Dear Bio Boot Campers, families, and friends,
Welcome to the Bio Boot Blog, the official blog for Bio Boot Camp 2.0 2014! Camp starts tomorrow, and we’re pretty psyched. We’ve spent the past week coordinating field trip details, debating the merits of dinner choices, and gathering up essential ecological supplies (e.g. measuring tapes, pin flags, duct tape, funny hats), and now all we need is a van full of campers.
The week ahead of us is going to be pretty awesome. Here are just a few things that I’m looking forward to:
- visiting the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) to learn about research on freshwater ecosystems
- learning about how The Nature Conservancy conserves fish and manages forests at Independence Lake
- checking out the effects of fire and forest thinning on the test plots for the ambitious Sagehen Project, which seeks to create more resilient forests
- seeing what awesome observations and research questions campers come up with
- eating pizza with a bunch of cool kids who will nerd out with me about all things science
I hope you campers are excited, too. But what about your families, who won’t fit in the van and thus won’t be able to join us on our muddy, foresty, fishy, pizza-y adventures? Fret not–they’ll be able to follow along on this blog! Starting tomorrow, the Bio Boot Blog will become our virtual field journal, and we’ll become part of a rich history of field biologists writing about our exploits in the field. Back in Darwin’s day, field journals were a pen and paper thing, including scientific observations, ideas, and stories, and sometimes they turned into books for a popular audience years later (like The Voyage of the Beagle).
These days, a blog can serve as a field journal that is available to the public in real time. We still often write scientific notes with pen and paper, and there are lots of scientific adventure books to be read, but blogging about our research and adventures helps scientists make their work accessible to a wide audience with the click of a “Publish” button. And starting Monday, all the Bio Boot Campers will be those scientists, doing research, having adventures, and writing about it.
See you tomorrow, and stay tuned!
– Allie, James, and Tabatha (BBC 2.0 staff)
P.S. If you’re interested in what other ecology blogs look like, check out the UC Davis Ecology Graduate Students Association Blog, which has posts from students working on a wide range of topics and draws from a variety of students’ own scientific blogs.