George Middendorf

George Middendorf
Howard University | HU · Department of Biology

PhD

About

67
Publications
31,466
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578
Citations

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Full-text available
Understanding tropical biology is important for solving complex problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and zoonotic pandemics, but biology curricula view research mostly via a temperate-zone lens. Integrating tropical research into biology education is urgently needed to tackle these issues. Tropical biology is currently largely absent...
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This essay proposes African-based ethical solutions to profound human problems and a working African model to address those problems. The model promotes sustainability through advanced agroecological and information communication technologies. The essay’s first section reviews the ethical ground of that model in the work of the Senegalese scholar,...
Article
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Since the Four‐Dimensional Ecology Education (4DEE) framework was endorsed in the fall of 2018 by the ESA Governing Board, activities of the nine‐member 4DEE Subcommittee have focused on developing a self‐assessment rubric, a guide for assessing student learning, support for majors and non‐majors courses, and a comprehensive report. Together, these...
Article
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The essay investigates the ethical principles of the responsible conduct of STEM research at Africana universities to engage those principles in discharging the ethical responsibilities of universities to their supporting communities. The model’s ethical platform for ethical STEM studies follows W.E.B Du Bois’ community-based vision of historically...
Preprint
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The essay investigates the ethical principles of the responsible conduct of STEM research at Africana universities to engage those principles in discharging the ethical responsibilities of universities to their supporting communities. The model’s ethical platform for ethical STEM studies follows W.E.B Du Bois’ community-based vision of historically...
Article
Working on the Encyclopedia Africana under the sponsorship of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, W.E.B. Du Bois reversed his conviction that only the ‘talented tenth’ could profit from a university education. He proposed that virtually all humans have a right to a university education. He further insisted that Africana (African and African in the Diaspora) un...
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In October 2012 individuals associated with the Green Heritage Fund Suriname organized a rescue of arboreal mammals displaced during deforestation of a 6.8 ha plot in northwest Paramaribo. Rescued or observed animals included 137 pale-throated three-toed sloths (Bradypus tridactylus), eight two-toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus), three Brazilian po...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As he began to develop his philosophy of socialism, W.E.B. Du Bois reversed his conviction that only the “talented tenth” could profit from a university education. Working on the Encyclopedia Africana under the sponsorship of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, he decided that virtually all humans should have a right to a university education and that Africana...
Article
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Ethical theory and technology practice raise two primary questions. First, what are the ethical principles driving sustainable appropriate technology? Second, what are the viable applications of those principles with respect to alternative appropriate technologies? The hypothesis of this study is that the earth is experiencing the current and sixth...
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This essay demonstrates how African philosophy can be a key to African innovation and development. Its first section illustrates how philosophy as a discipline drives innovation in science and technology. The second part proposes a new discipline linking science, engineering and technology to sustainable, ethical development. The third section prop...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Having educated a significant number of blacks working in STEM disciplines over the past 150 years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) hold unique positions in higher education in the United States. However the history of ecology at HBCU institutions is little known, poorly understood and has been oft...
Conference Paper
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Background/Question/Methods The Ecological Society of America's centenary provides an opportunity for the society to examine its success in promoting careers of women and under-represented racial and ethnic minorities in the field of ecology. In recent years, ESA has initiated efforts to improve representation, including the WAMIE I and II Report...
Conference Paper
While science and religion both provide explanatory stories, they differ in that science uses facts to assemble theories that are always subject to revision, rejection and replacement. None-the-less, they are not incompatible. About one third of scientists believe in God, half are religiously affiliated. For the general public, both exceed 80%. Sci...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Environmental justice has become part of mainstream ecology’s vocabulary. Most ecologists recognize that environmental justice deals with the fair distribution of ecological costs and benefits and many understand that fairness is a component necessary for sustainability. However, it is not clear that ecologists routinel...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Why should anyone teach at a minority-serving institution (MSI)? Because it’s more than just a job. Within the next decade minority children are expected to comprise more than half of the nation’s students. Because many of these first-generation students will attend MSIs, their impact will continue to be astounding. Fo...
