Opinion: If we want to increase trust in science, we need to direct more research dollars to rural America

Illustration by Sean Quinn

Pandemic relief funding should provide a much-needed boost to scientific research. And we should steer those dollars toward where they can do the most good.

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COVID-19 in Glacier Regions Update: Latin America Responds, Italy Uses Drones to Enforce Quarantine, and the US Copes

A village below the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca

 

For the past two weeks GlacierHub has made space in the usual Monday news roundup for coverage of the coronavirus pandemic as it impacts glacier regions. In continuing that reporting, the following is an aggregation of coronavirus news stories from global glacier regions, written by guest author Peter Deneen.

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Thinking Mountains Interdisciplinary Summit Brings Together Diverse People and Programs around Shared Concerns for Mountains

In the midst of an early October snowstorm, academics, practitioners, writers and educators made their way to the famous northern town of Banff, nestled in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains. Some people made it to Banff before the snows began. Others, like me, got stuck on the highway for an hour or so as trucks and cars struggled to climb the slippery roads and got stuck, blocking the flow of traffic. And some who arrived later that evening were apparently stuck on the slippery road for hours and hours late into the night.  But eventually, we all made it to the iconic and woodsy Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, home of the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival, and – from 2-5 October – home of the . was sponsored by the Canadian Mountain Network, which is based out of the University of Alberta, with an organizing team comprised of...
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An Unexpected Shift in Treeline Vegetation

[caption id="attachment_3405" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo 1: A map of the GTREE observation network. Image credit: Carissa Brown.Scientists usually aim to collect as much data as possible to help detect pervasive or repeated patterns often hidden by the high variability of individual observations. Drawing strong inference from individual, often anecdotal occurrences can be misleading because it is difficult to know whether the relationships we see can be generalized to other instances. On the other hand, as human beings we seem to learn well from stories of individual events, and these have the power to transform our understanding in ways that may have a bigger impact than reams of data. To me, this is one of the challenges of working as a field ecologist, where there is often a tension between developing strong inferential power by assembling datasets with many observations and developing a deeper understanding of the dynamics unfolding in any one...
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The Other White Mountains: A Window into the Boreal Future

“The field”. “Fieldwork”. Those phrases have magic in them, of more than one kind. The modern kind is we put that phrase in email autoresponders and it seems to absolve diverse failures. Apparently, others have patience for something that is becoming increasingly rare – time for fieldwork, time to go get the data from the big “out there”. But there’s another kind, the kind that implies some nostalgia for a time when more than a few scientists did everything, including writing their papers, in “the field”. Some immersed themselves for years in the processes they were studying “out there”. Not many of us do that for any meaningful length of time anymore.[caption id="attachment_2240" align="alignleft" width="300"] Figure 1. White Mountains burns. 2004fires burned hundreds of thousands of acres in this part of AlaskaThis trip, on the way to “out there”, and as if to remind me of the opportunity before me, the...
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