Search found 580 matches

by VanAR
October 9th, 2016, 4:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

So when these authors are referring to the ‘decline of amphibian abundance or populations’, they are doing so in that broader context of impending doom for some of our native, forest dwelling amphibians. That is, they are suggesting that clear cut logging could contribute to a reduction of amphibia...
by VanAR
October 8th, 2016, 6:37 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

Richard, I don't have time to go over your entire post, but some of your statements are as patently biased as those you accuse the authors of being. For example: Examples of that bias occurs in the abstracts and introductions of all three papers. The authors give the distinct impression that clear-c...
by VanAR
October 7th, 2016, 6:55 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

That's kinda like saying think of how much good sports superstar XXX could do if they would just.... At some point this becomes a bit unfair. Feynman was an excellent communicator and lecturer. His showmanship and arrogance did rub a lot of people the wrong way though. Life ain't fair. Don't be a d...
by VanAR
October 6th, 2016, 11:11 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

Anyone who takes the cash and buys a vacation house in Baja with it while denouncing doing so out of the other side of their mouth is a fraud and hypocrite. Feynman was a brilliant scientist but by many accounts a pretty rotten human to be around. Think of how much greater he could have been at com...
by VanAR
September 8th, 2016, 3:41 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

It seems a fine principle. The conflict & the stickiness is something to navigate. But the fundamental desire to get the information out there, "faster, wider, cheaper" is compelling. I agree. I love the principle of open access, but as Carl intimated, the publishing money has to come from somewher...
by VanAR
September 7th, 2016, 6:52 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

Jimi, along the same lines, check out: https://scholarlyoa.com/2015/01/02/bealls-list-of-predatory-publishers-2015/ Not all open access are predatory, but it's good to keep abreast of the situation. PLoS One's recent "creator" debacle certainly didn't help their cause. FWIW, in Australia, the Austra...
by VanAR
September 6th, 2016, 4:16 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

I think I understand it - certainly the stuff about physics envy, etc. I think the tension lies in the limits of reductionism in ecology - there are more pathways and endpoints in the higher-order (beyond the cellular & molecular level, I mean) life sciences, than in the hard sciences. Given my dru...
by VanAR
September 4th, 2016, 5:16 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

At first I thought Van's answer was the usual scientific rationalization, "Hey its not my job, let's leave it to the engineers". But reading it carefully I appreciate the need for new knowledge that is pushed so hard by the journals and advisory committees. Thanks Bryan- I should clarify that I thi...
by VanAR
September 2nd, 2016, 4:19 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

On the other hand, the folks at fivethrityeight make a strong case that science is doing just fine. Maybe we have solved the easy problems, and the problems at hand are just more complex. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/science-isnt-broken/ I think there's more to this than people realize. The ...
by VanAR
September 2nd, 2016, 4:04 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

All of that is fine, Jimi, but the article still doesn't make a good argument that the researcher wasn't delivering. In fact, the quotes it provides suggest the opposite. One comment: No, something called the Sikes Act mandates that military installations with "significant biological resources" deve...
by VanAR
September 1st, 2016, 3:49 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

My reading was that the investigator had departed from the funder's agenda - when you're dealing with a military installation you ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have to keep their mission in mind. If they were talking about say Camp LeJeune in North Carolina (a place where ESA-"Threatened" red-cockaded woo...
by VanAR
August 31st, 2016, 11:25 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: An interesting article on the place of science in society
Replies: 68
Views: 30420

Re: An interesting article on the place of science in societ

The article isn't wrong, and all scientists know these problems (the self-respecting ones actually recognize and acknowledge the problems), but the article is not without its own issues. For example, it quotes someone working to measure the effects of a military base on an endangered species, trying...
by VanAR
August 18th, 2016, 4:26 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

But again, in the US mainly you've got tiny little departments, with small tax bases (and low pay, weak training, lesser equipment etc etc), often a limited pool of potential job applicants, merely local visibility (until something blows up), etc. Small tax bases can lead to asset-forfeiture system...
by VanAR
August 17th, 2016, 4:23 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: When is habitat restoration for herps a good thing?
Replies: 42
Views: 20974

Re: When is habitat restoration for herps a good thing?

