Marcel Harmon (he/him) Profile picture
Anthropologist (PhD), Engineer (PE), Applied Evolutionist, Writer. Focused on evolutionary & HCD approaches to built environment & world. Views my own. He/him
5 Jan
These are the type of actions our pharmacies, hair salons, retail stores, offices, universities, k-12 schools, individual residences, etc., need to be taking, particularly w/... 1/

@KDHE @LDCHEALTH @lawrenceks @douglascountyks @UnivOfKansas @usd497 @LawrenceChamber #ksleg #ksed
a more transmissible strain spreading in the U.S. & months left before vaccination levels are where needed to be.

CO2 levels can be used to estimate ventilation levels, though it's important to account for factors like the number of people present, the size of,... 2/
the space, & the use of portable air cleaners. Pages 23-24 of this document from @HarvardChanSPH & @j_g_allen provide a means for estimating ventilation rates based on measured CO2 levels. 3/…
Read 16 tweets
3 Jan
I would challenge your point that “No matter what we do, resources will remain scarce and people will compete over them.” First, there’s an abundance of evidence from the archaeological, historical, & contemporary ethnographic records of individuals & groups cooperating... 1/
(employing some or all of Ostrom’s principles) to survive in environments of scarce resources (& not just hunter/gatherer groups). Not saying the evidence for competition (including violent competition) isn’t also there, or that the competition between groups isn’t also... 2/
what often drives the cooperation among group members (because it does), only that cooperation seems to have been most effective when these principles are applied (even as part of a larger competition between groups).

Cooperating (& squashing toxic individualism) was... 3/
Read 17 tweets
22 Sep 20
Sure. I think that’s great advice, whether or not we’re in a pandemic. As high performance bldg consultants, we’ve been doing that since last March. Engaging school districts to help them work through building/behavioral strategies for reopening relevant to their situation. 1/
As part of that effort we also developed a viral infection risk estimator to help districts (in conjunction w/us, by themselves, or w/ other consultants) evaluate the most effective strategies room by room. Particularly important when resources are limited. I know other... 2/
consultants have been doing similar things (though perhaps not the behavior focus or developing calculators).

But there are limits to such efforts, or other local partnerships w/ businesses, short of a nationally coordinated effort to reopen schools. Decades of deferred... 3/
Read 14 tweets
21 Sep 20
Thoroughly enjoyed this week’s @inquiringshow podcast consisting of @indrevis’s interview of Sara Hendrin regarding her new book: What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World. I love it when the tables are flipped relative to our views of the... 1/
built environment, particularly when that flipping provides a more comprehensive & inclusive focus on people. This idea isn’t new - that people are disabled not because of their bodies or brains but because of the physical environment we’ve created. But Hendrin provides... 2/
an insightful, inspiring, & hopeful take on it.

As they covered sign language in relation to the built environment, I couldn’t help but wonder how reopening schools would be impacted if we all generally knew sign language. Signing during... 3/

#schoolsreopening #ksed
Read 8 tweets
18 Sep 20
Ha! Yeah, Lawrencians are rarely shy about sharing their opinions.

It is true that some of what I discussed either requires larger societal structural change or starting the process to address several months ago. And I do recognize we're now faced w/ a somewhat dire situation.1/
But based on what I know about behavior, I think the ordinance/ticketing won't do much to change the risky behavior of those students already engaged in it. Though as I said before, it could help maintain the behavior of those already complying by reinforcing a perception... 2/
of fairness. I could be wrong (it's not uncommon), but we'll find out.

Something that could be done right now is for KU to convene an emergency working session w/ Greek students, other student groups, faculty, etc. to work out behavior related rules, monitoring procedures,... 3/
Read 6 tweets
18 Sep 20
Also good to see it has a sunset provision. I understand the need to hold everyone across the community to the same standard. That perception is important to help maintain compliance among those who've already been complying (& sacrificing to do so).

But I think the... 1/
ordinance/ticketing will have a limited effect on those individuals, particularly university students, who've been flagrantly engaging in risky behavior.

Many of those students have no ties to our community. They hold misperceptions, or are ignorant of, the seriousness of... 2/
the virus & how it's transmitted. They desperately want to experience their preconceived notion of college life & newfound independence. Their brains aren't finished developing yet. There's a host of reasons contributing to why a city ordinance enforced via ticketing won't... 3/
Read 7 tweets
16 Sep 20
Whether or not the results of the 779 tests between 9/7 & 9/13 are a representative sample of the student body depend on sampling procedures & data analysis techniques we're not privy to. Though given that KU's testing at this point seems... 1/

driven more by limitations in it's ability to do more testing as well as laboratory limitations in processing the results, then it's likely this isn't statistically representative. The 10.9% positivity rate may underestimate the % of students infected between 9/7 & 9/13. 2/ #ksed
Unless the testing by Watkins was designed to specifically provide a representative sample, it's test results likely overestimate student body infection rates. These are students coming in w/ specific symptoms or other concerns. So the infection rate between 9/7 &... 3/

Read 15 tweets
15 Sep 20
Monitoring & graduated sanctions are key for enforcing rules that benefit the campus & larger community, but that requires clearly defining who does the monitoring & enforcement ahead of time.

