Re: NANFA-- reply from non-list member

Bruce Stallsmith (
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 21:33:53 -0500

Liz is absolutely on the money, which is a sad fact. I have a graduate
student who works for me as a laboratory teaching assistant in our freshman
biology labs. She came to us with a B.S. in plant ecology from U.Cal. San
Francisco, a good school, but was totally unable to use a microscope (quite
literally!). Her plant ID skills were poor... What the hey? This was all the
result of NO FIELDWORK. And this is certainly the trend of late.

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>I forwarded some posts to a non-list member. She asked me to send her
>comments to the list.
>Chuck Church
>Indianapolis, Indiana USA
> >> Which isn't to say that Gene doesn't know anything about
>ichthyology..... merely that it's not his principal pursuit.>>
>Yes, when I went to grad school in ecology I was floored to discover that a
>good number of my fellow grad students were not naturalists. How did they
>*get* there if they weren't into nature?? I wondered. My advisor
>distinguished between people interested in critters and people interested
>in processes (he is the first kind). The first kind of person wants to
>know about fish ecology, population dynamics, evolution, behavior, etc.
>because s/he wants to understand fish better. The second kind of person
>thinks a fish is a useful example of some abstract process, like the
>evolution of sexual selection or physiological adaptation to saline
>environments. The worst type of people - *YAWN* - are those who are just
>interested in what genes do. You can't even SEE a gene, for
>petessake. It was beyond fathoming!
>(who wishes you could somehow get a PhD in "the natural history of the
>macroorganisms of the eastern US")

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,