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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Online Publications

Here are some new publications that I became aware of from people who maintain a variety of blogs that I monitor.

And one that came from an e-mail that I received:

Announcing the release of the International Journal of Internet Research
Ethics

Call for Papers for the Premier Issue of IJIRE

Description and Scope:
The IJIRE is the first peer-reviewed online journal, dedicated specifically to cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural research on Internet Research Ethics. All disciplinary perspectives, from those in the arts and humanities, to the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences, are reflected in the journal.

With the emergence of Internet use as a research locale and tool throughout the 1990s, researchers from disparate disciplines, ranging from the social sciences to humanities to the sciences, have found a new fertile ground for research opportunities that differ greatly from their traditional biomedical counterparts. As such, "populations," locales, and spaces that had no corresponding physical environment became a focal point, or site of research activity. Human subjects protections questions then began to arise, across disciplines and over time: What about privacy? How is informed consent obtained? What about research on minors? What are "harms" in an online environment? Is this really human subjects work? More broadly, are the ethical obligations of researchers conducting research online somehow different from other forms of research ethics practices?

As Internet Research Ethics has developed as its own field and discipline, additional questions have emerged: How do diverse methodological approaches result in distinctive ethical conflicts – and, possibly, distinctive ethical resolutions? How do diverse cultural and legal traditions shape what are perceived as ethical conflicts and permissible resolutions? How do researchers collaborating across diverse ethical and legal domains recognize and resolve ethical issues in ways that recognize and incorporate often markedly different ethical understandings?

Finally, as "the Internet" continues to transform and diffuse, new research ethics questions arise – e.g., in the areas of blogging, social network spaces, etc. Such questions are at the heart of IRE scholarship, and such general areas as anonymity, privacy, ownership, authorial ethics, legal issues, research ethics principles (justice, beneficence, respect for persons), and consent are
appropriate areas for consideration.

The IJIRE will publish articles of both theoretical and practical nature to scholars from all disciplines who are pursuing—or reviewing—IRE work. Case studies of online research, theoretical analyses, and practitioner-oriented scholarship that promote understanding of IRE at ethics and institutional review boards, for instance, are encouraged. Methodological differences are embraced.

Publication Schedule:
The IJIRE is published twice annually, March 1, and October 15. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis, and are subject to Editorial and Peer Review.

Subscription:
Free

Editors- in- Chief:
Elizabeth A. Buchanan, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Information Policy Research
School of Information Studies
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
elizabeth.buchanan@gmail.com

Charles M. Ess, Ph.D.
Distinguished Research Professor
Drury University
cmess@drury.edu

Editorial Board:
Andrea Baker, Ohio University, USA
Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M University, USA
Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University, USA
Jeremy Hunsinger, Virginia Tech, USA
Mark Johns, Luther College, USA
Leslie M. Tkach-Kawasaki, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Tomas Lipinski, JD, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
Ulf-Dietrich Reips, Universität Zürich, Switzerland
Susannah Stern, University of San Diego, USA
Malin Sveningsson, Ph.D., Karlstad University, Sweden

Style Guidelines:
Manuscripts should be submitted to ijire@sois.uwm.edu; articles should be double-spaced, and in the range of 5000-15,000 words, though announcements of IRE scholarship, case studies, and book reviews of any length can be submitted for review. Please ensure that your manuscript is received in good format (proper English language usage, grammatical structure, spelling, punctuation, and compliance with APA reference style). The IJIRE follows the American Psychological Association's 5th edition. Articles should include an abstract no longer than 100 words, full names and contact information of all authors, and an author's biography of 100 words or less.

Copyright:
In the spirit of open access, IJIRE authors maintain copyright controlof their work. Any subsequent publications related to the IJIRE workmust reference the IJIRE and the original publication date and url.Web site: http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/SOIS/cipr/ijire.html

As I find others, I'll post them here...

Tags: open source, online journals, e-journals, academy, blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Graduate Student Conference Here at UGA

Dear All,

The 7th Annual GGSIC conference will be on March 23rd and 24th in the Student Learning Center.

Highlights on Friday are a session about managing your credit scores by the Georgia Federal Credit Union and a session on EndNote from the UGA Library in the SLC from 2 to 4:30.

Friday night there is a social at the Max Canada in downtown Athens, food will be provided while it lasts.

