Wikipedia Editathon Chronicles Part 3: growing Wikipedians

When I returned to my full-time undergraduate teaching load in 2014, after 7 years of having a reduced teaching load while I was director of IRIS, I included a series of new assignments in my Biology courses. In addition to learning about ecology, they taught students social media skills that included using Twitter for science […]

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Science Communication with Twitter: Tweeting Science to Policymakers

Late last year, my friend, Prof. Shoshanah Jacobs of Guelph University, proposed a panel about Science Twitter for the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution Annual Meeting that would be happening in July 2018 at Guelph. I immediately agreed, because the other panelists were to include some of Canada’s top ecologists active on social media, […]

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Banksias were my favourite Australian genus

The common names of many Australian plants are the same as those in Britain. Yet these plants have no taxonomic relationship to their namesakes from Britain. Landing in the southwest of Australia in April 2018 for a month reminded me of the time that I arrived in Capetown, South Africa. Everything ecological was different. While […]

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Banksias were my favourite Australian genus

The common names of many Australian plants are the same as those in Britain. Yet these plants have no taxonomic relationship to their namesakes from Britain. Landing in the southwest of Australia in April 2018 for a month reminded me of the time that I arrived in Capetown, South Africa. Everything ecological was different. While […]

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My #SciComm (not Cricket) Tour of India, Bangladesh, Australia & Pakistan

There truly is nothing like a well-planned and structured sabbatical for giving professors the intellectual and emotional space to reflect on and crystallize what their previous five to six years of long days and hard work has been most fundamentally about. This is why, in my view, where they still exist, the sabbatical should be […]

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The Canada-India project, CIPRI, started with a conversation about the arctic

I have been in Delhi, and in one of its many surrounding suburbs (Greater Noida), this past week, with YorkU colleague, Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu, networking and building CIPRI (Canada-India Project for Research and Innovation) connections for the York Centre for Asian Research. Nivedita, a political scientist and International Relations scholar, lived, studied and worked in […]

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Learning to be a Wikipedian teaches students why they can’t cite Wikipedia in their essays

When Wikipedia was launched in 2001, my students soon discovered and started citing its articles. In the early 2000s, when I began to use TurnitIn to analyze student essays and lab. reports, I would sometimes find entire paragraphs lifted from Wikipedia pages. Plagiarism aside, most professors, including me, immediately banned Wikipedia from being cited as a reference. This […]

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Academic technological challenges vary in different parts of the world

Before leaving Toronto for 4 months, I worked pretty solidly over Christmas and New Year to finish as much paperwork as possible. It's still not all done. My preparations also included buying a new laptop, because the excellent MacBook Air that I bought in 2011, was clearly approaching the end of its life. Sometimes it […]

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Hear about the latest UN Climate Change talks on January 4, 2018

In 2009, Annette Dubreuil and I obtained observer status from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This not only allowed members of the pan-university organized research unit, the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (2004-2015), but any and all York University members interested in climate change-related research, education and administration to attend […]

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The City of Vaughan’s Dreamweaver 150 Project Catalyzes Conversations about First Nations & Inuit

Talking Art at the Toronto-York Subway Extension Opening The opening day celebrations for the Toronto-York Spadina Line subway extension were not only a chance to take in exciting new architecture, but also live music and art. The City of Vaughan's Dreamweaver 150 interactive art installation was at the Vaughan Metro Centre station (above & below). […]

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