Friday, February 26, 2016

Dear Professor Bernard A. Wood, Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology















Dear Professor Wood,

I am writing to you here openly on my blog because I do not feel that official behind the scenes channels work to correct the behaviors that I have observed in the scientific community in the last five years.  In fact, I have attempted repeatedly to contact members of the scientific community about my concerns, to no avail.  I have even spent more than a few thousand dollars of my own money trying to address these issues in scientific forums. Again, no redress. I am still of a school of thought that believes that Science should ultimately be done in the public service and that members of the public, in this context, should not be using their personal finances to attempt to redress issues of scientific misbehavior.  It is up to the Scientific Community to right itself.

My formal training is as an electrical engineer.  I currently have a break in my career at the moment and am pursuing a parallel matter of concern.

As a matter of fact, I was wrongfully fired from my last position as a Silicon Valley Radio Frequency Design Engineer when I reported to the CEO of the startup I was working for, the harassment and hostile work environment that I had been experiencing for almost a year. I am not junior, and had been highly productive in my last position, working independently, producing several patents and innovations, so any notion that discrimination and retaliation only happens to inexperienced or junior female researchers is misguided. In fact, I am just a bit short of becoming a principal engineer, and would have long since been at principal level were it not for the discriminatory and sometimes threatening landscape in which women are expected to conduct their research. It is not the first time that I have had a break or unplanned branch in the road due to discrimination.  Like Professor Rebecca Ackermann, who just wrote a blog post today about her experiences as a woman in paleoanthropology, because of these forced disjunctures, I have lost out on opportunities to publish my work (both patents and papers) and have lost time.

As a Canadian very much immersed in the Canadian Scottish Scientific tradition, I grew up around a lot of physics, engineering, paleontology, geology, entomology and anthropology. Phyllis Munday, Crowfoot, Charles Walcott, Mary Morris Vaux, Edward S. Curtis, Alexander Graham Bell, Frederick Banting, Phil Currie, David Thompson, Gerhard Herzberg, John McCrae, Charles Best, Jane Goodall, Ernest Rutherford and Ursula Franklin were household names when I was growing up. My cousin, in fact, is a personal friend of Phil Currie and worked for him for a number of summers in the field.  I graduated from the same high school in Vancouver, British Columbia as the Manhattan Project physicist and astronomer, Robert Christy.

I should also say that I have been a long standing adorante of many museums: The British Museum, the Glenbow, the Smithsonian, the Field Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Royal Tyrrell Museum, the Royal Alberta Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the Archeaological Museum of Thessaloniki, the Bizkaia Museum of Archaeology (Bilbao), and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, for example.

As well, by a lucky coincidence, my Master’s thesis supervisor at UBC (University of British Columbia) in Electrical Engineering, Gred Howard, PhD University of Waterloo, was partly of Ojibwe ancestry. This was a huge influence for me in stimulating my interest in the knowledge systems of Native Americans (and Canadians).

So in my “spare time” at the moment, following up on a long standing concern, I am learning more about Native American culture, language and history. It is hard to face close up the effect on Native Americans and Native Canadians of the residential school system, which attempted to remove children from their parents and traditional teaching systems, physically punished them for speaking their Native languages and robbed them of their traditional religion, and often sexually abused them.

These are the same people, the direct descendants in fact, by only a few generations, of Native Americans who’s images and artifacts are displayed at the British Museum, the Smithsonian, and the American Museum of Natural History. These descendants still struggle with access to education and are underfunded in their efforts to preserve and revitalize their language and culture. When they do attend higher education, they still encounter and have to take classes from overt racists such as Tom Flanagan (remember these are people who are only one generation away from having experienced the residential school system). One of Tom's favorite lines of attack against Native Americans is that their culture is "more primitive" compared to European culture, and therefore, that law of property does not apply for Native Canadians and Americans.   This is an especial favorite of Tom, who used to be highly influential in the Canadian Federal Department of Justice, in refuting Native land claims. Little wonder that some Native People are ambivalent about pursuing higher education.

Talking to Native People, you soon realize that they are very interested in and know a lot about anthropology, linguistics, astronomy, hydrology, ecosystem management and archaeology. They are interested in human prehistory. Were there more funding available, I am sure more of them would love to attend conferences such as the Society of American Archaeologists (SAA), the International Astronomical Union Conferences, or the American Association of Physical Anthropology.

