Happy Anniversary to 60° North Science!

Hard to believe that it has been a year since this blog started!! In the past 365 days, we have shared stories about what we can learn from scooping sea lion poop

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how we are teaching girl scouts about science research

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how smartphones can help prepare communities for climate change

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new papers

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unexpected company in the field

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what we are learning at conferences

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Jeff Dillon, Julie, Raychelle, & Carolina

and have shared the start of our exciting journey to understand the elusive Pacific sleeper shark

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Full radiograph of upper and lower jaws

 

But taking a moment, I thought this might be a good time to reflect and think about  why we started this blog 365 days ago.

Well, like many things–this blog technically started because someone spoke up in a meeting, but in no way is this blog a success because of a single person. In that meeting, Markus Horning, our Science director, gave me the freedom and support to pursue the early development of a science blog because he believed in the important role this would play in supporting science outreach locally, nationally and internationally.

But the process of getting to that goal was a long one. Once we had a platform, we needed voices. Writing blogs is not a requirement for any of our jobs and it isn’t mandated by our Science Director. All of our writers over the past year have contributed blogs because they felt they had a story to tell, and wanted to share it with you.

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Quickly the momentum picked up. In the early days, 60° North Science was a small page, plagued with some cumbersome webdesign formatting, and was unable to share videos. But due to the passion of all our writers, and the IT staff, we now have over 60 posts housed on this new and improved site. Our writers ‘guild’ has grown to include voices from the ASLC animal care and education departments. We have guest external writers. We can upload videos. We continue to grow.

But that story is how the blog came to be–it doesn’t answer the question: “why do we blog?”

This blog ultimately was started because we wanted to share that the ASLC was more than just a public aquarium: we are an active research center. As a researcher in the Science Department, my job is to ask questions, design studies, and pursue knowledge so we can expand our understanding of ecosystems and face the challenges of the future. 

But all the knowledge in the world won’t matter if no one knows about it or understands how the process works; if no one cares.

That is why we blog. Because hopefully through these posts you’ve learned new information, you’ve learned more about how we at the ASLC generate scientific knowledge through research, and you’ve been inspired to care. To care about communities facing loss of their traditions due to sea ice loss, to care about endangered sea lions and their poop, to care about really cool and mysterious sharks, to care about how everything in an ecosystem is linked from a tiny clam to a Brown bear.

In the next year, I am committed to challenging myself to think of new ideas, to pursuing important research questions, and to sharing that journey with you through this blog. But I also challenge you. I challenge you to think critically. To continue to be open to new information. To promote discussions within your own networks. And most importantly–to care about and support science.

Thank you for joining us in the past year and here is to another trip around the sun!

Written by: Amy Bishop

 

This article is “perspectives”; the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ASLC.

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