Showing posts from April, 2024

An open letter to the community cats of Fremont, California

  April 25, 2024 To The Felines It May Concern: I understand that the City of Fremont has a “community cat” program, managed by the Tri-City Animal Shelter and Fremont Animal Services, and that there is some concern about the management of these feral cats. Article from the Municipal Journal in Fremont.  First, an introduction. I obtained a PhD in Biological Ecology from the University of California, Davis, in 1986, and am an Emeritus Associate Professor at Utah State University (USU), where I have held positions since 1991. Before USU, I was a Natural Resources Specialist in the Department of Forestry and Resource Management at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on oak woodland regeneration and wildlife issues in north coastal California, including Alameda County.  From 1991-2002, I was a faculty member in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at USU, and in 2002, I moved to the newly created Department of Environment and Society because of my interest in the human

How rude... correcting a museum!

  It goes without saying that natural history museums are full of experts in their fields, and that one person's area of expertise is another person's area of total ignorance. I pick up my grandson from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science  (DMNS) on a regular basis, and we spend many hours roaming the halls. Over time, I've noticed some errors, inconsistencies, and puzzling displays. I recognize that, unlike something on a screen that can be altered with a few keystrokes, displays are complicated things to change. But, step one has to be noting that they actually should be changed. I'm going to go out on a limb and propose some changes. These suggestions sometimes will be in my area of expertise, and sometimes will not. I'm going to start with one that is absolutely not within my expertise, but caught my attention because of my experience. It starts off with... a plesiosaur skeleton. Signage for this plesiosaur, Thalassomedon haningtoni , discovered in 1939 in