Saturday sessions begin at 9:30 and last until 4:00 p.m. We have 64 exciting presentations that will take place in the SLC that day.

I hope to see you all there, attached is a more detailed program for the event.

Lindsey

Lindsey Scott
President, Graduate Student AssociationUniversity of Georgia
http://www.uga.edu/gsagsa@uga.edu
706-583-8928

GGSIC Schedule of Events
Friday, March 23rd, 2007
Professional Development Workshops
The Georgia Federal Credit Union presents
Credit Scores:
Understanding that tricky three-digit number
By Jason Halperin
2:00-2:50 Student Learning Center Room 268
The UGA Library presents
Research in the 21st Century:
Library Resources to help complete your thesis and dissertation
3:00 – 4:30 Student Learning Center Room 369
GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION SOCIAL
For all conference presenters and students
The Max Canada
243 W. Washington Street
Downtown Athens
Happy hour begins at 6:00 P.M.
Food provided by the Georgia Federal Credit Union
Schedule of Events
Saturday, March 24, 2007
9:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Student Learning Center 1st Floor
Welcome and Registration
GGSIC Presenter Check in
Free refreshments for all
Presentation I
9:30 to 9:55 a.m.
SLC 275
Arlo Lyle, Baseball Prediction Using Ensemble Learning, Department of Artificial Intelligence
SLC 274
Amber L. Brewer, Divorced Parents’ Cry For Help: How Do I Help My Child Cope? Department of Childhood and Family Development
SLC 269
Christina L. Davis, Southern Black Education and the Limits of True Womanhood: The Case of Carrie Marie Blood, Department of History
SLC 268
David L. Lipscomb, Electrical Property Testing of Carbon Nanotubes, Department of Chemistry
SLC 267
Federica Goldoni, The Multiliteracy, Functional, and Genre-Based Approaches to Language Learning: The Highway to Developing Advanced Language Skills, Department of Romance Languages
SLC 253
Ingrid Johnson, Elements of Form in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Department of English
Tax Assistance
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
SLC 251
Provided by Georgia Federal Credit Union volunteers
Presentation II
10:00 to 10:25 a.m.
SLC 275
Daniel B. Shank, Ensemble Artificial Neural Networks for Dew Point Temperature Prediction, Department of Artificial Intelligence
SLC 274
Jennifer Near, Father-Son Relationship Quality and its Association with Gender Role Stress, Adult Relationship Satisfaction, and Parental Behaviors, Department of Child and Family Development
SLC 269
Thomas Chase Hagood, The Confluence of Order: Property, Rhetoric, and Ideology in Early National Alabama, Department of History
SLC 268
Lei Cheng, Quantitative Isobaric Labeling for Comparative Glycomics, Department of Chemistry
SLC 267
Scott L. Roberts, Did Georgia (eventually) like Ike? Perceptions of 20th and 21st century Presidents in Georgia history textbooks: 1951-2005, Department of Social Studies Education
SLC 253
Jill M. Parrott, A Matter of Fidelity: People and Place in Wendell Berry's That Distant Land, Department of English
SLC 248
Caitlin J. Mitchel, Land of the Free: Human Rights Violations at Immigration Detention Facilities in America, School of Law
Presentation III
10:30 to 10:55
SLC 275
Tony Snodgrass, Computerized Propositional Idea Density Rater v2.0, Department of Artificial Intelligence
SLC 274
Abby Hardgrove, Risk and Resilience in Children Affected by War and Conflict, Department of Child and Family Development
SLC 269
Jill Allison Miller, The Influence of Victor Hugo on Surrealism, Department of Art History
SLC 268
Qinghui Zhang, Carbon Nanotube Networks as Chemical Sensor, Department of Chemistry
SLC 267
