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The Value of Collaboration

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Apr 10, 2017 7:06:00 AM

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Topics: Environmental Science

The Search for the Silent Frog

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Aug 15, 2016 11:20:37 AM

Have you ever been the first to discover something?  Seen something that few if any people have ever seen? Felt that tremendous burst of exhilaration as you realized you were part of something that has never been done before?  Finished first in a big race, or won a championship of some sort?

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Topics: ENC Faculty, Academics, Environmental Science, Biology

The Mysterious World of Snakes: Venom Extraction

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Jan 13, 2016 5:39:28 PM

During our Winter Break, I had the opportunity to travel to Central Florida with my family and some friends.  While the rest were off doing the theme park experience, I decided to go to some places where I could learn more about nature and the species with which we share this planet.  One of the places I went was Reptile World Serpentarium in Saint Cloud. 

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Topics: Education, Environmental Science, Biology

So You Want To Work With Animals...

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Sep 29, 2015 4:13:08 PM

When I ask a biology student about his/her career interests for the first time, I often hear “I don’t know … I just want to work with animals.” Unfortunately, beyond a career in veterinary medicine, most students don’t know what possibilities exist for working with animals. And for some, becoming a practicing veterinarian may be out of reach for a variety of reasons. But that shouldn’t stop you from working with animals. One of my former students, Jen (Kitchen) Shepard, just completed an excellent veterinary technician program and is enjoying her work at South Coast Animal Hospital.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Environmental Science, Biology

Costa Rica Cup 'O Joe

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Sep 15, 2015 6:00:00 PM

I’ve been teaching college long enough to know that coffee is the first thing on the mind of most students in the morning.  As a scientist, I would hypothesize that out of 16 or so students on the first day of my upper division conservation biology course this fall, there will be at least 50% with a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts cup.  And I can say with 95% certainty that at least one person will come to class late in the first two weeks of school because they were “in the line at Starbucks”.    Or they will come to class and immediately ask if they can please go get a coffee and come right back.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Environmental Science, Biology

Exploring Costa Rica (And Encountering A Terciopelo) - Part 2

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Jun 11, 2015 2:00:00 PM

“Can you hear the dink frog in the vegetation over here?” I said to my colleague Dr. Darrin Grinder of Northwest Nazarene University. I went looking for this tiny frog that made such a loud, chirping call, but had no success. As I gave up, a thought went through my head … “Turn and look before you step”. As I turned, I gasped, for there before me was a large terciopelo (or fer-de-lance), one of the most venomous and dangerous snakes in Central America. She was about 5 feet long, and curled up on the path next to an enormous pile of brush. This was a snake I had longed to see (from a safe distance) since I started going to Costa Rica. I stood there admiring this beautiful animal until she finally decided she could no longer tolerate my presence, and moved off into the brush pile. The encounter was over. Or was it?

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Topics: ENC Faculty, Academics, Environmental Science

Exploring Costa Rica - Part 1

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Jun 9, 2015 2:00:00 PM

The alarm went off at 4 AM, and I scrambled to get together my video gear and eat breakfast. We were leaving at 4:30 AM to drive to the top of Cerro de la Muerte, the 4th highest peak in Costa Rica at 11,322 feet, to catch the sunrise. From there my colleagues, Dr. John Cossel and Dr. Leslie Hay of Northwest Nazarene University, and their 19 students would hike down to the Quetzal Education Research Center (QERC) through the cloud forest. We caught just a glimpse of the sunrise before the clouds moved into the valley below us, obscuring the sun’s rays.

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Topics: ENC Faculty, Academics, Environmental Science

Exploring Creation in Costa Rica

Posted by Jonathan Twining on May 12, 2015 2:00:00 PM

In just a few short days, I will be heading to Costa Rica along with our Provost, Dr. Timothy Wooster, and my colleague from Northwest Nazarene University, Dr. John Cossel. We’ll be spending two weeks with Dr. Cossel and his students in the lowland and cloud rainforests, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs of this beautiful Central American country. I have quite a “bucket list” of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals that I really want to see. I hope to be able to share some of them with you when I return.

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Topics: Environmental Science

Salamanders on a Mission!

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Apr 9, 2015 2:00:00 PM

After a bitterly cold and snowy February, there are signs that spring has arrived in New England. The days are getting warmer, and a few flowers are starting to appear, but it is what happens at vernal pools in the spring that gets me so pumped! My first indication that spring is here is the calling of spring peepers and wood frogs as they congregate in vernal pools to do the one thing that God gave them to do … be fruitful and multiply.

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Topics: Academics, Environmental Science

Chasing Giants!

Posted by Jonathan Twining on Jan 23, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Believe it or not, professors like me don’t know everything! It is a challenge for me to keep pace with new and exciting developments in my fields of ecology and environmental science. To learn some new techniques for monitoring salamander populations in streams, I had to get back in touch with my "wild side" this past summer, spending a week camping in the Clearwater National Forest while studying salamanders in Weir Creek.

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Topics: ENC Faculty, Environmental Science