Stop Spillover

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. U. S. Agency for International Development Emerging Threats Program launched the infectious disease surveillance program PREDICT in 2009. It included teams from more than 60 countries that would survey the world for unknown viruses in animals and assess their risk of causing … Continue reading Stop Spillover

Coronaviruses That Spillover

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. In the Family Coronaviruses cause diseases in humans ranging from mild colds, which may do little more than annoy the sufferer, to MERS, which kills 37% of those infected. Seven types affect humans so far, but thousands exist. Most come from bats, … Continue reading Coronaviruses That Spillover

Spillover in the Modern World

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. Human society traded one brand of disease outbreaks for another. In the past, we lacked hygiene, medical infrastructure, and knowledge of what causes disease. Today, we’re better in all three categories, especially in developed countries, but we’re disturbing ecology more and more, … Continue reading Spillover in the Modern World

Spillover

Originally published as a digital essay for a university course April 22, 2020. We have been slow to learn the role of virus ecology in human health. J.S. Koen, a veterinarian and inspector for the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry in Fort Dodge, Iowa, became unpopular during the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918. He saw … Continue reading Spillover

Dictionaries and Eternal Nuances of Pluralization: Octopus

In Nerdfighteria, a virtual land where nerds that have taken a liking to John and Hank Green's vlog community, people refer to angry, YouTube comments as angry--squids? Octopuses? Octopi? Am I remembering this right? The important factor to keep in mind is that even if I go back to earlier vlogs when John addressed trolls … Continue reading Dictionaries and Eternal Nuances of Pluralization: Octopus

Film Reflection: Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown by BBC Earth

One of BBC Earth's TV miniseries, Africa features the staples of intensive camera work and David Attenborough. The six-episode series released in 2013 travels between the Kalahari Desert, eastern savanna, Congo rainforest, southern Cape, Sahara, and a thematic episode focused on conservation and Africa's future. Africa is full of jungle and safari stereotypes, but this … Continue reading Film Reflection: Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown by BBC Earth

Introduction to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism and Development

Few entities in the universe have perpetual growth. Ecology and economics are not immune to destruction and depression. The beauty of sustainable tourism and development is that humans make the choice to not plunge into a dystopian future and instead take logical and ethical steps to balance highs and lows in the future. In 2015 … Continue reading Introduction to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism and Development

Stigma Stigma: Misadventure in Identifying Plants

Hundreds and perhaps thousands of unidentified plant photos lurk in my hard drive. I've always intended to manage and catalog them, maybe make blogging an excuse to learn the botany world one species at a time. I daresay I've failed and should try harder. One of my earliest photos back in March 2012 includes this … Continue reading Stigma Stigma: Misadventure in Identifying Plants

Film Reflection: Life on Location by BBC Earth

“How do they film that?” I always ask. “How do they coordinate? What are they not showing me?” That is how I watch natural history documentaries in between the “ah! That's so cool!” and “hmm, interesting. I should look that up.” Then one day on Netflix I saw BBC Earth's 2009 Life: On Location, where … Continue reading Film Reflection: Life on Location by BBC Earth

Book Reflection: The Practical Naturalist by Chris Packham

Your favorite civilian natural science book comes with prerequisites: vivid photos from altocumulus clouds to decomposition fungi, key hiding spots of small insects and charismatic critters, and nontechnical but curiosity-provoking descriptions of ecological concepts--all of which fill The Practical Naturalist. Edited by Chris Packham and written by a team of scientists, this book is detailed … Continue reading Book Reflection: The Practical Naturalist by Chris Packham