Thursday, January 29, 2015

Conservation Biology Hero #3 Jane Lubchenco

When looking for Conservation Biology Heroes, I'm seeking scientists that have established themselves through their scientific contributions and that something extra. Jane Lubchenco exceeds both criteria. I knew her name from my undergraduate days at Rutgers U., taking marine science courses. Way back then, I read her classic paper in The American Naturalist ("Am Nat") on the effects of predators and competition on marine communities - now cited > 900 times.

One paper I know well and have cited in my own work is the co-authored paper in Science showing the influence of humans on the biosphere. That's now been cited, a-hem, over 6000 times (that one will be for Conservation Biology class). She has other papers that have been cited hundreds of times and are probably considered classics in marine biology. 

Most of her career has been at Oregon State University as a lowly professor. That changed  in 2009 when she took over the reigns at NOAA. It was during this time I noticed change change became a prominent issue (and rightfully so). 

Hats off to you Dr. Lubchenco! 

Here's a nice video summarizing her early research:

A plug for my wife's blog - a blog about useful stuff

My wife started a blog about grabbing cheap stuff and turning it into treasures. She's way more handy and talented at that kind of stuff. I've made over 200 bird houses and they still look like boy scout projects. She'll be constructing stuff from scratch as well as fixing up yard sale stuff. Please swing by and check it out. 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Food scraps and road kill bring a raptor back from the brink of extinction!

The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) is a scavenging species that once thrived in the UK but numbers plummeted, ironically, when the UK cleaned up. Unfortunately, as conditions became more sanitary, there were fewer food sources for these birds. Combine that with fewer trees in expanding urban areas - the population crashed to near extinction.

Red kite standing in snow

Now the species is making a rebound. How so? Trees are maturing and become nesting sites and people are feeding them. These aren't bird feeders like you and I might have. A great paper by Orros and Fellowes in Ibis describe a great study where they surveyed people about feeding them and did surveys of roadkill. 

There's about 16 g roadkill/km/day. Sounds like a lot but that's a mouse or two. Garden feeding was much greater at 23 g meat+ nonmeat scraps/km/day. They discuss competition with foxes and rats but not increasing the population with those two organisms, which might have negative consequences for other birds (through nest predation) and human health. 

I wonder if this is a synanthropic species - adapted to humans - but at an earlier time when we flung our crap out the windows. 

There are a number of videos of Red Kites out there but I like how this shows the high densities you can get as well as their agility. They don't stop to eat!

Bossa Nova Favorite: Antonio Carlos Jobim & Elis Regina - Águas De Março

I mentioned before that I listen to jazz while I work (and classic rock when I work out) but my definition of jazz includes Brazilian bossa nova. I love the sound and the fact that the Portuguese is generally spoken clearly and I can get most of it.

This is one of my favorite bossa nova tunes

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This will be one of my favorite videos of all time: David Attenborough and the obnoxious bird-of-paradise

Birds-of-paradise are a remarkable group of birds from New Guinea and Australia showing extreme sexual dimorphism.  Males are incredibly ornate and loud and are not subtle at all.  Females, on the other hand, are drab and probably easily overlooked in dense Australasian rainforests.

There already exists some amazing footage of these birds (like this) but this video with Sir David will be my favorite for showing the absolute commitment some species have to displaying.

Recycling is good... unless it's that damn word that you use over and over

I'm coauthoring an article on squirrel behavior and reading over a draft before it goes out to review. At this point I'm looking at style and I'm also reading Pinker's book The Sense of Style and I still have (and probably always will), Strunk and White's guide in my head.

So much of what I'm suggesting (I'm third or fourth author) is about deletion. One word in particular keep popping up, specifically it's "specifically."  This word has popped up at least eight times so far and I'm just getting to the discussion.

Funny how words get stuck in your head and they just beg to be used over and over. For me, it's "moreover" and "for example" - and I use these way too much - as reviewers have pointed out. Moreover, I... just kidding.  

I supposed we're dealing with a limited number of words in technical writing and that fictional writers have a totally different set of words they cling to. 

I just ended a word with a preposition - Pinker said it was cool so it's staying. 

Today's post brought to you by today's bird: a Bald Eagle that chilled out over some open water near campus. 