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We discuss how academically-based interdisciplinary teams can address the extreme challenges of the world's poorest by increasing access to the basic necessities of life. The essay's first part illustrates the evolving commitment of research universities to develop ethical solutions for populations whose survival is at risk and whose quality of lif...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Increasing levels of urban sprawl and development require increasing compensatory mitigation to preserve remaining ecological systems and associated biodiversity. In the early 1990s, Maryland’s State Highway Administration began work on 13 highway projects, each generating detrimental impact to wetland systems in the P...
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In their Letter “Competencies: A cure for pre-med curriculum” (11 November 2011, p. [760][1]), W. A. Anderson and colleagues endorse a proposed shift in pre-medical education toward core competencies. We believe that the specific competencies proposed by the Association of American Medical
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Given the possibilities of synthetic biology, weapons of mass destruction and global climate change, humans may achieve the capacity globally to alter life. This crisis calls for an ethics that furnishes effective motives to take global action necessary for survival. We propose a research program for understanding why ethical principles change acro...
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We propose consideration of at least two possible evolutionary paths for the emergence of intelligent life with the potential for technical civilization. The first is the path via encephalization of homeothermic animals; the second is the path to swarm intelligence of so-called superorganisms, in particular the social insects. The path to each appe...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Effective earth stewardship calls for interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships between community groups and environmental professionals. Coursework and dialog that promotes understanding of the social and political contexts within which ecological issues are resolved is critical for preparing future ecologists...
Conference Paper
Guidelines for engaging outside the ecological community: fostering local and regional interactions with communities in need Background/Question/Methods: Researchers and managers seeking to work with local residents outside the ecological community often lack guidance on best practices for working with the very people that they seek to serve or i...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods For over two decades, members and leaders of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) have pursued a vision of an ecological community that reflects the full diversity of our nation, one that addresses the full sweep of concerns and needs of our society. Several hypotheses, often only implicit and without strong empirical...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Despite denial of global climate change (CC) by some, the scientific community increasingly recognizes the need to predict and prepare for CC impact. Among the most pressing issues is the need to develop mechanisms to address impact inequities. The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has long been engaged in education,...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Communicating about global climate change (GCC) is difficult; changing attitudes and developing policy are even more so. Issues of reality, veracity, consensus, impact, probability, planning, and implementation confound an already complex subject. Scientists expect rational responsesand expect them to occur within reason...
Article
Two possible evolutionary paths should be considered for the emergence of intelligent life with the potential for technical civilization, encephalization in warm blooded animals, and swarm intelligence in superorganisms (e.g., termite colonies).
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods On average, the ratio of tail-length (TL) to body-length (SVL) is greater in S. jarrovii than in its sympatric congener, S. virgatus, which rarely climbs, suggesting that the TL may have some role adapting S. jarrovii to scansorial life and that reduction may reduce the fitness. Vertical run-speed (VRS) and aerial-right...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods - Over the past several decades, expansion in the areas of cell and molecular biology, landscape level ecology, and the environmental sciences has resulted in dramatic changes in the structure and curriculum of biology. Because the loss of traditional natural history and other organismal university courses has reduced tr...
Article
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Kleidon (2009) concludes that warm climates impose important constraints on the evolution of large brains relative to body size, confirming our previous hypothesis (Schwartzman and Middendorf 2000). Here we update the case for our hypothesis and present a first approximation estimate of the cooling required for hominin brain size increase using a s...
