Nature Blog Networking: Do Your Research

Most of us blog for fun, a small proportion of us may be lucky enough to blog for work, but for a growing proportion of the NBN and the blogosphere on the whole, a blog is a tool.  It’s a means to provide outreach for any number of interesting academic and professional research pursuits.  With the relative prevasiveness of wireless networks and technology, it can be the field notebook of the 21st century.  And unlike those muddy, wet, beaten up notebooks of times past, these days we have the benefit of following along.

“Science” can be a nebulous term for the general public, conjuring up images of bespectacled old men in white lab coats fiddling with beakers and Bunsen burners.  And maybe that’s a perception that needs adjusting if for no other reason than to incorporate the diversity of individuals involved.  The NBN is no exception with a wealth of interesting science junkies making their research approachable to the rest of us.

Come and wrap your head around this stuff…

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- Follow along on the ongoing bird banding project undertaken by the Rouge River Bird Observatory in Dearborne, Michigan, at the cleverly named Net Results.  Banding is great, if for no other reason that you get some neat photos of birds in the hand.

- Not the first time I’ve mentioned them, but notable for his work on freshwater prawns, Amphidrome is a one-stop for all crustaceaphiles.

- Working with J is an interesting account of an outreach program among the Ye’kuana in the Venezuelan Amazon.  Follow along with Dave as he completes a database on local biodiversity and builds a commmunity from scratch.

- The Arbor Day Foundation, a non-profit that encourages people to plant and appreciate trees, keeps folks updated on thier happenings at the Arbor Day Blog.  It’s a great place to go for tree news.

- Not all research is done in the field, as we learn at Apartment Biology where Max works as a contract biologist for the Forest Service in Oregon.

- Field biologist Dan Derbyshire blogs at Fieldworks, a compendium of his work in bird monitoring in southern Canada.  In addition to notes on his research he’s also a fantastic artist.

- Anyone with a little knowledge of Australia knows the uphill battle the nation is fighting with invasive species.  Get reports from the frone lines at Feral Thoughts, the blog of the CEO of the Invasive Animals’ Coorperative Research Centre.

- Western North Carolina’s Box Turtles are the subject of Turtle Tracks, a blog about research and rehab of the ubiquitous reptiles.  The turtles are followed using radio telemetry, with makes the ones I tagged with mom’s finger polish as a kid look a little unsophisticated.

- Like the Arbor Day Foundation, the Boreal Songbird Initiative is another non-profit taking to blogging as a way to provide outreach of their crucial mission.  We’re all better for it, as the more the boreal forest is ingrained in our collective consciousness, the more likely the habitat can be protected.

- Student Eric Beck of Afield in Oklahoma writes often about his adventures doing bird research on the plains and often, just birding in a state with little blog coverage.

- Osprey are fascinating birds, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here in saying so.  More than that, they’ve come back from the brink in no small thanks to the work done by organizations like the New Jersey Osprey Project.  Get a behind the scenes look at what they do at this blog.

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It’s really great that the NBN can be a means to bring attention to research and researchers all around the world.

photo by IRRI images via flickr

3 Comments

  1. February 11, 2009 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    How interesting and timely you say this:
    ““Science” can be a nebulous term for the general public, conjuring up images of bespectacled old men in white lab coats fiddling with beakers and Bunsen burners. And maybe that’s a perception that needs adjusting if for no other reason than to incorporate the diversity of individuals involved. The NBN is no exception with a wealth of interesting science junkies making their research approachable to the rest of us.”

    Inspired by the ScienceOnline09 Workshops about Diversity, a new carnival has been created to address this very notion of who scientists are, what they look like, and what they do. The Carnival is called Diversity in Science and the first edition goes up on Feb 24 (at my blog). This month’s theme is a Black History Month celebration of innovators (or educators or interpreters since we are nature bloggers) in STEM.

    I introduced the carnival here: http://urban-science.blogspot.com/2009/02/its-black-history-month-celebrate.html

    Already there is a lot of support (and submissions). It would be great to have other NBN bloggers on board.

    Later,
    Danielle

  2. February 11, 2009 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    Great idea, Danielle!

    I’ll be sure to advertise it next week in the deadline post.

  3. February 12, 2009 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    Thanks!! Along with the carnival I started a list of science/nature/engineering blogs by persons of color. If you know of some of our fellow NBN bloggers who fit the bill and wouldn’t mind sharing, I’d appreciate it.

    One of the other topics discussed was creating a catalog of such blogs – just to show the world that science/nature bloggers are diverse.

    Thanks!

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  1. [...] a bug blog or, in the case of this post, an academic blog.  I can only make guesses, as I did in a previous edition of NBNB on “research” oriented blogs.  But that’s sort of a nebulous idea, we all do research to some extent, and all of it [...]