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EcoBloggers is a feed of ecology blogs aggregated from around the web. If you write an Ecology blog (made up primarily of original posts by you or contributors), and you'd like to have it included here, email the feed link to the site webmaster. Each contributed post is trimmed to stay on the right side of copyright law and to encourage readers to click through to contributors' sites. You can get the RSS feed here. Each post is also automatically tweeted by @EcoBloggers.
  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
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    5 months 2 weeks ago

    Over the holidays, I taught my niece how to throw a frisbee with a forehand. It took five minutes, and she totally picked it up. It was awesome. And then we just played catch for a good long while. There may not be a more pleasant thing than throwing a frisbee on warm afternoon in the park with good company*.

    Picture in your mind a person throwing a frisbee. The typical throw is a backhand, where you hold your arm across the front of your body, the back of your hand facing outwards. If you’re playing ultimate frisbee, you’ll need to throw from the right and from the left, which means you’ll need to throw backhand, forehand, and maybe a couple other ways.

    Throwing a forehand is easy, once you figure it out and get a bit of practice. I don’t remember learning it when I was playing ultimate in college. My forehand is about as good as my backhand. I can throw a frisbee** pretty well, I’ve been doing it once in a while for a couple decades now...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    5 months 3 weeks ago

    Last year, I served on a couple NSF panels*, and I’d like to share some thoughts. Instead of a coherent narrative, I’ll just give a bulleted set of observations and ideas.

    Panels are diverse, and this diversity matters. I was rather surprised by the strong representation of researchers from all kinds of institutions on the panels, including teaching-focused institutions. (My sample size is not infinite, though — and if a panel was excluding such folk, then I wouldn’t have been on it, of course). There were folks from liberal arts colleges, regional comprehensives, other research organizations, and of course R1s. (There was also solid representation of folks based on gender and ethnicity, as well.) I witnessed so many conversations where this inclusion made a difference. Everybody in the room was working to understand institutional context when relevant (with respect to reassigned time, mentorship, the role of student researchers, institutional...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
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    5 months 4 weeks ago

    And their eyes glazed over – how much is tech-related distraction harming learning?

    Why time management is ruining our lives

    This proclamation of the Bears Ears National Monument is some exceptional prose that reveals the beauty, history, and natural history of the area. Whoever wrote this for the White House press office deserves a medal or something.

    The animals that went extinct in 2016 – well, the ones we have documented.

    ...

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  • via sleather2012 from Don't Forget the Roundabouts
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    6 months 5 days ago

    Just to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy and productive New Year.  I am especially grateful to all of you who took the time to comment on my posts and/or press the like button.  Many thanks to those who shared my posts; your thoughtfulness is much appreciated.  I hope that you will continue to support my blog and follow me on Twitter in 2017.

    ...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
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    6 months 1 week ago

    I want to talk about the Who and the How of public engagement.

    We should be bringing science to the table with people who aren’t in the market for science. A lot of outreach is preaching to the converted, and that is a valuable form of service. But we also have the ability — and perhaps an obligation — to make science a part of everyday life for a society that just doesn’t think about science on a regular basis.

    There are a lot of us scientists out there. Almost everybody knows at least one scientist to some extent, but they might not know it. That’s because a lot of us are reluctant to talk about science among non-scientists, and we often construe an overly narrow definition of “scientist.”

    If we defer the public-face-of-science duties to a small number of our enthusiastic colleagues, we are doing a disservice. When a small fraction of the scientists act as prophets for science, this actually makes science look less...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
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    6 months 1 week ago

    An argument for the funding of basic research makes it into the Wall Street Journal.

    One way to teach critical thinking is to take a historical issue (in history, science, whatever) and look at the debates surrounding the issue by the people of the time, and then asking, “Who was right?” (I found this via Tavish Bell’s twitter account, where I see consistently interesting stuff about higher ed.)

    The abduction of tortoise #1721

    Nicholas Kristof once in a while writes a well-intentioned but not adequately informed column about higher education. Like...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
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    6 months 2 weeks ago

    A lot of federal agencies want to enhance the research environment at primarily undergraduate institutions and minority-serving institutions. Not all efforts hit the mark.

    Consider the summer faculty research internships that a variety of agencies run.

    Here are some examples:

    The US Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program: “To provide the U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship Program participant opportunities to perform high-quality and meaningful research… Faculty members from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Institutions, American Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions are especially encouraged to apply!”

    Office of Naval Research Summer Faculty Research Program

    ...

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  • via Amy Parachnowitsch from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    6 months 3 weeks ago

    Earlier this year an article on aiming for 100 rejections a year in literature was being passed around. The main idea is that by aiming for rejections, rather than accepted things we’re more likely to take risks and apply broadly.

    Since reading that article, I’ve been pondering how many rejections I should aim for. What is a good number for a scientist? 100 seems a bit much, although if you’re on the hunt for a tenure track job you could easily rack up those rejections. Many  job applications are silent ones because you never get the cold hard truth in you hands (or in-box) but rather just assume that you’ve been rejected with the passage of time. So perhaps they will feel empty in your rejection count, I know they do for me.

    Over the last year, my monthly reports to the Swedish unemployment office also made me more aware of the things I apply for each month in an attempt to achieve...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    6 months 3 weeks ago

    When I visited the SACNAS conference some weeks ago, I spent most of my time in the exhibit hall, chatting with students at their posters and scoping out the institutional recruitment tables. A few organizations had primo real estate, with a large amount of square footage right by the entrance. They had a small army of representatives, always busy with students. The ones that I recall include USC, Harvard, and NSF.

    There’s no doubt that NSF is serious about its institutional mission to develop the most talented scientific workforce in this country, which means we need scientists from all backgrounds. If you think that NSF isn’t committed to the recruitment of underrepresented minorities (URMs), you probably don’t have a lot of experience with NSF. They not only care, but they also put a lot of thought into how to do it right.

    NSF has been committed to ...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    6 months 3 weeks ago

    Caring isn’t coddling: “While I’m not without gallows humor and can enjoy an ‘it’s in the syllabus’ joke as much as the next person, I also feel deeply that the best teaching arises in faculty-student relationships that are mutually respectful and that mutually honor the worth each side is bringing to the table.”

    A shark that was (maybe) choking on a massive chunk of moose was (maybe) saved by a couple guys.

    A bunch of taxonomists got together to sign a paper saying that we should never describe new species using photographs. (For what it’s worth, I am agnostic...

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