Dear Digit: How do I make my communications look good?

Dear Digit sketch_5

Mar/Apr. 2014

 

 

“Dear Digit, I know my communications are supposed to look good.  But, I don’t have fancy expensive design software, and I want to do my brochures and website myself.  What can I do?”

In this visual era, it is nearly implicit that our communications should not only be clear and engaging, but they should be visually compelling. However, not all of us were trained in digital arts. Those of us who were do not always have time or funds available to stay up to speed on rapidly evolving visual tools.

Fortunately, the internet is overflowing with options for every skill level. Here is a sampling of the numerous free tools and programs that can elevate your digital creative capacity. Continue reading “Dear Digit: How do I make my communications look good?”

Scicomm advice: 7 life lessons that will help make your science matter

Orange & metallic blue butterfly_20130619 (5)_cr_c_wm_rsTerry Wheeler studies bugs.

Insects, that is, and he writes haiku about them.  He also works at McGill, and runs a blog called Lyman Entomological Museum, which is a delightful collection of musings about life as an entomologist.  He recently posted a piece called “to a young naturalist” which proposes a required reading list for a budding researcher/naturalist much broader than text books and field guides.

He writes that a snapshot of his field camp library “was a nice little microcosm of General Life Advice to the Young Academic Naturalist.”

Wheeler’s insights, derived from fundamentals such as A Naturalist’s Field Guide to the Artic and the much less obvious Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbirdencompass many of the lessons I try to share with clients and colleagues working in science and sustainability.

IMG_0084_c_cr_wm_rsThey are life lessons that apply to anyone seeking a richly productive and meaningful life working in the sciences, natural history, and environmental fields. Continue reading “Scicomm advice: 7 life lessons that will help make your science matter”

Dear Digit: Social media & intellectual property – madness or genius?

Dear Digit sketch_5

Nov/Dec. 2013

“Dear Digit, I’ve been hearing a lot about how posting my images on social media can mean I am giving away my rights to them. What’s up with that?”

 On planet Earth, technology is increasingly an essential tool and a phenomenal distraction.  For some, technology is the nemesis –the necessary evil – while for others, it is a golden brush.  Regardless of whether you are an early-adopter or a content Luddite, the rate at which the digital world is evolving leaves us all with questions. Continue reading “Dear Digit: Social media & intellectual property – madness or genius?”

Sketchbook Snapshot: “Nocturnal wonders: Looking closely at a couple of moths”

Have you ever watched a moth breathe?

Or looked so long and carefully at one dangling from a tree branch that it actually seemed to disappear?

To be perfectly candid, I never had until quite recently.

Most of my past Lepidoptera indulgences were focused on the butterflies, with little to no attention paid to the moths, their so-called “plain clothes cousins.”  A few weeks ago, though, National Moth Week notices started catching my attention on social media and science communication news feeds.  So I paid a bit more attention during the last few weeks of our field season, and what a wonderland I found!

Continue reading “Sketchbook Snapshot: “Nocturnal wonders: Looking closely at a couple of moths””