Some Liebster Award Lovin’


While on my mandatory 15 minute break at work I checked my e-mail to find a comment from Brook over at Molecular Love (and other facts of life). Turns out she nominated me, along with four other bloggers for the Liebster Award. Thanks Brook!

Not sure what a Liebster Award is? Neither am I. A quick search on Google suggests that it hasn’t been around longer than a couple months and that it’s not an actual award. It’s actually a way for other bloggers with less than 200 followers to spread some love to those with less than 200 followers, as well. It seems the one stipulation is that, if you’re nominated, you link to the blog that nominated you and also nominate four other bloggers with less than 200 followers.

I know, it sounds like a chain letter of the blogging world. And it is. However, no one’s asking you to forward messages from a cancer ridden child or donate 5 bucks in some sort of Pyramid Scheme. It’s just a way for small bloggers to support one another. With that being said I’m going to present my list of four blogs that I love. I am going to change the rules a bit though. You do not need to repost and continue the Liebster award if you don’t want to.

So, here’s my list of Liebster Award nominees:

1) The Contemplative Mammoth– Fellow geoblogger Jacquelyn Gill is the mastermind behind this blog. She writes about climate change and ecology during the Quartenary Period, along with emphasizing the importance of science literacy and communication.

2) Uncovered Earth– Another geoblogger, Michael Klaas, has some great posts about the geology of the PNW, Portland and his weekly science photo round up. He hasn’t been blogging lately, but I figure it’s because he’s a much better student than me and is actually studying rather than blogging.

3) The Heretics Heaven– My good friend, Ben Crockett runs this atheism/skepticism blog. He’s also one of the co-presidents of the Portland State Freethinkers group. His latest post about the street preachers at PSU is one of my favorites!

I know that’s only three bloggers and not four, but I couldn’t quite think of a fourth blog.

Blogging as an undergrad

“Goals of getting undergrads to write blog posts? Improve their science comm or improve their understanding of science? Or both?#scio11

-from @colo_kea on the Twittersphere

As an undergrad that attempts to blog about science topics, I would like to say that the goal of science blogging should be both to improve the communication and understanding of science. However, I’d like to add an addendum to the above tweet. Instead of getting undergrads to just write blog posts, they should also be involved in Twitter. Blogging when combined with Twitter is far more effective at these goals than it would be on its own.

Through Twitter, I’ve made some fantastic connections with other geologists and professionals in their chosen fields. It’s a lot like having open access to the faculty lounge where I can drop in when I want to and ask questions or share thoughts. When combined with my blog, I have an outlet where I can formalize my thoughts and questions in a less restrictive format and receive critiques to help bolster my understanding of science. Without Twitter, my blog wouldn’t have the same benefit for me that it currently produces.

As I write about science topics I’m forced to learn the material and verify the validity of what I’m writing. It’s basically like writing a research paper and the geotweeps are there to offer corrections and answer my questions. In this way, I strengthen my understanding of scientific principles and I have the chance to communicate those findings with guidance from professionals. This ensures that I’m not espousing quackery and psuedoscience as real science.

From my perspective as an undergrad, the goals of blogging are clear and the benefits tangible. For me, the real question is how do we get more undergrads involved in the blogging process?