Mark Evans, "I need a green axe": Video Gaming in Social Studies, Department of Social Studies Education
SLC 253
Julie Minchew, Liminal Identity: H.D. and Boundaries, English Literature
SLC 248
Shelly R. Hovick, Dialogic Perspectives on Physician-Patient Interaction, Department of Speech Communication
Presentation IV
11:00 to 11:25
SLC 275
S. V. Fogelson and W. D. Potter, A New GP-evolved Formulation for the Relative Permittivity of Water and Steam, Department of Artificial Intelligence
SLC 274
Desiree M. Seponski, Priorities: How do desired qualities in mates, the cognitions about our mates, and beliefs about the marital contract change over time, Department of Child and Family Development
SLC 269
Lesley-Anne Reed, Transitional Generations: African-American Workers, Industrialization, and Education in the Northern Louisiana Lumber and Paper Industry, 1930-1950, Department of History
SLC 268
Julianne Cook Botelho, Biospecific Isolation and Label Free Comparison of Complex N-linked Glycoproteins in Serum of Patients with Malignant and Benign Ovarian Tumors, Department of Chemistry
SLC 267
Hilary Ruston, Talk Time: It Should Be Elementary! Department of Educational Psychology
SLC 253
Lesley Graybeal, The Divided Self in Frankenstein, Department of English
SLC 248
Melissa Galin, Framing the Agenda: Framing Research as Third-Level Agenda Setting Theory, Department of Telecommunications
Keynote Presentation
Globalism Panel
SLC 275
11: 30 to 12:15 p.m.
Luncheon for GGSIC Presenters
12:15 to 1:00 p.m.
4th Floor Rotunda, SLC
All GGSIC presenters are invited to a complimentary lunch. Afternoon presentations will begin promptly at 1:15
Tax Assistance
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
SLC 251
Provided by Georgia Federal Credit Union volunteers
Presentation V
1:15 to 1:35
SLC 275
Georgeta Stoian Connor, The Rural Dimension of Romania’s Integration into the European Union: The Impact of the EU Enlargement on Romanian Agriculture and Rural Areas, Department of Geography
SLC 274
H. Marissa Stone, The Effects of Infant Social and Emotional Development Seminars on Parent’s Knowledge Acquisition and Self-Efficacy
SLC 269
Rebecca Brantley, Caravaggio and Cindy Sherman: A Theatrical Dialogue, Department of Art History
SLC 268
Neil R. Meredith, The Keystone Conundrum: A Look at Pennsylvania County Unemployment Rates, Department of Economics
SLC 267
Donna Drake-Clark, Diversity Happens With Effort, Discrimination Happens Without Effort: How Black Women Human Resource Managers Navigate the Hegemony of a Predominantly White Corporation, Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy Department
SLC 253
Lisa Ulevich, Epic Renegade: Laureateship, Humor, and Inconstancy in Byron’s Don Juan, Cantos I and II, Department of English
SLC 248
Alejandro J. Gomez-del-Moral, Disease, Disillusion, Desertion: The Cuban Negro Militia in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1821, Department of History
Presentation VI
1:40 to 2:00
SLC 275
Matthew Miller, Modeling the Effects of Post-Glacial Elevation Limits on the Range of Sugar Maple, Department of Geography
SLC 274
Ji-Hyun Kim, International Students’ Perspectives on Multicultural Counseling in the United States, Department of Child and Family Development
SLC 269
Jenny M. Beene, A Blind Spot in the History of Art: The Unexplored Link between John Ruskin and Clement Greenberg, Lamar Dodd School of Art
SLC 268
Patrick Crouch, The Relationship Between Client Importance and Auditor Independence: A Closer Look Into Local Markets, J.M. Tull School of Accounting
SLC 267
Isaiah O'Rear, ASPIRE: Aid to Students Promoting and Incentivizing Responsibility and Efficiency, Department of Political Science