Sunday, January 25, 2015

New case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the US

The Ornithology Exchange just put out a press release that a Green-winged Teal was just found to have HPA1 H5N1. 

To break this down. HP = highly pathogenic (high mortality rate with birds), A1 = serotype, H5 = hemagglutinin type 5 - which determines the taxonomic breadth of infection (and 5 is not very picky), N1 is neuraminidase type 1 - which affects the virus leaving the host call and is related to how fatal the disease is. 

The bad: they call it HP for a reason. If this is a virulent strain and able to get around then many many birds may die. This type HP A1 H5N1 has very few detections in the US.

The good: this strain is unrelated to the Asian strains that are deadly to humans. Whew. There was always bird flu in the US but not this mixture of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase but, yes, HP strains of these that have killed thousands of birds. 

We discovered the strain because of monitoring. Money well spent I would argue. 

New bird species: Desert Tawny Owl

There were two aspects of species discovery that I presented to my Conservation Biology class on Thursday: distribution and detection. New species that are likely to be discovered are those with narrow distributions and low detection. Most new species, particularly birds, are coming out of the tropics so this is an exciting discovery.

Hume's Owl (Strix butleri) Eilat mountains Jose Ardaiz Carabo de Hume

The bird is described in Zootaxa, whose subscription is... get this... $12,000 PER YEAR. What? So I'm not even going to link to it but describe some details. This is a new owl from the Arabian Peninsula - not exactly tropical (although hot!). The is a species split: one species that will become two. One population, the one described from the type specimen, will remain but another population will be now be named. The original species is Strix butleri (Hume's Owl) and new the species will be the Strix hadorami (Desert Tawny Owl). The specific epithet being in honor of an Israeli ornithologist.  

We have one Strix in the Pennsylvania area, S. varia. A cool bird on the east coast that prefers wetlands but hybridizing with an endangered species on the west coast - more on that in a future post. 

S. hadorami is found in deserts and nests on cliffs. Sounds like a cool bird to see. The new species designation is based on morphology and and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) so this sounds legit (as my daughter likes to say). 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Conservation Biology Hero #2 Michael Soulé

My conservation # 2 is Dr. Michael Soulé. He had a major impact on my career through his writings. In particular his 1999 Nature paper on mesopredator release and bird species richness, which showed coyotes (top predator) had a positive impact on birds by their consumption of cats (the mesoprdators), made me think of fragmentation more largely. I knew forest fragmentation had a major impact on birds but that effect could be mediated through interactions with other species. In other words, the world was just not that simple. His other major work was his book Conservation Biology: The Science of Scarcity and Diversity. This was one of the first books I picked up as a graduate student. I also happened to see his packed lecture at UNO on conservation biology. 

Dr. Soulé is now professor emeritus ("retired" but working) at UC-Santa Cruz. I am ashamed to say I haven't seen his other books, which should be required for someone that calls himself a conservation biologist - I'm more apt to read a stats book these days but balance is needed. I consider Michael Soule to be a conservation hero because he laid the foundation of evidence-based conservation biology. 

I selected Dr. Soule this morning when I came across a reference to him in the New Yorker. Dr. Soule wrote a piece in a 1985 issue of BioScience called "What is Conservation Biology" and two very influential biologist recently wrote an update to that definition that stresses human well-being. As the New Yorker points out, this new definition is at odds with Dr. Soule sentiment. I think reading both will make for an interesting exercise in the conservation biology class (I'll need to read both!). 

Go to Conservation Biology Hero #1 Aldo Leopold
Go to Conservation Biology Hero #3 Jane Lubchenco

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jazz favorite: John Coltrane and It Might as Well be Spring

I listen to jazz when I'm writing. Lately that is all day and night. I'm a fan - not an aficionado and I don't know the major players. One thing I miss about records - you had to look at them!  

I came across this and I have to share. Amazing. If you dance with someone to this and don't fall in love... 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Happy Squirrel Day

Yesterday was Penguin Appreciation Day. Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Here are the most interesting squirrel pics I have.
Black squirrel at the Bronx Zoo. These guys are cool to watch.

Mama Southern flying squirrel at the Wilkes Property in the Poconos. She had babies a few babies in our bird house and moved them the next day.  

