We hope everyone had a delightful Thanksgiving break and was able to relax and refresh with friends and families. We each did a little bit a traveling but now it’s back back to the Big Push to the end of the fall semester! This can be a tough time with lots of finals-related stress, seasonal depression, societal expectations of mass consumerism, or maybe just that one house that never shovels the sidewalk when it snows. We hope everyone is taking care of themselves and invite you take a quiet moment to sip some tea and peek at some of our favorite links from this month.
Our first article seems like it might be a pretty divisive one. With the current #STEMmeToo movement working to address sexual harassment and abuse within academia we must figure out whether we can support the research and not the researcher. This opinion article attempts to answer “Do we still keep citing the scholarship of serial harassers and sexists?”. Do you agree with their conclusion? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
So many levels of excitement about this Smithsonian article about a recent paper using community science to explore the three way interaction between plants, arthropods that eat those plants, and insectivorous birds in residential areas leading to the recommendation of planting native to help the ecosystem. It’s delightful to have such a nice #scicomm story out of a research project. This work was done at the Migratory Bird Center in DC and Fun Fact: Meridith just submitted a research fellowship application to do stats-y bird migration research with them!
Long time readers may recall that shortly after completing our MS degrees (er…we were both so close to finishing, it counts) in the summer of 2012, we embarked on a celebratory adventure lovingly referred to as the Amazing Besties National Park Road Trip. At first, we were blogging contemporaneously, then we were slowly catching up, then… The last post in the series was written in October 2014, fully two years after we got back from our two month stent of life on the road!
Like all good Type As, this incomplete set of posts has been bugging us for ages. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the time to go back through our journals to recall details, and the days without journal entries have gotten fuzzy around the edges. We still wanted to share our amazing experience exploring public lands with you all! To this end, over the next few months we will periodically be putting up posts that are mostly pictures from our trip with a few bits of memories that come to mind as we put together the images. This was one of the most epic friend adventures either of us have ever had, so if you like best friend hijinks these posts are for you. If you’re into pretty photos of natural wonders, you have come to the right place! 10 states. 9 National Parks and 1 National Monument. One summer of fun!
Want to catch up? Check out the rest of the series here.
Yellowstone National Park
Homeland of the Cheyenne, Apsaalooké, Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone, Salish-Kootenai***
When last you left us, we were tired after a day spent watching wildlife, checking out lakes, and learning about early tourists in the park. Today, on the recommendation of our all time favorite park rangers, the married couple Jim and Dot, we were going to climb two different mountains. (More heart eyes about Dot and Jim here.)
Pokémon Go, made available for download in America on July 6, 2016 (and adding new countries every day!) enables collection, training, and battling of the first 150 Pokémon. Individual Pokémon collection and observation is now possible, and Pokémon trainers will be venturing into their communities and the wilds that surround them in record numbers as they strive to catch ‘em all. By virtue of collecting and learning about (albeit augmented, virtual) animals, people will also rediscover their attraction to the natural world. Through Pokémon Go, trainers will develop a keen eye for their surroundings, patience for tracking, quick thinking in anticipation of Pokémon behaviors. And what better place for young and old alike to hone their PokéSkills but the expansive wilderness of America’s greatest natural treasure, the National Park system.
The iconic U.S. National Parks have provided access to both nature and natural sciences to visitors for 100 years. Combined annual attendance to these natural wonders registers at a whopping 305 million people each year, attracting visitors from all over the world. Our National Parks span the landscape of the United States and her territories, ranging from the remote reaches of Alaska to the bustling east coast parks, like Shenandoah-a quick drive from several major cities-and hop entire oceans to appear in far pacific lands like Hawaii, American Samoa, and Guam. Sometimes, these parks pack a hefty admission fee, up to $30 in some of the most famous parks. The fees go toward necessary maintenance and upkeep of the most pristine natural environments in the country, preserving the experience for the next generation of visitors. Don’t be scared by the entry fees; reasonably priced annual passes and special free events can make access extremely affordable! In fact, I planned a trip to Shenandoah National Park this past weekend for both my sister and me as a respite from the rigors of academia. However, once we got the news dropped of the long-awaited Pokemon Go release, our plans quickly adapted to incorporate some Pokemon collecting into our adventure.