Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Reduce That Ecological Footprint > Education For

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-07-2009, 01:13 PM   #1
WG Staff
 
Staff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Default A Fading Field, Traditional taxonomists are an endangered species.

A Fading Field
Traditional taxonomists are an endangered species. Could their unique brand of knowledge disappear, too?
By Bob Grant

A Fading Field :The Scientist [2009-06-01]
excerpt from above:
Quote:
However, there are fewer and fewer biologists who practice traditional taxonomy, or the collection, description, naming and categorization of organisms through intense study of their physical attributes. In general, the field of taxonomy, or systematics as it is often called, has been leaning towards the molecular end of the spectrum since genetic technology matured in the late 1970s and 1980s, and traditional taxonomic skills have been dwindling as older taxonomic experts retire. Many taxonomists blend traditional methods, such as morphological and behavioral study, with modern molecular techniques, such as DNA sequencing, to fully characterize their pet taxa. But taxonomists like Cognato and Hulcr, who rely on fieldwork and morphological study as core aspects of their taxonomic work, appear to be slowly going extinct.

Most children are born taxonomists. Exploring, discovering, and naming the living things in one's environment, whether it's a backyard or a city block, seem to come naturally. Some of the first scientists, such as Aristotle, focused intense efforts on exploring and cataloging the living world around them, and at the height of global exploration from the 15th to 19th centuries, taxonomists were in great demand, as new lands and species were discovered. Other notable Western taxonomists include Ernst Haeckel, Carolus Linnaeus, and Charles Darwin.
__________________
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
-Mencius
Staff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 10:17 PM   #2
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

Such a shame. Stifling all that childhood enthusiasm by not fully supporting the sciences.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2009, 10:34 PM   #3
Co-Administrator
 
Cirsium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Midwest
Default

Quote:
However, there are fewer and fewer biologists who practice traditional taxonomy, or the collection, description, naming and categorization of organisms through intense study of their physical attributes.
Another loss here is access. This is a methodology that is available to anyone that wants to make the effort to learn it. The cost and lack of field availability of DNA data will make this information inaccessible or of diminished value to many.
Cirsium is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
endangered, fading, field, species, taxonomists, traditional

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2