Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Year of Darwin 12/31/2014: from Origins to my Conservation Biology notes

 Charles Darwin

"Although in oceanic islands the number of kinds of inhabitants is scanty, the proportion of endemic species (i.e., those found nowhere else in the world) is often extremely large"  Charles Darwin, Origin of Species 1st edition (on Kindle)

I'm getting this through my daughter, but her high school teacher thought a blog about Darwin was stupid because his writing was "boring."  What?  Yes, certainly there are passages that are tedious but there are so many problems that Darwin brings up and we are still struggling to answer. The biggest of these, I think, is population regulation. Here Darwin makes an astute observation that I have used, almost word for word, in  my Conservation Biology class (I never use scanty... unless I talk about dating in my early days).

So today is the last of the "My year of Darwin" posts. I'm going to finishing mining quotes for a textbook I'm working on and I'll sporadically post them here. My New Year's resolution is to get out and fish and hike throughout the year (and maybe enjoy a cigar and a scotch or two). 

It was an amazing year for better or worse. Better relationship with my son and lost a dog (I haven't had a dog in 20 years). Professionally, I was elected to be chair of the Academic Planning Committee (a bit more significant than chairing the library committee), and I will have submitted five manuscripts (most previous was 2 in a year). 

Next year I will put two teenagers in college (Oi!) and search for a sabbatical. I'll run another round (at least) of the clay caterpillar project, we'll be in Louisiana for my son's high school graduation, and there is a bird meeting in Nova Scotia. It's going to be an expensive and exciting year. I wish everyone a safe and happy year. 

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