Meme: Who Are You, Dear Readers?

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Every once in awhile, I ask my readers to identify themselves by demographic groups -- gender, age, what you do, what you aspire to do, favorite books, and anything else you'd like to tell me because honestly, I find you all to be quite fascinating. I think about you all nearly constantly -- what stories you might like to read, what photographs and videos might amuse you -- and I'd like to learn more about you. I am participating in the "Who are You?" meme, inspired by my ScienceBlogs colleagues [Ed, DrugMonkey, SciCurious, Janet Stemwedel, ScienceWomen, Coturnix, PhysioProf, Isis the Scientist, and now, a growing group of science-y and academic blogs that are off-site, too]. Since my fifth blogoversary is less than one month away, I thought now would be a good time to ask you about yourselves once again. Here is my slightly edited version of the official wording used in original meme;

Identify yourself in the comments. Even if you've never commented before, speak up. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? Are you an interested lay-person, practicing scientist, journalist, sentient virus, or something else? Are you a close friend, colleague, acquaintance or friend I've not yet met?

More like this

Hardcore layperson, technically not even entitled to (long-lost) high school diploma.

Unmet friend, at least until you find a reason to wander to Gainesville, Florida.

Shameless opportunist: anybody wanna adopt calico kittens? Free! (shipping not included)

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink

I am a 27 year old female bioinformaticist in the great plains region, new mom, and friend you haven't met yet, occasional blog/twitter reader.

By Madelaine (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink

Hello GrrlSci,

I am Jim, 46 yo male, live in Frederick MD, like to play with stem cells, specifically stem cells derived from the afterbirth. Currently at SciBarCamp in Palo Alto. No invite to SciFoo camp this year, but went last year. Probably some people here you know, but don't believe we've ever met.

35yo male evolutionary ecologist now working in bird conservation

58yo female bio-curious, love learning new things, bookkeeper by trade (presently laid-off), love cats, birds and yarn.

By Mary Beth (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink

3rd science blogger I read who all of a sudden wants to know who I am. Here goes again... Middle-aged autistic female who has never attended university as a student. Also, researcher affiliated with a University of Montreal autism research group. Also, and sadly, one of the very few autism researchers who blogs. Also, likes birds a lot.

I'm an evolutionary anthropologist and I plan to defend my dissertation this fall. I study human courtship, incorportating pyschology, biology, and economics along with anthro.

We haven't met, but you did mail me a book, which is absolutely awesome of you. I owe you a cup of tea for that if you'd ever like to get together.

Software guy with an interest in science. I've been reading your blog since your blogspot days, though I rarely comment. Reading about your travails would often be heartbreaking, but then you'd manage a small victory in the midst of it all that would put a smile on my face and make me go YAY for you. In short, a roller-coaster. And of course the science posts, bird posts and endangered species showcase posts are also awesome! Also, I live pretty close to NYC and if you ever have a meet-up for grrlscientist fans in NYC, I'm so there! :-)

I'm a corporate zombie who constantly refreshes Blogger during the day to find reading material not consisting of the micromanagement of brokerage supervisory procedures or fundamental analysis (although I do enjoy technical analysis).

Was an aspiring evolutionary/marine biologist, until I realized that failing micro several times probably meant I'd never be able to successfully decipher the fascinating skin-language of squid. Damn tiny parts! I got a Spanish degree instead. Now I'm ready to start a family, and my scientific future will never be had. So instead, I rehabilitate wildlife around the Nebraska parts. And of course, fill my eyes with your fabulous photos, adventures, and wonderful writing.

I also love to read National Geographic, vast amounts of fiction, play old-school Super NES, and write music. Thanks for asking!

actually .. i will return to NYC in time for the weekend of 25 July. some of my fellow scienceblogs colleagues will also be visiting the Big Apple that same weekend, so it is likely that we will have a public meet at some point that weekend. if there is interest among my readership, i would be happy to schedule something so we all can have a few beers and nachos together and swap a few stories. sadly, i don't think that Seed Media Group will cover the cost of the festivities this year (crappy economy), so we are probably on our own.

Interested lay-person, with extreme interest in ornithology. Birdwatcher, parrot slave. I live north of San Francisco, though I'm currently on vacation in northeastern Montana. I am also a huge music fan with eclectic tastes, a video gamer, and I love tea.

