Playlist: The River in Summer

In early summer, the river surges from snowmelt, then lessens as the melt tapers off later in summer. Within the river, the flow crescendos from deceptively smooth but swift sections to cacophonous cascades of whitewater. I tried to match the varied tempos of the river with this playlist.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify for free (requires registration): The River in Summer

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Carnivore Conservation: Non-Invasive Survey Methods (Part 2 of 4)

identifying a coyote trail

Identifying a coyote trail for the Cascades Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project.

Non invasive survey methods for carnivore conservation research include tracking, remote cameras, and hair snares. In my training to become a wildlife biologist, I’ve gotten a first-hand look at different techniques for carnivore monitoring and detection. (For the why and how of carnivore conservation, see part one of this series.) Continue reading

Carnivore Conservation: The Why and How (Part 1 of 4)

Grizzly bear in the North Cascades, photographed by Joe Sebille

The first confirmed grizzly bear sighting in the North Cascades since 1997 was in October 2010. Photograph by Joe Sebille.

Planning for carnivore conservation should be at the forefront of our minds in the Pacific Northwest. Wolves are slowly returning to Washington and Oregon, with the first pack confirmed in each state in 2008. Grizzlies have become so rare that October 2010 marked the first confirmed grizzly sighting in the Cascades in 15 years; the US Fish & Wildlife Service estimates that only 20 grizzlies live in the entire North Cascades. Wolverines are being considered for Endangered Species Act protection. Protecting carnivores — critical players in keeping ecosystems healthy — requires extensive research to identify the best areas for protection. Continue reading

Reject the Tasteocracy: Enjoy Your Own Tastes without Guilt or Discrimination

Haters gonna hate

Ignore the haters and allow yourself to be your own curator of what’s good.

One of my favorite songs, “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, came on the radio today. After a moment of happiness at hearing it, I remembered how South Park had mocked it, and instead of enjoying the song I started brooding about cultural curators of ‘cool’.

We’ve all encountered it. You meet someone cool. Sussing each other out, you start chatting about music. Naming names. You mention that you like band X. He says with disdain, “Oh, you like that?” You get a sinking feeling as your cred sinks. It has been decreed by the tasteocracy: band X is decidedly not cool. You’ve missed your chance at membership in this social group.

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