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

Views of Lake Fort Smith (Part II: Scientist)

There's a phenomenon science students experience. Perhaps there's an inspirational, rare term assigned to it though I do not know what that would be. The landscape is no longer a cohesive environment of greenery and blotchy earth colors punctured by charismatic creatures and dramatic waterfalls. It...becomes millions of things that non-sciency friends rare their eyebrows … Continue reading Views of Lake Fort Smith (Part II: Scientist)

Views of Lake Fort Smith (Part I: Civilian)

Lake Fort Smith is one of the more popular hiking and boating destinations in my area. There the Ozark Highlands Trail, a 218 mile chain of interconnected trails and collectively the second longest in the state (the Ouachita Trail being the longest at 223 miles). They must be growing, because before I checked I could … Continue reading Views of Lake Fort Smith (Part I: Civilian)

Free Cornell Lectures at a Computer Near You

I'm not sure what possesses me to search some of the things that I search for on the internet, but one is an exciting discovery and applicable to a studious effort toward the United Nation's International Year of Soils. Cornell Transnational Learning: a YouTube channel offering full lectures of semester courses, symposiums, and forums from Cornell … Continue reading Free Cornell Lectures at a Computer Near You

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Soil Science in the Education System

Caution: this considers the North American education systems as I am yet to have enough perspective to write on behalf of another part of the world on this topic. Often I have asked myself why formal education requires the classes that they do from first grade to twelfth grade. Why the precise combination of English, … Continue reading Soil Science in the Education System

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Future of Botany and Herbaria

While I've addressed how my undergraduate program has converted many potential non-plant biologists into plant biologists, often I hear about how many universities do not support botany programs. I've experienced this personally, though at the time I was interested in the wildlife biology program. Colorado State University's college of natural sciences posted above the botany … Continue reading Future of Botany and Herbaria


Fascination of Plants Day

I found out about it too late.   It was late in the evening of May 18th, and I saw an Annals of Botany Facebook post from the Oxford University Press blog about Fascinating of Plants Day. Many others knew about it, as #FoPD yielded a plethora of tweets. I’ll be more prepared for it … Continue reading Fascination of Plants Day

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A Mention of Arbor Day

So often at this time of the year I hear about Earth Day. Hippie holiday or educational outreach opportunity, Earth Day is a product of the 1970s and a challenge against poor modern environmental husbandry. Shortly following Earth Day many countries also observe Arbor Day.  It is less popular, celebrated by fewer nations and is … Continue reading A Mention of Arbor Day

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The Joy of Journal Articles

Journal articles can be a real challenge to read. I was fortunate through my undergraduate program to read relatively simple plant ecology articles that involved basic statistics and little jargon—whatever jargon there was, the meaning was easy to infer and so did not require a graduate-level understanding. However, not all sciences appeal to logic and … Continue reading The Joy of Journal Articles