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Urban Turtles in Alabama? A Talk with the Founder of the Urban Turtle Project

What do turtles and Alabama have in common? Come to find out, more than you think. Recently, I learned that not only is Alabama was one of the centers of turtle biodiversity in the world, but that there is an organization that is dedicated to educating people on “urban” turtles. photo courtesy of the Urban Turtle Project I recently had the chance to talk with Dr. Andy Coleman, an assistant professor at Talladega College in Alabama, about urban turtles. Andy is a herpetologist who is passionate about educating anyone who will listen about the importance of reptiles and amphibians. I ...
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Bringing Jaguars to Alabama

For almost a decade, I have been working with my partners at Inspire EdVentures to bring student groups to Belize on edventures. Sometimes these edventures are college courses, other times they are groups of adult learners who want a different way of experiencing the natural wonders of Belize. But regardless of the age or educational level of the participant, one of the highlights is always our lessons on jaguars. Several years ago, we learned that there had been signs of jaguars close to our camp at the Sleeping Giant Resort, just south of Belmopan Belize on the Sibun River. One ...
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Looking into the Eyes of a Jaguar

If you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered a big cat vet. I have always loved animals, and don’t get me wrong, over the years I’ve had some great dogs, a few fish, and even a couple of misplaced hamsters, but ever since my childhood I have been intrigued by cats. Perhaps it is because cats are unique. If you look into the eyes of a dog you see a trusted friend, but look into the eyes of a cat and you see a challenge staring back at you. Their ...
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Remote: The Connected Faculty Summit

On Tuesday July 14th I will be giving a presentation at Remote: The Connected Faculty Summit entitled "3 Questions to Ask Before Using a New Digital Resource" at 1230 PM PST. Here is the abstract: 3 Questions to Ask Before Using a New Digital ResourcePresenter: Michael Windelspecht, Ph.D., Educator, Scientist and Author of 20+ Science TextbooksJuly 14th, 12:30 p.m. PST Description: The scramble to complete the spring semester is over, and now teachers across the country are reimagining what a “traditional” classroom will look like this fall. The challenge is to not only address the learning objectives of the course, ...
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Four Memorable Quotes from “Take Off Your Shoes” by Ben Feder

So why did I choose this book to be my first review? After all, I try to get in a decent reading list each year, some I choose because they are academic, some out of curiosity, and many just because they are mind candy. What then made this one memorable? The title and back cover copy? Well…. yes, at first that is exactly what it was. To be honest, when I first picked up this book, I thought it would be another one of those typical self-help books. You know, a formula book about escape – leaving the corporate world, ...
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How an Emerald Toucan Inspired a Textbook Cover

What inspires an author to select a picture to be on the the cover of their book? Often, at least for biology texts, the choices have focused on what I like to call the warm fuzzies – animals that invoke a response in people. Wolves, big cats, whales, and even some pretty bugs (well, butterflies) make people feel really good. People like to feel good about the books that they buy. One of the more interesting things about textbook writing is that while you may think that the author has the final say in what is on the cover, surprisingly, ...
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