First off, hello! It’s been a minute since you last heard from me, huh? Well in that time there have been three major changes which warrant special announcements. Most significantly is announcement #1: I finished my PhD!
I wish I had been in a better place to discuss the process and even invite you to my defense, but it just didn’t go down that way. It was a chaotic sprint to the finish that had me pulling my hair out up until the very last moment. Why you ask? Well because of announcement #2. I was in an unusual time crunch to finish because I had a PostDoc waiting for me only a few days after the end of summer quarter (i.e my cutoff to graduate). As we speak I am writing from my desk in Denali National Park where I am beginning my 1-year long study on Canada jays!
Yes, I am mighty sad to say goodbye to the crows (though I’ll never really say goodbye), but I am so excited about working with this delightful species, particularly because of the broad conservation implications of this work. You can read more about the specifics here and expect a dedicated post very soon.
This bring us to announcement #3: the whole blog got an overhaul and a facebook page! With a new title and research project under my belt, I thought it was only fair the blog got some new life too. I reached out to a former crow field tech turned full time natural history illustrator Madison Mayfield to design a logo for the blog, and boy, did she do a flippin fantastic job. I’ve also updated all of the pages and given the blog an official homepage. Please poke around and see what’s new.
I’ve been a bit reticent about creating a facebook page because I already do so much science communication between here, twitter and Instagram (both @corvidresearch) that I worry a facebook page may spread me too thin. But I recognize that a good number of my followers here are not active on those other platforms, and I’d like to offer some of the scicomm work I do in those other places to those folks, including the ability to play #CrowOrNo. In addition, I felt a real need for an official community space where you can more easily connect with one another to share photos, videos and stories. Although comments on the Corvid Research facebook page are closed, I’ve created a connected Corivd Research group meant as a way for my followers to connect with each other (since you already have plenty of ways of connecting with me). I will moderate the group insofar as membership requests and issues with trolling or abuse, but do not plan on being especially active there myself. That is a space meant for you. All that said, I want to be clear that the blog will always be the primary place I produce articles. If anything these changes mean things will be more busy here, not less!
Phew, this has been a lot of updates! Please check everything out and give me your feedback, particularly as far as the facebook stuff goes. Maybe you don’t really want or need that space and if that’s the case I may get rid of it. And shoot me your Canada jay questions so I can incorporate the answers into the upcoming post!
Dr. Kaeli Swift 🙂