This is perspective


If you know me, you know I am vocal about things I believe are wrong. Especially if they affect me and those I care about. Unfortunately, (for me) I seem to care about more and more people as I learn how connected we all are in the world. I also recognize how important my/our voices have become.

Check your feeds and followings. check your list serves and the professional communications from your organizations, your industries, your leaders. The world is a big place and we cannot respond to everything, but when something happens in your community, to your community, who speaks? What do they say?

More importantly, who is silent? Over the break or during the semester when women, men, members of the LGBTQ community, people of any religion, people from any country or culture are targeted by hate, is there a response?

Are they waiting for a response from someone higher up that they can model their behaviour after? Do undergraduates wait to see how upperclassmen respond? are the grad students waiting for the tenured faculty? Is your department chair waiting for the president of the University? Is the university president waiting for the Governor? Is the Governor waiting for the President of the country?

And you? who are you waiting on?

Tell someone, tell everyone.

I denounce racial supremacists. I denounce international hate. I denounce gender, race and ethnicity based violence and bigotry.

Now, at least I know you will not be waiting on me.


-This is in partial response to the Charlotteville, VA white supremacy gathering (August 11 2017) and violence that followed (August 12, 2017).


Featured post

My digital house

How do you describe social media to your students?

I use the house analogy.

My digital world is a house I build with social media. Each platform is a room within that house. Though they each have doors and windows that open to the outside world, I choose what people can see through those windows and doorways, whether or not I allow them inside and once inside, how far I allow them to go. Even if I let them in, I may still have my most precious possessions locked away like certain family photos. Or only allow certain people further in.

Each room has its purpose.
My art rooms include video on my Youtube channel, or my Youpic feed.

My workshops include my LinkedIn, Academia, and ResearchGate profiles.

Some of my rooms are connected so guests can move between those spaces as my facebook, twitter, and instagram profiles may post to one another and people can follow links from one to the others.

Most importantly, I remind students, if they want to be found for graduate study, internship or career opportunities, they need to have an address, where they can be found. Skype, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Groupme, and others also provide a kind of home phone for your digital home so colleagues, friends and family can reach you.

But just as importantly, if there is something you do not want your boss, teacher, or parents to see, don’t put it in these public rooms.

follow the links to connect with me let’s collaborate.


Sustainability and perspective

my friend Quentin asks in response to "Sustainability and Perspective"

How do you balance "trying to make a difference" with awareness of others and sensitivity to the full impact of one’s actions?

Quentin,There are a few ways I seek this balance.

Firstly, I use my doer’s code.

I am a human scientist and photographer. I live by my doers code. 1: Do something. 2: Do what you enjoy. 3: Do what you are good at or get good at it. 4: Do what makes a difference. 5: Do what is right.

secondly, I ask myself how much I know about the people I am speaking with, how much I have seen them (% of the day/year/semester) this represents how little of their life experience I have shared. usually infinitesimally small in comparison.

Thirdly, I judge my response by the ethics of the child substitute. (a measure I have developed and made my own.) how would my treatment of any other thing, animal, person, community be received if I substitute small children for the object of my actions?

for example: immigration: these children are seeking to escape persecution, death, torture, looking to be educated and be successful. should we close the doors on these children? knowingly leave them to face death, dismemberment, and every violation of freedom? or should we welcome these children with open arms, treat them as our own, provide them with every measure of freedom and success as is necessary to allow them to grow without fear, injustice, and pain.

Scientific Research: mist netting birds: we know these children pass through this area regularly. let’s set up nets to trap them. We can hold them in cloth bags for a while until we can take their blood and weigh them. yes they will scream and struggle for a bit, but when in the bags they will calm down. and when we are done we will let them go to continue their lives. it’s good. wiht this knowledge we can protect many thousands of these children. it’s for science.

Of course this is very simplistic and subjective, emotional and extreme.
For those that disagree, would you prefer, extremes in the pursuit of kindness or to continue to treat all others as if they are not equally worthy of respect as we are?

Sustainability and perspective

Today I saw a really interesting video. You should watch it before you continue.

From the perspective of the person in the video and CNBC, Lionfish are bad for the environment, because they negatively impact native fish populations. This in turn impacts the coral reefs. Norman’s is helping by removing Lionfish from that ecosystem, commodifying it and encouraging people to consume it.