Thanks Jimi- it's a growing field and an uphill battle. One good thing on our side is that freshwater turtles are major totem animals for many of the local Aboriginal nations. That brings a big social bonus to any work we do, and while the Australian government still isn't doing many Aborigines any ...
by VanAR
August 16th, 2016, 1:34 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

I dunno - doesn't look like much of a boondoggle to me. Looks like Congress authorized (AKA "assigned" - you don't get to say "no") a bunch of federal agencies to work together with 3 state-level governments on a regional problem. The assigned group said "this is pretty gnarly, it's gonna take time...
by VanAR
August 13th, 2016, 6:51 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

Looks like more than just Ernie is questioning this guy's ethics http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article94506872.html The next python he encounters might be in the shower. I've been dreading seeing this come up ever since it crossed my FB account Friday morning. Something like this goes...
by VanAR
August 11th, 2016, 4:03 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: When is habitat restoration for herps a good thing?
Replies: 42
Views: 20974

Re: When is habitat restoration for herps a good thing?

Is there no government agency there that handles "problem wildlife"? Besides the station managers and other affected private individuals, who e.g., controls dingoes that kill sheep, native and invasive birds that excessively damage crops, crocs that eat people, etc? Here, the go-to guys are federal...
by VanAR
August 10th, 2016, 6:16 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

What government biologists learned from the brown treesnake boondoggle was how to get more than $100 million dollars from taxpayers
*citation needed
To this point the Burmese python has raked in well over ten million dollar's in funding.
*citation needed
by VanAR
August 10th, 2016, 6:12 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: When is habitat restoration for herps a good thing?
Replies: 42
Views: 20974

Re: When is habitat restoration for herps a good thing?

Yeah, we're doing all kinds of work like that. The trouble we have is that it only takes 1 fox to decimate a nesting area. We've had a single fox take out 15 nests in a 5 hour period in a single night! Most of the eggs get cached, but even if the fox consumes those eggs before attacking more nests w...
by VanAR
August 9th, 2016, 6:02 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: When is habitat restoration for herps a good thing?
Replies: 42
Views: 20974

Re: When is habitat restoration for herps a good thing?

Another wrinkle to consider to the winners/losers debate is the long-term sustainability of the restoration with respect to 1) human effort and 2) human perception 1) Human effort is the amount of money, hours, people, etc. that need to be expended in maintaining the restored habitat, per time. An e...
by VanAR
August 9th, 2016, 12:24 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

I think its understood that its a bit more then wage percentage. There are multiple reasons behind the junk science game. ONE reason why the python's are such a juicy deal for the USGS guys and close friends is.............. How to be a successful research scientist . If you can come up with a proj...
by VanAR
August 8th, 2016, 8:46 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

its worthless to kill these animal's but its pushed by the scientist that collect paychecks from killing them I don't have time to argue over anything else right now, but just how much money do you think there is in this? How many scientists? In the case of USGS, what do you think the percentage of...
by VanAR
August 8th, 2016, 4:07 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

Rather then dissect that statement for its many flaws. And how easily that protocol can be circumvented and misused. I can give real life first hand examples. I'll ask a simple question. What about scientist who use their position to catch animals and sell them for profit. Well, now we're not talki...
by VanAR
August 8th, 2016, 3:49 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

Thanks for the info. I knew there was an approval process of some sort that needed to be satisfied but I was not aware that there was legislation or real continuity behind the process. I thought these types of decisions were more on an institutional level. Is the same process required for education...
by VanAR
August 8th, 2016, 12:51 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

I have deep regard for Science and I am grateful there was no misinterpretation of the query, but I know tradition exists in all formats, even the medical community, and wondered about pickled captures that perhaps some factor of the automatic might be at play - where foggy specimens are never actu...
by VanAR
August 8th, 2016, 2:49 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