SLC 253
Julia Tigner, Toni Cade Bambara’s Raymond’s Run: Subverting the Bildungsroman as a Black Woman Author, Department of English
SLC 248
Lydia Aletraris, Non-standard Work Arrangements and Job Satisfaction: The case of temporary agency workers in Australia, Department of Sociology
Presentation VII
2:05 to 2:25
SLC 275
Glenn Tillman, The Effects of Hops Extracts on the Gut Microfloral Profile of Broilers at Day 22, Department of Environmental Health Science
SLC 274
Lindsay Marshall, Childhood Obesity: An Empirical Review, Department of Child and Family Development
SLC 269
Geoff Carr, Framing Dissent: The School of Americas Protest, Department of Journalism
SLC 268
Sailaja Arungundram, Modular Synthesis of Heparin and Heparan Sulfate Fragments Using Orthogonally Protected Disaccharide Building Blocks, Department of Chemistry
SLC 267
Arietha Lockhart, Enhancing Music learning in grades K-12 via the Teacher Web Page. Department of Music Education
SLC 253
Stephanie Allen,“Women Divided, Women United:”Female Characters in Nineteenth Century Italian Opera, Hugh Hodgson School of Music
Presentation VIII
2:30 to 2:55
SLC 275
J. B. Haider, Physiological Response of Glyphosate-Resistant Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), Department of Crop & Soil Sciences
SLC 274
Rana Bose, Golden Years for Everyone? Intra-household Negotiation, Life-cycle Fertility and Retirement Savings, Department of Economics
SLC 269
Zuzheng Luo, Complete Glycopeptide Characterization of Biological Complex through LC-MS, Department of Chemistry
SLC 268
Kristine Skarbo, Bewildering Biodiversity: three views into the regulation of plant genetic resources in Peru, Department of Anthropology
SLC 267
Denise L. Levy, The Intersection of Homosexuality and Christianity: A Literature Review, School of Social Work
SLC 253
Tracy K. Woodard, The Musical Abstract of Vice, Hugh Hodgson School of Music
Presentation IX
3:00 to 3:25
SLC 275
Muhammet Sakiroglu, Genetic Mapping of Bioenergy Traits in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
SLC 274
Lisa Zak-Hunter, The effects mothers with eating disorders have on their children’s psychological development: A focus on socialization, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy
SLC 269
J. Bryan Cole, To What Extent does the Presence of the Electoral College Cause Campaigns to Visit “Battleground” States More Than Other States? Department of Political Science
SLC 268
Julia C. Barnes, El sí de las niñas and Changing Representations of Feminity in Spanish Literature of the Enlightenment, Department of Romance Languages
SLC 267
Luke Johnson, The Connection between Aesthetics and Morality in Kant’s Third Critique, Department of Philosophy
SLC 253
Cathy Kilroe-Smith, Rethinking the Kudu Horns, Hugh Hodgsen School of Music
Presentation X
3:30 to 3:55
SLC 275
Mayeli Peralta Contreras, Determination of trans fats content in vegetable oils with FT-IR and Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes, Department of Food Science and Technology
SLC 274
Kelly Stidham, Parental Factors’ Influence on Prepubertal Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: a Nature-Nurture Approach, Department of Child and Family Development
SLC 269
Katie Rush, Talking Politics: The Role of Political Discussion in Democracy, Department of Speech Communication
SLC 268
Erica Haas, Performance and Production Issues of Thea Dorn’s Marleni For An English-Speaking Audience, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages
SLC 267
Matthew Long, Islamic Studies: Qur’an, Department of Religion
SLC 253
Stephanie Allen, Celebrating the Erotic: Björk and the Expression of Sexual Pleasure, Hugh Hodgson School of Music

