How would you structure the “perfect” statistics course for biology undergraduate students?
Also this week: more.
Are you, or do you know, an undergraduate considering applying to graduate school in ecology or evolution? Or perhaps a current EEB grad student thinking of applying for fellowships? If you or the student you know would like mentoring from an experienced academic (above and beyond any mentoring you already have access to), #EEBMentorMatch is for you! Follow that last link for more information. Here’s a link to the signup form.
I’m not at ESA this week, and in some ways that’s good, because I’m currently being swamped by the beginning of semester deluge. Last week reminded me that I always misjudge what the start of the semester will be like, as I illustrated will some silly drawings:
And that last one doesn’t even include all the other stuff that always pops up (e.g., an uptick in requests for letters of recommendation, finding new undergrads to work in lab and getting them set up in the lab, etc.)
Related: at an event I went to this summer, they asked us to draw pie charts showing how we spend our time. After we attempted to draw them, we had some discussions about how the traditional teaching vs. research vs. service/admin split that we tend to talk about leaves out a lot of things that take up a lot of time. And, yes, this PhD Comics chart was discussed!
Good luck to all of us trying to fit 200% as much stuff into the same amount of work time!
(For a previous installment in the “Meg draws things poorly” series, see this post on imposter syndrome)
Note from Jeremy: This post is by my friend Greg Crowther, Instructor in Biology at Everett Community College, former elite ultramarathoner, science song connoisseur, and master of terrible statistics puns. And perhaps most relevantly for purposes of this post, a heck of a writer.
Honest question: how many of you take pride in the things that you write for your classroom students?
My suspicion is that many of us regard this kind of writing as less important than grant proposals and scholarly papers – maybe even less important than committee reports, letters of recommendation, outreach-related writing, etc.
If my suspicion is correct (and it may not be), this seems like a missed opportunity, very much in the same way that dry scholarly papers are a missed opportunity. Especially for those of us who are somewhat introverted, or not gifted at lecturing per se, we can use our written materials to show students where we’re coming from, highlight possible connections to their lives, express wonder at nature’s ingenuity, etc.
If the general point seems uncontroversial, let’s ask ourselves some specific questions.
Note from Jeremy: this is a guest post from Forrest Stevens, asst. professor in Geography and Geosciences at the University of Louisville. Tons of great stuff here–thanks very much to Forrest for taking the time to share so much local knowledge!
As a relative newcomer to Louisville, I can’t welcome all of you as a native might. But after taking a job as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Geosciences at the University of Louisville five years ago, the city and its surroundings have greatly grown on me. It’s a unique city, with an interesting history and trajectory, and I’d like to share some of the sights and activities around town that are unique and interesting. While not an exhaustive list, hopefully this spurs your search for things to do in your downtime while you’re visiting.
My personal shortlist of things that I wouldn’t miss, easily accessible from the Convention Center and downtown hotels (see below for links to some of these):
If you have a day, or are arriving early/staying late then there are some great things to do in the surrounding area. First, I’d be remiss to not mention bourbon and its history to Kentucky and Louisville. While a bit over-hyped, the Bourbon Trail and some of its stops are worth a side trip. My absolute favorite (and some of my favorite bourbons and rye, even if you’re just tasting while in town) is Willett Family distillery.
Bardstown, where Willett and Heaven Hill, among other distillers are located, is a nice little town, with some fun history, shopping.
Also this week: there’s no such thing as very old people, the USDA vs. science, betting on replication, Ecography switches to author-pays OA, diversity vs. groupthink, and more. Lots of good stuff this week!
Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post from University of Kentucky entomology outreach extension specialist Blake Newton (lightly edited by me, and with a few bonus beer recommendations from me at the end). Thanks for sharing your favorite places, Blake!
Got Louisville recommendations of your own? Share them in the comments!
Please share more advice in the comments!
Meeting people and networking
More on how to network at conferences (from social sciences, but it generalizes)
Giving a good talk or poster
Asking and answering questions
Are there particular ways forward that can help consolidate various different strands of work into unified conceptual frameworks, or is it best to focus on our own specialties and not worry so much about big picture things? Should more or less effort be given to framework building and unification?