Van, I have my doubts that those scientists successfully collected every specimen that used the hypothetical pond example. Let's say they were spotted salamanders. Some of them would not have been mature and then not have even been present in the pond itself. The evil scientist would have needed to...
by VanAR
August 7th, 2016, 11:07 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

My question concerns the possibility of a nebulous factor to expansive (scientific) specimen collection, with the factor being necessity versus academia tradition. Define "expansive" scientific specimen collection. Despite Ernie's claims (which are shared by many here), the total collection impact ...
by VanAR
August 7th, 2016, 1:11 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why You Dont Collect
Replies: 279
Views: 93447

Re: Why You Dont Collect

The Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, houses and maintains the largest herpetology collection in the world with over 555,000 specimens. Our collection, comprised primarily of fluid preserved specimens, includes representatives of about...
by VanAR
July 29th, 2016, 3:40 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?
Replies: 32
Views: 11955

Re: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?

Because of the evolutionary adaptations that gilas have made toward living in hot, dry desert conditions, I would say they are uniquely qualified to survive global warming and drought. ll If we start reading about quail populations declining or quail being put on the endangered species list, then w...
by VanAR
July 28th, 2016, 2:17 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?
Replies: 32
Views: 11955

Re: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?

You have interpreted comments made by myself and others as being critical of Dr. DeNardo. That is not the case. I apologize. I've become used to the forum being a hotbed of science discontent and my perspective may be a bit warped as a result. To be clear, I don't mind people being critical of scie...
by VanAR
July 27th, 2016, 10:59 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?
Replies: 32
Views: 11955

Re: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?

You guys are still reading far more into this than is actually written. Specific quibbles: 1) It can be noted in the article, it asks, “How many Gila monsters are there now? Then it answers, “Nobody knows.” So if baseline data does not exist on current (and likely historical) abundance of the specie...
by VanAR
July 25th, 2016, 3:47 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?
Replies: 32
Views: 11955

Re: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?

So sorry, I misspoke. Please take your crazy pills :crazyeyes:
by VanAR
July 24th, 2016, 9:43 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?
Replies: 32
Views: 11955

Re: Gila Monsters threatened by climate change?

Perhaps it would help to explain the interview to those apparently unwilling to comprehend it. To be clear, Dale DeNardo is the foremost expert on gila monster physiology. He's made a career out of studying their ability to retain water in a harsh desert environment, which is very important to under...
by VanAR
April 6th, 2016, 1:17 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Chelonians in the news!
Replies: 9
Views: 3552

Re: Chelonians in the news!

Damn you had me going, even as a specialist in this field I was getting very excited! Discovery of a viviparous turtle would certainly be a nature paper. FWIW, I DID question the veracity off the first paragraph due to it's inaccuracies: True viviparity in reptiles is rare. Exchange of materials bet...
by VanAR
December 7th, 2015, 12:38 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: "Pick one thing"
Replies: 115
Views: 36634

Re: "Pick one thing"

Thank you for the article. It's an interesting read. edited to add: Kind of discouraging, though. Am I understanding correctly that there is no way out of the overpopulation mess? Not with anything that we could "choose" to utilize anyway. The next century or so is likely to be very bleak for those...
by VanAR
December 6th, 2015, 12:29 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: "Pick one thing"
Replies: 115
Views: 36634

Re: "Pick one thing"

http://www.pnas.org/content/111/46/16610.short

Relevant to this discussion...
by VanAR
November 14th, 2015, 9:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: ID for dragons in southern Eyre Peninsula, South Australia?
Replies: 19
Views: 13933

Re: ID for dragons in southern Eyre Peninsula, South Austral

The value to Cogger (and all such books) is not the photos, but the dichotomous keys. Always use those to identify difficult species. In Australia, there are a number of skinks, dragons, geckos, and even some blind snakes that you really can't identify positively without using a good dichotomous key.
by VanAR
November 14th, 2015, 5:06 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: ID for dragons in southern Eyre Peninsula, South Australia?
Replies: 19
Views: 13933

Re: ID for dragons in southern Eyre Peninsula, South Austral

They all look like female/juvenile C. pictus to me as well. A colleague of mine has been studying a lab population of these for a while (albeit from central NSW) and these look exactly like them. I can check the most recent Cogger on Monday if you want. This site is usually pretty good for comparati...
by VanAR
August 6th, 2015, 10:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Sydney Snakes!
Replies: 31
Views: 12197

Re: Sydney Snakes!