However, just noting an observation I made last night regarding the upcoming SAA conference, it is hard to think about inviting someone from a Plains Native American culture considered to be a true hunter-gatherer culture, to a conference that still frames cultural complexity as having been hard coded to the adoption of “farming”. Yes, still in 2016, we mostly think this. I can direct you to the SAA sessions in which this is still the overt message.  I also ran across several sessions at the 2015 SAA Conference in San Francisco, which perpetuated the same message.

So this is just one of the many observations I have about how I am troubled with our Western European cultural framing of scientific questions.
This brings me to my adventures with anthropology online.

About five years ago, I inadvertently stumbled on a blog called Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog. It was at a time when I again had some free time on my hands. I had been trying to get back to work after being a stay at home mom with a young child for about five years. It was 2010, just after the financial crisis, a particularly challenging time to go back to work. I had been auditing several graduate level classes in the Berkeley EECS department in my field, but still was having trouble finding a permanent position. Lo and behold, Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog started putting up genetic data which I quickly realized could be analyzed using mathematical methods that are used in communications electronics. Yes, I still had to dig around and find the associated research papers, but that turned out to be not very difficult.

I tried to interact with the community of researchers who were commenting on Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog. Many of them appeared to have expert knowledge and I began to wonder if they were professional researchers. I soon discovered that I was not welcome to interact with this community and started to find myself being harassed. Most of the bloggers were using pseudonyms. I had experienced subtle harassment before in my work, but rarely anything this overt. Given that I was also struggling to get back into my professional career at the time, the overt harassment that I experienced in this community was a bit of shock, and rather depressing.

One favorite topic of this group was the genetically programmed intellectual inferiority of women.    Having long been a victim in my professional career due to this kind of “your brain is smaller” and “you don’t have any spatial ability” thinking, I became deeply intrigued as to the identity of the bloggers.

Luckily, I have a supportive family, and could laugh most of it off. I decided to start my own blog in order to follow my various amateur interests in anthropology, genetic anthropology, and paleoanthropology.

I started to get comments from professional researchers on my blog who mostly posted under pseudonyms. As I live in the Bay Area, it was not that difficult to visit in person some of these researchers. I even asked several prominent researchers what it would take to pursue my interests in genetic anthropology professionally. I soon discovered that this would involve many years at low pay and would require me to do a PhD. I would not get any credit for my Master’s degree in electrical engineering or minor in computer science. I was shocked to discover how long it takes for someone working in anthropology, paleoanthropology, or archaeology to reach a position where they would be paid with a professional level salary. So that pretty much scrubbed the idea of pursuing my interests in genetic anthropology professionally.

I should also add that during this period, on more than one occasion, a few professors in meeting me for the first time, while I was attempting to discuss professional opportunities in their field, took it upon themselves to hold my hand, show me erotic art, and discuss with me the mating habits of bonobos. Some of these men seemed very lonely. Others, I could see, were rigidly devoted to their personal theories. I sensed that a student who did not religiously adhere to their view would not advance in their research group.  Other researchers were very professional and quite open, and it was a pleasure and honor to talk with them.

I continued to do research online, taking advantage of several blogs that were clearly being published by professional researchers. I even managed to do a presentation at the European Society of Human Evolution (ESHE) in 2014.

Truth be told, I also went to the ESHE conference to try to better understand the culture and scientific intent of the paleoanthropology community who I was sure had been blogging online under pseudonyms on Dienekes’ Anthropology blog. I very much enjoyed the ESHE conference. Several professional researchers were very interesting to talk to. (I actually had a quite pleasant scientific discussion with Brian Richmond.) On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed when I discovered that under the guise of talking about my presentation, one prominent American researcher (not Brian Richmond) tried to get me to go back to their hotel room.  I wondered how common this was among this group of researchers.

After the ESHE Conference, Jean-Jacques Hublin, who in truth, had been emailing me under a pseudonym for months before the conference (he had found me through my blog) sent me an email about his meeting on the Island of Kos in Greece in October of 2014. The meeting was with some of the researchers who ultimately would publish the very high profile paper “Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe”

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v522/n7555/abs/nature14317.html

Having looked at the analysis online, which ended up in the paper, and also having followed the highly ridiculous discussions about male mediated total replacements of the European population during the Bronze Age, I was incredulous when this paper was in fact published in the high profile journal Nature, and also highly promoted in the press. Meanwhile, on the Eurogenes blog, horse borne warriors and fantasies about rape were frequent topics of discussion.

http://www.eurogenes.blogspot.com/

I was crushed and saddened to find out that a group of researchers of this prominence were behaving so childishly and unprofessionally. I emailed Laura Longo, who I had met at the ESHE conference, about my concerns.  I did not hear back from her.  Later, at the 2015 Paleoanthropology conference, I attempted to talk with Zeray Alemseged about my concerns. He told me in person that he did not think there was any problem with any of the scientists at the Max Planck Institute. When I attempted to make an appointment to discuss my concerns, he did not respond to my email.

