I started this blog for myself, mostly. I wanted to get better at writing, to keep track of some R tricks, talk about Open Science, and learn about others doing the same. It’s this last thing that is turning out to be a bit of a challenge. Not so much for finding other R bloggers or Open Science Bloggers or GIS bloggers or ecology bloggers. They are ubiquitous. It’s the landscape ecology bloggers that seems to be mostly missing.
Just for illustration, I turn, of course, to Google. The first set of terms looks at various sub-disciplines of ecology. The two with the least number of hits are indeed those that would be most closely associated with the field of Landscape Ecology.
|Search Terms||Number of Hits|
|“Spatial Ecology” Blog||79,600|
|“Landscape Ecology” Blog||118,000|
|“Marine Ecology” Blog||133,000|
|“Ecosystem Ecology” Blog||142,000|
|“Evolutionary Ecology” Blog||415,000|
This last set of search terms are just for comparisons sake. I know it is apples and oranges, but hey it makes my point, kind of.
|Search Terms||Number of Hits|
|“Open Science” Blog||327,000|
|“Geographic Information System” Blog||7,300,000|
|R Statistics Blog||159,000,000|
Looking a bit closer at the actual results for both “”Spatial Ecology” Blog” and “”Landscape Ecology” Blog” reveals that many of these listed blogs are out of date (i.e., no posts in the last 3 months), are primarily lab websites, or are landscape ecology class websites. Lastly, there is almost no representation, that I could find, from landscape ecologists active in the International Association of Landscape Ecology or the US Chapter (US-IALE, of which I am an active member). The very few exceptions to this, that I am aware of, I have listed in my blogroll.
Is the field of landscape ecology getting left behind in the Web 2.0 world of science? Probably not yet. At this point, I think it represents an opportunity. I hope this blog will partly fill the gap. But given I am merely on post number 2, it is hard to say. Heck, I don’t know if I can keep up the blogging nor if I have anything interesting enough to say that others might want to read.
Regardless of whether or not I do anything of consequence with Landscape Ecology 2.0, I believe this gap will be filled. It will be filled by all the fantastic landscape ecology students with whom I have interacted with via US-IALE. If any of you are actually reading this, take note. There is a niche to be filled and, in my opinion, engaging in online discussion of science, and specifically landscape ecology, can be a great thing for your career. Start a blog about your research, about your graduate career, about anything related to landscape ecology. Then, get it picked up by an aggregator. The one I found out about recently is EcoBloggers. For more info on that head over to Jabberwocky Ecology for details.
Also read more about the general topic of research blogging in ecology. There are growing number of ecology bloggers who make this case much better than I.
In particular, check out these following posts for some of the more cogent arguments:
And lastly, if I have missed the boat completely and my read on the, uh, blogging landscape (sorry) is wrong, let me know. Who are the landscpe ecology bloggers you follow? Give me more stuff to read, already!