Tags: conferences, academy, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New issue of the CITE Journal

Dear CUFA members,

We would like to announce a new issue of the CITE Journal http://www.citejournal.org/vol7/iss1/ is available.

This issue features “Using the ‘Documenting the American South’ Digital Library in the Social Studies: A Case Study of the Experiences of Teachers in the Field” by Meghan McGlinn -http://www.citejournal.org/vol7/iss1/socialstudies/article1.cfm

Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE) Journal is a double blind peer reviewed electronic publication of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)http://site.aace.org/ with an acceptance rate of 27%. The Social Studies Education section within the CITE Journal has an acceptance rate of 11% and is sponsored by National Council for the Social Studies the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA).

The purpose of CITE Journal is to provide a forum for reporting on research relating to social studies content, teacher education, and technology. Although research reports and theoretical articles relating to social studies technologies in teacher education represent the main focus of CITE Journal, we are also interested in publishing research on social studies topics that make use of technology in the presentation of the article. These articles do not necessarily have to relate to either the use of technology in teacher education or technology in social studies content. Instead, they would make creative use of technology inpresenting the article on the journal website.

Because the journal provides a unique opportunity for dialogue, weencourage commentary on existing articles. These commentaries will be refereed and are presented along side the original in later editions.

View Author Guidelines & Submit a new paper to the publications system.

http://site.aace.org/newpubs/index.cfm?fuseaction=Info.CITEEntrance

Please direct inquires to the editors:

John K. Lee, Ph.D.
john_lee at ncsu.edu
Co-Editor, CITE Journal Social Studies
North Carolina State University

David Hicks, Ph.D.
hicks at vt.edu
Co-Editor, CITE Journal Social Studies
Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Tags: journals, calls for proposals, academy, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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Monday, March 19, 2007

A Gaming Post for March

Okay, here are some gaming and other virtual environment posts for the past three weeks or so.

You'll note that a lot of these come from a new blog that I came across because the owner posted a comment to one of my previous gaming posts. Their blog is Research Quest and is exclusively or almost exclusively about gaming.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

OJDLA Spring 2007 Edition Available Online

We are pleased to announce:

The Spring 2007 edition of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration is available at:

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla

Titles include:
  • E-mentoring in Three Voices
  • Upgrading or Replacing Your Learning Management System: Implications for Student Support
  • Leadership Influence on Corporate Change Involving Distance Training
  • Open Access Learning Environments
  • Establishing a Mentoring Plan for Improving Retention in Online Graduate Degree Programs
  • Institutional Factors Affecting Students' Intentions to Withdraw From Distance Learning Programs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the Case of the Arab Open University (AOU)
  • Master Online Teacher Competencies

Best Regards,
Stacey Rowland
OJDLA Managing Editor
University of West Georgia
678-839-0632
srowland@westga.edu


Tags: journals, calls for proposals, academy, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Opportunity for Publication

A message from Ben Varner (ben.varner@unco.edu) to the Instructional Technology Forum (ITFORUM@listserv.uga.edu).

Colleagues,

Article submissions are needed for _Academic Exchange Quarterly_ for the following special feature:

WINTER 2007 - ONLINE
http://rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/5onlin.htm

If you have a manuscript of approximately 3,000 words on this topic, please send it to the following:

http://rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/rufen1.htm

(For quickest submission, click on "Try Six Simple Submission Steps.")

Ben Varner
--
Feature Editor
Academic Exchange Quarterly
http://rapidintellect.com/AEQweb/edpbva.htm

Tags: journals, calls for proposals, academy, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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Friday, March 16, 2007

More On The Seal Hunt

Okay, as a follow-up to my post Let The Truth Be Heard... Okay, so I came across this blog entry last night entitled Clubbed a baby seal lately? - and with a title like that you can only image the content. The entry was largely based upon a message sent out to members of a PETA listserve, and I felt the need to comment on this entry and stated:

Glad to see that you have bought the misinformation and lies of the animal rights groups hook, line and sinker.

First, baby seals (i.e., whitecoats and bluebacks) aren't hunted - haven't been since 1987 (but why let facts ruin a good photo op and what can be a lucrative fundraising campaign). Second, the vast majority of seals that are harvested aren' clubbed (approximately only 10% are in fact). Third, clubbing is just as humane a way of killing an animal as the steel bolt through the head that they use to kill cattle, but I don't see PETA protesting outside of ranches. Fourth, the vast majority of teh seal is actually used - the coat for fur, the blubber for oil, the meat is eaten, the bones are used by a growing number of native artists, etc.. Finally, the seal hunt brings in approximately $55 million dollars into the rural Newfoundland economy, a region which can see seasonal unemployment reach levels of greater than 25%.

But why let the facts get in the way of of a great crusade!


When I woke up this morning, the author of this blog had written me an e-mail, to which I responded figuring that I was wasting my time getting into a pissing match with an extreme animal activitist that simply wouldn't listen to me. Boy, was I wrong!

In her original e-mail to me she spoke of clubbing baby seals in front of their mothers and such, so I felt the need to reply to her with the following:

They don't club seals in front of their mothers and they don't club seals that are packed (cause those are female seals that are still weaning their young). Law prohibits either of these groups of seals from being included in the harvest. I should also note that approximately 90% of the seals are killed by riffle, not by clubbing

I will admit that prior to 1983 (when the Europeans banned the importation of Canadian seal products), there were some less than humane things happening. The Canadian Government closed the hunt and in 1987 re-opened it with very strict procedures. It fact, it is the most regulated harvest of wild or domestic animals in Canada.

