role of glia, the most common type of brain cell, in development and disease. He was also a strong supporter for equal opportunity in science. His research bridges the Body Systems and From Cells to Organisms units.

David R. Burgess
David Burgess conducts research on how cells move and change shape.

Reproduction

Scott V. Edwards
Edwards studies the genetics and evolution of birds to study patterns of speciation and the process of adaptation. His work bridges the Reproduction and Evolution units.

Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Franklin used x-ray crystallography to be the first person to determine the structure of DNA.

Henrietta Lacks
The cells collected from Henrietta Lacks during a biopsy in 1951. These cells, named HeLa cells, are used by researchers in laboratories to study the effects of toxins, drugs, hormones and viruses on the growth of cancer cells. Her contribution to science and medicine bridges the Reproduction unit and the From Cells to Organisms unit.

Ian Wilmut
Wilmut is famous for cloning a sheep named Dolly in 1996. Since then his focus has been on cloning stem cells which could be used in regenerative medicine.

Lydia Villa-Komaroff
Her research focuses on the use of recombinant DNA, and bridges the From Cells to Organisms and Reproduction unit. She is co-founder of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists).

Rick Kittles
Dr. Kittles conducts research on genetics, ancestry, cancer, and disease risk, including health disparities in African-American, Latino, and Native American populations.


Issues and Science for California, Grade 7

Ecology

Victoria J. Orphan
Orphan studies microorganisms that consume methane on the ocean floor, bridging the Ecology and Geological Processes Units. Her work is helping to show how microbes can play a role in sequestering greenhouse gases.

Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, environmentalist and writer who alerted the world to the harmful environmental effects of pesticides. Her best-known book, Silent Spring, helped shape a growing environmental awareness.

Steward Pickett
Pickett is an ecologist and Director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. He is investigating how urban ecology can make our cities greener, cleaner, and healthier for all.

Robin W. Kimmerer
Dr. Kimmerer is plant ecologist and writer, and is the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. The mission of the center is to create programs which draw onboth indigenous and scientific knowledge for the goals of sustainability. 

Shahid Naaem
Shahid Naeem studies the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss and invasive species. His motto is "Ecology with no Apology."

Teresa Mathews
Teresa Mathews is an environmental scientist who studies chemical contaminants in aquatic ecosystems, and is interested in understanding the biological and chemical processes that affect the accumulation of contaminants in aquatic food webs. Her research bridges the Chemical Reactions and Ecology units.

Geological Processes

Victoria J. Orphan
Orphan studies microorganisms that consume methane on the ocean floor, bridging the Ecology and Geological Processes Units. Her work is helping to show how microbes can play a role in sequestering greenhouse gases.

Lisa D. White
White is a paleontologist and former professor of geology. She now directs educational programs for a museum, with one of her goals being to increase the representation of minorities in the geosciences. Her work bridges Geology and Evolution.

Lucy Jones
Jones is a seismologist who uses data on foreshocks to predict the likelihood of an earthquake following a temblor. This research has led to 11 earthqauake advisories in California since 1985.

Amy Jo Williams
Williams worked on Curiosity mission to Mars to search for evidence of microbial life in the rock record.

Rosaly Lopes
Dr. Lopes is currently a member of the Cassini Flight Project. She is studying the geology of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, particularly its strange ice volcanoes.

Marie Tharp
Tharp helped create the first map of Atlantic Ocean floor.

Chemistry of Materials

Ainissa G. Ramirez
Ramirez is a materials engineer dedicated to communicating science to all people in ways that are fun and interesting.

Angela Belcher
Belcher lab engineers organisms and viruses to make hybrid organic-inorganic materials, such as solar cells and batteries.

Mary Sherman Morgan
Morgan is invented the liquid fuel Hydyne in 1957, which powered the Jupiter-C rocket that boosted the United States' first satellite, Explorer 1.

Narinder Singh Kapany
Considered to be the father of fiber optics in Silicon Valley, revolutionizing modern communication.

Chemical Reactions

Carolyn R. Bertozzi
Bertozzi uses an integrated approach to studying how cells communicate with each other through chemical reactions involving sugars. Her research bridges the Cells to Organisms unit and the Chemical Reactions unit.

Chen Liao
Chen Liao is developing new electrolyte materials for high capacity batteries. This battery chemistry is being used in the batteries of next generation electric cars like the Tesla.

Teresa Mathews
Teresa Mathews is an environmental scientist who studies chemical contaminants in aquatic ecosystems, and is interested in understanding the biological and chemical processes that affect the accumulation of contaminants in aquatic food webs. Her research bridges the Chemical Reactions and Ecology units.

Biomedical Engineering

Jack Andraka
As a teenager still in high school, Jack Andraka invented a cheap detection test for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers.

Marta Dark McNeese
Marta is a physicist who works on the use of lasers in knee surgery to repair tears and strengthen cartilage.

Aimee Mullins
A paralympian, actress, and model, who uses prosthetic legs that were designed and developed by bioengineers.

Ferolyn Powell
Inventor of the MitraClip, a medical device to treat a heart condition without surgery.

Famous Biomedical Engineering Graduates
List of diverse people who have majored in Biomedical Engineering in College.