Delmarva Fox Squirrel at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

These are my best squirrel pics? I need to get out more! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Critically Endangered Critter #2: Eudyptes sclateri

 Eudyptes sclateri

There are five endangered species of penguins I could have pick to write about for Penguin Awareness Day but I polled a number of students and they voted for the Erect-crested Penguin (is this surprising?). I have to admit this is a handsome bird and I'm not a huge fan of penguins. According to the IUCN, there are 60,000 - 70,000 breeding pairs. Sounds like a large number but the breeding locations are restricted to a few number of islands and a large oil spill or disease could decimate this species.

The Erect-crested Penguin is found in a small group of islands southeast of New Zealand. Their name literally translates as "the opposite side" as in the other side of the planet (from London I presume). 

Populations were declining due to predation from introduced rats that presumably eat chicks and eggs. Amazingly and fortunately, rats were eliminated from the islands (Taylor 2000) so the population will likely increase. However, regardless of the absolute population size, this species has a restricted range, so it is likely to remain endangered. 

One interesting tidbit I found in the literature was that the crested penguins lays two eggs and the first egg is smaller and often unviable or ignored by parents (Johnson et al., 1987). 


Taylor, G. A. 2000. Action plan for seabird conservation in New Zealand. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

IUCN account

Johnson, K., J. C. Bednarz and S. Zack, 1987. Crested penguins: why are first eggs smaller? Oikos 347-349.

A-ha moment... or is it oh no?

I could make the case with dozen of citations from top tier journals but I don't think this is necessary; I think we all know there is a biodiversity crisis with many suggesting we are entering a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.

I've now teaching my sixth or seventh round of Conservation Biology here at Wilkes and I know I under-utilize all the resources available that could increase active learning (although I still believe that a mixed approach is best... or at least most interesting to me).

So I'm making a web page for Conservation Biology and I'm looking for videos and other more interesting content to post there so please send suggestions. 

The page will be here 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wheel... Of.... Science

Drew this for my biostatistics course. The center is a theory. Radiating from the center are hypotheses are a produced through deduction. From each hypothesis, predictions are produced. I explained that we don't test or prove theories or even hypotheses - where the rubber meets the road, are the predictions. Hypotheses are the mechanisms we think are at work and cannot be tested directly but we come of up with experiments and predictions that we can test. I call it a wheel because it can move.

As we test our predictions and evaluate the hypotheses that generate them, we can reflect on the theory and adjust the theory accordingly. I gave the example of the theory of evolution through natural selection and Darwin's inclusion of Lamarckian evolution. Although Darwin was wrong to include Lamarckian evolution, it caused us to adjust how we think of natural selection, not ditch it all together. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Knight takes queen: Coops takes Mallard

Living in South Wilkes-Barre has a few up-sides, one of which is being close to work (1.7 miles) and food. The downside to living in a poor suburb is that there are not enough birds. Maybe this is a good thing - as I struggle to not be distracted and get work done. 

There is one species, particularly in the winter, that is reliable and distracting: Cooper's Hawk. I've seen this species catch House Sparrows at our feeders, even stalking them on the ground. Last year, I had one pick off a chipmunk just as it was warming up outside. 

Yesterday there was a large female just off the road that was obviously excited about something - tail and head twitching. 

Today, she was back an I investigated the spot from where she took off. Apparently, she was able to kill a Mallard. An impressive kill for this size of bird. And a young bird too - the yellow iris indicating a hatch year bird. Females are larger than males and weight about 600 g and female Mallards are over 1000 g. Yea. I found the head of the duck about a km from the Susquehanna R. Did she kill it there and try to fly off with it? Was the duck flying in? Did she consume most of it somewhere else? I only found the head and some skin connecting it to a foot. Impressive. Could a hunter have disposed of it and she was scavenging? Anyways, here is the duck and her.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Conservation Biology Hero #1 Aldo Leopold

In honor of Aldo's birthday (Jan 11), and the fact that he was one of the most influential American thinkers in the conservation movement, I will make him my conservation hero #1. 

Aldo Leopold was born in Iowa January 11, 1887 and was trained at the Yale School of Forestry. The folks at Wilkes U. will find this interesting: one of the field trips at YSF was to Milford, PA where Gifford Pinchot's (Conservation Biology Hero #2) family had an estate with a large tract of forest. In Milford, Aldo learned field methods in forestry such as estimating board feet, tree identification, and forest management. After college, Aldo started out as a practicing wildlife biologist in the American southwest and went on to an academic position at the University of Wisconsin in 1924. 

