I’m Jeff (McClenahan if you want the surname). I am a PhD student in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. My dissertation will be on how land use change (the clear-cutting of Eucalyptus forests in order to establish pine tree plantations) affects ant communities and the ecosystem functions they provide.
My goal in seeking a PhD is to teach at the University level. A crucial component of science classes at a university is teaching the theoretical background that supports current understanding of a subject. Ecology is a multi-faceted field in that is can include biology, biochemistry, physics, and geology (the list could be longer). So the challenge for ecology professors, especially for those teaching introductory ecology classes, is to incorporate long-standing theory in a diversity of fields, with cutting edge ecology research and to link all this to the everyday lives of students.
This blog addresses the final point; linking ecology, and at a broader level nature, to our everyday lives. Ecology is defined as the study of the interactions of species with their environment. (That is the simple definition. A more complex one includes concepts such as species distribution, accumulation, competition, resource use, etc.)
My idea of ecology is expansive. I believe there is psychological ecology, cultural ecology, and educational ecology. The underlying theme being that our surrounding environment influences, and sometimes dictates, how we interact and perceive the world at any given time. This blog seeks to link these different ideas of ecology and to encourage my readers to see the patterns that exist between their lives and these different concepts of ecology.
Thank you for visiting.