My biggest problem is that organizations like PETA and the US Humane Society purposeful use misinformation about the hunt to ellicit the sympathy of people like yourself (and in many cases the money of others). For example, if you go to the US Humane Society's website and look at their protect seals area. At the top of the page you'll see a picture of a cute little whitecoat (illegal to hunt since 1987) and an image from a 1964 film of a seal being skinned alive from the IFAW (it was later discovered that the IFAW had paid the sealer in the movie to commit these acts of cruelty so they could be caught on tape).

Now because of these lies, they have a well meaning person like yourself out in California who has never seen a seal in their lives believing that these cruel and inhuman people go out and club baby seals to death as they lie in front of their mothers or skin the fur off of the seals while they are still alive just to watch them suffer because that individual is only interested in the fur. I can honestly say that nothing could be further from the truth.

The vast majority of sealers are from Newfoundland and Labrador, a province that typically enjoys an annual unemployment rate of twice the national average (about 10%-12%), and because the vast majority of their industries are resources based and seasonal in nature there are times when that average reaches 16%-18% (and as high as 25%-30% in rural areas). The seal hunt comes at a time when there is little employment in this seasonal cycle in rural Newfoundland and brings in approximately $55 million to these portions of the province.

As for the seals, there are approximately six million of them - three times the number that there were twenty years ago (I should note that there are only 506,000 people living in Newfoundland and Labrador, even though it is geographically as large as California). The annual hunt is usually in the 300,000 to 350,000 seal range. Given their growth over the past twenty year, the seal herd grows at a rate of about 200,000 each year. Scientist have acknowledged that the herd is at dangerously high levels, and is beginning to affect the health of other species of fish that seals rely upon or that rely upon the same food sources as seals - some have even called for massive one time cullings of upwards of a million seals. The Canadian Government has taken the more measured appoach of setting a quota that is 100,000 more seals that what are beng more, trying to manage this balance in a slow and delicate manner.

In any regard, I don't blame you for the position that you have taken, you have been successfully duped by a well oiled public relations and fundraising machine. I only hope that with additional and more accurate information that you'll see that the seal hunt is a responsible management of a resource that is carried out in as humane as way possible (particularly compared to how we treat other wild animals and especially compared to how we treat animals raised simply for the purposes of consumption).


The response that I got from this response was surprising, but extremely refreshing. This California journalist expressed concern that she had been duped by this particular lobby groupon this particular issue and encouraged me to post this kind of information on my site.

To Gina Smith, thanks for renewing my faith that in the notion that if people are ony exposed to the real facts that they will be much more reasonable in their approach. I say this because I don't simply dismiss people that are against the seal hunt because they are against the seal hunt. For example, these two guys - An Environmentalist's Case for the Seal Hunt and Seal hunting and why I'm a "vegetarian". Now while I disagree with their positions against the seal hunt, they both oppose it on personal, philosophical and informed rationales - and while I can disagree with them I have to respect their opinions because their opinions aren't based upon misinformation and lies.

Anyway, thanks Gina for starting my Friday out on the right foot.

Tags: seals, seal hunt, Newfoundland, Canada

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Let The Truth Be Heard

Not really about the academy or my journey to get to the academy, and I should really be coding my dissertation data instead of writing this, but it is something that needs to be said.

Okay, today was a day of national protest against the seal hunt and as a proud Canadian and even prouder Newfoundlander I feel I must speak up. About a year ago I first wrote about this topic on my personal blog, Rock Ruminations (which I have since stopped updating), and that entry can be viewed here - To Those Misinformed Seal Hunt Crusaders.

I feel I must speak because while Canada is not the only nation in the world that hunts seals, as do countries like Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greenland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, but Canada seems to be the favourite target of the hypocritical Human Society of the United States (who if you visit their "protect seals" website you'll see a picture, front and center, of a white coat - a type of seal that has been illegal to harvest since 1987 but still brings in the big bucks from an unsuspecting and ignorant audience). I also feel I must speak because much of this hunt in Canada is carried out off the coast of Newfoundland and is a vital part of the economy for rural portions of my province - places that have been hit with hard economic times, massive out-migration, and that experience seasonal unemployment rates of up to 25% or higher.

