Transparently pelagic linking. Tomopterus photo by Uwe Kils (wikimedia commons).

Blog about evolution and get a ticket to Science Online 2011! The National Evolution Synthesis Center (NESCENT) is awarding 2 $750 prizes to cover travel expenses to the annual conference that discusses communicating science on the web. Contest details are here.


The latest edition of Boneyard 2.0 is up at Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs! I particularly like this reminder from The Rocks Know that while dinosaurs are sort of cool, I guess, they would be nothing without the little guys! The size of invertebrate and microbial fossils belie the impact they have had on our world!

Mark Powell has a post up about the hypocrisy surrounding “wild” Alaskan salmon that is right on the mark. The biggest threat to “wild” salmon, which were actually raised on a salmon farm? Click on to find out!

I love to hear about my alma mater UC Davis, probably the best university in the world. I got my UC-Davis alumni magazine today and opened it up to find a full story on wildlife veterinarian Michael Ziccardi’s efforts on the frontlines saving oily sea turtles and mammals. Go Aggies!

Big Daddy Cephalove discovers that the adorable little bobtail squid gets a little help from their *little* friends, the microbe Vibrio which bioluminesces.

Dead, pregnant blue whale washed up near San Francisco Bay Area.

Former Sea Shepherder Captain Paul Bethune called out Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd as “dishonest” and “morally bankrupt”, listing  several complaints and recent issues. Looks like some serious accusations in there, definitely a huge blow the Sea Shepherd’s questionable reputation. The Ecorazzi link above has more information, but the LA Times also does a more balanced treatment.

In the brilliant department, Discover News describes a new life raft that creates drinkable seawater.

Finally, Ed Yong the joy of jellyfish during his visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and took some photo and video evidence of a tentacular gelatinous tangle.

3 Replies to “TomopterLinks”

  1. I keep seeing these ‘so you want to be a marine biologist’ bits–these pieces that essentially jokingly tell people that such a career path won’t lead to anything because of the dearth of jobs, an all too real fear the way things are going in some corners of (even) academia these days, or simply go on about how underpaid the profession is.

    I’m a huge fan of DSN. And I do realize that such pieces are in jest–they may even drum up support by raising awareness as to how additional funding could be used (though probably not a realistic sentiment). But giving such credence to articles that lambast your profession, while the blog’s central mission is to educate and excite readers about marine science seems paradoxical.

  2. I disagree, my goal is instill an appreciation for the marine environment and the field of marine science. You need not go into a career in marine science in order to be supportive of it.

    These pieces are NOT in jest in my opinion, though they are written in that way. As an educator of marine science I see visions of grandeur and unrealistic aspirations of high school and college age students. They need to understand the realities of the profession and the job market. Degrees do not necessarily equal jobs. I hope more jobs will come about, but every year I hear its going to get better in the next 3-5 years, and after nearly 10 years in the field the situation hasn’t really improved, just held steady.

    In fact, I wish more people would be honest about the 5 year projection for the state of their fields. The fact of the matter is you WILL NOT get the career you want, no matter how hard you try. You can get pretty damn close though, and that is rewarding enough for most people.

    Why shouldn’t we complain that we are highly underpaid profession? Marine scientists do important work contributing to global issues. We need to raise awareness of the plight and speak more about how we contribute to betterment society in order to improve public and political opinion of our field. Otherwise you are sitting there taking it in the you-know-where and viewed as one blog friend put it once a “vanity science”. If you don’t raise your voice than no one hears you. Sadly, marine scientists seem content with taking it where the sun don’t shine and don’t want to complain much.

    You do bring a good point though, we should also write about what you CAN do as a marine scientist or with a marine science background. There should be a more of a focus of the variety of very rewarding alternative careers in marine science, of which many of our readers and friends are gainfully employed in.

  3. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree with many of the points you make, and perhaps should have worded my previous comment differently. I’m in the naive, early stages of my career; sometimes these doses of pragmatism–though much needed, and should probably come much earlier in one’s education– do not sit well with an idealistic psyche.

    Cheers, and keep up the good work at DSN.

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