Article
El tecolote barbón (Otus trichopsis) y el tecolote serrano (Glaucidium gnoma) llevaron lagartijas espinosas de Yarrow (Sceloporus jarrovi) y lagartijas de meseta rayadas (S. virgatus) a sus nidos desde el atardecer hasta el anochecer en el sureste de Arizona. Esta observación estimuló estudios de entregas de presas a nidos de tecolotes y patrones d...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods An understanding of ecological concepts is necessary to form an ecologically literate citizenry that can meaningfully address current and emerging environmental issues. Ecological education is particularly critical for communities suffering disproportionate environmental impacts. Environmental justice (EJ) issues have...
Article
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Six related studies were conducted with four captive juvenile Kit Foxes (Vulpes macrotis) to test the hypothesis that blood-squirting from eye-socket tissues by Texas Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma cornutum) is a canid antipredator defense. In 16 trials, naive “hungry” foxes killed and ate adult Yarrow's Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus jarrovii; eight of eig...
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Variability within the genus Phrynosoma in the occurrence of ocular-sinus blood-squirting, reportedly a defense used in canid encounters, is reviewed from the literature. Six species have been reported to squirt blood, and seven species remain unreported. Five of the latter species were tested in dog trials; one exhibited blood-squirting (Phrynosom...
Article
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The long-term cooling history of the Earth's biosphere implies a temperature constraint on the timing of major events in biologic evolution, e.g., emergence of cyanobacteria, eucaryotes and Metazoa apparently occurred at times when temperatures were near their upper growth limits. Could biospheric cooling also have been a necessary condition for th...
Article
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In staged, predator-prey encounters between Texas horned lizards, Phrynosoma cornutum, and a canid, Canis familiaris, 47 of 55 lizards (85%) squirted blood from orbital sinuses. The probability of blood-squirting was not significantly affected by either (1) lizard body temperature (low, 85% vs high, 100%) or (2) time of day (diurnal, 70% vs nocturn...
Article
1.1. Muscle esterase variation in Sceloporus jarrovi, sampled from 25 locations in southeastern Arizona, was investigated employing acrylamide gel electrophoresis.2.2. Three distinct esterase phenotypes were observed, presumably resulting from the expression of two gene loci, Est-1 and Est-2.3.3. Lizards sampled from all 25 locations were found to...
Article
Fruit of the blackberry, Rubus pennsylvanicus Poir. (Rosaceae), were examined to determine variation in maturation characteristics. Maturation timing and rate varied greatly among individual fruits, resulting in a bi-colored fruiting display comprised largely of two maturation stages, pre-ripe (salmon and scarlet) and ripe (dark brown and black). W...
Article
The influence of thermoregulation on patterns of resource use was examined for different age classes of Yarrow's spiny lizard, Sceloporus jarrovi, in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. Significant differences were observed between juvenile and adult body temperatures and body-air temperature differences. Adult body temperatures were...
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Male and female laboratory mice (; Harlan Sprague Dawley) were tested for reactions to snake odors. In the first experiment, mice were presented with untreated paper on the floor of one side of a test tank and snake-scented or control (water misted) paper on the other side. The scented papers were obtained from rough earth snakes (), which were fed...
Article
Food choices, perch heights and substrates, and activity times were examined for the iguanid lizard Sceloporus jarrovi during periods of relatively low (June) and high (August) food abundance. Studies done in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona showed all of these resources, with the exception of perch substrates, are utilized differen...
Article
Previous studies of spatial relationships in lizards have neglected spacing patterns by juvenile lizards. We observed the establishment of juvenile home ranges for 56 resident and 10 introduced Sceloporus jarrovi during the summers of 1974 and 1975. Home ranges, and thus smaller defended territories within them, were established close to birth loca...
Article
Many lizards extrude the tongue and touch the substrate under natural conditions. Reasons for this "licking" have never been examined. Eight Sceloporus jarrovi, Yarrow's spiny lizard, were exposed to three novel situations: a rock placed in the home cage; a previously unoccupied, unfamiliar cage; and an unfamiliar cage where another lizard had been...
Article
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Sceloporus jarrovi exhibits intraspecific differences in temporal and microhabitat resource usage. During the summer months of 1974 and 1975, most adult activity occurred in the early morning while most juvenile activity occurred near noon. Lizards were active an average of only 2.5 days/wk. Because the animals were active on different days and at...

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Projects (3)
Project
The 4-Dimensional Ecology Education (4-DEE) framework is an initiative sponsored by the Ecological Society of America to define core knowledge in ecology. The four dimensions include Basic Ecological Principles, Cross-Cutting Themes, Skills, and Human Dimensions.