Thursday, October 06, 2011

Science Bloggers for Students - Supporting public school science programs

I blog for science! This you know. But now through October 22, 2011, I’m throwing my gauntlet down in the biggest philanthropic online Battle Royale in support of public education: The Science Bloggers for Students Challenge. I’m representing the Scientific American Team.

I just created a Science Bloggers for Students Page at, to help support low-income classrooms on And I'm inviting you to help support it! is an online charity connecting individuals, like all you – my most awesome readers and supporters, to classrooms in need. When I was an NSF G-K12 Fellow, I saw firsthand how much public school teachers either go without necessary supplies and equipment or pay out of their pockets or jump through all kinds of hoops to get just a smidgen of what they need to educate our children.

Here are some of my students doing hands-on science - studying birds at feeders. Litzsinger Road Ecology Center in St. Louis, Missouri

The average public school teacher spends $500 - $700 on classroom supplies out of his/her own pocket, but the maximum IRS tax deduction is only $250! This is insane and egregious! is the bomb because teachers can post requests, like microscopes, DNA kits, even field trips to the zoo, and you can help fund them.

And if you don’t think this campaign makes a BIG difference, then I’ll let Janet Stemwedel tell you all of the details. Check out her her post: Introducing DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students 2011 (with a wag of the finger for Stephen Colbert). and video at On Doing Science Right.

My goal – to raise $2,000 dollars for Urban Science Classrooms!

In keeping with my science outreach interests for middle and high school students from urban areas AND my academic interests in experiential education, general biology, environmental science and urban ecology, I have selected programs that fit the bill, including projects from my very own neck of the woods, St. Louis, Missouri.

You can visit my Science Bloggers for Students Page: Urban Science Blog Page to make a donation. Or click on my super grand Donors Choose Banner up above. It will get you to the right place.
Thanks in advance for your support!

demystifying nature, letting everyone experience

This post was originally published on The Urban Scientist on Scientific American Blog Network.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Scientific Americam Special Cities Issues

Go out and get the September 2011 issue of Scientific American.  This special issue is all about Cities! Yes, the urban environment!  It's one big grand issue and the Scientific American website and Blog Network will off additional remarks, insights as responses to articles in the hard copy magazine.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who are biologists and what do they do? Faces of Biology Contest

What does a biologist look like? Who are biologists? Where do they work and what exactly do they do?

For many grade school and middle school children, the image of an older (usually Caucasian) male with wild gray hair comes to mind. He's holding a test tube or flask and wearing a white lab coat and goggles. Other than the wild hair, none of those phrases describe me.

But why do so many people recall that image? I don't know, but  I do know that the Faces of Biology Photo Contest presented by the American Institute of Biological Sciences is an excellent opportunity to expand everyone's preconceptions what a biologist looks like and what he/she does.

The contest is an opportunity to showcase the varied forms that biological research can take.  Photographs entered into the contest must depict a person, such as a scientist, researcher, technician, or student, engaging in biological research.  The depicted research may occur outside, in a lab, with a natural history collection, on a computer, in a classroom, or elsewhere. ~ from the official contest website.
Like this one of me (and my wild hair, hahaha)

Seriously, you should consider a picture of your own to the contest. The grand prize is this
 plus $250 cash.

Learn more about the contest and read the orginal full post at The Urban Scientist at The Scientific American.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: I'm the luckiest nerd in the world

This is exactly how I'm feeling lately. The law of attraction is very real thing. A little more than a year ago I made list of things that I would like to have happen and low and behold if they didn't.

The University of Missouri - St. Louis Newsletter came out today and it included a feature of my recent exploits as a blogger for the Scientific American Blog Network. If you haven't checked out the new science blogging network, then please do so. It is awesome and I'm in the company of many other awesome online science communicators.  And also 'sign up' that way you can leave comments.

And I also got some really, REALLY exciting news: I have a post-doctoral research position with the awesome and amazing Dr. Alex Ophir at Oklahoma State University.  Alex & I go waay back, researching voles and social behavior.  He's started this awesomesauce research endeavor the Giant Pouched African Rats (of Tanzania) and the questions were right down my alley.  I was like, "Hey Alex, you know I'm all about the individual differences, behavioral variation, maze running, field biology, and mammalogy?" So some wands were waved papers by deans and administrators were signed and he gave me the news Monday night when I arrived at the Animal Behavior Society/International Ethological Conference. I'm still flying high.

