I have recently been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by my friend Bloke, the author of A Guy Called Bloke. I started following his blog not too long ago, drawn in by his exceptional poetry. I am not usually much of a poetry fan, but Bloke’s writing is incredible. I highly recommend you visit his blog!
Thanks for the award, Bloke!
The Blogger Recognition Award includes five rules. They are:
- Show your gratitude to the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
- Give a brief story on your blog.
- Share two or more pieces of advice for beginner bloggers.
- Nominate 10 other bloggers.
- Comment on each blog by letting them know they’ve been nominated and provide a link back to your award post.
The Story of The Jaguar and its Allies
I started this blog a little over two years ago. I had recently become enthralled by jaguars, for reasons described here, and wanted to help with their conservation in some way. But my options were limited.
At this point I was not a conservationist. I had no training in wildlife biology, and only a meager income. But I did have internet access and modest writing skills. So I started this blog.
During the first year of The Jaguar and its Allies, I mainly shared big cat-related news and distilled scientific research for the public. My favorite posts involved reviewing the published literature on a certain topic, and then sharing what I had learned in a (hopefully) accessible format. This was a lot of fun for me, but it was also time consuming.
When I started graduate school at Humboldt State University (HSU) in 2016, I had to adapt; I no longer had time to do additional reading on top of my schoolwork. Luckily, graduate school provided new opportunities for me to engage in hands-on learning. My Mattole series was borne out of a field course I took, and I consider it to be my most well-written collection of posts.
I also enrolled in an archaeology field school in Belize through HSU’s anthropology department. This gave me a chance to learn about a science I had long been interested in, and to travel outside of the US and Canada for the first time. Belize is also an important country for jaguar conservation. So I remained in Belize for three weeks after my term at the archaeology school had ended, in order to look for ways to conduct my master’s research there. I am currently recounting the experiences I had in Belize.
My time in Belize altered both my perspective and the course of this blog. I learned more during my six weeks in Belize than I have during 20-odd years of schooling, and have been bitten by the “travel bug.” I may not be able to return to Belize for my master’s thesis, but I am eager to travel more in the future.
I would like to engage in more “science tourism.” I want to learn about wildlife conservation and other disciplines by speaking with experts, and perhaps assisting with field work. I would then like share what I learn with the public.
Unfortunately, right now I need to focus on finishing my degree. But as I evolve, The Jaguar and its Allies will change as well.
Advice for New Bloggers
The most important tasks for new bloggers are to post often and engage with other bloggers. By “often,” I mean at least once a week. Every few days would be better. If you are busy, then re-blog other people’s posts. Reading, liking, and commenting on other people’s blogs will also help you establish a mutually-supportive network of bloggers.
In addition, make sure your Gravatar profile is linked to your blog! It is frustrating to click on someone’s Gravatar picture, only to find that it does not contain a link to their blog.
Congratulations to all nominees! You are in no way obligated to accept this award, it is merely a token of my support.