What’s your name?
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
I write my thesis. Sometimes there’s some insect collecting, some photography, or some cooking.
What is your blog called?
Thoughts from Kansas.
What’s up with that name?
Good question! It started out as a placeholder, but it has come to define an aspiration.
How long have you been blogging, anyway?
About two years. The first post at the old TfK was on August 1, 2004.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Chicago, and went to college there, but in between I mostly grew up in the New York area. Now I’m in Lawrence, KS for grad school.
Would you describe yourself as a working scientist?
Any educational experiences or degrees you’d like to mention?
My best academic experiences have been in natural history museums, exploring oddball mammals from strange places, or finding interesting aspects of entirely conventional species.
What are your main academic interests, in or out of your field?
Ecology, especially modeling the impact of species’ interactions on their distributions in space.
The last book you read?
I just finished Intelligent Thought and I’m moving on to Graham Greene’s Orient Express.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Most days are pretty excellent, if you look at them right. Ice cream helps.
What’s your greatest habitual annoyance?
Stupid people, especially if they are proud of their stupidity.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
I think fictional heroes don’t grab me any more. Everyone likes Gandalf, and I guess I do like to wear hats that look like Indiana Jones might have worn them.
Your favorite heroes in real life?
Woody Guthrie, John Muir, President Roosevelt (either one) and a variety of unsung family and family friends who fought to make this a better nation.
What’s your most marked characteristic?
Modesty. After that comes an encyclopedic knowledge of stuff, a sense of humor, and optimism.
What’s your principal defect?
What quality do you admire most in a person?
Who are your favorite writers?
Douglas Adams, Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey. Toss in John Muir and E. B. White for good measure. I need to find some good living writers.
What would you like to be?
A scientist. A contributor to thoughtful discussion. A good person.