Showing posts from November, 2015

Guest Post: Leveraging Knowledge

I have a guest post up at Socializing Finance, a blog dedicated to topics and issues in the world of Social Studies of Finance.  An excerpt it below.  You can read the rest on their blog here. In a financial report for the US Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, I read about their S&P Credit rating.  Among other things, the rating rests on relatively stable Federal funding.  Following the trail, I turned up credit ratings for other large research groups entire academic institutions.  Brief skims of the credit reports indicates Federal funding as a key variable for credit rating decisions.  For instance, an except from Moody's review of UCAR (closely associated with the National Center for Academic Research):STRENGTH: A substantial portion of UCAR's funding is received through a cooperative agreement from the National Science Foundation. CHALLENGE: UCAR is heavily reliant on federal funding for its research (98% of operating revenues are grants and contracts), with limited …

NC Senate Bill 374: One Fish, Two Fish...

Today's post comes from Shelby White, a graduate student in Coastal and Ocean Policy.  Shelby's research focuses on regulation controversy between North Carolina's recreational and commercial fishing industries.  Her background is in marine science and the life and business of commercial fishing in NC with her family.

Those in careers that revolve around the water are subjected to some of the most contentious issues in North Carolina.  The for-hire industry is currently facing the possibility of a future logbook that would require each individual holding a For-Hire Coastal Recreational Fishing license to report the catch and effort data for each trip taken.  On November 10, members of the for-hire stakeholder advisory group met in New Bern to discuss expectations for future logbooks, as well as the positive and negative implications it could have for the industry.  This meeting was pursuant to Section 2 of Senate Bill 374, which repealed the requirement of a for-hire logboo…

Spurious Hurricane Trends in the Pacific

Modern times are characterized by an immense amount of scientific information.  Journals abound. Many experts maintain a blog. Popular press publish niche magazines for those that just can't get enough from their day job.
This reflects a (sometimes heated) conversation about what to believe about how the world works.  As well, the scientific debate is a process of checks and balances.  Sometimes scientists make mistakes.  Sometimes the best way to analyze data is not clear, obvious, or agreed upon by everyone.  The literature is better understood as a long drawn out discussion.
Often, this is taken a step further from what scientists argue is true to the inherently political realm of why it matters.  Therefore individual scientific publications cannot or perhaps, ought not, be divorced from the broader argument in which they are situated.
Recently, Nature, featured a debate about the predictability of tropical cyclones based on the ENSO index predictor (El NiƱo Southern Oscillat…

The size of "Marine" Science in the USA

Great stories are told through budget data:  (re)prioritizations of social values, the rise of new problems, and the fall of old problems.    
This post began with a question I had last week, "How big are the marine sciences?" 
A colleague at UNCW suggested that perhaps, while atmospheric studies are concentrated at large federal type institutions, marine science is scattered around.

In studying the earth, it is difficult to pull apart geophysical systems.  For instance, the climate is as much a product of the atmosphere as it is the ocean.  The study of fisheries is similar.  Perhaps the ocean- atmosphere is better considered a gradient then two separate entities.

A human attribute is that we like to categorize: food/drink, man/woman, white/black, despite what the best of our scientific knowledge tells us about the difficulties of doing so.

Budgets seem to be exemplar of categorization.  In asking about the size of marine science it is useful to start with public financin…