A problem-solving ‘pachyderm’

Although it’s not quite evidence of a mastery of long division, zoologists have recently reported that a juvenile Asian elephant has demonstrated rudimentary problem-solving techniques. According to Preston Foerder, the lead author of the new study, elephants had previously failed at problem-solving exercises because they were tested as if they were primates, being asked to use their trunks to hold sticks as we would do with our...

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So What Do You Do? On answering the big conference question

This post contributed by Nichole Bennett, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin This year’s ESA meeting was my first big meeting as a graduate student. While absorbing late-breaking ecology research is my favorite part of big conferences, I know that the opportunity for networking is equally important. So, at my first social event, I adjusted my nametag and stretched out my hand to as many ecologist strangers as...

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Psychologist, green building manager, religious leader urge ecologists to move beyond their own scientific community

The Ecological Society of America’s 96th Annual Meeting is taking place in Austin, Texas and kicked off on Sunday, August 7 with an Opening Plenary Panel featuring Richard Morgan, Austin Energy’s Green Building and Sustainability Manager, social psychologist, Susan Clayton of the College of Wooster, and the Executive Director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Matthew Anderson-Stembridge.  Joining the trio, was...

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ESA Policy News: August 4

Here are some highlights from the latest Policy News by Science Policy Analyst Terence Houston. NATIONAL DEBT: OBAMA SIGNS MEASURE RAISING DEBT CEILING THROUGH 2012 The week of August 2, Congress passed and the president signed a bill to increase the national debt by as much as $2.4 trillion. After weeks in which a deal between leaders of both parties appeared elusive, the deal was finally announced the weekend preceding the vote,...

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Sharing ecology online

It is no secret that the world is becoming increasingly digital. The evening news has less of a role in disseminating leading headlines than a friend or colleague does. That is, social media outlets have become primary sources of news—in general, stories vetted by friends, coworkers and family members have gained more credibility than a random, syndicated news report. This change in interactive networking brings with it challenges and...

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