I attempted to reason with the online Eurogenes blog community and ended up enduring extreme harassment and racism. You can read, in part, about that here:

http://linearpopulationmodel.blogspot.com/2015/01/bullying-in-genome-blogosphere-by.html

and here:

http://linearpopulationmodel.blogspot.com/2015/03/population-genetics-today.html

I have not published the full transcripts of some of these exchanges, nor some of the email attacks upon me, but I did capture them. They are truly shocking, racist, and sexist.

I should also mention that the author of the Eurogenes blog, who is most certainly an author on the “Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe” paper, continues to have a warning against me in the comment notification of his blog. It says “And do not ever, under any circumstances, reply to Marnie, or comment moderation is back on.**”

The researchers on the “Massive migration” paper are associated with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, as well as the Max Planck Institute. I notice that some of them are going to be at the Society of American Archaeologists Conference. Some of this research was funded with National Science Foundation funding. One does wonder about the scientific integrity of the entire scientific endeavor when one is subjected to these kinds of online attacks and smear campaigns.

In addition, I tried to contact the Ombudsperson at Harvard Medical School, the University of Berkeley, California and the National Science Foundation.  The Ombudsperson at Harvard Medical School did not seem particularly concerned that professors at Harvard Medical School were blogging on a forum which sometimes harasses the public.  Neither the NSF, nor UC Berkeley appear to have a reporting mechanism for members of the public to report their concerns.  In fact, when I contacted Berkeley, I was immediately forwarded to someone who's primary job seems to be reputation control for the university.

It did not end there.

In the Summer of 2015, in an attempt to continue my research, which in part used research material from archaeoastronomy, I decided to attend the IAU conference on Indigenous Astronomy in Hilo Hawaii. Can you imagine my bad luck! Who should have been an organizer of this conference but none other than Timothy Slater.

Needless to say, many of the presentations at this conference were wonderful. But when I raised the issue of cultural complexity among Plains Hunter Gatherers, I met with resistance by most of the conference organizers, including from the very well known archaeoastronomer, Professor Clive Ruggles, who, contrary to many other researchers, feels strongly that the Plains Native American Medicine Wheels were not used to measure the solstices.  One linguist at this IAU Conference told me that I could not publish or do research on Native American archaeoastronomy or linguistics without a PhD. Timothy Slater himself, who in addition to being a sponsor of this conference, also receives significant funding to develop K-12 STEM education material, told me to my face that the only reason that there are not more women in Silicon Valley in engineering and computer science positions is because women are not getting degrees in STEM. When I tried to explain to him that there were other issues as well, such as unconscious bias and discrimination, he was completely resistant to this.

Perhaps someone should let Timothy Slater know that much of the research and development done in Silicon Valley is done by people with Master's degrees.  Furthermore, an abundance of research shows that many women graduates with STEM degrees do not find employment.  Even straight out of school, women STEM graduates experience a more difficult job market than men.  And the current job market for male STEM graduates is not very good.

I have never heard back from any of the researchers I attempted to contact at this conference. Even Sharon Schleigh, another of the IAU Indigenous Astronomy conference organizers, and CAPER team member, who sent out an invite for paper follow-ups from the conference, never responded to me when I sent her an email proposing a short paper about unpublished material related to Blackfoot Native Canadian numeracy and calendar keeping.

I only discovered a month ago, at the end of January, that Timothy Slater has a very problematic sexual harassment history.  Frankly, reflecting back on the IAU Indigenous Astronomy conference, which cost me about $1,500 of my personal money to attend, I have come to deeply wish that I had not attended this conference. It was like staring into the abyss of the kind of thinking and behavior that still to this day, continues to destroy Native American culture and push women out of Science. Perhaps I should write to the NSF and ask for a refund for my $1,500.