Who let this Aussie on here? Nothing is sacred anymore...

j/k Jake- great shots! Hope to get out in the field sometime. Speaking of- we need to talk about where to catch redbellies in Sydney for a project I'm coming up with.
by VanAR
June 25th, 2015, 1:11 pm
Forum: Fish Forum
Topic: ID help for some fish from Green Island, Cairns AUS
Replies: 2
Views: 9110

Re: ID help for some fish from Green Island, Cairns AUS

Hey Berkeley, you might find this useful:

http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/key/family

It works reasonably well in the Sydney area at least, not sure about up north.
by VanAR
January 25th, 2015, 10:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: How to visually SEX a rattlesnake...
Replies: 24
Views: 14273

Re: How to SEX a rattlesnake...

Complete aside the sexing discussion: Females aren't smaller solely due to the cost of reproduction, or female snakes of all species would reach smaller sizes than males. There are also pressures that cause males to be larger, such as the need to complete for mates. Or in your example, larger prey s...
by VanAR
December 23rd, 2014, 1:00 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: .
Replies: 13
Views: 5882

Re: Catching Chameleons in South Florida

The photos of yall with invasives all over you are great. Really demonstrate the densities some of those animals are at these days.
by VanAR
December 16th, 2014, 4:45 pm
Forum: Board Line
Topic: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
Replies: 69
Views: 66246

Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account

VanAR - I don't think this is a good attitude for NAFHA or the FHF. If you've never taught map reading or worked with people that have never dealt with satellite imagery, calling it simple when for them it may not, is like a slap in the face. It's simple to you because you've probably done it thous...
by VanAR
December 15th, 2014, 11:32 pm
Forum: Board Line
Topic: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
Replies: 69
Views: 66246

Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account

I'm confused too. Did you even hear me say that I am not tech savy? Do I need to record all my run ins with the law and all my electronics to prove to you that I don't know what geotagging is, Use gps from my computer when I get done herping, That I don't feel safe documenting locales, etc, etc? I'...
by VanAR
December 15th, 2014, 11:27 pm
Forum: Board Line
Topic: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
Replies: 69
Views: 66246

Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account

Dery- the problem is that the admins of the database don't know what data is "for your own backup" or what is good enough to be provided to potential conservation managers. Only accurate data can be used for the latter, because otherwise time and money could be wasted trying to manage species that ...
by VanAR
December 15th, 2014, 7:34 pm
Forum: Board Line
Topic: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
Replies: 69
Views: 66246

Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account

Chris- historical data is often very precise based off of linear distances/angles triangulated from known landmarks. The old-school herpetologists out there were usually VERY thorough in their notetaking, especially since poaching concerns were rarely given much consideration back then. I've hiked u...
by VanAR
December 15th, 2014, 7:03 pm
Forum: Board Line
Topic: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
Replies: 69
Views: 66246

Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account

I have some records without gps data and like you have on occasion been asked to add the gps data. I have a serious issue with that. If I did not record gps data at the time, and do not know precisely where I was, then I think it is better to use an imprecise but accurate location. Its sort of like...
by VanAR
December 15th, 2014, 7:00 pm
Forum: Board Line
Topic: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
Replies: 69
Views: 66246

Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account

Dery- the problem is that the admins of the database don't know what data is "for your own backup" or what is good enough to be provided to potential conservation managers. Only accurate data can be used for the latter, because otherwise time and money could be wasted trying to manage species that a...
by VanAR
November 28th, 2014, 4:32 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Please enlighten a naive young man
Replies: 7
Views: 4017

Re: Please enlighten a naive young man

Tortuguero should be pretty wet, regardless of time of year. It's a great place to just walk around whatever lodge you stay at and spotlight frogs and snakes at night. Then do the same during the day for lizards, birds, and monkeys.