It also requires involving the relevant key... 1/

stakeholders (students, faculty/staff, administrators, neighborhood associations, Greek life representatives, city/county representatives, etc.) in the development/modification of those rules, as well as how they're monitored/enforced.

@UnivOfKansas & @lawrenceks obviously... 2/
aren't the only ones who failed last spring to effectively start planning for & addressing the behavioral challenges that were inevitably going to occur when campuses tried to reopen. It's been a common occurrence nationally, exacerbated by the lack of a national,... 3/
Read 4 tweets
15 Sep 20
"... the count that dictates how much funding the school district receives from the state."

While state incentives for districts to keep students engaged make some sense, it shouldn't be penalizing districts who are currently,... 1/

#ksed #ksleg…
or will likely later in the year, be struggling to keep students engaged, or even enrolled. Doing so ignores the realities facing communities, districts, parents, & students this year.

And unless we a) ramp of the frequency/quantity of testing, b) improve basic community... 2/
behaviors like mask wearing & physical distancing, c) more consistently address building strategies like ventilation/filtration, & d) consider outside the box ideas like outdoor classrooms (even during winter)…, then in-person school will be... 3/
Read 7 tweets
13 Sep 20
Just as the pandemic has laid bare so many of our societal injustices & maladaptive structures, it has exposed our decades long underfunding of, & inadequate focus on, public education.

Facing that exposed truth,... 1/


via @nytimes @emilybazelon…
along w/ our collective failure to do what it would have taken to equitably/safely have in-person &/or online school, should make all of our faces turn red w/ shame. We have failed our students & educators.

If we can turn this around & begin to contextually... 2/

the strategies experts, consultants, & others have spelled out for us, I also hope that we can use this as an opportunity to further dismantle the remaining elements of the industrial education model.

And adopt educational strategies more aligned w/ how we evolved... 3/

Read 4 tweets
9 Sep 20
5 Concerns Over Air Ionization for Enhancing #IAQ – Especially in Schools.

1st, it should be acknowledged a) this is from a non-BPI manufacturer/distributor (though not necessarily a competitor), & b) it creates a bit... 1/

#ksed @lawrenceks @usd497…
of a straw man regarding some newer BPI tech's reported non-ozone producing capabilities.

That being said, I'm generally in agreement w/ what's stated here. BPI manufacturers have historically touted their tech as a means for reducing ventilation rates, despite evidence... 2/
that this negatively impacts health & performance:….

W/ the advent of the pandemic, they've now pivoted to focus on their tech's ability to control pathogens - a strategy that seems to have been pretty lucrative for some manufacturers/distributors. 3/
Read 7 tweets
3 Sep 20
Not an expert in developing national, coordinated efforts to respond to various crises. But besides a change in leadership, the U.S. must address it's addiction to the myth of the individual & make some fundamental changes to our nested, hierarchical spheres of interaction... 1/
- government, political, economic, educational, etc. The pandemic, terrible as it is, could also be an opportunity for the change needed to address this + other major issues like climate change, racism, wealth gap, etc.

See 2nd half of this essay:… 2/
See this whole series of essays & podcasts on the "Third Way of Entrepreneurship" starting here:…, via @tvolmag & the @EvoInstitute. 3/
Read 6 tweets
1 Sep 20
Nice overview of this topic via @NewYorker & Jill Lepore.

We're evolutionarily mismatched to many aspects of our indoor environments so it's important to figure out how to make the indoors mimic the outdoors relative to it's impact on us as well... 1/…
as spend more time outdoors.

And quantifying those impacts, as @j_g_allen & @cleantechcities lay out in detail in their book, Healthy Buildings, can effectively help drive decision-making to give us healthier built environments.

@BranchPattern has... 3/…
been doing this at the individual project level for more than a decade to help facilitate healthier decision-making during the design/construction process. And the design/operational strategies that result in healthier buildings typically are aligned w/ other sustainable... 4/
Read 5 tweets
1 Sep 20
I agree. We are failing our kids, miserably. But it's not for lack of good ideas. You & others have done phenomenal work in researching, compiling, & communicating key strategies.