All of this is to say that Professor Ackermann's observations that anthropology and paleoanthropology, as well as science in general, does seem to have a pervasive cultural bias, gender bias and discrimination problem, is very much supported in my own experience. I would not have said this five years ago. Yet, based on my experience with these fields in the last five years, it is now my view that the culture in these fields limits both the career advancement of women and other non-traditional students, and also further reinforces a culture that is hostile to non-traditional scientific viewpoints. These biases also mean that women in associated STEM fields have very negative, exclusionary experiences when they attempt to engage with the anthropology, archaeology and paleoanthropology scientific community, at least in my experience.

My daughter is attending summer camp at the Royal Tyrrell Museum this summer. It may be her last summer there, as I am increasingly of the opinion that a career in science or engineering for a woman is a fool’s errand. I have already cancelled my memberships with the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Science. My only recourse at this point, is to take action so that my scientific experiences, and those of my daughter, will be in the outdoors and directly with indigenous people, without the mediation of a broken, arrogant, wasteful, self-serving and discriminatory system, that seems unable to right itself.

Yours sadly,

Marnie Dunsmore
San Francisco, California and
Calgary, Alberta

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Thoughts from the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"

















author:  Robert M. Pirsig

I read this book in about 1980 in university.  It was assigned reading in my first year English class at the Royal Military College of Canada.  I would say it was highly influential to me at the time and has never really left me.  Some quotes:

Chapter 1.

"I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?," a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and "best" was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for."

Chapter 14.

"This divorce of art from technology is completely unnatural. It’s just that it’s gone on so long you have to be an archeologist to find out where the two separated. Rotisserie assembly is actually a long-lost branch of sculpture, so divorced from its roots by centuries of intellectual wrong turns that just to associate the two sounds ludicrous."

Chapter 17.

"Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself."
 
"The ego-climber is like an instrument that’s out of adjustment…He rejects the here, is unhappy with it, wants to be farther up the trail but when he gets there will be just as unhappy because then it will be "here." What he’s looking for, what he wants, is all around him, but he doesn’t want that because it is all around him. Every step’s an effort, both physically and spiritually, because he imagines his goal to be external and distant."

Chapter 24.

"Stuckness shouldn’t be avoided. It’s the psychic predecessor of all real understanding. An egoless acceptance of stuckness is a key to an understanding of all Quality, in mechanical work as in other endeavors. It’s this understanding of Quality as revealed by stuckness which so often makes self-taught mechanics so superior to institute-trained men who have learned how to handle everything except a new situation."

Chapter 25.

"The way to solve the conflict between human values and technological needs is not to run away from technology. That’s impossible. The way to resolve the conflict is to break down the barriers of dualistic thought that prevent a real understanding of what technology is ... not an exploitation of nature, but a fusion of nature and the human spirit into a new kind of creation that transcends both. When this transcendence occurs in such events as the first airplane flight across the ocean or the first footstep on the moon, a kind of public recognition of the transcendent nature of technology occurs. But this transcendence should also occur at the individual level, on a personal basis, in one’s own life, in a less dramatic way."

Some further thoughts.

I would only add here, that humans have engaged in technical thinking for a very long time.  They keep pushing back the date for the first boats.  I haven't looked at the latest data, but almost certain crossings to Japan, the island of Melos in the Mediterranean, and to Australia now seem to have occurred during the last Ice Age, if not before.  Highly refined pressure flaked lithics appear also during and well before the last Ice Age. The oldest known bone flute is 40,000 years old. And those are only surviving fragments of evidence of early technology, so these offer only a glimpse of the breadth and time depth of human technical capacity. 
 
From what I have learned of these cultures, in the Blackfoot, Ojibwe, Mi'kmaq and Salish traditional world view, innovation was tempered by a desire to live in concert with the animals, plants and birds on which they relied.  While they may not have always been successful in doing this, it certainly was a cultural value.  There, I think, may be the main difference between how we do technology today, and how it was done in the past, for thousands and thousands of years.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Píítaiki'somm, Golden Eagle Month, February

























Photo of Dog Child, a North West Mounted Police scout,
and his wife, The Only Handsome Woman, members
of the Blackfoot Nation, Alberta, ca. 1890
(Link)


Mary First Rider
Granddaughter of Dog Child and The Only Handsome Woman
2/19/2016
"During Píítaiki'somm, the eagles gather together to take care of their young and of each other.   It is a time of celebration for them.  The male eagles take care of the female eagles.  The female eagles take care of the male eagles.  Especially in the early morning, you can see them talking to each other, encouraging each other . . . teaching each other.   If a young eagle is not doing very well, some of the older leader eagles will take charge and help teach the young eagle.  It is a matter of responsibility and of respect between the eagles to help each other.  The eagles like to tell stories to each other of times past, and express their hopes for the future.  That is how it is with the eagles, and with many other animals and birds.  It was like that for us as well. That is what happens during Píítaiki'somm, Golden Eagle Month."


