About Small Pond

This site is about how scientists research, teach and mentor in all kinds of academic institutions, including teaching-centered universities.

I (Terry McGlynn) am the Editor-In-Chief, and Amy Parachnowitsch and Catherine Scott are Contributing Editors. Over the years, Drs. Parachnowitsch and Scott have dropped off to posting once in a long while when the blogging muse strikes them.

Small Pond Science was created in 2013 after I got tenure and wanted to change the academic conversation about scientists doing research in teaching-focused colleges and universities. My evolution as a person and as an academic is reflected in the evolution of this site. At the beginning, I was juggling a non-R1 teaching load with an undergraduate-focused research program based out of Costa Rica. A decade later after a variety of professional adventures, I’m directing a large field station for the CSU system and my research is focused on more local human and biological communities, and more pointedly on the thermal challenges that we face as the Earth gets hotter. It feels weird to be out of the classroom, but I do appreciate being in a position to create opportunities for students on a larger scale.

In addition to a free email subscription, you can get tweets of new posts via @SmallPondSci, and each of us are @hormiga@EvoEcoAmy, and @Cataranea.

Keeping this site running takes resources. We are ad free because I want people to know that I’m not doing this for the money. This is also why I haven’t switched to a newsletter with a paid subscription option. But because this site does come out of my own pocket, if you would like to sponsor Small Pond Science, drop me a line!

If you’re interested in writing a guest post for Small Pond that relates to our purpose, please send me an email or contact me via DM on twitter. While I’m in the habit of rattling off 1000-word blog posts at the drop of a proverbial hat, I understand why most scientists are intimidated by publishing a guest blog post. After all, it will get more widely read than (almost) any scientific paper! But also keep in mind that blog posts with a spontaneous feel are often the ones that connect with people. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll see that I clearly have no copyeditor and don’t invest the time to edit posts to perfection, and I think that’s okay. It’s just a blog. So I do encourage that if you have something to say, and you think the audience here can benefit from it, to drop me a line. Since we don’t have revenue, I can’t pay people for posts (with a few notable exceptions, and those came out of pocket), but if you’re interested in leveraging this platform for yourself, then I want to make that option available insofar as it also meets the needs of the site.

Comment policy: Comments are highly encouraged, and you are also directed to twitter, by tagging @SmallPondSci. It seems that most of the discussion about posts on Small Pond end up on social media rather than on the pages of the site itself. The days of extensive blog commenting seem to be over. But if the comments on a post are open, that means they are welcome. (I will occasionally disable commenting on a post if I know that it will simply provide a platform for harmful takes. I entirely welcome discussion and disagreement, but since I own this blog I’m not going to cede real estate to others who are propagating perspectives that are unequivocally harmful.)

[version 22 July 2022]