Through the Looking-Glass – My Wild Adventure at BugShot

Piotr’s advice – dig a hole
(Photo by Miles)

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to to go to Bugshot on Sapelo Island, GA to take pictures of bugs (and as it turns out, lots of herps) with three of the world’s best photographers; Alex Wild, John Abbott, and Piotr Naskrecki.

(PS you can click on all the pics to enlarge them)

The marshes of Sapelo

The marshes of Sapelo

Sapelo Island is a coastal barrier island and one of the things that makes it so unique is its multiple eco-zones moving inland from the beach. The eco-zones  include the beach, primary dunes, secondary dunes, marsh, pine forests, and oak forests. Sapelo also has a rich history which we were fortunate enough to learn about. (Thanks Wade!)

While I was definitely the least experienced photographer on the excursion, I  learned so much, not just from the instructors but from the other students. I think that was one of the best features of BugShot, everyone could learn something from someone. Not only did a I learn a lot about photography, but each of the instructors gave a great natural history talk about their group of interest which was one of my favorite parts about BugShot.

But pictures are worth 1000 words, right? So come follow me on my journey with some unconventional photography work. Continue reading →

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Evaluating Student Evaluations

Student Evals

Student evaluations have always been something that I’ve found valuable. As a student I was blissfully unaware about the underwhelming power my voice had on a sheet of paper at the end of the semester and as an instructor I hang on almost every word of the student evaluations.
However, I’m not going to talk about the absurdity of the system where no one, except teachers who care, read the evaluations. Instead, I’d like to refute some of the main points laid out in this article.

I’ve only gotten into teaching in the past three years, so what I have is based on personal experience. That being said, I’ve had a very different personal experience than this gal.

Continue reading →

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

For my Teaching With Technology class we were required to post a review of a teaching website. I decided to do my review here, instead of in the university’s platform because I had more control with the layout. Plus, I haven’t written anything here in a while, so might as well post it.

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration
Click here to see the website!

Overall I like the bloggy feel but have some issues with the layout but I’m impressed by the open access content!

Continue reading →

Making the Cut: Demonstration Videos

This is one of the first demonstration style videos I did. It's about how to pin butterflies and moths.

This is one of the first demonstration style videos I did. It’s about how to pin butterflies and moths.

Some of my Twitter friends have asked me to give some tips about making videos. Since “Demonstration” style videos were the most requested (basically, one person requested), here we go!

So far, I’ve only done a few demonstration style videos, which include how to collect insects in different habitats and how to process those insects.
Despite my limited repertoire, I’ve learned some things along the way and would like to share =).

For those of you who don’t know, you can visit my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/scibugs.

Continue reading →

I F*cking Love Science: Witty Facebooker or Art Theif?

I was inspired by a tweet about the facebook page “I Fucking Love Science”.

So which is it?
Well, I’m guessing it’s complicated.

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“Won’t Grading be Boring?”

When I was first musing about becoming an educator, people would often ask me “Won’t it be boring grading the same thing over and over?”

I didn’t have a good answer. But now I do.
“Sure, if you’re uncreative enough to design boring assignments – then it will be boring to grade.”

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Play the Song of My People – On a Tree Trunk

A lot of plant stuff lately.  I guess this is just what happens when you think everything is cool.

What happens when you slice a tree trunk and put it on a record player?
This! “Years” by  Bartholomäus Traubeck.
Edit: You can check out the whole album here consisting of 7 different trees.

Continue reading →

Transgenic Trees: A Plot To Save the American Chestnut

The American Chestnut once dominated the North American forests.
Photo Credit: Erin and Lance Willett

I remember walking through the hiking trails near my house when I was a kid and my dad showing me the American Chestnut saplings in the forest. I remember him telling me about the disease that wrought the destruction of this iconic plant. And I remember feeling a bit sorry for the sapling doomed to repeat it’s cycle of untimely death and rebirth.

The American Chestnut Trees (Castanea dentata) once reigned proudly amongst the tallest old growth trees … until the Asian Bark Fungus – or the Chestnut Blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) took its toll. Since then, the Chestnut Blight unjustly relegated the American Chestnut to the understory.

Trees with the blight never get much bigger than saplings and the American chestnuts that used to litter the forest floor can no longer be found.

However, with some tricky engineering, the American Chestnut might see the light of the forest canopy once more.

Continue reading →

Trifles Have a Charm of Their Own

Lake Herrick
Photo Credit: Dewayne Neeley

I have a Latin calendar that I usually joke is the oracle. Yesterday’s Latin calendar was “Inest sua gratia parvis” which roughly translates to “Trifles have a charm of their own”. It was very charming when I had to crawl into  50 degree Lake Herrick on a 50 degree day. This all started when I attempted to lasso a fallen student’s test out of the water with a secci disk.

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You Always Have To Start Somewhere

My fiance teaches math. He started a mini reflection series by keeping a small pocket journal and after every class he teaches, he writes down a few sentences about how it went. Things that he thought went well, things that he thought didn’t, musings about how to make it better.

I usually have a lot of thoughts in my head after I teach, but I never had anywhere to put them down. So I started this blog!