His most important contributions were 

1. The first textbook on wildlife management

2. A series of essays there were published together in The Sand County Almanac. Some of these essays were just observations of nature around him - interpretations of observations. Other essays were expressions of his thoughts on the relation between humans and the land. These were and are highly influential. 

3. Chaired one of the first departments of Wildlife Management

4. Was an advocate for preserving roadless areas without any human development. Later, we would recognize these areas as wilderness. 

Recently, a soundscape was produced that includes the sounds that Leopold would have heard if one were at the sites where he visited to write A Sand County Almanac. And the video below gives a nice summary of Aldo Leopold's life 


Aldo Leopold Foundation

Go to Conservation Biology Hero #2 Michael Soule
Go to Conservation Biology Hero #3 Jane Lubchenco

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Critically Endangered Critter #1: Gyps bengalensis

Gyps bengalensis


Gyps bengalensis (White-rumped Vulture) is my first critically endangered critter for the Conservation Biology course.  G. bengalensis (= vulture of Bengal) was once thought to have been one of the most abundant scavengers in the world and was found throughout Central and Southeast Asia.

This species is now absent from SE Asia and declining throughout the rest of their range. The cause of the decline: the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac that is used in livestock, causes renal failure in vultures. Vultures eat livestock. After the cow has died of course and cleaning up corpses is one of the important things vultures do. Not only do vultures remove a giant smelly rotting corpse from our landscape, consuming the corpse may reduce the incidence of diseases directly (by eating the organism) or indirectly by eating a food source for rats and feral dogs (which have several diseases that infect humans).

Diclofenac is now banned throughout most of this species' range and it appears that populations are now stabilizing. 


Birdlife International:

IUCN Red List account:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Review of The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher

This book came out in 1979 when I was 10. And if you loved to dance disco - as I do in private, this is a wonderful year. You would have shuffled to YMCA, I Will Survive, and rocked to My Sharona. I was busy fishing, secretly bird-watching, and trying not to get beat up by neighborhood teenagers. 
     The Medusa and the Snail is a collection of essays by Lewis Thomas, then president Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and author of his other book Lives of a Cell - which I highly recommend. I like his style of style of writing. It is honest and to the point - like a conversation at a party with friends - perhaps after a few drinks. 
     Most of the essays are just random thoughts, albeit well-written. A few essays resonated with me, mostly because I am floored by how little the world has moved on certain things and quickly advanced in others. Thomas died in 1993 and was hoping to live long enough to understand the ontogeny/development of tissues, organs, and organ systems. Although this isn't completely understood, I think we have made great strides in describing and understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of development. I wonder what he would think of genes called noggin, Sonic the Hedgehog, and groovin.
     He wondered where computation would take us and had great hope for artificial intelligence (surprising that the term existed then) and was unsure how well we could understand human conscience. I'll need to read some Stephen Pinker to catch up on what we know. Speaking of Pinker, I'm reading his book on writing and many of his suggestions overlap with Thomas' essay Notes on Punctuation. 
     The essay that had the greatest impression was How to Fix the Premedical Curriculum. He brings up that medical schools don't want undergraduates to be trained as pre-meds but, rather, be broadly trained. Yet the reality at the time (1970's) was that premeds were still focused on biology so they would score well on the MCAT. Thomas recommends getting rid of the health science coordinator, dropping biology courses other than the basics, and actually giving priority of admissions to non-biology majors. Here's the amazing thing: this is exactly the same situation today. We STILL hear that medical school want broadly-educated students - scholars. But we still recommend our students take histology, biochem, etc and rejoice when students place out of these courses. When then of incentives to create scholars? 

There isn't. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

What's next for the blog

I started the blog to improve my writing and explore some ideas. To that end I did a year of Darwin quotes and I'll probably throw some more up that I find interesting but where to go with it now?

I'm teaching Conservation Biology - my fifth iteration; however, this is the first year I added a lab. So I'll think I'll post some current events but I think I'll add student-produced content. I'm thinking either topics or endangered species profiles. I think students would enjoy the latter more. 

