Academic regalia – the Penn State PhD hood 6 March 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: Penn State academic regalia, Penn State PhD hood
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One of my most cherished duties as a university professor is to take part in Commencement each December and May. It’s a chance for students and their families to celebrate accomplishment and new beginnings, and I always enjoy meeting families of the students I have in some cases come to know quite well. For their part, the students and their families get the added treat of watching a parade of my colleagues and I wearing colorful dresses from the Middle Ages.
As with most wickedly pedantic things in life, just about every detail in the silly garb we professors don for Commencement has some particular meaning. This includes the heavy velvet robes and hoods themselves, thought to hearken to a time when seats of higher learning were exclusively in big, drafty stone buildings without central heating.
For those holding the doctoral degree, typical academic regalia includes a robe with big, puffy sleeves that feature three velvet bars, and two additional strips of velvet in the front flanking the zipper. Usually the background fabric and velvet are black, but to be extra fancy many robes these days have the velvet trimmed with bright piping, often gold. Also, many people wear officially sanctioned designs of the university that conferred their degree, and these are often rendered in school colors.
In addition to the robes, most faculty will wear puffy velvet caps with 4, 6, or 8 sides and usually with a gold tassel. Finally, we button ourselves into complex contraptions that are supposed to be the hoods, but they really only function as colored insignia to be seen from behind. Modern hoods have velvet trim (a dark royal blue is used for most disciplines to designate a PhD) and bright satin panels on the inside that are displayed to the outside. If you’re not wearing official robes of your conferring institution, then it’s the school colors displayed on the hood that identify that institution.
Now one problem about all this academic regalia stuff is that it’s bloody expensive. My official Penn State regalia looks super cool, but there’s no way I’m going to be able to justify spending 800 bucks (or even a special deal for $725) for this costume. So here’s how I usually look at Commencement:
That’s right, for the lame professors like me out there, our current institutions keep basic regalia on hand for us to rent. This serves the basic purpose, but it’s a big hassle to go and rent it a couple of times a year, the items get kind of threadbare after a while, the mortar board makes me look like an undergrad, and worst of all, the hood suggests that I obtained my PhD from Oklahoma State. I’m not trying to be a snob, I just want to be accurate, so I’ve been in the market for a basic set of professor’s kit that will show my Penn State heritage without breaking the bank.
There are lots of places that will make a custom hood for your academic dress. These guys can outfit me for less than 300 bucks, and I’ve decided that I would be willing to spend that much on this stuff. There’s just one problem: using the best of my Google Fu, I’ve been unable to find a photo of someone wearing the Penn State PhD hood, photographed from behind. Seriously, I’ve been all over this and have searched many times. The key information I need to order my own hood is where to put the blue and where to put the white in the satin panels of my hood. I didn’t want to guess and be wrong; I actually wanted to see one. They don’t exist.
This is because when people graduate and pose for photos, we want to see their faces! In a last ditch effort to find this crucial information myself before making some phone calls, we dug out my own photos from Penn State’s Graduate Commencement, 18 December 1999. Sure enough, there I was in photos from the front:
And then, joy of joys, there it was: WE were smart enough to get at least one photo from behind! Now I know where to order the white and where to order the blue!
So there you have it, Google: Right here is the only photo on the Internets of a PhD hood from Penn State! You’re welcome. Now we’ll see if I can get my act together and actually order this thing in time for Commencement . . .
Tags: wind power, American Bird Conservancy, USFWS, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, eagle, Wyoming, Camp Perry, Black Swamp
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And so do I . . .
(Washington, D.C., February 12, 2014) American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (BCA), voiced opposition to a federal plan that would allow a proposed mega wind facility in Wyoming to kill from 46 to 64 Golden Eagles annually. The two groups have submitted a 15-page letter in response to a request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for comment on the eagle-killing proposal, called an “eagle take permit.”
“ABC and BCA support the development of renewable energy resources such as wind, but it has to be done responsibly,” said Dr. Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of ABC’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign. “The serious gaps in data and key information surrounding both the project and the proposed permit make it impossible to conclude that appropriate protections for eagles are being followed under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.” http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/140212.html
(Washington, D.C., January 29, 2014) One of several wind turbine projects planned for the shores of Lake Erie, in one of the greatest bird migration corridors in the Western Hemisphere, has been halted following submission of a letter of intent to sue from American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO). The two groups had vigorously opposed the project due to its exceptionally high risk to federally protected wildlife.
Great Backyard Bird Count – update 20 Feb. 2014 20 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: birding, citizen science, eBird, GBBC, Great Backyard Bird Count
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February 20, 2014
Although data are still coming in, it’s clear that the 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count is on track to be another record-breaker! By mid-morning today participants from a record 131 countries had submitted bird checklists, eclipsing last year’s 110 countries. A huge thanks to all who participated! We wanted to share some of the impressive numbers we have so far and a few of the trends we see.
