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An argument for the importance of reading sign

I was recently on a vacation visiting friends in northern British Columbia when my mentor took me out to a spruce tree right beside his driveway and showed me a strangely marked tree (Figure 1). He asked me if I knew what it was and it took me several seconds to recognize as it is … Continued

The ties that bind: Knots

Several years ago, working in the lowland streams of Nova Scotia, I set a series of minnow traps into the brook and left them for the overnight set. It rained that night. Heavily. Returning to the stream next day I found it overflowing, brown, muddy, and roaring through the channel. Pulling in the lines of … Continued

Looking for the invisible

Preamble: Gentle reader, it has been four months since I have appeared before you. Obligations and opportunities required my absence for a third of the year but now I am back. I am very pleased to be able to appear once again on the page in front of you. Reflecting upon my absence, I thought … Continued

Tips for better proposals

Mid-winter. A time of thinking about summer work, planning, designing, scoping… And also writing those pesky proposals that drive the work we do. Having written a few proposals in my time as well as sitting on the other side of the desk and receiving proposals for work, I would like to distill a few, to … Continued

Christmas Books for the Biologist-Reader

By Sean Mitchell It is December 2021 and Christmas morning is rising, evening star-like, on the far horizon. This is a time for loved ones to ask us what we would like for Christmas. Here I would like to offer some advice for valuable gifts to be left under the tree for practicing biologists or … Continued

So, you are stuck out overnight: part 2

By Sean Mitchell “The myriad jingle-jangle gadgets of some of our modern outdoorsmen would make our ancestral buckskin men turn in their graves. Their packs were light and their equipment meager, for these adventurous and picturesque wilderness men depended upon their skill and ingenuity in woodcraft rather than upon a lot of ‘things’.” (from Jaeger, … Continued