For the Birds

**Today’s installment of Nature in Your Backyard is brought to you by Joseph Kirollos, a senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. He’s a student in the Science Communication Seminar, led by NCSSM Dean of Science, Dr. Amy Sheck.**

For many years now, my dog’s food bowl has been a must-see summer attraction for the various songbirds that roam my neighborhood. It has become a sort of watering hole, to which flocks of everything from woodpeckers to towhees to cedar waxwings find refuge, nourishment, and, of course, the company of fellow birds. Naturally, as a curious young middle-school student with a keen love [...]

Nature in Your Backyard: O Christmas Trees!

**Today’s installment of Nature in Your Backyard is brought to you by Madeleine Gonzalez, a senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She’s a student in the Science Communication Seminar, led by NCSSM Dean of Science, Dr. Amy Sheck.**

I grew up in Jefferson, a small town in western North Carolina that you probably haven’t noticed, but one who’s main agricultural product you most certainly have. Jefferson, you see, is a leading producer of live Christmas trees.

In fact, from my childhood backyard, you can see rows and forests of Fraser fir and white pine trees. They are always arranged in perfect rows, and seem to [...]

Nature in Your Backyard: Invasion of the Ladybugs

**Today’s installment of Nature in Your Backyard is brought to you by Addie Jackson, a senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She’s a student in the Science Communication Seminar, led by NCSSM Dean of Science, Dr. Amy Sheck.**

While at home over winter break, I woke up in the middle of the night to a startling sensation of something crawling on me. After frantically jumping up and turning on enough lights to illuminate my entire front yard, I discovered the source: two ladybugs taking a stroll across my arm.

Ladybugs – particularly a kind called the multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) — have been [...]

Meet the Worker Bees: Q & A with Joe Karlik

Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

Joe Karlik

Major: Biology and Physics; Senior

Position in lab: Research Technician; started May 2013

Joe has been involved in field and lab work ranging from the construction of ant colony nest boxes to the collection, feeding, counting and monitoring of ant individuals from 6 different species.

Describe your project/research: I am working on a project studying how temperature variation affects the health and success of ants from colonies that [...]

Meet the Worker Bees: Q & A with Mary Vincent

Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

Name: Mary Vincent Undergraduate Mary Vincent sorts ants collected from the field for placement into the Phytotron, Dunn Lab, NCSU

Degree: Major in Zoology, Minor in Environmental Sciences

Year in School: Junior

Career Goal: Graduate School, M.S. Genetics

How long have you been working in our lab? 5 months, since March 2013

Describe your project/research: I am working for ant [...]

Meet the Worker Bees: Q & A with Moriah Barrow

Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

 

Name: Moriah Barrow
Degree: Engineering (undeclared)
Year in school: Sophomore
Career Goal: Product Engineer / Physical Therapist
How long have you been working in our lab? About 8 months; started in January 2013

Describe your project/research: My Project uses the pladmodium of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum to model hurricane evacuation routes in the southeast United States. Using slime molds is a really cool alternative way to look at navigation systems. [...]

Meet the Worker Bees: Q & A with Shelby Anderson

Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

Name: Shelby Anderson Shelby Anderson at microscope

Degree: International Relations and French

Year in school: Post-Baccalaureate

Career goal: Physician

How long have you been working in our lab? 7 months

Describe your project/research: I am currently sorting and identifying arthropods that were collected in New York City, from the medians of Broadway to Central Park. We are currently trying [...]

Lessons for Students

Earlier in the week, Rob posted an open letter to the high school students who visited the lab to participate in a research opportunity studying face mites.

He reflected on how his teenage self perceived science, and how far off that perception was from the science he lives and breathes now.  Go read it, if you haven’t already – he shares some important reminders for all of us, even those well beyond our teenage years.

Later on Twitter, Rob asked other scientists what they might say to the teenage version of themselves about a career in science.

Here’s a collection of tweets that came back – We’d love to add [...]

Dear Students

Last week, we hosted an outstanding group of students from the NC School of Science and Mathematics for a two-day research experience in the lab, part of the CAALS 3-D (Creating Awareness of Agriculture and Life Sciences Disciplines, Degree Programs and Discoveries) program at NC State.  We were inspired by their enthusiasm and passion for science, and wish them all the very best.

Dear Students of the North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics,

I can’t remember very well what it was like to be [...]

There is Ecology in My Backyard!

Today we have a very special guest post by Anna Zuiker, a middle school student and daughter of a friend to Your Wild Life, Anton Zuiker. Anton recently shared Anna’s poem — an assignment for her science class — on his blog, and we enjoyed it so much that we are re-posting it here, with their permission, for your enjoyment. Thanks, Anna!

When you finish reading, drop us a note in the comments and tell us something cool about the ecology in your own backyard! And so, without further ado, we present…

There is ecology in my back yard!

There was once a world far, far away
a world [...]