See also:
Píítaistakis:  February/March and September/October Migratory Corridor for the Golden Eagle
(Link)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

There’s a way to get girls to stick with science–and no, it’s not more female role models

















Shannon Palus
Follow Shannon Palus on Twitter at @shanpalus
Quartz
January 5, 2016
(Link)

"I’ve been into science for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I star-gazed with my dad and hung out in the math class my mom taught at a local college. I told everyone that I was going to be a paleontologist, or an astronaut, or a physicist.

"So I’m confused by campaigns that assume girls and women have to be lured into science with gender-specific appeals. The most recent to get under my skin was IBM’s sexist “Hack a Hairdryer” campaign, with the implication that women will be drawn to solving problems if they involve beauty appliances. There’s also GoldieBlox, a line of dolls and construction kits aimed at making engineering more appealing to young women, which recently ran an ad featuring girls dressed up as icons like Beyonce, Hillary Clinton and Misty Copeland (which, for the record, I’ve very much enjoyed watching). And then there’s the European Commission’s “Science: It’s a Girl Thing!” initiative, which kicked off with a pink, cosmetic-filled ad, and currently offers a perky list of reasons “Why you’ll LOVE science,” complete with a heart emoticon.
 
"To me, these campaigns are going about solving science’s diversity problem all wrong. The issue isn’t that women and other underrepresented minorities are uninterested in science. It’s that science pushes them away.

"When I entered an undergraduate program in physics, I found that just 20% of my peers were women. (I went to school in Canada, but stats are similar in the US.) Black people are even more underrepresented in the field: about 5% of physics undergraduate degrees in the US are awarded to African Americans.
 
"As a woman, I encountered subtle behaviors that slowly chipped away at my resolve: a lab partner who referred to another member of our group as a “bimbo” when she got an answer wrong, or loud conversations in the student lounge referencing graphic titles of porn movies.

"Two big stories in 2015 underscored academia’s continued determination to keep women and minorities on the margins of science. Reports circulated that University of California, Berkeley professor Geoff Marcy, a preeminent astronomer, had sexually harassed students for decades, while Berkeley allegedly ignored the complaints. Subtext: women are not respected here. Meanwhile, others in the Berkeley astronomy community fought, with derogatory language, to win support for building a telescope on a sacred Hawaiian mountaintop. Subtext: minorities are not respected here either.
 
"The solution to these problems isn’t for schools, businesses and companies to patronize girls and women by putting microscopes and beakers in pink stickers—or even to circulate inspirational stories of women like Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie. Instead, we need to start dealing with sexism and racism head-on.

"In a study of 7,505 high school students, Geoff Potvin, a researcher at Florida International University, measured the effect of a handful of common interventions on students’ interest in physics: single-sex classes; having role models including women physics teachers, women guest speakers, and women who made contributions to the field; and discussing the problem of underrepresentation itself. Of these efforts, only the last one succeeded in making high-school women more interested in pursuing a career in the physical sciences.
 
"“We call it our myth-busting paper,” Potvin tells Quartz.
 
"Exactly why discussing the problem works is unclear. But Potvin has a theory. Imagine that someone in a classroom discussion makes a sexist remark: for example, “Women just aren’t interested in understanding why the world works.” Heads turn. The teacher or students can direct the conversation that follows to question the validity of the statement, so that young women in the room realize that the self-doubt or sense of discomfort sparked by this comment isn’t their fault. They’re not the problem: the culture is. And they’ll continue to be skeptical of sexist behavior, as well as any doubts about their abilities, in the future.
 
"Potvin’s study is also noteworthy for demonstrating that focusing on role models doesn’t effectively encourage women to pursue science. Simply seeing a woman in science doesn’t connect with people, Potvin explains. Reading an article about a brilliant woman scientist heading up a Stanford University lab, or hearing stories about the seemingly flawless Marie Curie, can feel un-relatable and make such careers seem far out of reach. On the other hand, having a supportive teacher of any gender might make a big difference.
 
