A Savanna Life in a Technological World

The View from Meadows, Brooks and Groves

Paleoecology is More Important than Agronomy. And Everything Else.

Paleoecology is More Important than Agronomy. And Everything Else.

The other day I heard Darren Naish and John conway, of the excellent Tetrapod Zoology Podcast, stumble over the question of why Paleontology is important. This was apparently a spill over from a whole panel of experts stumbling over this question at the Pop Paleo […]

Wolves

Wolves

An understanding of the paleoecology can shed new light on our current political debate and open up new options for win/win solutions. In other words, my opinions about wolves will make everyone on all sides of the political spectrum angry. Before I do that, I […]

Disturbing. Or is it?

Disturbing. Or is it?

Words are so useful because they point to Truth. But if they don’t point to Truth, they point away from Truth. As such I think it is time that we ecologists have a sit down with the word “disturbance” and ask, ‘what have you done […]

Taxonomy Needs a Complete Reorganization (and other surefire ways of creating viral Facebook content)

Taxonomy Needs a Complete Reorganization (and other surefire ways of creating viral Facebook content)

Both Separate and Connected. But how? I love to beat up on taxonomists because they tend to be constitutionally opposite of me. I see taxonomists as the accountants of the biological sciences, obsessed with making up rules out of thin air and trying to make […]

The Exciting Conclusion to our History of Herbivory Series

The Exciting Conclusion to our History of Herbivory Series

Language is powerful tool for revealing truth. We evolved our ability to harness that. But for that same reason, it is more important for us to look out for ways that language conceals truth. Why do I casually mention this now in a blog about […]

History of Herbivory; Mass Extinction.

History of Herbivory; Mass Extinction.

You call this a mass extinction event? Ha. I’ll show you a mass extinction event. Maybe you by now you would guess that I would say something like that, since I don’t like to agree. But I also want to say that actually the mass […]

The Crushing March of the Flowers (or the History of Herbivory Part V)

The Crushing March of the Flowers (or the History of Herbivory Part V)

There is nothing new under the sun and the world is born fresh at every moment. Holding both of those ideas at once will help you grab the overarching thesis of this very long series, which is eating up a significant percentage of the history […]

History of Herbivory Part IV

History of Herbivory Part IV

First-hand knowledge is so much better than second-hand knowledge. In the world of the internet, we are awash in second and third-hand knowledge. As a culture, we are trying to make up for many thousands of years when new ideas were carried from village to […]

History of Herbivory; Jurassic Sauropods

History of Herbivory; Jurassic Sauropods

Just like meeting your friend’s parents helps you understand that friend, Sauropod dinosaurs can help us understand us to understand our own herbivore-maintained-ecosystems. But before we get into that I must reluctantly do the almanac section, where I tell you what happened here on the […]

History of Herbivory Part II: The Jurassic

History of Herbivory Part II: The Jurassic

Savannas are central to the Bentgrass Blog so you might suspect that this history of herbivory is going to be about savannas. I’m not going to say one way or the other on that count. What I will tell you is that in this next […]


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Heavy Fuel Loads, The Fires in Ventura County, and the Brave New Normal

Heavy Fuel Loads, The Fires in Ventura County, and the Brave New Normal

With the fires in Ventura County, I think we can call it official; our heavy fuel loads have come home to roost. A week ago I could convince myself, while drinking a beer and listening to rain patter on the roof, that the fires that […]

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Friends and Family, The three of us Chisholm-Harts are spending our Thanksgiving eve thinking about what we are grateful for. Obviously all of you are top of mind.  We are settling into our temporary digs in Petaluma, Abel is busy practicing his walking and Hanna […]

We Lost Our Stuff in the Fire. What Did We Gain?

We Lost Our Stuff in the Fire. What Did We Gain?

On Monday the 9th, in the first round of wildfires in Sonoma County, the tiny handmade house that my wife and I have lived in for the last six years burnt to the ground. We were married in the front yard. Our one year old […]