David Swift SymposiumRead Now
Drawing in honor of an old friend
I recently learned that one of my favorite mentors from graduate school, Dave Swift, had died when I was invited by the Natural Resource Ecology Lab to a symposium in his honor. Dave was one of my GK-12 advisors during my doctoral program at Colorado State University, but he was so much more. I first met Dave when I bounded into his office to inquire about being sponsored by the NSF GK-12 program, which paired graduate students with K-12 educators in Fort Collins. We hit it off immediately (which I attribute more to Dave's affable personality than to mine) and had a great conversation about my research in Latin America, camping in the Southwestern US, and the value of getting students into the field when teaching ecology.
Fast forward three years and Dave was knee deep in Hall's Creek in Capitol Reef NP helping me with my field research. He and another NREL employee offered to help me with my fieldwork, but they preferred to help me in a location far, far from a vehicle than with anything "easy." The park biologist at Capitol Reef was more than happy to have us hike into Hall's Creek and sample aquatic invertebrates there, so we loaded up our backpacks with waders, sampling nets, and a couple of nights' worth of gear and headed for the hills. We had a wonderful time sampling the creek, telling stories around the camp stove and exploring the Narrows.
Dave and his colleagues inspired a significant shift in the way ecologists think about arid grassland ecosystems.
Much of the early work in ecology took place in the eastern USA, which is a relatively stable place, so many ecological models are based on the idea that ecosystems are generally in equilibrium and disturbance pulls them away from equilibrium. However, arid grasslands are rarely in equilibrium because of the highly variable climate. Dave and his colleagues suggested that aridland ecologists just stop assuming that everything starts from equilibrium. It gets a little bit more complicated from there, but hopefully these visual notes will help you get a sense of his work and, perhaps more importantly, the way that he mentored and inspired other people to think and live outside the box.
Sent et al. 1987. Large Herbivore Foraging and Ecological Hierarchies: Landscape ecology can enhance traditional foraging theory. Bioscience.
Like everyone I know, I have spent the past couple of weeks doing my part to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (washing my hands, working from home, staying six feet from people who don't live with me), but I can't stop thinking about the healthcare workers who don't have these luxuries. They are voluntarily stepping into the fire every day. And now we hear that there isn't enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to go around. There aren't enough masks, gloves, gowns to keep healthcare workers safe.
A friend of mine who is a nurse posted a message on Facebook that was originally from Reddit. The message resonated with me, so I wanted to share it with a broader audience. The message to healthcare workers is simple: there is no emergency in a pandemic. Don't go in without your PPE.
I attended the science talks during the Grand Canyon Hiking GTS on February 15, 2019. My big takeaway from the seminar was that the guides and visitors love the Grand Canyon deeply and yet the wildlife, forests, and landscape face more challenges now than ever. Climate is changing, water resources are increasingly scarce, helicopters and planes regularly disturb wildlife, and dedicated park scientists and managers work with limited staff and funding! Another takeaway was that the guides and visitors love the Canyon and support it through contributions to the Grand Canyon Conservancy.
I captured as much information as I could during the short talks in these sketchnotes about the forests of the Kaibab Plateau (Dr. Peter Fulé), Grand Canyon soundscapes, karst hydrogeology (and caves), bison on the North Rim (GRCA Science and Resrouce Management Division), and Grand Canyon maps (Matthew Toro). Enjoy!
What is the Hiking GTS?
The Grand Canyon Conservancy (formerly the Grand Canyon Association) hosts a Guide Training Seminar each year at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Hiking GTS is takes place in mid-February and is geared towards hiking guides, tour bus operators, and people who lead backpacking trips in the canyon. It is distinct from the slightly better known River GTS, which is hosted by the Grand Canyon River Guides Association so it is geared towards river guides and takes place at the Hatch River Expeditions warehouse in mid-March.
my visual notes from the 2019 Hiking GTS
Angie B. Moline
Dr. Moline is an ecologist and visual process facilitator who draws pictures to help clients think. She is currently on a quest to understand why live drawings are so compelling and how to make them as sticky as possible in order to improve communication, understanding, and memory. Follow here journey here!