My Crazy Freelance Life: Interpretive writing — making every word tell

  Illusuak Cultural Centre, Nain, Labrador It’s Museum Week — an international social media celebration of museums and culture. Since museums are my bread and butter, I thought I would talk a bit about what I do and then catch you up on the projects I’ve been working on. For those who don’t know me, I work as a freelance interpretive writer, researcher, and occasional interpretive planner and project coordinator for various museum design firms. The…

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Weekend reads

New reading material for the weekend or for those of you that are blessed with some better weather perhaps for Monday morning back at work. Identifying Bird Remains Using Ancient DNA BarcodingBird remains that are difficult to identify taxonomically using morphological methods, are common in the palaeontological record. Other types of challenging avian material include artefacts and food items from endangered taxa, as well as remains from aircraft strikes. We here present a DNA-based method that…

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Right Turn: Some knowledge sharing about Knowledge Translation – Part 1

I’m delighted that, despite the title, you’ve decided to read this post! For some academics, knowledge translation is not the most exciting aspect of their job, but it is a requirement that must be fulfilled as part of their funding obligations. No offense to those who are professionals in the field and embrace the importance of this practice. Even you know that knowledge translation isn’t always popular (but I think that’s because it isn’t really…

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LISTEN: Releasing more mosquitoes to stop mosquito borne disease

I couldn't attend the annual BIO convention this year, but as I was looking through the massive agenda for the show in San Diego, one presentation that caught my eye was from Oxitec, a U.K. based biotech company. What usually makes the headlines are new ways to treat disease, but Oxitec is using genomics tools to combat the disease-carrying Aedes aegypti, or yellow fever mosquito, before it can do any harm. And they are doing…

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A quiet night

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night I’m not sure all these people understand It’s not like years ago The fear of getting caught The recklessness in water They cannot see me naked These things they go away “Nightswimming”, R.E.M. Full confession: I am not a particularly audacious person.  I invariably choose Truth over Dare, and I’m probably one of the few people over the age of 18 who can play Never Have I Ever and be…

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What Helps Shelter Dogs Get Adopted and Stay in Homes?

A new literature review looks at how shelters can increase adoptions and reduce animal relinquishment.The review, by Dr. Alexandra Protopopova (Texas Tech University) and Lisa Gunter, looks at the factors that affect adoption rates, the effects of interventions, and how to decrease the numbers of people giving their dogs to shelters (or returning dogs after adoption). The review is important because it will help shelters to know about evidence-based ways to reduce the number of…

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What do we mean when we talk about the niche?

The niche concept is a good example of an idea in ecology that is continually changing. It is probably the most important idea in ecology that no one has yet nailed down. As most histories of the niche mention, the niche has developed from its first mention by Grinnell (in 1917) to Hutchinson’s multi-dimensional niche space, to mechanistic descriptions of resource usage and R*s (from MacArthur’s warblers to Tilman’s algae). Its most recent incarnation can…

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Solstice But Not Summer

It’s summer solstice today, but apparently not summer, at least not in Nova Scotia. The most hours of daylight of the year doesn’t actually help if the sun’s not shining. It’s been cool and rainy for weeks and let’s just say I’d trade this for the heat wave in Arizona any day. Wearing a sweater and slippers – indoors – on the first day of summer just plain feels wrong to me. But my rhododendrons…

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