The goals of this blog are as follows:
1) to encourage an appreciation for wildlife that tend to have a bad reputation. This entails describing studies and expeditions that were undertaken to learn more about these animals while emphasizing their unique natural history. I also use this blog to counter the sensational (and often inaccurate) stories about wildlife that appear, all too often, in the media.
2) to make scientific research accessible to a general audience that does not read scientific articles.
3) to educate. Many are generally unfamiliar with wildlife natural history; as a result there are a plethora of e-mail forwards containing outlandish stories and photos of various animals. All too often, these e-mails are circulated and accepted as fact. For animals that are already maligned, scary and fabricated stories only serve to perpetuate the myth they are dangerous and malevolent. Perhaps this is no more true than in the case of the giant dead rattlesnakes, wherein a dead rattlesnake is shoved towards the camera and a bogus story is made up about how various townsfolk were saved in the nick of time by the marauding monster. I use this blog to discuss these e-mail forwards, which I'm often able to debunk based solely on the biology of the organism in question.
If you're interested in learning more about the amphibians and reptiles in your backyard, I recommend the following book: A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians of Eastern & Central North America (Peterson Field Guide Series)
I would be very pleased if wildlife scientists, students, or amateur naturalists wished to use Living Alongside Wildlife to communicate their work or insights to a new audience. Unsure what a blog even is, anyway? Check this out. Blog posts should be consistent with the goals and themes I describe above and would include a brief author biography. Contact me if you are interested in developing something; here are some past examples. Need some incentive? Posts appearing on this blog have been highlighted by science journalists including Ed Yong, Phil Platt, Hannah Waters, Carin Bondar, and Bora Zivkovic, for some examples. Posts get viewed hundreds of times; those numbers become thousands for popular posts, including some written by guest bloggers. As ecologist Jeremy Fox notes, this means blog posts often reach a larger audience than most scientific papers (among other advantages). This post alone has been viewed over 225,000 times. Yours might even become more popular. I do not accept sponsored content or guest posts that are written to benefit commercial interests or entities.
I welcome civil discussion and debate on the comment threads of any of my blog posts. However, comments containing vulgarity or personal insults will be deleted without notice. Spam will be deleted immediately.
All of my posts are licensed under a Creative Commons copyright. In other words, you may copy, distribute, and transmit what I have written, but you must attribute the text to www.LivingAlongsideWildlife.com and provide a link to this blog. You may not edit what I have written and you may not use for commercial purposes anything I have written. Most of the photographs that appear on this blog are mine, many are not. If you would like to use a photograph you have found here, contact me so that I may arrange for permission. If you reproduce any of my posts, I would appreciate if you included the following byline (with links activated):
David A. Steen received his Ph.D. from Auburn University, his M.S. from the State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and his B.S. from the University of New Hampshire. He researches the ecology and conservation biology of wildlife and blogs about his work at www.LivingAlongsideWildlife.com. His copyrighted work appears here under a Creative Commons license.
Commentaries and opinions that appear within this blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of any employer, collaborator, or funding agency.
|The author surveying a ravine,|
at night, for endangered salamanders