Connections Matter: The Utility of Social Networks

Think back to your high school days, and the social interactions that come to play in the high school arena (scary and traumatic, I know, but just humor me here). Who did you find yourself making friends with? Were there clubs or sports teams that structured your friend groups? On a group level, were there…

Enrichment is in the Eye of the Beholder

What is Enrichment? Animals have evolved and adapted to live in complex environments with a wide variety of engaging stimuli: diverse plants, other animals, sounds, smells, problem-solving scenarios, and dynamic space, just to name a few. The natural history of animals has resulted in the development of species-specific repertoires of highly motivated behaviors, which are…

Sunday Sketch: Long Distance Penguins

Does your long distance relationship have you pining for your partner? Well, at least you aren’t a southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome). These marine birds mate for life, but don’t spend much time together other than during the mating season, which is only 20-30 days long. Talk about difficult travel logistics: GPS trackers show that penguins…

Grief: It’s Not Just a Human Thing

Grief is a familiar emotion to many people who have experienced loss. However, behaviors associated with grief are not exclusive to our fellow Homo sapiens. In fact, numerous other animal species have been observed to grieve a loss through an assortment of behavioral responses. Emotions like grief are able to connect animals both socially and…

So, you want to go to grad school?

Are you interested in any form of animal behavior, conservation, ecology, and /or evolution? Do you think you want to apply to graduate school, but aren’t sure where to start?  The Ethogram has curated a list of resources, many specific to our field, full of advice on all steps of the process. Note: this is…

Colusa County Wildlife Refuge: Northern California’s Hidden Gem

Because I grew up in a small town in Northern California, nature and wildlife have always been a huge part of my day-to-day life. It has been my experience that people in rural areas learn to respect their roots and live in harmony with the Earth, taking care of the land that takes care of…

Beyond the Scientific Bubble: The Inequity Dilemma in Field Research

As animal behaviorists, we often conduct fieldwork in very different regions of the world. We might find ourselves carrying out studies in the cold Arctic tundra, lush tropical forests of Madagascar, or even in a parking lot in the California Central Valley. Most biologists will tell you their motivations stem from a need to understand…

Ecotourism: National Parks

This week, we conclude our series on ecotourism. This time, we are featuring opportunities that are a little closer to home. Whether they know it or not, many people in the United States engage in ecotourism in their own backyards. The National Park Service, founded in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, oversees 417 areas in…

Ecotourism: Reading Monkey Faces

When traveling, it’s common to run across non-human primates—such as spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, and rhesus macaques— either in a wild or captive setting. In some tropical tourist destinations, locals will carry these animals, eager to hand them over for a quick picture and a few dollars. In other places, tourists have the opportunity…

Ecotourism: Marine Adventures

One of the most popular places to spend a vacation is by the ocean. People are drawn to the water in search of both relaxation and adventure. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing are all popular water-based sports. But today we’ll discuss two big marine ecotourism activities that are a bit more adventurous and slightly less…