We lack the necessary leadership in key areas - from local levels to the White House;...1/

we even have leaders using the pandemic & it's suffering to sow division for their own gain. We also fail to recognize how our individual natures and our collective cultures work against implementing these key strategies, or taking the necessary actions to make those... 2/

key strategies possible. As scientists, researchers, consultants, school district leaders, university administrators, etc., we also need to be talking much more about issues of leadership and behavior. ALL of us.

We'll keep failing our kids if we don't.

Read 5 tweets
30 Aug 20
It’s more difficult w/ greater risk. And some universities are setting R.A.s up for failure by not providing adequate training, PPE, & other support. But that’s really beside the point.

We live in a “loose” culture that places greater... 1/

value on the individual over the collective. Giving up individual freedoms, particularly ones we’re used to having (or expect to have as we reach a new stage in life), to benefit the community isn’t the norm. Especially for those we don’t know or don’t recognize some... 2/

connection w/. Given this, we haven’t fully thought through the changes needed to the social & physical environments that would “select for” the desired behavior among university students.

Pre-pandemic, the consequences for violating any rules... 3/

Read 14 tweets
29 Aug 20
"Architecture is all too willing to align itself with whoever is in power or who has funding, which has often allowed itself to be used as a tool for the continued oppression of the 'other.'"

As an industry, we have a responsibility to address the... 1/…
institutional racism that manifests in our firms, organizations, university programs/curriculum, professional development, & the environments we create. Some recommendations are given in the article (primarily focused on architectural education).

One could also argue... 2/
this alignment that can occur throughout the AEC Industry also allows itself to be used as a tool, even if indirectly, for the continued extraction of fossil fuels & emissions of green house gases, & even the spread of SARS-CoV-2. And all three are obviously interconnected. 3/
Read 4 tweets
26 Aug 20
In our current reality, this is basically an extension of the oil/gas industry's long playbook of shifting responsibility to the individual.

But in the reality we must create for collective, comprehensive #ClimateAction, it's actually 1 of many needed multilevel strategies. 1/
Here are a several articles/podcasts discussing what it may take to create this collective, comprehensive #ClimateAction. Similar actions are really needed for other major issues, like the wealth gap, institutional racism & the pandemic.…, via @tvolmag 2/
The Third Way of Entrepreneurship:…, via @tvolmag, w/ @rainforestbook & @David_S_Wilson. Also see the linked-to accompanying article. 3/
Read 21 tweets
23 Aug 20
Yet more discussion on reopening universities & schools that avoids transmission via aerosols (in-room or potentially farther) & the associated ventilation, filtration, & other strategies required to address this route. 1/

At this point, any building owner, facility manager, university, district, etc. attempting to reoccupy their buildings w/out effectively addressing this is unnecessarily putting occupants & their communities at greater risk. It is unconscionable.

News sources that... 2/

ignore this in their reporting, given what we now know, are also doing their communities a disservice IMO.

Taking one example from the article, isolation rooms, living areas, floors, etc., that are not isolated mechanically (or via natural ventilation routes through... 3/

Read 11 tweets
21 Aug 20
Seems like a pretty good application of risk of infection modeling to evaluate among different indoor strategies. 1/

We've been doing the same thing for the last several months w/ our Flu Infection Risk Estimator(TM) tool:…. Though ours is based on the Wells-Riley model.

Minimizing time of exposure is an important strategy for reducing the risk of infection,... 2/
and we've been including that in our assessments to optimize among the different strategies available for a given building or space. As the paper points out, most buildings have varying limits on how much they can increase their ventilation. In some cases, activities may... 3/
Read 4 tweets
21 Aug 20
If not already discussed, risk capital should be part of the equation when evaluating whether or not college (& MS/HS) sports should occur, & how. All campuses & their communities have a limited amount of risk capital available w/ respect to... 1/

infection spread. Every activity bringing people together potentially reduces a campus' or community's available risk capital. Mask wearing, physical distancing, holding activities outdoors, minimizing exposure time, proper ventilation/filtration, etc. can limit...2/

the potential for activities to reduce this risk capital. But they need to be consistently applied/followed to be effective.

Any activity a campus or community chooses to spend their risk capital on results in less available to spend on other activities. 3/

Read 7 tweets
19 Aug 20
Really good overview of ventilation, filtration, & a few other air-cleaning strategies, via @B_resnick & @voxdotcom. Many of the right experts were consulted for this.

But many districts & universities have yet to fully address these issues... 1/

due to a) decades of deferred maintenance:…,… & b) lethargic, inconsistent responses (from the local to national level, & by districts/universities themselves) to devote needed $, resources, expertise, driven by the lack... 2/

of a national, coordinated effort to respond to the pandemic. And as a result many are simply not ready to reopen.

Here's another way to look at the importance of these variables. Let's take a 1,000 SF classroom, 9 ft ceiling, 25 students + 2 adults,... 3/

Read 16 tweets