Posts

September 30, 2014

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3:58 PM | Why Einstein is so famous
Why did Einstein’s fame burn brighter than any other scientist’s? This article in the New Yorker from 1933 explains it: The chief agent in making Einstein the idol of the masses was Carr V. Van Anda, the great editor of … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Invasive species, immigrant emotions and a guilty conscience
I have a confession to make: I live in Sweden and I have lupines in my garden. I didn’t plant them, they were there when I moved in, but after two seasons I haven’t removed them either. In Sweden, I see escaped lupines along roadsides and although I’m not sure how much of a problem…
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11:00 AM | Deconstructing Defaunation
Science recently released a special issue on defaunation, which spanned seven articles detailing the recent decline in animal species diversity . . .
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10:27 AM | PhDiaries: Settling in and the first fish surveys
I am now going into my third month here in Indonesia – how crazy is that?! It feels as if the weeks are flying by, and I have hardly enough […]
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12:13 AM | The Slow-Motion Train Wreck of Industrial Civilization
Originally posted on Collapse of Industrial Civilization:The linear thinking that has dominated Western civilization since the Enlightenment has become a death trap for mankind in the 21st century. The dynamic system of the Earth’s biosphere with its many interconnected…

September 29, 2014

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10:48 PM | Open up
Well I don’t think for pleasure It’s just hard not to do My thinking is a measure of how much I need a clue I’m still flying blind Hoping I might find A way to stop my thinking and open … Continue reading →
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10:44 PM | Interns Summer in Review, Part 3: What’s an Imaging Science student doing at NEON?
NEON is quite the unexpected place for an Imaging Science student to do an internship. NEON is all about Ecology, so where am I supposed to fit in here? My internship is in FIU, which is the Fundamental Instrumentation Unit. FIU is a science department whose purpose is to facilitate the instrument-based collection of abiotic … Continue reading »
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7:46 PM | When it Comes to The Arctic Methane Monster, What We Don’t Know Really Could Kill Us — NASA Model Study Shows Very High Carbon Release Uncertainty
Originally posted on robertscribbler:(Can we save humanity from the greatest threat ever? Must-watch video highlights the risks and uncertainties of catastrophic methane release from the Arctic environment.) After millions of years of ice ages, the Arctic has become a…
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7:23 PM | In Wildness is the Preservation of Raccoons, In Raccoons is the Preservation of the Wild
Originally posted on Bird Ally X:Raccoon (Procyon lotor) babies have a lot to learn. As adults, Raccoons hunt and forage for a wide range of food, from songbird eggs to berries to the salmon a bear leaves behind. Raccoons…
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6:05 PM | Protecting young people working in US agriculture – How are we doing?
In announcing National Farm Safety Week, President Obama emphasized his Administration's commitment to reducing hazards of agricultural work – including for young people. So how are we doing at protecting children and teens working on farms and ranches? Note: There is no federally required safety training for youth working in agriculture. Estimated injury rate is 38 per day and fatalities, 115 per year
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5:44 PM | Continuing Wildfire Recovery at the Niobrara Valley Preserve
When I was at the Niobrara Valley Preserve a couple weeks ago, I spent some time exploring the area north of the river where the 2012 wildfire ripped through oak savanna and ponderosa pine woodland.  As discussed in earlier posts, … Continue reading →
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4:36 PM | Birdbooker Report 339-40
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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4:22 PM | Ernest Lab Ph.D opening at University of Florida
So here it is, the first of the positions we’ll be advertizing as part of our move to the University of Florida. The official ad is below, but a few comments first. The position is for a student to work with me, but for those who aren’t really familiar with our groups, it’s important to […]
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3:32 PM | What has neuroscience done for machine intelligence?
Today on the twitters, Michael Hendricks asked, “Why do AI people bother with how animal brains work? Most good inventions work by doing things totally unlike how an animal would.” The short answer is that animal brains can already solve the … Continue reading →
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2:40 PM | Dragonflies and helicopters?
  Somehow I had always thought that dragonflies had inspired the design of the helicopter. However, I can’t seem to find any evidence for this and perhaps it is an urban legend. Here, instead, is an excellent history of the … Continue reading →
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2:30 PM | Ant Picnic in Pennsylvania
**This is a guest post written by NC State undergraduate, Ryan Pileski. Ryan collaborated with Lea Shell to adapt the Ant Picnic lesson plan, an investigation of ant diet, nutrition and diversity, for implementation at a summer camp serving students with social disorders. Their goal was to modify the lesson plan to allow success for students with attention issues and social concerns in a summer camp scenario.** Students attending Summit Camp in Pennsylvania participated in Ant Picnic over a two […]
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12:00 PM | Let’s stop mixing up education and social capital
When people talk about the “value of a quality education,” they’re probably not talking about education. What does a “quality” education look like? It’s expensive. The money doesn’t really get you a better education. It gets you social capital. Expensive schools trumpet the “value” of an education. At expensive liberal arts colleges, any public assembly could turn…
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11:47 AM | They’re just not that into you: the no-excuses truth to understanding proposal reviews (guest post)
Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post from Peter Adler. ********************************* We’ve all been outraged by the nit-picky, irrelevant, or downright wrong-headed criticisms that show up in proposal reviews. How could they have rejected the proposal because they didn’t … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Busy is no myth
I have seen a few blog posts recently about the myth of busy in PhD students and other academics. In short, it seems that everyone is incredibly busy, all the time, and that how much time you don’t have is a proxy of your academic credentials. I disagree. Not with the premise – we are busy. All of us. We have plenty of things to do, and plenty of pressure to do them fast, so that we can do some more things fast and show our leadership and competitiveness and all of these things that […]
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10:57 AM | Alternative to fungicides for the control of Pecan scab
Pecan scab, caused by the fungus Fusicladium effusum, is a major yield-limiting disease of pecan (Carya illinoinensis). Planting varieties with some resistance to the disease is the most practical way to avoid losses from pecan scab, but the scab fungus can change over time to overcome host resistance. The use of chemical fungicides is another […]
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7:08 AM | Nature’s Call!
Fifty-four of us answered Nature’s Call, taking to MacRitchie in the not-so early morning hours of Saturday, 27 Sep 2014! It was welcome respite from our concrete jungle and a much anticipated adventure, which was fully subscribed within 24 hours of its communication to public! The MacRitchie Trail formed the second and final part of… Continue reading »
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12:33 AM | Medai (Hyperoglyphe japonica)
“And also tonight we have bluenose.” The name caught my ear. I had never heard of such a fish. Yet here was the chef listing it as part of today’s specials, […]

