My attempt to move from Southern California and create a happy and sustainable urban homestead in North Dakota, with some musings on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Saturday, February 9, 2013

Avian Amazonian Ecto and Endo Parasite Research

What?  You heard me.  Avian Amazonian Ecto and Endo Parasitie Research.  Essentially, researching the different kinds of external (ecto) and internal (endo) parasites in Amazonian birds.  Why the heck would I be mentioning this?  Do I have avian parasites myself?   Well no, though I wouldn't blame you for making such an assumptions, but even if I did this probably wouldn't be the forum for such a revelation.

Alycia was accepted in a grant writing workshop at the University, it's essentially a writers workshop for 6 professors with 6 mentors.  But instead of sharing their respective fiction writing with a group of fellow writers, each person is sharing their scientific grant proposal with a group of fellow scientists.  The purpose of the group is to improve their grant writing skills and for the next several weeks each group member will read a grant proposal from another Professor in another field.

So this morning when Alycia asked me "Guess what I'm reading?", I was a little taken aback when she said "an Avian Amazonian Ecto and Endo Parasite Research Proposal".  A biology professor who specializes in avian parasites had written a grant that the group was reviewing.  It made for an interesting discussion and apparently interesting reading too.  For this particular proposed study they intended to capture most specimens in a mist net, and the secondary method of specimen collection?  Let's just say that shotguns were involved.  Yes science and shotguns can go together.
"Excuse Mr. McCaw, I apologize for the nature of my inquiry, but uhhh, do you have worms?  Ticks?  Other parasites?  Please just answer the question, I am armed."
Unbeknownst to many, Big Bird and Hilary Clinton were part of a Blue Ribbon Commission back in the 1990's to study avian parasites, but the Republican majority House buried the bill in committee.  Scientific research in the field has never quite recovered.  The photo credits (which are actually in the National Archive) didn't disclose who the third person is in the photo, but if I'm not mistaken it is the Speaker of the House at the time Mr. Newt Gingrich.

4 comments:

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

What a funny post mixed with some serious work. Newt never looked so good. And Hillary looks dapper herself. I have a pet parrot, want another test subject. Cockatoos can be mighty annoying. Maybe it's the parasites that make him a pain?

John said...

John--If you can make such an entertaining post about "Avian Parasites," the sky's the limit (pun obviously intended).

THANKS for the return visit, for subscribing, and for leaving a "like." I hope I can bring you a smile (or at least a groan) every weekday! --John

Jennifer said...

It is not something most people would think about, but it makes sense that even science proposals have to capture a readers interest. Very funny post!

Rosemary said...

Congratulation to Alycia! We never know where our studies are going to take us :)