Top 10 most frequently reported species (number of checklists reporting this species):
|Northern Cardinal, Ella Clem (more…)|
Bird Calls on The Morning Scramble, 20 Feb. 2014 20 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: bird calls, Great Backyard Bird Count, Payne County Audubon Society, Stillwater's Morning Scramble, timberdoodle, woodcock
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I paid another visit to Steve Daniels on Stillwater’s Morning Scramble this morning. Steve and I discussed some preliminary results of the Great Backyard Bird Count, the role of fire in Oklahoma landscapes, the mating flight of the timberdoodles, my best advice for coaching OSU basketball this weekend, and of course all the latest announcements for activities of the Payne County Audubon Society. If you missed our conversation on 105.1 FM or streaming live from tripleplaysportsradio there’s no need to be sad ’cause it’s right here:
Playa Post, volume 12: Feb. 2014 20 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: Landscape Design Process, Playa Lakes Joint Venture, Playa Post
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Check out the latest Playa Post, the newsletter of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture. Included this month is a detailed explanation of the Landscape Design Process:
Aleteo #118: Conservation news from Colombia 19 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: Aleteo, Colombia, conservation, Fundacion ProAves
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A service of Fundacion ProAves
Welcome to Aleteo: conservation news from Colombia
197 additional acres for the protection of the Santa Marta Parakeet
Now the El Dorado Reserve has an additional property located in the upper part of the Cuchilla de San Lorenzo. There are 197 acres of which 74 acres are grazing lands that were dedicated to livestock and the rest is composed of cloud forests and palms, the original habitat of the Santa Marta parakeet.
Since August 2013 we have recorded the daily visit of two female and a male Blue-Billed Curassow (Crax alberti) in the vicinity of the cabin on The El Paujil Reserve. Since January the couple alternate foraging for food, which may mean a possible nesting, at the same time the second female also makes sporadic approaches.
Jardín’s goals for 2014 are the Reciprocal Agreements for Water
The Reciprocal Agreements for Water -ARAS- continue to promote the protection of the high Andean forests, watersheds and endangered species in the municipality of Jardín, Antioquia. The goal is to sign eight agreements with owners of significant water production for forested areas.
Schlegel’s Asity – so this creature exists! 18 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: HBW, HBW Alive, Schlegel's Asity
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In Oct. 2012, Frederic Pelsy photographed this stunning Schlegel’s Asity at Ankarafantsika National Park, Mahajanga Province, Madagascar. To learn more about spectacular creatures like this, you need to subscribe to the Handbook of the Birds of the World – Alive! Check out their latest newsletter for some more convincing.
“Halftime” report from the Great Backyard Bird Count 17 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
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There are several interesting stories already from the 2014 GBBC!
The Wildlife Society – February 2014 Multi-Brief 7 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: Farm Bill, The Wildlife Society
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Check out implications for wildlife management from the new Farm Bill plus other stories in the latest Multi-Brief from TWS.
Dangers of Pseudoscience 7 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: anti-vaccination, Frank Wong, open access, pseudoscience
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This article by Frank Wong is an important illustration of the implied legitimacy that can result from publications appearing in open access journals that feature pseudoscientific claims. Open access is not, of itself, problematic and there are some excellent open access journals. The problem is that there are hundreds of others publishing poorly-vetted, and potentially fraudulent work, every day. Wong also calls out media voices in the anti-vaccination movement, such as Jenny McCarthy and Michelle Bachmann, for the damage they have caused by their anti-science activism. There is a body count resulting from their statements, and it is criminal.
Ornithological Newsletter – January 2014 6 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
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The current issue of the Ornithological Newsletter is now available at: http://www.osnabirds.org/Newsletter/218.aspx.
The full site for the Ornithological Newsletter is http://www.osnabirds.org/Newsletter.aspx.
LATE-BREAKING NEWS (NOT INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER)
SYMPOSIUM TO CELEBRATE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF WILSON’S AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGY
In 1814, volume 9 of Alexander Wilson’s monumental American Ornithology was published thereby completing his description of the birds of the United States. The nine-volume set was the first major scientific publication of the young republic and the founding document of American ornithology. It was widely admired by European scientists of the day. Indeed, Baron Cuvier commented “Wilson treats their birds far better than ours have yet been treated.”
