Lots of great reads to share from the past two months. You may have noticed that it’s quite cold around the country right now. We’ve compiled some great readings to perfectly compliment an evening in a cozy blanket fort with a hot cocoa and those fuzzy socks you told your mom you didn’t need but are now so glad to have!
I love articles that take you along on the research journey. NatGeo Open Explorer and wildlife biologist Tyus Williams shares their experiences in the field in Belize as they use remote sensor camera traps to study jaguar movement and habitat patterns.
I don’t know if you can see the headline “The Strange Nature of the First Printed Illustration of a Sloth” without clicking to see. It’s definitely quite hilarious but still adorable. Bonus: there’s also an entire informative article with the illustration!
An absolute must-read for anyone wanting to better understand null hypothesis testing OR the existence of Bigfoot. I’m (Meridith) definitely sharing this article with others in my department and keeping it in mind for when I teach again!
Ahh, the dreaded PhD. Everyone’s path is different. Everyones struggles are different. Everyone’s motivation is different. But I think we can all relate to the anxiety and excitement that Marion Leary describes in her essay, PhD Schooled.
This guide for conferencing while chronically ill is a must read for everyone. Everyone has a different experience, but there’s lots of great tips that have been compiled and crowdsourced here.
This article provides three examples of graduate students who pushed back against their PIs to follow their own instincts about their career paths. It’s a good and encouraging read.
This is a really sweet essay about becoming a parent while in graduate school. Some takeaways: time flexibility is a plus, being financially strapped is a minus, and having a family is a great choice for you to make when it’s right for you.
Who will speak for the trees? Sea-level rise threatens 500-year-old black gums in New Jersey but Steve Eisenhauer (remember him?! He’s featured in another STS post!) and others are working to understand and communicate these threats.
Dark water formed an eddy around Steve Eisenhauer’s boots as they sank into the muck at the base of a 90-foot black gum tree so old, its roots were deep in this ground when the Pilgrims landed.Frank Krummer’s Old Trees on the Brink
There’s drama at NEON, as firing lead to the resignation of the organization’s top scientist.
I’m not crying, you’re crying. “Though I will always bear the scars from my son’s death, time and emotional work help keep them from reopening, and I have found peace with how my trauma is woven into the story of my life. Like the whales I study, we all carry the scars of our pasts. The burdens can be heavy, but we needn’t add to them by trying to ignore or hide them.”
The Atlantic printed a compelling letter from UNC Ashville professor, Dr. Rebecca Rae Helm about the impacts of a proposed ocean plastic clean-up project on the neuston ecosystem. “The neuston ecosystem is entirely passive—floating just like plastic—and evolved over millions of years to thrive within these regions, where surface-bound objects collect.”
Statistics professors (and Meridith’s cohort chums!!) at Penn State are working with researchers at CalFire to model rare events, like large fires or dangerous wind events, and prepare for future fire emergencies.
‘Going to office hours is terrifying’ and other tales of rural students in college.
This article provides an interesting rundown of the pros and cons of the University of Helsinki’s attempt to introduce anonymized academic hiring to their institution. It might be useful for dealing with unconscious bias at the application stages, but interviews will still be subject to bias against racial, sexual, and gender minorities.
If you want to read a disgusting account of another #MeTooSTEM story, click here. The silver lining is that the harasser did lose his job (after years of complaints and the current victim going to social media).
How big is too big? How do you know if it’s right to follow your results down an interesting, but unforeseen, path? We found this essay about scoping and following your interests in a PhD program very insightful.
Ooo, looks like we’ve got a double dose of Bigfoot articles! This one does an amazing job of expaining some of the science in cryptozoology and phylogenetic.
Sage grouse habitat protections are being removed so 9 MILLION ACRES can be used for oil and gas drilling.
Our siblings might be some of the longest relationships we have, but what influences do they have over our lives?
University of California is going to battle with the world’s largest scientific publisher. (Do you know how profitable these companies are, how little they pay authors and reviews, and how expensive the subscription fees are?!)