The Great Rescession’s Lost Generation


Marisa Losciale

By: Marisa Losciale

In 1885, The State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz implanted itself as one of the few teaching schools in the Hudson Valley and soon became home to one of the most reputable education departments in New York State. The steady decline in education majors since 2008 comes as a surprise to the school, since overall enrollment at the university has continued to increase. Due to economic trends and their repercussions, students are focusing on more in-demand jobs found in the science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.) and business fields.

undergrad graph

Graph Courtesy of Marisa Losciale

In 1948, the Teachers College at New Paltz was one of 30 colleges associated with the SUNY system. Some argue the Teachers College at New Paltz is what put the school on the map, allowing it to grow new and already existing departments. Prior to the 2008 recession, the majority…

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Hair-Brushing Nightmares and Sensory Processing Disorder


myverywildchild

All little girls hate having their hair-brushed, right? Honestly, my boys aren’t all that thrilled with it either. My son, with his “hockey hair,” avoids it like the plague, and with “hat-trick skills,” shoves it into a hoodie or snow hat before I can catch him in the morning. But my daughter cannot get away with this as easily. First of all, she doesn’t want to go out of the house looking like she has just played three periods of pond hockey in sweaty goalie gear…she wants to look like Rapunzel. She wants me to put waterfall braids in her hair, and intricate twists, and bows… never-mind that I barely have the skills to put a ponytail in her head without it snapping, or that while I’m doing this she lets off high pitch unmerciful screams so horrendous that I am shocked the neighbors haven’t called the police.

She has…

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How bacteria are like smartphones


rhizobium

Here is one final post about our recent paper on rhizobium population genomics (1). For me, it marks an important milestone in my long investigation into the diversity of Rhizobium leguminosarum, which began thirty years ago with the publication of my very first paper on rhizobial diversity (2). Curiously, that paper raised some of the issues that are still being addressed today, as it showed that isolates of symbiovars viciae and trifolii shared a number of distinct chromosomal genotypes. Of course, the tools available at the time allowed only a very blurred picture – it is wonderful to return to the story with the clarity of genome sequencing. If you wonder what I have been doing in the intervening thirty years, you will find a complete list of my publications on Google Scholar.   (I recommend that everyone gets a Google Scholar profile – it is such a useful way…

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A New Home!


I have bitten the bullet and created my own website, Sci of Relief. This site will host my Just Science blog with its science education resources. It will also host the project Abstracts 2.0 which provides scientific journal abstracts summarized for the general public. Take a look, and, please, make comments and suggestions. As always, they are welcome.

Mother Nature’s Chuckle: The Language of the Universe is not English


Miraculous opportunity for self-reflection.

 

There it is. Our home. To us it seems like such a huge place where we will never meet all our neighbors. A place where we live our daily lives consumed with news and opinions from all directions. We work. We play. We do silly stuff like fight wars or think we are the best at this sport or that.

Now look at the picture. Could you spot ‘us’ without the circle? As the dominant species on our planet, we think we are on top. We can explore our Moon. We can travel to our neighbor planet with robots. It is said the human brain is the most complex piece of matter in the known universe.

All Mother Nature can do is chuckle.

As the above image easily shows, it is all about perspective. Our grandeur is self-inflated. Despite the best efforts and actions of us on Earth, Mother Nature will always have the upper hand. She gives us room to explore. She allows us to make strides, great and small. But inevitably, she always reminds us we can not walk confidently on our journey. Stellar threats are all around; invisible until the time of their death in our black or blue sky. Prehistoric mass extinctions to modern day injuries and destruction in Russia last year.

Mother Nature does not speak any of our earthly language. She only speaks the language of the universe. The language we wish to learn through our research and study. The language we long to understand for it will tell us our true history…from the beginning.

On this International Women’s Day, remember, we are all very important to ourselves. However, our great Mother still laughs at us.