Four years, one hundred stories and more than 150,000 words ago, I began this blog.
The discipline of writing a new story every fortnight had a big impact. It killed my career. Or, to be more accurate, it led me to decide to put an end to the most recent stage of my career.
Late last year, after long discussions with my partner, I decided to leave academia (I haven’t quite left yet). My university is fantastic, my colleagues wonderful and the pay packet hard to refuse. But it is time to grow and learn new skills. Continue reading
The boundary between treeless grasslands and grassy woodlands in the Dunkeld region. Source: Google Earth.
Longevity is the iron lung of a woodland tree – life support for an ageing population.
The woodlands of Dunkeld are among the most beautiful in the world. Stately old trees, scattered across grassy paddocks, frame the rugged Grampians Ranges in the distance. In another continent they could be oaks or olives, but in Dunkeld the trees are River Red Gums. Eucalyptus camaldulensis. Century old giants.
This workshop is great but how do we get more information out of you scientists when we get back home?
This question has been asked at nearly every community workshop I’ve ever attended. It highlights a big appetite for new information. Yet I was surprised at a recent workshop when a member of the audience answered the question, like this:
There’s heaps of great information by scientists on social media, on Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
It may not surprise you to learn that the person who asked the question was in their 50s and the person who answered it was in their 20s. (I hope I guessed both ages appropriately).
The exchange raises lots of questions about access to information on the web. Does social media create a digital divide across the generations? Do crowd sourcing and citizen science initiatives that rely on smartphones exclude sectors of society? Who is in the tent, and who is left outside? Continue reading
On a bed of moss on a large rock on a high knoll, below the summit of a steep, forested ridge, lies – prostrate and exposed – a slab of wood.
At first glance, it resembles a fence post, hewn roughly from the trunk of an old Black Cypress-pine. When buried upright, the thick slab would support a strong wire fence. But who would hew a post in such a remote place, and sacrifice their handiwork on a tall, granite boulder? Continue reading
Thank you to everybody who submitted their wonderful photos, and to all who viewed and voted in last year’s repeat photo competition.
When I announced the competition in February 2014 I had no idea whether any photos would be submitted. The response far exceeded my tentative expectations. Many readers have already requested that we do it all again in 2015. So ready, set, go – grab your cameras and start snapping, asap. But first, it’s time to enjoy the winning entries from the 2014 Inaugural Environmental Repeat Photo Competition (drum roll please)… Continue reading
What a difference a year makes! In February, I invited readers to send in their favourite repeat monitoring photos, and you responded with an amazing series of fantastic images.
The goal was to promote ecosystem monitoring rather than gun photography. Nevertheless many of the photos tick both boxes, and combine great images with great observations. Now it’s your turn to select your favorite shots.