Details of everything will come. In the meantime, check out the recent posts from the conference at the Scientific American blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dragon Fly

This dragon fly is dead. I found it on the lawn of a friend's house, still in great condition.  Dragon flies are wetland bugs. They live near water where the females lay eggs.  The juvenile stage of dragon flies (and the closely related damsel fly) are called nymphs; and these little alien-looking bugs live in the water until they become mature exoskeleton-having, wing-bearing adults.  You can always tell a dragon fly because of its large size and when it lands it holds its equal-sized double wings out, like the pictures above.  And they come is a variety of pretty colors.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

2011 Black Weblog Awards Live cast tonight!

The 2011 Black Weblog Awards are tonight and LIVE for the first time ever in Los Angelos, California.  It seems to have become the capstone of the weekend of events of the Blogging While Brown Conference, now in its 4th year.  Tonight's award ceremony is hosted by actress Kim Coles. Recognizing the best and brightest African-American bloggers, the Black Weblog Awards will announce winners of the coveted awards in over 30 categories including Best Science/Tech Blog and Best Green Living/Outdoor/Nature Blog - the two categories I, Danielle N Lee, was proud to be a finalist for.

I'm not there, but I will be tuning in this evening - on the web and tweeting, too.
The ceremony is 6:00 - 10:0 pm (PST)
You can join me if you like.  I'll be down at Whiz Tech Cafe at 8:00 pm (CST).  It's the greatest, newest internet cafe in the midwest (and it's female/African-American owned).

So come on down, pull up a chair and order a tasty coffee drink, too.
Location Whiz Tech Technology Cafe
1629 Locust
Downtown Saint Louis, MO

In the meantime, here are some important links and folks to follow for the event.
Black Weblog Awards website and Twitter @BlkWeblogAwards
Blogging While Brown Conference website, Twitter @BWBConference and hashtag to follow - #BWB
Me - on Twitter @DNLee5
Kim Coles on Twitter @KimColes
The Whiz Technology Cafe Twitter @WhizTechCafe
Live cast here:

Video clips at Ustream

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A really BIG Announcement - I've joined the Scientific American Blog Network

You may have noticed how quiet it's been lately. I have been busy trying to work and pay bills.  Doing non-traditional work has been quite an experience for me. Don't get me wrong, I love outreach and I enjoy sharing what I know with others as a consultant, but doing it as my full-time wasn't my strong suit.  And I'll admit I miss academia culture - the teaching, research, and going to journal clubs - and doing hands-on outreach. What can I say, I'm a nerd and I am proud.

So imagine how geekily excited I was when I was asked to join the newest Science Blogging Network on the Globe -- @ScientificAmerican Blog Network. If that sounds a little familiar to you, then you can certainly understand my excitement and pride over joining the network.  It's the name of a rather popular science magazine.

Perhaps you may have noticed one or both of these magazines on the shelves in your local bookstore or public library. I'll be an official blogger for them, meaning I'll continue to write in my usual tone and form for them online.

The blog I have at Scientific American will be called The Urban Scientist - which will feature posts about urban ecology, evolutionary biology and diversity in STEM. Essentially it is a combination of both this blog and my other blog SouthernPlayalisticEvolutionMusic.  I'll continue to write about science for non-scientists and I hope everyone finds some new favorite science blogs to enjoy while you're over there. Dive deep, please.

What that means for this blog

I can't write unique content for three science blogs. And since I will be paid for writing for Scientific American Blog Network, The Urban Scientist will be my blogging priority. The good news is that I am allowed to syndicate my content at my blogs, which I will do for some time initially.  But I will have to make a decision soon.  This blog is my baby, I'm not ready to let it go, at least not just yet.

So please come check out the new blog and the awesome blog network. Please leave a comment at the new blog. It includes some amazing bloggers. I think it's a great neighborhood and I hope everyone enjoys all of the great science reading to be had among my new SciAm blog siblings, including Papa Smurf himself - Bora! Yay!
 Thanks for love, the support (moral and financial), the prayers, the encouragement, and critiques.  You made this modest little blog and me - a student who struggled fiercely with her writing - a better blog/writer and it was with your kind thoughts and wishes that this blog was noticed and asked to be apart of something grand.

Thank you very much. With all of my love.

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