As you watched the video were you able to appreciate the noble sensibility of such a sustainable venture? Turn an invasive species into a resource. You save the ecosystem and turn a profit (even if the goal is not to make the most money possible.
Here are some issues I have with the video.

1: THe Exumas are a part of the Bahamas, which is not a US territory and The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the oldest Marine and Terrestrial protected area in the world.
2: A Bahamian fishing license and an international seafood export license to take the Lionfish out of the country, do not seem practical in this case and from my research it does not seem as if he had either.
3: the transportation of 40 lbs of Lionfish out of the Bahamas into the USA and to the restaurant, is not sustainable on a small scale and because of the way Lionfish are caught and processed, not sustainable without a boutique style food experience, which not very one can provide.
4: he makes no mention of any Bahamian collaboration.

The sum impact in my opinion is negative. From a social perspective, impacting the sovereignty of the Bahamas, with no mention of the local and (Caribbean) regional efforts to eradicate the Lionfish, this is unsustainable. You are more likely to get pushback from local fishers who see a resource being stolen from a small Black Country, to enrich yet another foreigner. (Don’t kill the messenger, this is the sentiment in the Bahamas when a video like this does the rounds on the internet.)
From an economic perspective, paying the divers $5 a fish is definitely nice in the Florida panhandle, kudos. Again, the cost to risk for local Bahamians may be different. $100,000 in a year is also 8-10 times what most Bahamians make in a year. How can we scale this appropriately? How can we diversify this industry so it is not reliant on a single species fad?
Finally, environmentally, it’s awesome to teach people to eat invasive species as destructive as the Lionfish, but, right now climate change is as big an issue or bigger. Shipping Lionfish from a poor(er) country (or region within the USA) to the richer locations where the market is available, perpetuates a system of exploitation. And when the industry or species is unregulated or underregulated it also exposes other resources to excessive exploitation. The Bahamas cannot afford this socially, Economically or Environmentally the way it was presented.

Ancilleno Davis, M.Sc

Connections: Re: Actual Weekly Riff

​So a friend has a weekly email I subscribe to and he quote another of his friends as saying "Learning is all about connections".
Did you say "duh."?

It seems to make sense to me. this is the only way I seem to learn. My memory sucks, but I do pretty well in school because my brain connects things well I believe.

Right now, I am working heavily with maps in ArcGIS and every time I look at the interface, I imagine a drawing on multiple layers of wax paper. On the base layer you paint the background, then you add layers drawing things that are closer and closer to the fore. For me, this connection is essential to how I create my maps.

as I teach my students in Biology 115 labs I often incorporate shared experiences of going to the doctor, taking antibiotics etc. so the students can make those connections for themselves as well.

When I speak to others about the difficulties of international students, I try to connect social justice first to their experiences along the lines of minority groups they are a part of, then I point out the similarities between their historical oppression and the contemporary treatment of international students and scholars. this seems to work exceptionally well.

A fact no matter how well researched is difficult for most people to accept without some connection to their previously held beliefs.

But also,

I learn daily from you, my friends, my followers, your emails and comments, our conversations and arguments. So I guess everything I do is about the connections. what new connection have you made recently? what connection continues to feed your learning and affect your experience?

(Clean) Air supposed to be free

During our geography class recently we got to web chat live with @amrit_sharma, the guy behind #AskSmokey on twitter.
You can tweet “#AskSmokey what’s it like in #Delhi” or hundreds of other cities around the world. And you will get this nice little air quality report. And guess what? It is emoji based. 🙂
So now instead of just walking outside and getting a lungful, you can check on your computer first to know if walking to work is really as healthy as you thought. allows you to browse the map and see what the air quality is like it even marks some streets during high pollution times like rush hour.

The two major downsides for me are, 1: disaster voyeurism. Really, air pollution is a horrible problem. *cough,cough* though the website and interactive twitter bot are great for raising awareness, and the link on to earn more via email is really well written, but there is little you can do via the website or twitter feed to actually impact the problem.
And 2: coverage. Everytime I see something cool like this I search for the Bahamas. Don’t waste your time yet. We are not on the map. This is important because the dump on New Providence is still smoldering. But also, this means that some countries may be overly represented with negative or positive air quality reports.

The root of the data is the open air quality data from They get data from 62 countries according to their website and less than 2000 locations. The data is open access and represents different pollutants and indices. Amrit makes it accessible by peeling the indices back to emoji style “heart eyes and happy breathing” or “skull and crossbones die from the black lung” visuals.

