Temporary ecology/organismal biology position at UMM

We’re hiring! If you have skill in teaching, and want to hone those skills at a school with a reputation for excellence in teaching, apply!

Full-Time One-Year Position in Biology
University of Minnesota, Morris

The University of Minnesota, Morris seeks an individual committed to excellence in undergraduate education, to fill a full-time, one-year, possibly renewable, position in biology beginning August 17, 2015. Responsibilities include: teaching undergraduate biology courses including a 2000-level survey of organismal biology for majors (with labs), an introductory-level survey of biology for environmental studies/science students (with labs, including field trips to local habitats), and an upper-level organismal or ecological elective in the candidate’s area of expertise; contributing to other courses that support the biology curriculum; and sharing in the governance and advancement of the biology program as well as the campus at large.

Candidates must be at least A.B.D. in ecology, organismal biology, environmental biology, or a closely related field by August 17, 2015. Experience teaching undergraduate biology is required. (Graduate TA experience is acceptable).

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) is a residential public liberal arts college serving about 1900 undergraduate students. As one of five campuses of the University of Minnesota, the Morris campus is located 160 miles west of Minneapolis in the rural community of Morris, MN. UMM is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Top 10 Best Public Liberal Arts College. The student body is talented, diverse and engaged. The UMM student body is one of the most ethnically diverse in the University of Minnesota system with 20% students of color (13% are American Indian students) and a growing international student population.

The college values diversity in its students, faculty, and staff. The college is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our community through their teaching, research, and /or service because we believe that diversity enriches the classroom and research experience at the University

Applications must include a letter of application, resume, graduate and undergraduate transcripts, a teaching statement with evidence of teaching effectiveness, and three letters of reference. Applications may be sent to Ann Kolden, Administrative Assistant, at koldenal@morris.umn.edu, (320) 589-6301, or they may be sent to:

Biology Search Committee Chair
Division of Science and Mathematics
University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, MN 56267-2128

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Screening begins February 16, 2015. Inquiries can be made to Professor Heather Waye, Search Committee Chair, at (320) 589-6304 (wayex001@morris.umn.edu).

The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To request disability accommodation or material in alternative formats contact: UMM Human Resources, (320)-589-6024, Room309, Behmler Hall, Morris, MN 56267.

Spiderman at the intersection of physics and biology

We’ve all noticed that, in the Spiderman movies, the hero ejaculates tremendous amounts of protein constantly to make those spider threads he’s swinging on and splattering all over the bad guys. Part of that is plausible; spider silk is amazingly strong stuff, and if you could produce it, sure, thin strands would support your weight. The problem is the volume. Mark Lorch calculates how much protein Spiderman would have to consume to make the thread for one scene in the movie.

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That joke didn’t quite work out as intended

Yesterday, I posted a link to our “FtB Customer Service Department”. This was intended as a joke — we don’t have such a thing — to mock the idea that we do have such a thing. We don’t. Unfortunately, it backfired on me: some of you saw it was in fun and sent in very complimentary messages about FtB as a whole (thank you very much), and some people sent in serious technical concerns which I’ll have to forward to the appropriate parties (note that we already have a link for that sort of thing, Technical Support), and a few people sent in wacky demands and apparently didn’t understand that we don’t have a central authority.

Here’s the full story on authorities at FtB.

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What exactly do you want, Jonathan Chait?

Chait is complaining about “political correctness”. Fine, complain away; there are even lines I would draw that partly coincide with the lines he draws. He begins with an anecdote about angry students who littered a conservative columnist’s hallway with defaced copies of a ‘satirical’ column, and threw eggs at his door.

Don’t throw eggs at people’s doors, OK?

There are things you shouldn’t do, like damaging property or sending death threats or harassing people to interfere with their lives in destructive ways. Sometimes people on the left do cross those lines; I’m happy to join Chait in deploring those acts.

But don’t call it “P.C.” That’s a term that raises my hackles straight from the onset: it’s the disparaging phrase used solely against liberals, judging them not by their actions but their purpose. Vandalism and harassment are not ideologically-specific tools, used only by the left; let’s deplore the tactics no matter who employs them, but as soon as you attach the P.C. label, I know right away that you are trying to target liberals only.

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Nerd rage stopped being cute long ago

It’s been announced that there will be a new Ghostbusters movie, and that it will feature 4 women as the ghostbusters. This sounds like an interesting idea — I’m tired of unoriginal remakes, so this clearly is going to be a different story — but some people are furious about those danged feminists ruining everything.


Did these people even notice in the originals that Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston were all men? Did they complain then?