#GradSchoolSearch- a postmortem

I frequently muse on grad student success, but my perspective as the student is 20 years old now. Better: read itati does the sci and get the first-person perspective of a bright young scholar in real time.

itati does the sci

Hello all,

It’s been a full year since the end of my #GradSchoolSearch–Facebook Memories told me so. For the uninitiated, the TL;DR version is that I applied to five graduate programs, interviewed at four of them, and got into three. I ended up picking the Ecosystem Science and Management (ESSM) program at Texas A&M University, because reasons. I’ve been in school 1.5 semesters now, and I think its time for an autopsy for the body of thought that went into my choice of grad school. I also think I have some things to say about how grad school labs (in ecology, at least) differ, even if they are in similar programs.

First, I chose TAMU and their ESSM program for a few reasons. The primary reason is that I won two fellowships there, which gave me a very pretty penny of a grad stipend. As a first-gen student, money was…

View original post 1,421 more words

Posted in life | Leave a comment

St. Patrick’s Battalion: Mexican heroes, American traitors

The Waterthrush Blog

A few weeks ago, I was in McAllen, Texas for a conference on bird conservation in the Americas.  On my first morning in McAllen, my students and I headed out for some birding, and we made an obligatory stop for supplies at the local Valero convenience store.  As we stocked up on water, coffee, beef jerky, and genuine BIMBO brand mini mantecadas, I struck up a conversation with Carlos, the man behind the counter.

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 1.10.55 PM Don’t judge me.

I don’t speak Spanish, but when I encounter people of obvious Hispanic descent in places like Veracruz or McAllen, I’m confident enough to say hello or please or thank you in their mother tongue.  Carlos was impressed with my “Buenas dias, Senor” – apparently, the gringos (or Anglos) mostly ignore the ethnic Mexicans in his community – and we engaged in some small talk that rapidly displayed the outer limits of…

View original post 684 more words

Posted in life | Leave a comment

Ireland’s Curlew Crisis

Critical concern for the Curlew in Ireland!


To put the rapid loss of Ireland’s breeding Curlew into context, it’s equivalent to the human population of the Republic dropping from 4.8 million to less than 200,000.

blog muddy edgeIn their paper in Wader Study, the journal of the International Wader Study Group, Barry O’Donoghue and his colleagues reveal the results of the 2015-17 survey of breeding Curlew in the Republic of Ireland. The emerald isle used to be a haven for Curlew but there are now dire warnings that the species could be lost as a breeding species. Various estimates suggest that there were between 3,300 and 12,000 pairs in the 1980s but the current number may be as low as 138 pairs. That’s a fall of 96% in about thirty years.

The latest survey

Surveys in the summers of 2015, 2016 and 2017 focused upon areas that were known to hold breeding Curlew in the previous few years…

View original post 912 more words

Posted in life | Leave a comment

Who saves the world? Girls.

Like, literally not-even-women-yet, GIRLS.


Re-blogged from:

Students’ pro-climate strikes coming to the USA — Dear Kitty. Some blog

And also me i am 10 years old:-) pic.twitter.com/Hucumibuff — Lillys Plastic Pickup (@lillyspickup) February 10, 2019 After high school students’ strikes against climate change and governments’ inaction about it in Australia … in Belgium … in the Netherlands and elsewhere … now the United States of America. And in the lower tweet, British Dutch […]

via Students’ pro-climate strikes coming to the USA — Dear Kitty. Some blog



Indeed. I was just in conversation elsewhere about the details of the Green New Deal. Someone made the point that it’s good for the GND to represent pie-in-the-sky idealism so that it can be negotiated down and walked back to something “palatable”:

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 10.27.59 AM.png

I disagreed:

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 10.32.50 AM.png[Edit – a pox upon me for misspelling Ms. Thunberg’s surname!]

I’m essentially a child of the 1970s/80s, raised with my parents’ sensibilities formed in the 1940s/50s. My kids are children of the 2000s, raised in my sensibilities set to something like 2225. If folks think the 2018 elections were a wake-up call of political engagement from progressive-minded people, just wait for the tornado sirens that will be blaring in 2020.


Quote | Posted on by | 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 at the moment, and you will often hear people talk about living a “chemical-free lifestyle” […]

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


Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audubon’s Online Guide to North American Birds

Underappreciated online guide here . . .

The Waterthrush Blog

The National  Audubon Society has published a new Online Guide to North American Birds, and it’s worth a look.

Online Duide

At a glance, the guide contains similar content to what birders expect in field guides:  images (photographs) of birds, descriptions of habitat and basic behaviors, and range maps.  Like the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds, this new Audubon guide also provide recordings of songs and calls for most species, as well as multiple ways to find the species you’re trying to identify. I’ll resist for now the temptation to compare the two resources.

At first, I was aghast that species within a family were sorted by common name!  That’s truly senseless, unless you think it’s more important to have Greater Prairie-Chicken near Gunnison Sage-Grouse than it is to have it near Lesser Prairie-Chicken. Taxonomic order isn’t just something that we pointy-headed academics care about, it’s…

View original post 68 more words

Posted in life | Leave a comment

007 — History of Ornithology

BY: Bob Montgomerie, Queen’s University | 7 January 2019 A couple of years ago, my family and I had an early morning stopover in Frankfurt, Germany, en route to our spring bolthole in the French Pyrenees. As we stumbled bleary-eyed to the end of the passport and customs lines, a tall, burly passport control agent […]

via 007 — History of Ornithology

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment