Category Archives: editorial

You’re going to graduate – then what?


In the life sciences and especially in ecology, conservation, wildlife management, etc., your success in this field is dictated by the same things that apply in just about any other field. You need to be intelligent, nimble, a good critical … Continue reading

Posted in academics, birds/nature, editorial, environment, mentoring, professional development, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

September 2020 COVID-19 comparisons: confirmed deaths for the USA, China, and South Korea


Here in the USA, every week presents us with a new normal in our ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Many in this country seem to think that this is just how it has to be or, at the very least, they are … Continue reading

Posted in #COVID-19, editorial, history, life, skepticism and science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-imaging the meaning of national defense


Writing for Resilience, Rob Brooks re-imagines a national defense grounded in Wendell Berry’s observation that “Earth is what we all have in common.” “We need to pay as much attention to conserving and restoring the connectivity of the natural infrastructure … Continue reading

Posted in academics, editorial, environment, history, life, skepticism and science, weather, wildlife, wind power | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coronavirus in Oklahoma: some data from the first week of April


As we have now left March 2020 in the rear-view mirror, I thought it might be a good idea to adjust my semi-weekly interpretation of national comparisons on #COVID-19 deaths and drill drown into some data from US states. Apropos … Continue reading

Posted in academics, editorial, environment, evolution, history, life, population estimates, skepticism and science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Recording lectures is good for students, good for instructors, and good for public health — Dynamic Ecology


I’ve been thinking of writing a post about my experiences with recording lectures in Intro Bio for a while, and, with coronavirus spreading, now seems like a good time to finally write it up. Overall, I think there have been … Continue reading

Posted in academics, editorial, mentoring | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yes, we know that “the climate has always changed”…


… but that’s not the point. Here’s what that point really is. The concentration of global, atmospheric CO2 today exceeds 400 ppm. The last time that happened on Earth was something like 2–5 million years ago, in the Pliocene Epoch … Continue reading

Posted in academics, deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, overpopulation, skepticism and science, weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The state of global biodiversity — it’s worse than you probably think — ConservationBytes.com


Sobering synopsis here by CJA Bradshaw. For those of us who study natural history, such information confronts us every day. It can be easy to forget that we are a tiny minority of the billions of humans on this planet … Continue reading

Posted in bat conservation, birds/nature, deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, nature deficit disorder, No Child Left Inside, overpopulation, paleontology, population estimates, population monitoring, skepticism and science, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your life is profoundly meaningful


It’s quite simple, really. The matter in our universe is comprised of the same elements throughout. Proportions differ and it might be mixed together differently here and there, but it’s the same stuff. Some of those mixes develop self-replication under … Continue reading

Posted in academics, animal behavior, birds/nature, editorial, environment, evolution, history, life, Links, mentoring, skepticism and science, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How much can you miss?


I’m always puzzled by students who habitually miss class. I don’t mean the students who are facing serious challenges of one type or another, I mean the ones who wake up and decide, “Nah.” The student – or someone – … Continue reading

Posted in academics, animal behavior, career, editorial, life, mentoring, professional development, skepticism and science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Professional development in wildlife ecology and management: A one-stop shop


I’ve written occasionally on the The Waterthrush Blog about various topics to help students succeed through their undergraduate coursework, find opportunities for research and field experience, pursue graduate school, etc. The advice I have to offer comes uniquely though the … Continue reading

Posted in academics, career, editorial, life, mentoring, professional development | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My lifer Whooping Crane – something I thought I might never see


It’s been a long time coming, but I was recently guided to my lifer WHOOPING CRANE by my nephews Benjamin and Matt Hack (+ special guest star Matt’s friend Kaitie) at a lake near Dexter, Michigan. This is an ENDANGERED … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, bird banding, birding, birds/nature, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, history, IUCN, migrants, population estimates, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Undergraduate research in my lab? Sure! Here’s how it works.


I spend a lot of time bragging about the 15 graduate students who’ve worked in my lab but this post is inspired by the 28 undergraduates I’ve had the good fortune to mentor in research. Within this group are veterinarians, … Continue reading

Posted in academics, career, editorial, environment, life, Links, mentoring, professional development, skepticism and science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Kerri J. Smith – beaked whales


via Research I found another bright young scientist to amplify today. This is Kerri J. Smith, who is studying Sowerby’s beaked whale. No, I’d never heard of this species either. #TIL  

Posted in academics, animal behavior, birds/nature, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, population estimates, population monitoring, professional development, skepticism and science, wildlife | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The concept of a “chemical-free lifestyle” is absurd — The Logic of Science


Chemophobia is alive and well. It is difficult to get on the internet without celebrities, friends, and family members bombarding you with concerns about chemicals in your food, hygiene products, vaccines, etc. Indeed, being anti-chemical seems to be extremely fashionable … Continue reading

Posted in academics, editorial, environment, life, skepticism and science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Americans, stop using China and India as climate change scapegoats — The Logic of Science


Reblogged from The Logic of Science.   I spend a lot of time on this blog debunking bad arguments, and I have previously devoted a lot of effort to debunking bad arguments against man-made climate change. There is, however, one … Continue reading

Posted in editorial, environment, IUCN, life, overpopulation, skepticism and science, weather, wind power | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Binocular advice for birders


I’m frequently asked about my recommendations for binoculars. My first recommendation is yes, you should get a pair. Sure, you can do a lot of birding without binoculars – and 90% or more of the birds I encounter I detect … Continue reading

Posted in BIRDATHON, birding, birds/nature, Christmas Bird Count, editorial, environment, life, National Audubon Society, nature deficit disorder, No Child Left Inside, Partners in Flight, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do my social media milestones matter?


Well, no. Of course not. Still . . . My wife and I started this blog (formerly Eat More Cookies) way back in July 2006. We were about to complete our third year in Oklahoma, with family back home in … Continue reading

Posted in academics, editorial, environment, haiku, history, life, Links, overpopulation, professional development, skepticism and science, The Waterthrush Podcast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dear Christian Legislator,


Look, I get it. You’ve been raised and educated in a society that values faith foremost. The stronger your faith the closer you are to God, and there is no better way to demonstrate the strength of that faith than … Continue reading

Posted in editorial, life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Non-trivial sacrifices of the itinerant academic


Inspired by a conversation stemming from this Tweet . . . I thought I’d share a bit about the sacrifices we’ve made in support of my academic career. This is just a reality check for understanding’s and expectations’ sake, and … Continue reading

Posted in academics, editorial, life, professional development | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Beach-nesting birds: assault from all sides


Their fortunes tied to the tides, many species of coastal birds nest directly on the beach. Here Nature seems to conspire against them in these places we so often associate with idyllic relaxation. On North America’s temperate Atlantic Coast, beaches … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, birds/nature, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, IUCN, Links, migrants, National Audubon Society, Partners in Flight, population estimates, population monitoring, skepticism and science, wave energy, weather, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment