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ancillenodavis

Science and Perspective.

Hello folks,

Space to Create in conjunction with students from North Eleuthera Highschool will be featured in the Ocean Webcast entitled You, Me and the Coral Reef on March 21 at 12 pm. Please use the link below to register for the webcast:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSehD2nrajPk_MfjKqkw4LLmFutw-Cj5Apzih_VyjmMvJ-vNkw/viewform

Feel free to circulate widely!

Featured post

Well, Well, Well…

$2.5 M sourced for oil exploration or at least, to keep BPC going from an administrative perspective.

Money may be the husk of many things but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty; days of joy, but not peace or happiness. -Henrik Ibsen, playwright (20 Mar 1828-1906)

Image showing Paradise Island Bahamas aerial views from the East. The  upper image shows Paradise island in the 1970s mostly covered in vegetation with a large golf course on the eastern end. The Lower image show Significant urbanization and development including marinas and hotels that now cover more than 70% of the island.
Top is Paradise Island Bahamas c. 1970 below is after 2010

There is so much going on here from a sustainability perspective. The coastlines have been altered changing the deposition of sand and potentially smothering nearby coral reefs. The removal of forested areas is problematic, but much of the internal area was golf course and what seems to be invasive Casuarina trees.
Newly created marinas and waterways do create additional habitat for some waterfowl and the marinas do hold many diadema and in some cases lobster which have been severely impacted in the past, but the question of runoff, waste removal/disposal, and sheer volume of visitors has significant impact on the native environment.
In light of all of this, we also have to take a balanced view and recognize the jobs created by these developments and therefore the growing dependence of Bahamians and the Bahamas on this island. most voting Bahamians today do not recognize the Bahamas of the 1970s so from a cultural perspective, these images may have little weight. Economically and environmentally, we have poor records of the species there now or the species lost during these transitions.
Do you have any impressive old photos of the Bahamas? share with us and let us see the difference between now and then.

Thought on sustainability: Waste not, want not.

The most expensive resources we have are wasted resources. All resources require energy and other resources to create so when we do not take full advantage of the resources we generate, we lose.

How many of your employees have skills you are not capitalizing on? That you perhaps do not even know about?

When a conch salad catches $15, but a whole undamaged shell can fetch 30, why do we throw them away? Why do we harvest them like we do?

Open your eyes to the resources around you today. SEE sustainability.

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International day of Women and Girls in Science (2019)

Today (February 11, 2019), is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

You can read a copy of the official resolution International Day of Women and Girls in Science as a pdf, on my website .

Today, I want to send a shout out to some of my favorite female scientists.

First, my mother Vivienne Davis, who got me into it as a plant taxonomist. I would go out on her teaching days and collect plants from the neighborhood that fit into the BahamaHost training program. she would teach tour guides about these plants so that they could speak intelligently to their guests and our tourist visitors about the beautiful plants and flowers they see as they drive around the island.

Next, Alma Nora, my wife and mother of our amazing boys. Having children is surrounded by science, the biology, psychology, medications and all the statistics surrounding health and development. As we went through the process of pregnancy and continue to rear the boys, it is always amazing to see the amount of research she does and the way we can discuss the best options in terms of what is statistically the best bet for our boys’ success.

Eleanor Phillips, has been an amazing fixture in Bahamian conservation for awhile now and she continues to amaze me with her quiet resolve. No doubt, being a woman in leadership in the Bahamas is no small feat.When you combine that with the other nationalist and racist politics she has had to deal with for being “light-skinned” or having heritage outside the Bahamas, it is amazing how much she has been able to get done. I can vouch for her willingness to also support younger scientists and all of her employees when their cause is just.

Charlene Carey, Science Educator extraordinaire has taught thousands of Bahamian students and continued to lead the way in science education well after leaving St. John’s. As a part of BREEF’s teacher training workshops, through the development of the coral reef display and beyond, my favorite has been hearing the tales of her students saying how Mrs. Carey is the best teacher ever. The most important lesson I have learned from her is to constantly learn and educate yourself so you can teach more or more accurately.

Truranda Cox, Kristal (Ocean) Ambrose, young entrepreneurs in science and conservation. These young women have moved outside the realm of simply learning and teaching but now live their conservation mindset through their work. True shares her passion through her professional Bahamian tours and Kristal travels the world teaching everyone about the plastic pollution problems we face in the Bahamas and Globally.

Of course, I cannot include everyone, BNT alone would be a separate encyclopedia of amazing female scientists and as usual, this is just my perspective and only a small portion of my perspective at that.

Who is your favorite female scientist? tell me in the comments.
Do you know a girl or woman interested in science but unsure how to get started? Get in touch with a Bahamian scientist via Bahamians Educated in Natural and Geospatial Science.

Sustainability

A thought on sustainability today: we cannot manage what we do not monitor. The path toward sustainability requires us to collect data on how and why we use our resources.

How often do you check your fuel use?

What about your employee’s emotional state?

How much waste you generate?

Let’s look for sustainability in everything we do.

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Perspectives on Science as a career…pay

One of the major costs of conducting science in the Bahamas is in technical expertise, the cost of human labor. Essential to the cost of labor is the cost of living. How much can you pay a Bahamian scientist, to provide them a living wage? What minimum value would allow them to dedicate themselves to the research or science as a profession?
What if that scientist is a college student?
… an adult head of household?
If you want to see or contribute to calculations of the cost of living in the Bahamas, follow the link here.
https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/nassau

From the perspective of a Bahamian scientist, there are huge gaps between what we are paid and what we need to be paid to make science a viable option in most cases.
What resources do you know of that could help us support Bahamian scientists especially young scientists?

Geospatial visualization by K. Arthur Endsley

If you work with geospatial data and open source code, you have probably been hacking your way through the internet, youtube, stackexchange etc. to find good tutorials with clear well-written examples.

This is it.
Dr. Endsley does an excellent job of setting up the problems he is dealing with, the writing is clear but not condescending. His examples and the code that accompany them are elegant and they work (for the examples I have tried).

I include a link to one of the first blog posts I read through completely.
I hope you enjoy it as I did. I would be particularly interested in conducting a similar analyis in the Bahamas… If only we had the data available in an open access format.
Tell me if you find another one of his posts particularly interesting.

http://karthur.org/2017/visual-tool-for-analyzing-trends-in-r.html

Ancilleno Davis, AA; BSc; MSc
PPP: he/him/his/they/them/theirs
Twitter: @ancilleno
Founder/Coordinator – BEINGS
Director At Large – BirdsCaribbean

Every student needs someone who says, simply, "You mean something. You count." -Tony Kushner, playwright (b. 16 Jul 1956)

Gate keeping

As instructors in gate keeping courses, some believe it is their duty to slam that gate in the faces of as many students as possible.

Some of us are propping the gate open, cracking Windows and unlocking the back door. Most importantly we are making copies of the keys and giving them to our students

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