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of its publication, Ohio Wesleyan University will celebrate Wilson’s life and accomplishments in a symposium “Alexander Wilson and the Making of American Ornithology.” The symposium will be held on 23 April 2014 beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing through dinner. Details of the program, meals and an exhibit of Wilson’s artwork, publications and notes are available at http://Wilson200.owu.edu where you can also register. Registration by 9 April is requested for planning meals, breaks and an afternoon reception at the exhibit. (more…)
Cornell Lab e-News – February 2014 6 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: baby albatross cam, Cornell Lab e-News
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Among other cool updates, check out baby albatross cam from Hawaii – it’s the cure for what ails you on a frosty February morning!
NREM Newsletter – Vol 8, #1 6 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: bobwhite, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, NREM, redcedar
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Dwayne Elmore has published the latest NREM newsletter:
Birding Community E-Bulletin, February 2014 6 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: birding community e-bulletin
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The Birding Community E-bulletin is distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats.
This issue is sponsored by the producers of superb quality birding binoculars and scopes, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics:
You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA): http://refugeassociation.org/news/birding-bulletin/
In January there was no stand-out, stay-in-place, mega-rarity to attract continent-wide attention, but there was a continuing rarity development that deserves revisiting.
This development involves Barnacle Geese.
For a number of years, there have been increasingly convincing records of Barnacle Geese from Atlantic Canada and the northeastern U.S. We actually reported on this trend as long ago as February 2005. The fact that this species nests in Greenland, of course, makes vagrancy to NE North America a realistic possibility. While many reports in the past were dismissed due to questionable provenance, the concern over doubtful origin has significantly lessened in recent years, largely because of the increasing number and pattern of records.
OSNA monthly news update 6 February 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: Ornithological Societies of North America, OSNA
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RAPTOR WORKSHOP: Accredited Through University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Attend this 5-day introductory level field course designed to instruct students in a full-range of the latest field techniques used in the study of raptors. “Introduction to Raptor Field Techniques” will be held in Stevens Point, WI by Eugene Jacobs of the Linwood Springs Research Station. Spring Session: 31 March- 4 April 2014. Summer Sessions: 2-6 June, 2014, and 23-27 June 2014. Receive first-hand experience working with: live raptors, capturing, handling, banding techniques, broadcast call surveys, tree climbing, rappelling, blood sampling and more. Cost is $450 and space is limited, so register early. For more information and a registration form visit http://www.raptorresearch.com/workshop.htm.
NSF ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (AD/BIO)
We are initiating a national search for the National Science Foundation’s Assistant Director for Biological Sciences (BIO), and seek your assistance in the identification of candidates. Dr. John Wingfield has served in this position, with distinction, since September 2011. The Assistant Director, BIO, manages a Directorate comprising the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS), the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), and the Emerging Frontiers Office (EF).
For detailed information about this search, please see the NSF Dear Colleague letter (URL: http://aibs.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a2886d199362c2554974f78af&id=6b15af6678&e=e39ebe38fe)
Recommendations of individuals from any sector — academic, industry, or government — are welcome. Please send your recommendations, including any supporting information which you might be able to provide, to the AD/BIO Screening Committee via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at the following address: National Science Foundation, Office of the Director, Suite 1205, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. We would appreciate receiving your recommendations by 15 February 2014. Your assistance in this very important task is appreciated.
Most-cited articles in Northeastern Naturalist 20 January 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: Northeastern Naturalist, small mammals
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There is a lot of great work published in regional journals, especially in the realm of basic natural history. Here’s a recent compilation from the journal Northeastern Naturalist that lists their top 20 most cited articles of the last three years. A colleague and I made #9!
The following are the 20 Northeastern Naturalist articles that are most often referenced by other scholarly papers over the last 3 years. The citation data is harvested from CrossRef’s Cited-by Linking service, and the list is provided by BioOne.org. Indexed in all major databases.
