Monthly Archives: March, 2014

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

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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.

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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.

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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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