What I find so unbelievable about this issue is the massive amount of misinformation that is out there and how gullible and ignorant some people can be. I understand that the cute little white coat and the claim that it is being clubbed to death is a great way to get an ignorant Martin Sheen to speak in a commercial supporting the anti-sealing campaign. But for people in British Columbia to get a bunch of innocence children, who don't know any better, to dress them up in black clothing and have them carry little coffins through the downtown and lay them in front of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans office, telling the children that they are trying to save all of the baby seals from being clubbed to death. This is simply despicable and these people should be ashamed (the website promoting this event even goes as far to say "It will draw a lot of media attention if we can get the children ") - I know that I am ashamed to call them fellow Canadians.

So, with all of theselies that are out there - particularly in the United States - about the seal hunt, let's provide you with some facts (and reading my entry, To Those Misinformed Seal Hunt Crusaders, from last year is a good place to start).

  1. 90% of seals taken from the Front (the location where most of the hunt occurs) of the hunt are killed by riffle, not by clubbing (this site provides a good description of the tools used for harvesting seals).
  2. It has been illegal to hunt seal pups in Canada since 1987.
  3. Seals are not an endangered species (in fact that are well above that mark and over 85% of the current populationof harp and hooded seals would have to be killed in order to make it an endangered species).
  4. Seal are not killed simply for their fur - in fact, most of the seal is utilized for something or other, from the oil to the meat to the bones.

Finally, as a way to illustrate the lies and misinformation provided by those who would like to see the Canadian seal hunt end, let me quote the following:

Do sealers sometimes skin seals without killing them first?

In 1964, film of a seal being skinned alive was used by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to vilify Canadian sealers, and was screened on CBC television. Following a public outcry and investigation, a man in the film confessed in court that he had been paid to commit acts of cruelty. (See Saving society from animal "snuff" films, by Teresa Platt and Simon Ward, Fur Commission USA.)

IFAW founder Brian Davies also later stated under oath that he had never actually seen a seal being skinned alive. Yet IFAW's propaganda continues to claim that this happens.

More absurd than the allegation itself is that some people continue to find it believable. According to the animal rights mythology, skinning an animal while it's alive saves time or bullets or both. Common sense, on the other hand, should tell us that skinning an animal that is dead is infinitely preferable to skinning one that struggles and bites. And since a skinning knife is at hand anyway, in the unlikely event that an animal is still alive, the animal can still be killed with ease.

In reality, the inspiration for the IFAW-created myth was probably observation of a "swimming reflex". The following explanation is from Animal welfare and the harp seal hunt in Atlantic Canada; PDF or HTML; by Pierre-Yves Daoust et. al, Can Vet J Vol. 43, September 2002:

"When killed by acute trauma to the brain, seals, like other animals, often undergo a period of tremors or convulsions. These consist of strong lateral movements of the caudal portion of the body ... which have been interpreted by some animal welfare advocates as implying persistence of conscious life.

The frequent occurrence of strong swimming actions in seals killed by trauma
complicates the determination of their death from a distance, for example by videotape. These reflex movements may last considerably longer in seals than in terrestrial animals because of the unique adaptation of their musculature to diving, including a much larger store of oxygen associated with the higher concentration of myoglobin. Moreover, the pattern of this reflex activity can be erratic and does not necessarily decrease gradually in intensity from the time of death. For example, sheep and cattle stunned by nonpenetrative percussion collapsed with signs of tremors, followed by slow hind leg movements that increased in frequency and could develop into vigorous hind leg kicking. Complete immobility immediately following a blow to the head should actually alert the sealer to the possibility that the animal is still conscious, especially if this immobility is accompanied by contraction of the body. This fear-induced 'paralysis' is a typical behavior of harp seals and hooded seals; other authors have commented on the possibility that such immobile seals might be interpreted as dead by inexperienced sealers and, therefore, might still be conscious when skinning begins."

Saving society from animal "snuff" films By Teresa Platt and Simon Ward, Fur Commission USA

From the unfamiliar world of medical experimentation done for both animal and human benefit to the routine slaughter of cattle for steak, the images are often not what they appear to be. Animal "snuff" films, which chronicle the death throes of animals, are big business today with most of the large animal-based protection groups maintaining a library. More ...

Taken from http://www.sealsandsealing.net/FAQ.html

To end, if you want the facts about , I suggest you visit the Canadian Sealers Association.

Tags: seals, seal hunt, Newfoundland, Canada

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Monday, March 12, 2007

More On AECT And Graduate Students

Well, as a follow-up to the message I posted about two or three weeks ago about AECT no longer allowing graduate students to be full reviewers for conference proposals (see Graduate Students Snubbed by AECT).

