Education

Celebrating African American History Month with Role Models In STEM: Dr. James West

USA Science & Engineering Festival Speaker, Dr. James West, an Acoustical Scientist from Johns Hopkins University turned his childhood curiosity into a career of invention! Looking back on his childhood days in Prince Edward County, Virginia, acoustical scientist James Edward West, says curiosity ruled his life. “If I had a screwdriver and a pair of…

Antarctica: Links and Lack of Links

Internet Links and Social Links at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Here are some links of interest related to Trish Suchy and my NSF Antarctic Artists and Writers Project: Trish Suchy’s blog about our Artist’s and Writer’s project. David Ainley’s website about his research on Adelie penguins: Penguin Science The weather in McMurdo is here. Zach Sudman’s…

Our most recent helo trip out from McMurdo on our NSF Artists & Writers Project took us to Cape Evans, the site of Robert Scott’s Terra Nova Hut, where they based their 1910-1913 trip to the South Pole. We went with Anthony Powell (the filmmaker from Scott Base who made the movie “Antarctica: A Year…

Researchers are spending a lot of time exploring how the microbes living in our guts impact our health. In a new study published in Cell Reports, researchers wanted to know how the gut microbes of wild brown bears changes between summer and hibernation. They discovered that during the summer, the microbial species present in the gut are…

In yesterday’s post about the lack of money in academia, I mentioned in passing that lack of funding is part of the reason for the slow pace of progress on improving faculty diversity. That is, we could make more rapid progress if we suddenly found shitloads of money and could go on a massive hiring…

Over in Twitter-land, somebody linked to this piece promoting open-access publishing, excerpting this bit: One suggestion: Ban the CV from the grant review process. Rank the projects based on the ideas and ability to carry out the research rather than whether someone has published in Nature, Cell or Science. This could in turn remove the…

Antarctica: Dry Valleys

On the next leg of our NSF Antarctic Artists & Writers project we flew to the Antarctic Dry Valleys from McMurdo. It is almost an hour helicopter ride across the ice shelf, and we hopped from site to site all day: landing at Lake Hoare for a moment to drop off someone and pick up…

Antarctica: Penguin Chronicles

As part of our project we just flew to Cape Royds on a helicopter to take photographs of Dr. David Ainley among the penguins he’s studied for many years. It is about a 10 minute helicopter ride from McMurdo. We arrived in strong winds (maybe 30 mph? – enough to stop you from walking and…

Beware of freezing hearts

Thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) are really cute when they hibernate (above). During torpor bouts, their body temperature decreases to a few degrees Celsius and their metabolism drops by as much as 95% with heart rates ranging from only 3-10 beats per minute. These bouts of torpor are interrupted by periodic arousals every couple of weeks during which their…

Antarctica: Arrival

Hello again, We’ve been on Mars – er, I mean in Antarctica for 1 week now. It’s similar to what one might imagine being on Mars is like, but with breathable air (nice air). The landscape around McMurdo Station is all volcanic rock. Rock and dirt everywhere. Stand in the middle of McMurdo and spin…