As I see it, the point of coursework is to learn about conservation biology and get some skills that are useful beyond conservation biology and writing is certainly a skill that is highly valued. My biggest worry is plagiarism so students' names will be posted with their work. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with. 


Classes start Monday so I better start soon. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter birding in south New Jersey

I LOVE the Jersey shore.. but I love it in the winter. I was there this past weekend (1/5/2015) and I went to Wildwood. I haven't been there since college and I know the beaches are packed in the summer. 

In early January, it's a different matter entirely. I walked between the rentals and the condos and walked out onto the beach. Not one person to be seen. A wicked wind and a cold the envy of ice giants of Asgard. 

I had my son with me, who is a 17-year old not interested in birds so keep this in mind. There was a report of a Snowy Owl at Brigantine (now Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge) and we were off to see it and I thought we could hit a few sites on the way back to my parents that live in the Cape May area (ideal for a birder). 

We made an obligatory stop at WaWa to get a coffee and we get to Brigantine. I pay the $4 fee (a bargain), pee (not nearly enough), and off to the 7-mile wildlife drive.  Birds in the parking lot Dark-eyed Junco (1) and American Robin (2). 

Immediately we are greeted by two then three Bald Eagles (3). All immature but still totally cool. I'm not totally convince that the top bird isn't a Golden. There were no interactions between them and they circled overhead. Most of my pictures from the day were terribly out of focus so I'm not sure what's going on with my camera.

Awesome, right? Logan was even excited.  How could this get more interesting? Through in a Peregrine Falcon (4) diving at one of the eagles. So it went.

A Northern Harrier (5) flew by and I could see one off in the distance. Nice! Not a single good shot of them. Grrr. Then we went to the pond at the start of the wildlife drive and picked up some Black Ducks (6) and some Gadwall (7).

There were lots of ducks this go-round. I was there in November and it was quiet. Back onto the wildlife drive and lots of Green-winged Teal (8), Black ducks, Mallards (9), and Northern Pintails (10). Ruddy Ducks (11) were here and there with their stubby erect tails giving away their identity (see below).  I can't forget the Ring-necked Duck (12) in the ponds near the entrance to Brigantine. 

A shorebird zipped by that was probably a Wilson Snipe and some suspicious sparrows zipping around but the only one ID'ed was a Song Sparrow (11). Again, I'm with a teenager not interested in birds so I'm keeping my sit-and-stare down to a minimum. Buffleheads (12) were on the saltwater side. Fly over Eurasian Starlings (13) reminding us that we are in NJ (as if the backdrop of Atlantic City wasn't enough). 

The Snowy Owl, was reported at marker 12 and excitement was building. Apparently, so was the flock of Snow Geese (14) that was building up to several hundred birds. So finding a snowy was taking too long so we moved on.

So maybe there's a snowy owl lurking in the picture above. Let me know. Picked up Hooded Mergansers (15), Canada Geese (16), and very distant Brant (17). At this point I think we're 4 miles into a 7 mile loop and my bladder is full.. and getting fuller. We stopped to check out a cooperative Great Blue Heron (18) and there was a Snowy Egret/Little Blue Heron was off in the distance but, errr, full bladder. 

Speed limit is 15 mph but I it got the point of panic. Cars to the front and back and no cover. The woods were just off. I was going to make it. So close. And I made it. Thank you shrubs and trees of Brigantine. And no port-a-potty?  Why? Why? Why?

No stopping in the woods for sparrows or vagrant warblers. One day. I'm biking the Brig alone and, damn it, I'm hiking some! Last bird before leaving the wetlands were Mute Swans (18) and Turkey Vultures (19) were cruising over the fields as you leave the impoundments.  Also on the drive were Ring-billed Gulls (20), Herring Gulls (21), and a few Great-black-backed Gulls (22). No snowy owls. 

So we left Brig and we were off to Corson's Inlet State Park. This was a super-quick stop. Nothing added to the list. Next was Townsend's Inlet - one of my favorites any season. Temperatures started in the upper 30's and dropped with a wind that was getting nastier.  Pull into the parking lot on the north side of Townsend's Inlet and pick up two adult Bald Eagles. 