I'm kind of new around these parts, but definitely want to keep on reading. :)

By Selasphorus (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink

Retired Jill of all trades (well, a long life, with career changes; careers included missionary -sorry, I've learned my lesson -, farmer, teacher, tour leader, foster parent, etc.) Nature blogger. Some science education (pre-med, UNAM) truncated because of health issues. Always intended to go back; never could.

Constant reader here, occasional commenter.

28yo female naturalist teaching at a nature center in South FL. Background includes 3 B.S. degrees in Enviromental Science, Biology, and Chemistry. Research experience with turtles and an avid interest in birds. I also enjoy reading your blog. You're my online source for Harry Potter trailers. :)

I am 36, a parrot lover, crocheter, and knitter.
My husband found your blog for me and I have been reading ever since.
I used to be IT support but was laid off last November. Now I work in a yarn shop and opened my own parrot pet sitting business.
I am involved with rescuing birds, and finding them new homes.
I foster for the Oregon Humane Society and also volunteer for 911 Parrot Alert.

Oddly, like your first commenter, I'm in Gainesville, Florida as well. Hm; peculiar.

Anyway, I'm an all-new reader, just found you today, and have thoroughly enjoyed slacking off at work to rifle through your charmingly amusing, insightful entries.

So, the nitty and the gritty. Thirty-three years old, male, a bit of a drunkard, a bit of a philosopher (often both in equal measure) and in possession of a rather curious disposition. I often find myself spiraling through articles, comments, papers, journals and the like, most of it going over my head, but the essence of science ringing through me and resonating in the deep places of my heart. I can't help it. I may not be a scientist, not even qualified to call myself one of the armchair variety, but I definitely have the scientific appreciation of Truth and Logic. Well-practiced science touches me as deeply as any musical piece.

So, what else? "Anything else you'd like to tell me," you'd said. Well, why not these bits of trivia...

* I'm adopted, and I've never had a problem knowing it.

* I'm surly until I have my first cup of coffee in the morning -- fresh ground, none of that pre-ground crap, please.

* I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah where I received an average education and had a massive crush on my 6th grade science teacher.

* According to most people, I'm more the "nerd" type than "geek," though I've always felt that to be an inaccurate assessment, since I generally curb my geek tendencies with my modicum of social aptitude.

* I enjoy Guinness Extra Stout more than any other beer, though I can see why most people don't like it (I think it kind of tastes like carbonated blood -- yum).

* I adore my two guinea pigs: "Little" and "City" (both girls), and have a nasty habit of spoiling them.

* My first Love has grown to become a Physicist in Europe.

* I've taken apart and put together more computers than I can count, and could assemble three full desktops with my spare parts.

I think that's all I'll say for now. I'm going to go peck through more of your fascinating entries now.


58yo (nearly 59) biologist, currently serving a year as the interim head of my department at KSU, Manhattan KS. Interested in birds, photography, science, evolution/creationism conflicts, and life in general. Favorite beer at the moment is Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, which is not sold in Kansas, so we pick up quantities of it when we travel out of state... I'm also the co-listowner of BirdChat, and yes, we have met, when you visited us for a week and experienced the spectacle of the Sandhill Crane migration along the Big Bend region of the Platte River. But you knew all of that already!

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink

Albatrossity, we're local! Neato.

I am a 51 yo woman whose main purpose in life is to cater to 4 birds (just ask them), live in western WA, was previously employed at UW, and am looking forward to seeing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Although if I can't find a matinee price on the movie, I'll have to wait for the DVD.

I was a microbiology major in college in Maryland, unfortunately major depression interfered and I never finished my science degree. I eventually wound up in accounting, but remain fascinated by all forms of science, biology and physics especially.

My favorite article is the one you wrote on blue feather structure. And your book reviews.

* background in sciences (from geo to astro to orni to ...) - one of those people who have interests in far too much to get paper degrees in any one discipline

* photographer who wants to be more than a cube slave ( for possibilities, almost all for sale! who said something about opportunist? :) )

* one of the luckies who has met the famous Grrl

* fan of harmonic music spanning almost a millenia

* i rust, therefore i must be in the pacific northwet somewhere

* when employed, it's usually putting the fear of test into developers with egos :)

Veterinarian, atheist, avid reader, drinker of wine, expert margarita maker...about to turn 40.

