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””

A glimpse of field work in the "Land of the Living Skies"

Picture1Article requested by the Center for Forest Research/Centre d’étude de la fôret.

Published on 06 August 2013, the following piece details some of the highlights of bison research in Prince Albert National Park.

The original publication does not have a unique URL, but can be viewed on the CFR/CEF website as part of a running list of invited articles authored by CEF members.

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A glimpse of field work in the “Land of the Living Skies”

Text and photos by Bethann & Jerod Merkle

Continue reading “A glimpse of field work in the "Land of the Living Skies"”

Pocket Guide: Sketching and Field Journal Basics

Bethann Garramon Merkle sketching in Grand Teton National Park

Now more than ever, you may want a sense of calm and rootedness.

Of small, simple moments of joy.

Of deep connection to place.

And, a parallel quietness of mind.

Go for it! Suspend time. Pause the do list in your head. Instead, focus closely on details in the natural world around you.

Sketching is a powerful way to direct your attention and create this sense of focus. If you’re not quite sure how to get started, this little pocket guide is for you!

This advance copy of the Pocket Guide to Sketching and Field Journal Basics gets you started with the fun, whacky techniques that professional artists use to warm up, move past the blank page, and channel observation into discovery and delight.

With your copy of the pocket guide as your companion, you can pursue your curiosity while calming your mind. If you sketch your observations regularly, you will begin to build a sense of place, whether you observe snails in a window flower box, weeds growing through cracks in the sidewalk, or migratory birds in a wilderness area.

While the materials in this pocket guide focus on science and nature, the sketching exercises and basic principles are equally useful if you want to sketch your garden, coffee cup, or next trip (when we can travel again!).

pay_what_you_canPay what you can!

With whatever amount* you are able to contribute, you can take yourself on a journey that will enhance your sense of place and help you find small delights close to home.

*Just adjust the quantity in the PayPal link to adjust the amount you contribute! 🙂

Now, keep reading to learn a bit more about how science and art have teamed up throughout the ages!


Continue reading “Pocket Guide: Sketching and Field Journal Basics”

On the bison trail – Prince Albert National Park bison research

Prince Albert National Park, PANP, 2013

The Sturgeon River plains bison, located in Saskatchewan’s Prince Albert National Park (PANP), belong to one of three fully wild (i.e. free-ranging) bison herds in Canada.  It is said to be the only such Canadian herd found within historic bison range.  This herd, and the on-going research focused on them, has been a significant focus for us for the past three years.  The following links lead to field notes, published articles, and photography galleries related to the project.  This archive will be updated as new material is published.

HINT: Check out the field notes (last section) for personal anecdotes about what it’s like to follow bison through the woods for months.

Articles (popular & peer-reviewed)

Photo galleries*

*Photos are available for licensing (commercial, non-profit, and educational use) and art prints.  Contact us for details.

Research 

Field notes