As a follow-up, to that original post a recent graduate forwarded me a copy of this from the AECT Newsletter which he had received via e-mail (not sure why all members didn't get this newsletter, but that's another story):
Dear AECT Member,

It is my pleasure to report that the elections for AECT national officers are completed. pproximately one-fifth of the AECT membership voted in the election this year. This number is consistent with recent AECT elections.

The two candidates for President of AECT were Dr. Mary Herring of Northern Iowa and Dr. Nick Eastmond of Utah State. Mary received the greater number of votes.

The two candidates for Board of Directors at Large were Dr. Angela Benson of the University of Alabama and Dr. Kay Persichitte of the University of Wyoming. More people voted for Kay.

We appreciate the willingness of all four outstanding candidates to serve as leaders in AECT and congratulate the winners. When one runs for national office, one does not run against the other candidate. Rather, one runs for the good of AECT. We feel confident that both Nick and Angela will continue to lead in AECT and we look forward to seeing their names on the ballot again in
future.

Ward Cates, President
=======================================
Convention Proposal
Reviews in Progress

By now all divisions are in the process of reviewing their collection of proposals for the 2007 Anaheim convention. At the close of the Call for Proposals more than 700 proposals had been submitted.

While division planners do meet monthly in a conference call, the leadership of each division are free to set up their own review process. The common factor among all divisions is that decisions are based on a “peer” review process. Recently our definition of “peer” has been in question: whether graduate students qualify as “peer” reviewers. On the one hand, we might ask whether students have the background and depth of experience to evaluate proposals, but on the other, there is valid reason to include students because reviewing can contribute to their professional growth.

Division planners have responded individually for their divisions to the concern about graduate student reviewers. In most cases, they have established a review process that ensures that any one proposal will be reviewed by a combination of professionals and graduate students. Some division planners have encouraged a mentoring process for graduate student reviewers.

There are currently 639 graduate student members of AECT – about 30% of the total membership. Many of them hold division offices and volunteer their help at convention and in other activities. They represent the future of the organization. I applaud the division leaders for creating a process that allows them to participate in the review process as we prepare for AECT 2007 in Anaheim.

Pat Miller,
President-elect

Okay, I'm still wondering what this process is exactly - at least with my own division (which is Distance Learning). I'm a four year Ph.D. candidate. I'm submitting my dissertation in less than a month. I'm starting a job as an Assistant Professor in less than six months. I've reviewed for AECT for two years now and have been reviewing for six others conferences for up to four years now. The process tha my division leader has created is that I can get one of my own faculty members to review proposals and I can shadow review their proposals.

This is not to be applauded but to my frowned upon. This is simply a way of making a third of AECT's membership second class members. What would happen next year if all graduate students decided not to attend the annual convention? AECT would incur a massive debt from the event, in addition the convention itself would be one of the worst on record because the graduate students that assist in the tech support, that man the registration desk, that collect the feedback forms, and generally serve as gophers at the convention wouldn't be there to keep things runnng smoothly on behalf of thefirst class members!

What would happen next year if all of the graduate students decided not to renew their membership? Well, I give AECT less than five years of life simply because they aren't able to attract new faculty members and people outside of the academy. The biggest problem now is that a third of the membership are two to three year members (i.e., while they are graduate students and that's it). AECT is a way to network to get a job for some many graduate students and unless you can find meaningful ways to involve them in the organization once they have that job there is no need for them to maintain their membership. Making them second class members is not the way to engage them in meaningful ways.

The reality of this situation is that if AECT really believes that graduate students are the future of the organization, the organization needs to do more than simply pay lip service to graduate students and stop the discrimination that it has within what some members are able to contribute and other members can't. Seems kind of hypocritical that AECT has no problems with grduate students serving on the executive and even running various divisions, but graduate students can't be trusted to review a 1500 word proposal!

Please note, The Opinions Expressed...

Tags: AECT 2007, AECT, blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Blogging About the Academy

Okay, time to clean out my Bloglines account again - this time of the posts that deal with life in the academy that I kept around for some reason or another...

Well, that's all of the ones that I have at the moment. I'm sure I'll post more of these in the future.

Tags: academy, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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