First of all I have met GrrlScientist at a seed NYC get together. I'm sitting next to her in a picture posted on ScienceBlogs. That's my claim to fame.

Other than that I'm a 30ish unemployed person with a BS in marine biology and a semester short of a JD.

Lawyer, age 60, undergrad in geology, and am friend of Grrl Scientist, with whom I have met up a few times. I tend a large (900 sq. ft.) butterfly and pollinator garden in my limited spare time, watch the native bees, count butterflies with NABA, and go off twice a year to join the Florida Paleontological Society for a meeting and for collecting, sometimes around Gainesville. Am endlessly fascinated with silicified Upper Ordovician trilobite parts, ostracodes, brachiopods, and bryozoa, plus fossils of unknown affinities, which I etch from the Edinburg limestone of the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Atheist in a nest of Religious Right wackjob wingnuts in SE Texas.

By biosparite (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink

46 y/o computer graphics and video editor guy. Geek extraordinaire. Mildly autistic with all of the good and not so good that goes with that. Happily married to a wonderful woman who truly "gets" me. Been married for seven months now. Two kids for a previous marriage - the oldest, my amazing daughter, extremely intelligent (great in math and physics), creative, tall (6-foot) and beautiful. She's about to enter her senior year in high school. My son, nearly a carbon copy of me it seems, is about to enter his freshman year - also highly intelligent and loves astronomy, physics, and photography.

Things I love:
Science - especially "big" science, big physics, astronomy (especially stellar evolution and physics), cosmology, seismology; technology - in particular where science, technology and art converge to enhance ones creative toolbox hence my love for computer animation, visual effects and electronic music; "hard sf - none of that wimpy, fluffy fantasy stuff but hard core SF that has its roots in real scientific concepts and treats its scientist characters as real-live, living, breathing believable humans; movies, good food (yes, I am a died-in-the-wool carnivore), photography, and cool, beautiful, wet and green northern climates - lived in the Seattle area for five years and absolutely loved it (it really sucked that, for financial reasons, I had to move back to Los Angeles); fell in love with Norway the same way you are with Finland when I visited there nine years ago.

Things I have nothing but disdain for:
Religion and the bigotry, intolerance, and that special breed of willful ignorance that seems to be part and parcel with the piously religious; Microsoft Windows, command lines, stupidity, bureaucracy, crowds, loud obnoxious drunks, hot muggy weather, Republicans, that nasty breed of hard-core Libertarians, PETA, Focus on the Family et all., and any person or agency that promotes pseudoscience, anti-science or anti-intellectualism.

Drove a big-rig for nine months two years ago. I consider that my strange, bizarre detour in life that I may never be able to explain. (And, just in case you were wondering, NO, I was not that truck driver that nearly accosted you two years ago. When you posted about that, I almost felt like you were thinking it was me.)

Like you, I have had some struggles in life related to neurological issues and have had to fight long and hard just to survive - almost failed at one point. When you wound up in the hospital three years ago, I truly empathized with what you were going through. I knew I had some things in common with you and wanted to reach out. I do hope to someday be able to meet you in person.

@ Albatrossity: The Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA? Nice! Hope you try the 120 Min IPA (hard to find, probably best left for those times when you ~SERIOUSLY~ want hops to smash your brain in) and the many subtly sumptuous Lagunitas breeds (especially Maximus).

Cheers :)

Single woman, 48, one son, 8, from Exeter UK. No longer working due to ill health, but a Horticulturist when I was. Interested in flora and fauna, and anything else that catches my attention. Like charity shops - hate shopping. Derive much pleasure and amusement from the interwebs. My window on the world :)

By jenjen1352 (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink

I'm a recent college grad, with a Wildlife Biology major (with Avian emphasis). Greatly interested in raptors, although most birds will distract me for a while. Unsure of what comes after my current internship with a raptor migration hawkwatch/banding program. Never met you, a friend of mine found your blog with mystery birds and pointed me to it.

Oh no, everyone's doing it - the birds, bees, educated fleas - even the Finns and Letts!

OK, 1 godless poor starving mad scientist who enjoys building new science toys; unfortunately building toys takes an awful lot of money and finding appropriate funding is not an easy task, otherwise I'd have a big workshop full of pet engineers, technicians, and geeks doing my every bidding and I'd be well on my way to taking over the world!