1. Impacts of Garlic Mustard Invasion on a Forest Understory Community
2. Multi-Decadal Changes in Salt Marshes of Cape Cod, MA: Photographic Analyses of Vegetation Loss, Species Shifts, and Geomorphic Change
3. Camera Trapping of Carnivores: Trap Success Among Camera Types and Across Species, and Habitat Selection by Species, on Salt Pond Mountain, Giles County, Virginia
4. Eight-year Record of Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Asian Shore Crab) Invasion in Western Long Island Sound Estuary
5. Genetic Characterization of Eastern “Coyotes” in Eastern Massachusetts
6. Manganese Hyperaccumulation in Phytolacca americana L. from the Southeastern United States
7. Influence of Land Use and Site Characteristics on Invasive Plant Abundance in the Quinebaug Highlands of Southern New England
8. Cyanolichens: Their Response to Pollution and Possible Management Strategies for their Conservation in Northeastern North America
9. Small Mammal Use of Suburban and Urban Parks in Central Pennsylvania
10. Rare Occurrence of a Rhincodon typus (Whale Shark) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada
11. A Vegetation Map for the Catskill Park, NY, Derived from Multi-temporal Landsat Imagery and GIS Data
12. Evaluation and Emergy Analysis of the Cobscook Bay Ecosystem
13. Nickel Hyperaccumulation by Brassicaceae in Serpentine Soils of Albania and Northwestern Greece
14. Effects of Deer Browsing on Native and Non-native Vegetation in a Mixed Oak-Beech Forest on the Atlantic Coastal Plain
15. Seasonal Habitat Use of Brook Trout and Juvenile Atlantic Salmon in a Tributary of Lake Ontario
16. Cyanotoxins in Tidal Waters of Chesapeake Bay
17. Ectoparasites of Small Mammals in Western Iowa
18. Survival and Post-release Movements of River Otters Translocated to Western New York
19. Rhamnus cathartica L. (Common Buckthorn) as an Ecosystem Dominant in Southern Wisconsin Forests
20. Serpentine Revegetation: A Review
Tags: Center for Conservation Biology, Chesapeake Bay, College of William and Mary, Conservation Cornerstones, Virginia
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There are multiple cool stories in the latest Conservation Cornerstones eNewsletter. For example, read about the dramatic population crash of Laughing Gull as a nesting bird on the Delmarva Peninsula. It looks to be a real-world casualty of rising sea levels . . .
It’s hard to imagine a Delmarva summer without Laughing Gulls, but the population trajectory makes that a possibility.
Battle brewing over the Black Swamp 12 January 2014Posted by Tim O'Connell in life.
Tags: American Bird Conservancy, Black Swamp Bird Observatory, wind power
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Dear bird conservation partner:
This is a brief message to inform you of an impending action that American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is taking in collaboration with the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), to stop a poorly-sited wind energy project at Camp Perry, Ohio, near the southern shore of Lake Erie. ABC and BSBO, through their legal counsel, Washington, DC-based Myers, Glitzenstein and Crystal, are issuing a letter of intent to sue over this project, which is located in the center of one of the largest and most important bird migration bottlenecks in the United States and which has the potential to impact endangered Kirtland’s Warblers and Piping Plovers, and well as Bald Eagles and other federally-protected migratory bird species. The south shore of Lake Erie is also the location of a major birding event, attracting tens of thousands of people annually, and injecting $37 million into the local economy.
Despite serious concerns expressed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Ohio DNR, and many conservation organizations – including several Bird Conservation Alliance members – about the impacts of this project on protected birds, the Ohio Air National Guard has forged ahead regardless. In addition, they have refused to have an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) conducted or to go through Section 7 consultation as strongly recommended by the FWS. Many other wind projects are proposed for this area, which has been designated Red (“Critical Importance”) on ABC’s wind map (http://www.abcbirds.org/extra/index_wind.html), an area in which wind energy development is highly undesirable from the perspective of bird conservation.
ABC and BSBO therefore believe that this project must be challenged, as it represents a clear case of the failure of voluntary permitting guidelines for wind energy development to protect our nation’s public trust resources under the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Furthermore, this is occurring at a federally-owned facility, which would set a bad precedent for wind development on both public and private lands in this region.
ABC and BSBO want to send a message to other wind developers in the area that any project in this highly sensitive area for bird conservation is going to be under intense public scrutiny, and at the very least, must go through appropriate permitting processes before being approved. Given the huge number of protected birds passing though this area annually, we believe that is unlikely that any wind developer can demonstrate a “no significant impact” finding or mitigate its potential impact on federally protected birds. ABC and BSBO believe there are areas where no wind energy development should be allowed due to the unacceptable risk to protected birds and bats; the south shore of Lake Erie is one of those areas.
If you’d like to examine a copy of the ABC/BSBO letter of intent to sue, please see http://www.abcbirds.org/PDFs/camp_perry_letter_and_exhibits.pdf
If you would also like to express your concern to the Ohio Air National Guard at Camp Perry via e-mail at email@example.com or via mail to:
Col. Michael P. Skomrock, OHANG
Department of the Army and Air Force
National Guard Bureau
200th Red Horse Squadron
Camp Perry ANG Station
Port Clinton, OH 43452-9577
Michael Hutchins, Ph.D.
National Coordinator, Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign
American Bird Conservancy
(202) 234-7181, x212 (O); (301) 367-5053 (M); (202) 234-7182 (Fax)
Senior Policy Advisor
American Bird Conservancy &
Director, Bird Conservation Alliance
202-234-7181 ext. 216
http://www.abcbirds.org, http://www.birdconservationalliance.org, ABC on Facebook, ABC Videos