September 28, 2014

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11:05 PM | Un-reclaiming the name – I am not a zoologist
[Disclaimer - this is just my opinion. I do not speak for everyone at EcoEvo@TCD] Recently on Twitter there has been a call to “reclaim the name” of Botany accompanied with the hashtag: #iamabotanist. The response has been really cool – lots of different scientists working on different questions have posted pictures of themselves on Twitter, often with their plants. It’s amazing the diversity of researchers out there who identify as botanists. But why try to reclaim the […]
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8:38 PM | “Hunter-Conservationists:” the Most Ridiculous Spin of the Century
Instead of making amends for the historic mistreatment of these sociable, benevolent souls [bison], twenty-first-century sport hunters want their chance to lay waste to them again–this time in the name of “tradition.” Continue reading →
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5:56 PM | In The California Drought, These Animals Are The Silent Sufferers
With no end in sight and hopes pinned on a wet winter, the California drought has left an entire community dependent on bottled water provisions, threatened farmers’ livelihoods and prompted a $7.5 billion water bond measure. Amid those chal… Source: … Continue reading →
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4:04 PM | Neighborhood Planning for Resilient and Livable Cities, Part 1 of 3: Why Do Neighborhoods Matter and Where Are We Going Wrong?
Jane Jacobs said: ‘Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.’ To embrace this idea that everyone has to be involved in creating cities is to recognize the vitality … Continue reading →
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4:28 AM | Network Theory News
  You may be wondering, somewhere deep in the back of your mind, what happened to the Network Theory series on this blog. It’s nowhere near done! I plan revive it soon, since soon I’ll be teaching a seminar on network theory at U.C. Riverside. It will start in October and go on at least […]

September 27, 2014

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11:54 PM | How to Look for Pine Marten
The pine marten (Martes martes) is one of Ireland’s most beautiful but elusive mammals. It is notoriously difficult to see as it tends to be mostly nocturnal, and is a naturally shy animal. It is about the size of a … Continue reading →

O’Mahony, D., O’Reilly, C. & Turner, P. (2012). Pine marten (Martes martes) distribution and abundance in Ireland: A cross-jurisdictional analysis using non-invasive genetic survey techniques, Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 77 (5) 351-357. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2012.04.001

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8:14 PM | Summer of field work
Joanna Wolstenholme, a third year NatSci undergraduate, has just wrapped up seven weeks helping our field campaign in Canada.  She authored this entry, describing her experience. Sudbury, on first inspection, is a rather spread-out mining town, inhabited by many trucks (most of them blue).  However the more you explore, the more remarkable the town becomes.  It […]
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6:47 PM | “The Lake, it is said, never gives up her dead…”
So, I’ve been learning a couple of Gordon Lightfoot songs lately, and reading various things, and thinking about my home town. And also realizing that Indian Summer will soon give way to something much less enjoyable. So this post is … Continue reading →
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