By MadScientist (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink

Unemployed 30-something ex-academic (humanities), who's always wondered if she should have gone into science; godless, and fascinated by the expansive worldview achieved by using scientific methods to break through assumptions and "common sense"; hopeless ambition: to write a new De Rerum Natura.

Gardener, natural history buff, anime fan, occasional gamer.
Parent of child with Asperger's Syndrome (and probably close to the borderline myself).

BS in 1976 from MSU (Lyman Briggs College).

Used to be a keen birder, but that was when I lived in an apartment and had no garden.

Big event at our house this week: the mourning doves in the nest outside the kitchen window fledged!


Yes, I think that there are quite a few readers of this blog in Kansas & Nebraska!


Yep, we usually get some of the 120 min IPA as well, and I like it, but the 90 min stuff is my personal favorite. The 120 min IPA is not only seriously hoppy, it is seriously alcoholic AND rich, and to me is almost like something I'd have for dessert. Very tasty, but not an everyday event. I'm not familiar with the Lagunitas beers; I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

By Albatrossity (not verified) on 10 Jul 2009 #permalink

Haha @ 29. Well then MadScientist, let's do it too!

So, about me, huh?
I'm a 19yo undergrad (hmm...not too many of those here, it seems) at UC Berkeley. I'm majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology, and minoring in Global Poverty & Practice. Plans for the future? Probably go into research. I'm most interested in neuroscience right now, but we'll see if anything else catches my interest in the coming two years.

I like exploring new things, so even though I was never really a birder, I've found that since I began reading your blog, I've been noticing birds more often. I like the variety of things you blog about, and the beautiful photos you take. Oh, and I love Harry Potter too :D

I've never met you, but would love to if I weren't a country's width distant from NYC.

47 year old husband and father of two. Birded avidly as a teenager, dropped it for a decade or so, then rediscovered it via introducing it to my wife, who taught me that juncos were just as exciting as rarities and raptors. Found this site via the mystery bird of the day.

I have a degree in political science and work as a programmer. It concerns and saddens me that I'm living through (and contributing to) the Holocene extinction event.

Almost 60 years old, male, Canada, no scientific training but intense curiosity - love computers and politics as well. Work in network sales for a large ultra green Canadian data center, live in a small rural town near the BC/WA border right on the Columbia River (three blocks from home can see from back yard :)

Undergrad degrees in Biology and Anthropology, PhD in Developmental Neurobiology, currently tenured faculty at a MRU. Research projects have transformed from developmental neurobiology to cancer biology to biology of aging and reproduction. About 25% of my work time is spent in collaborative research projects and ad hoc ghost-writing, data-crunching, and editing manuscripts and grant proposals, and the remainder is spent teaching. For 75% of the time, I'm that lowest of the low on the MRU totem pole: the anatomical sciences instructor. I teach gross anatomy, embryology, and neuroscience to medical, dental, and graduate students; director of 3 courses, worker bee and lecturer in four others. I enjoy it a lot, actually, though most others think I'm insane, and wouldn't even go near the gross anatomy labs.

I guess you could say I'm an accidental birdwatcher these days; I rarely make a dedicated birdwatching trip, though I'm always aware of birds when I'm outdoors. I spent many happy hours birdwatching on the Texas Coast and in the Pacific Northwest when I was a student. This blog was one of the first that I read at ScienceBlogs, and it's the only one of those that I've consistently followed throughout. I return for the ornithology posts and beautiful photos.

I'll get the famblies to vote for your Antarctica trip next weekend, Grrl; that should add another 4-6 votes to your total, completely legally. ;-)

40-something Brit. University dropout, (biochemistry). Worked in IT for the past 20 years but unemployed at the moment due to the general financial shittyness combined with some health problems.

Have a biology degree, undergraduate only, have worked in information sciences for most of my 30 years out of college. I love birding and came to this site through the mystery bird of the day feature. I also keep up to some degree with evolutionary relationships of organisms, and whatever else happens to interest me.

Male, 45.
B.Eng. in telecommunications, random additional studies.
Employed in the military-industrial complex of a minor north European country.
Homesteading on two hectares (4.4 acres?). Occasional astrosurfer (=stargazer). Phytotherapy dabbler. Watcher of things.
Interested in many things, both in sciences and in humanities. Prefer reading to watching.