"However, Potvin acknowledges that it’s hard to package up a controlled conversation about cultural problems. Teaching the effects of discrimination isn’t as easy laying out a lesson on gravity or friction. But it’s worth doing.

"I’m still all for Legos featuring women scientists, engineering toys that cater to different learning styles, and tales of academics who don’t look like a narrow slice of America. What I object to is that these things are used to pitch science to girls as though they aren’t naturally inclined to care about science in the first place—or as if they have to be as knowledgable as a two-time Nobel Prize winner in order to participate.

"Young girls know that stars, dinosaurs, bugs and volcanoes are magic. The problem is that day-to-day life in a patriarchal culture makes it hard for women to study them."

Follow Shannon Palus on Twitter at @shanpalus. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Píítaistakis - February/March and September/October Migratory Corridor for the Golden Eagle


The eagle flyway viewed from Píítaistakis Ridge. – David Thomas

Píítaistakis Eagle Watch Site

Crowsnest Conservation Society
National Geographic
(Link)
 
"There is a single ridge in the Rocky Mountains used by thousands of migrating eagles as the navigational pivot of their annual migrations. Accessible by foot, the Píítaistakis [Place of the Eagles in the Blackfoot language] Ridge is the geological tailbone of an unbroken spine of mountains descending from the Far North to Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. A one-hour hike will lift you to where you may quite literally have to duck to avoid being clipped by a huge eagle intent on catching the updraft formed by the westerly wind smacking against the ridge."
 
Starting in late February [Píítaiki'somm, Golden Eagle Month in the Blackfoot language], and continuing into March "from throughout the eastern foothills and valleys of the U.S. Rocky Mountain West, the birds funnel towards Píítaistakis Ridge. From there, they share the same narrow updraft along the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies to their northern breeding ranges in Yukon and Alaska. In fall, adults, juveniles and the young of the year reverse the flight path south to Píítaistakis Ridge, from where they break formation to disperse among the foothills and valleys of the American Rockies."
 
 
 

The Road to the Place of the Eagles

Peter Sherrington
Birdwatch Canada, 2008
(Link) pdf
 
"It is late afternoon on December 9, 2007 and I have finally called a halt to the second season-long autumn raptor count at our Píítaistakis-South Livingstone site near the Crowsnest Pass in southwestern Alberta. We started on August 25 and have spent 100 days in the field. We have survived temperatures in the minus twenties and wind gusts to 150 km/h on the 1900 m high ridge. And we have tallied almost 8300 southbound migrating raptors of 17 species. Included in the total were 700 Bald Eagles, 1219 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 166 Northern Goshawks, 188 Red-tailed Hawks, 35 Peregrine Falcons, and a truly astounding 5445 Golden Eagles. Finally, I am convinced that we have found our long sought El Dorado!

"It has long been known that Golden Eagles migrate through the western cordillera. In 1970, Dick Dekker reported Golden Eagle movement in the Alberta foothills near the Bow Valley. In 1974, well known falconer and artist Frank Beebe noted that “a major flight of Golden Eagles moves along the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains from central Alberta to Mexico in the fall, and back along the same route in the spring.” He speculated that many thousands of eagles were involved, but provided no supporting details. In the conducting fall reconnaissance counts at Windy Point in the Sheep River valley southwest of Calgary, and recorded steady movements of Golden Eagles following the mountain front.

(read more) pdf



Related Post on this Blog:

Peter Fidler's Journals - December 31th, 1792 - Oldman River, Livingstone Gap, Racehorse Creek and Naapi's Playground, Alberta
(Link)

Eagle's Ribs, Warrior of the Mountain Chief Piegan
(Link)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

DNA and Indigeneity Public Symposium: Anthropology, Genomics and Whiteness



Kim TallBear
DNA and Indigeneity Public Symposium
Vancouver, British Columbia
Oct 22, 2015

Abstract:

During the 19th century, the American School of Anthropology enfolded Native peoples into their histories, claiming knowledge about and artifacts of these cultures as their rightful inheritance and property. Highlighting several cases, this talk describes how similar enfoldments continue today—despite most contemporary scientists’ explicit rejection of hierarchical ideas of race. This talk highlights extra-legal strategies that can address tensions between indigenous peoples and genome scientists and their facilitators—ethicists, lawyers, and policy makers.

Dr. Kimberly TallBear is an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Native Studies. She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota, descended from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, and raised on the Flandreau Santee Sioux reservation in South Dakota and in St. Paul.