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EcoBloggers


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 Chris Grieves from methods.blog (Methods in Ecology and Evolution)
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    1 week 4 days ago
    Post provided by Katharina Gerstner Quantitative syntheses of primary research studies (meta-analysis) are being used more and more in ecological and evolutionary research. So knowing the basics of how meta-analysis works is important for every researcher. Meta-analytical thinking also encourages … Continue reading → Read the full article.
  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 weeks 34 min ago
  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 weeks 1 day ago

    I realize that recruiting students from underrepresented groups in STEM is not the most popular broader impact when scientists are actually implementing federally funded research projects. That said, I see a lot of folks putting so much time and effort to recruit minority students. And folks working to provide opportunities to minority students. I find this heartening.

    But I also find this disheartening, because we have been doing this for decades and we’ve seen very little progress. At the current rate of change, it doesn’t look like we’ll have genuine equity in STEM.

    Do I want you to scale back on diversity recruitment? Well, yes, I do — if your department isn’t an environment that is supportive of the people that you’re recruiting. Instead, I’d like you to put efforts into creating an inclusive environment. If we keep bringing minoritized folks...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 weeks 2 days ago

    Thanks to #readinghour increasing my reading pace, I recently finished reading Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. I really enjoyed it and think it’s a very important book, including for those of us who are ecologists who also think about the factors that influence public views on science. The book demonstrates that the campaigns to deny the harms (and, in some cases, even the existence) of acid rain, the ozone hole, cigarette smoking, DDT, and climate change all used the same tactics – saying that the issue wasn’t totally settled, there was still work to do, that taking action would be premature, etc. That would be interesting on its own, but the really striking part is that, in addition to these campaigns using the same doubt-mongering strategies, it was often the exact same scientists making...

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  • via CJAB from Conservation Bytes
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 weeks 3 days ago
    I published this last week on The Conversation, and now reproducing it here for CB.com readers. —   Two days ago, the last male northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) died. His passing leaves two surviving members of his subspecies: both females who are unable to bear calves. Even though it might not be quite […] ... Read the full article.
  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 weeks 4 days ago

    Do you love it when students waste office hours with questions that don’t help them learn? Do you want to cultivate anxious emails from students sent at 3 in the morning? Do you want your students to wager their grades by guessing what you think is the most important material?

    Then don’t tell your students what is going to be on the exam.

    Students often have a perfectly normal question: What’s going to be on the exam?

    In my opinion, the worst answer is “Anything is fair game for the exam, if it was mentioned in class.”

    I should first confess that at some early point in my teaching career, I used to do this, or something along those lines. Why did I do this? I honestly don’t know, I think I was just teaching the way I was taught as a student, and the way that a lot of my peers were teaching.

    This approach makes writing exams easy — you can just come up with obscure facts from the textbook or things mentioned in...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 weeks 4 days ago

    I wrote a few years ago about our overhaul of Intro Bio at Michigan. We substantially reduced the amount of content we cover in the course (though I suspect current students would be surprised to realize that – it still feels like more than enough). We also added in more in class activities (clicker questions as well as other things such as in class short answer problems and exercises aimed at increasing students’ comfort levels with figures). And, most notably for this post, we added in frequent quizzing. Students are expected to take a quiz before every class, with more basic questions related to the readings for that day, as well as higher order questions related to previous classes. Writing the questions for the quizzes the first semester was...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    3 weeks 19 hours ago

    Before condemning a job application to the recycle bin for want of a great letter from the dissertation advisor, please take a moment to consider: perhaps it’s the advisor who is the problem?

    Some people are prone to jump to unsubstantiated conclusions on this issue. Here’s a related story of mine. While interviewing for a job, I had a really weird conversation. The chair of the search committee asked me, “Why doesn’t your application have a letter from your major advisor?”

    I was boggled. I had left grad school almost a decade earlier. I was well established as an independent scientist. I had been a postdoc, and after that, had served on the faculty of two different institutions for seven years. I was running my own grants, working with a whole new set of people. Why would a letter from my advisor way back from grad school be necessary, especially considering that my work had diverged into a different direction than my advisor’s...

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  • via Brian McGill from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    3 weeks 2 days ago

    A good writer knows the conventions that their reader expects. Then they slavishly follow these conventions 95% of the time so the reader doesn’t get distracted by convention violations and instead keep their attention on what you’re trying to communicate. A good writer also occasionally and very deliberately violates these conventions as a sort of exclamation to highlight and emphasize points.

    A lot of conventions in manuscripts are extremely well set. Like AIMRD (Abstract/Introduction/Methods/Results/Discussion). References go after the discussion and before the appendices. Most journals in ecology use Harvard style citations such as “(Jones 1999)” inline while a few journals with very tight word limits use a Vancouver style (numbers linked to endnotes) (and just to emphasize that this all about conventions there are also Oxford, Chicago, and some weirder ones that are used by convention in different fields).

    But there are two areas where I...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    3 weeks 2 days ago

    On a Friday in mid-March, a student in my department was notified that they were just accepted into an NSF-funded REU program. (For more about REUs, here’s an earlier post.) It’s program with a fair amount of prestige, but definitely not in the highest tier among the folks who keep track of status. Which is everybody, of course.

    They were told they needed to accept or decline by Monday. After pleading for additional time beyond the weekend, they were given two more days. Wednesday.

    At this point in the calendar, there should be no urgency. This program should not be in an immediate hurry to fill its REU slots. They have plenty of time for the logistics of travel, accommodation, lab placements, and whatnot. So, then, why are they rushing...

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