Archive for January, 2012

No such thing as humus?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

My soil nerd friends on Facebook have been linking this nice article from Science News discussing the importance of soils to global carbon among other topics. It has lots of good quotes and explanations by cutting-edge groups. One of the most interesting parts is the suggestion that there is no ...

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R tip: Sorting and keeping track of many response variables

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

When doing the same analyses on many different response variables, it can be hard to keep track of the variables and have R print graphs and other output with the response variables of choice in the desired order. Here's an example of the column names from a multivariate data set ...

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Research Works Act

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Scientists' opposition to the Research Works Act is getting a lot of attention (e.g., here and here). I feel as many scientists do that this bill would make our job of disseminating information harder in order to enrich publishers. That doesn't seem like a good deal. At this point, it is up ...

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Minor data victory

Friday, January 13th, 2012

No groundbreaking discoveries or anything – I was just pleased to see that we got a good match between two runs of the same samples (units are µM amino acids). I've been working on a microplate procedure for measuring total free amino acids in soil extracts with our lab tech ...

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Mountain pine beetles and ecosystem carbon

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Really nice video here featuring a couple of my advisors from CU as well as my good friend Nicole Trahan. Videos like this may not rack up Bieber-level interest on Youtube, but for those that care – including policy makers and students – this seems like a great way to get across ...

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Ongoing debate over effects of N deposition on forest carbon storage

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

There was an interesting note in the most recent Global Change Biology about whether N deposition might fertilize temperate forests and cause them to remove and store carbon from the atmosphere, providing some small relief from ever-climbing atmospheric CO2 levels. Author Peter Högberg writes: It was first widely held that N deposition should ...

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How to find a good cheap laptop

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

I recently bought a new laptop and it's worked out well for me so I wanted to share what I discovered in the search process. I am by no means an expert in the laptop market, but it can be helpful anyway to hear from someone like me who attempted ...