If you know of a place collecting air quality data, recommend them on Maybe sponsor one for your school. Until then, I hope you can breathe easy where ever you are.


Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio

Hero and heroin

This happened on October 8th, 2017. The following account is true and accurate to the best of my memory, but may cause emotional distress to those with similar experiences related to drug overdose or first responders. I am writing for catharsis. 

Tonight I am still shaken up. It is 10:30 pm. He started breathing again sometime around noon I think.

I think I should feel like a hero, but this was nothing like the movies. 

I cried afterward in front of the cops and the paramedics that looked like undergrad volunteers. I zoned out while I was doing cpr and I seemed to only come back into focus to tell my body to switch from rescue breaths to chest compressions. Was I crying the whole time? 

I can’t really remember.

I also cannot forget. He has a friendly face and he is so helpful and kind. Loves his mom. His friendly face was starting to turn blue. As I pushed down on his chest I remembered our conversations and working with him and his mom. 

I remember the sounds. 

The girl screaming “He’s doing CPR”. 

The dispatcher telling her to stay, to take the cell phone off speakerphone because she (the dispatcher) could not hear. 

My voice was counting. If I counted out loud, I could not hear them and maybe that would be good enough for the dispatcher. 

The girls says ” he’s doing CPR”. I don’t know her name. She did not even know the name of the street. She does not know my name. “He is doing CPR”. Who is “he”? 

Oh. It’s me. I am doing cpr. 21, 22,23… I am trying to hold it together. 

This is crazy. It’s Sunday. We are cleaning and cooking. We have guests coming over. I was going to have some Cruzan coconut rum and Ginger Ale later on. But right now, I just want him to breathe. “Please God, help me help him.” No pulse. Not breathing. Keep going. “Please God, help me help him.” I realize, I have never prayed so hard. Maybe I have never prayed so earnestly.

The dispatcher is saying “they are on the scene. Can you let them in?”

The girl says she can’t stay. She has to go. She “can’t be here”.



I am alone with him. The dispatcher is saying something. “Is he breathing?”

I can hear his stomach sloshing with the compressions. That last breath was too much I heard some air enter his stomach. I think that is why the sloshing is so much louder. He’s definitely less blue. 27, 28, 29, 30. 

Stop. Look. His face is flushed red. I can see his pulse in his neck. His chest and stomach are rising and falling slowly. It is so quiet. Was I screaming? He’s alive.

Dispatcher “They are on scene. Can you let them in?”

Me: “His heart is beating! He’s Breathing!” I am shouting now.

I let the officers in and direct them to him, before going next door to tell Alma what happened.

I come back over a few times to give my statement to the officers, but I avoid going back toward the bathroom. A few minutes later he is sitting up on a gurney, being put in the ambulance. I feel scared, terrified. I definitely don’t feel like a hero.

I later find out it was a drug overdose. Heroine.

I just happened to be there. I am no hero. Heroin.

Jokey jokes 9/18/2017

Stephen King made a new horror movie about a clown… but it’s just another ITeration.

If you like jokes like these (some are better) check my blog.


What does a grape say when it gets stepped on?

Nothing. It just lets out a little wine.

Define your community and you define discrimination

I have come to realize that throughout the communities I operate in, there is a consistent thread of defining who is a part of our community. Inherently, this defines who is not a part of our community.
In particular, I look at diversity affairs organizations and professionals. Most, follow a restrictive explicit definition, which usually lists the legally protected minorities defined in the laws of the country or territory. Therefore, if you are not a defined minority, your lack of power or smaller numbers leaves you exposed outside the defined protections.

For example, look at your university statement on commitment to diversity. Do they mention students with family (children, spouses), do they mention students with different visa statuses?

Now, look at the students that make up your community. How many of them could be excluded from events, opportunities, activities because of one or the other of these characteristics?

Would a broader statement on commitment to diversity be better? Perhaps making a statement that says “for any group of students in the minority, based on an inherent characteristic of their identity, we will support your success to make you equal among us”. But, is this type of statement a possibility considering the current climate? What would be the real impact?

Some things to consider: Loss of federal funding/support for programs that give international students equality; discontent among nationalist students/faculty/staff; where the borders exist in terms of feelings of safety, support, security among students.

Yeah. I don’t have the answers. I am still looking.

Ancilleno Davis

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