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Category Archives: extension

I am an ecologist because baselines are shifting

I grew up in Calgary, which is in southern Alberta. The city itself sits right at the intersection of the Great Plains and the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountain. The Elbow River flows into town from the south and meets the Bow River where downtown now sits. The Bow itself flows from Banff in […]

Update: that transit facility

A few weeks ago I posted a letter that I sent to City of Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall and Council. My letter was just one small part of a massive community organizing effort regarding the proposed building of a transit facility in an urban green space. Yes our city needs a new transit maintenance facility. […]

Thoughts on a proposed urban development

Dear Mayor and Council members: I am writing to express my concerns about the proposed transit facility at 18th and Foothills. I have previously written letters about the Ron Brent development (which unfortunately went ahead) and the North College Park proposal. As with those letters, my general theme here is that green spaces and parks […]

Should I pursue this major?

A few days ago one of the academic advisors here at my institution sent me a letter in which a student asked about the utility of a biology B.Sc. I mulled it over in my head for a few days and then responded with (edited a bit to preserve anonymity and for better clarity) the […]

Email paralysis?

Science can not operate in a vacuum for very long, and substantial scientific progress is only possible when communication between scientists is efficient and effective. This has always been the case – scientists have always communicated in person at conferences and across distances through letters. Recently, of course, the rate of information exchange has increased […]

Damn the torpedoes!

My family is probably one of the few that still receives the morning newspaper delivered to the front door. My winter morning ritual consists of braving the cold for a couple of seconds to bring in the paper and then settling down to read it at breakfast with a hot cup of tea. For some […]

Spider Monday

To help to celebrate Spider Monday, here are a few spider-related papers from the archives of the Journal of Entomological Society of British Columbia. Bennett, R.G. 2001. Spiders (Araneae) and araneology in British Columbia. J. Entomol. Soc. Brit. Columbia 98:83-90. A fantastic survey of everything spider in British Columbia. My favorite paragraph: Large areas and many specific […]

Reprints back then… but what now?

“Back in my day…” I sort of feel like I’m saying that more and more these days. It must be a symptom of advancing age. Today that geezer sentiment was stimulated by this tweet: Received an email from a prominent gall biologist asking for a reprint of my paper…I…I’m a real scientist now…*wipes tear* — […]

#sciencespark? Or #sciencefuel?

Recently my twitter feed has had a number of #sciencespark tweets roll through it – tweets in which people describe the moment(s) in which their love for science first clicked. Frankly, I have had trouble identifying my own #sciencespark because as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a fascination for nature. Perhaps […]

Let’s go back to 1914

I am the editor of a small, regional journal called the Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia. Although it is a small journal – publishing a few papers and other items in a single issue each year – both the journal and the society that manages it have a deep history. The ESBC […]