House Finches (23), Carolina Wren (24), American Goldfinches (25), and a Yellow-rumped Warbler (26) were working the dense vegetation around the parking lot. Out to the inlet and out the the left leads you out to the jetty. Love this rocky jetty.  Picked up a bunch of Black-bellied Plovers (27), Sanderlings (28), and a Least Sandpiper around or on the jetty. Checking out that sandpiper - it now looks like it might be a Western Sandpiper. Damn peeps. Boat-tailed Grackle (29) flew down for a minute. 

Beyond the jetty were some Long-tailed Ducks (30), Surf Scoters (31) - which I love, and Surf Scoters (32). There was also a Common Loon (33) in the inlet and no Red-throated Loon, which was odd. Out with the Long-tailed Ducks was an immature Common Eider (34). 

Left there and headed south to towards Cape May and discovered Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. How did I not know about this place? Black vultures (35) were seen at some point on the road. Mud flats were empty except for teal and Black Ducks. Son was bored so we're moving quickly along the shore. 

Went down to Cape May Point and the surf was too windy to bother stopping. Then over to the lighthouse and picked up American Widgeon (36), Northern Mockingbird (37), and that was that. Not impressive numbers and missed some easy birds (no grebes!, horned larks, pipits, etc) but had a great time with my son so well worth it. 

What I need is a Sandy Hook/Bargegat Lighthouse trip. 

School starts up soon and down into single digits tomorrow so probably that's that for fun trips for a while. 

** post posting edit: add American Oystercatcher (38), another favorite. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tenure at R1's;So only super-people apply

Found this on twitter: OSU tenure requirements 

25-50 publications in 6 years. So more than 4 pubs/year if you're able to get publishing right from the get-go.  That's just depressing. 

How about teaching? I'm at a teaching university (whatever that really means since we're expected to do research for promotion) so I'm most interested in aspect. What I cut it there?

from national
audience; or


I probably wouldn't. Shit. How many professors are hired each year then how many awards are there? Yikes. Plus, each iteration of the courses I teach my scores get lower. Yup, lower. Why? I add more, and I have higher expectations. As a think I deliver more material because I get more efficient at delivering information and conceptions, I ask more. I ask students to think more. I become less the cool professor and more the hard-ass. And I like it. But I pay for it. But I approach the profession like a craft and I learn more, for lack of a better word, tricks. Things I use to get students to understand a particular concept or gain a particular skill. Peer-reviewed papers are included in this with more pointed questions. Data that they collect and analyze is another. More work and more annoyed students. Oh well. 

But there are those people out there that can do the pubs and the teaching. Bully for them. I like beer and TV too much. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Peregrinations of a sassy small sandpiper

Visit a Atlantic coast mudflat in August and I can almost guaranty that you'll see a Semipalmated Sandpiper.  This species is one of the "peeps" - a group of very similar (in both appearance and behavior) shorebirds  that scurry over the bits of mud at the margins of a continent. Semis are also likely to be found on exposed areas of large rivers or flooded grassy areas. 

Despite their behavioral flexibility, semis are declining precipitously: 80% fewer in 20 years. This inspired a multi-organizational study of their movements and breeding biology. To understand movements, geolocators were placed on 192 birds on their breeding grounds in the Canadian tundra. After a year, thirty-five geolocators were recovered containing a log of coordinates recorded over their year-long exploits. 

The story from one individual is remarkable. A male tagged in 2013 flew over 10,000 miles and included one flight bout 3300 miles. That's an incredible physiological feat and I'm looking forward to hearing more about this study. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015


  • get grassland project data analyzed
  • turn clay caterpillar project into a manuscript
  • finish tropical terrestrial/understory birds review
  • clay caterpillar review
  • turn 225 notes into an actual manuscript
  • line up a sabbatical (ASAP)
  • create a workshop for R
  • figure out how to create online lectures and make a few for Conservation Biology
  • learn how to code WinBUGS
  • write better -> proof more 
  • lose 30 then run
  • fewer but better cigars
  • go flyfishing often
  • scan photos of the ancestors 
  • be a better brother/father/son (by using cell phone for intended purpose)
  • work on the house
That is incredibly boring. I should put down "watch all available Helix episodes", "play >2000 games of spider solitaire", and "half listen to several hundred science podcasts"