NTS-Wide Trail Guides Project

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dbhguru
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NTS-Wide Trail Guides Project

Post by dbhguru » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:53 am

NTS,

Any thoughts about the following suggestion made in my prior posting?

I very much hope we can turn this and other trail guides into an NTS-wide project where we all participate. There would be nothing like it anywhere on the Internet. Nobody deals with the trees the way we do, and if we add information from other disciplines, then we can make a series of tree-based trail guides like no others.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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edfrank
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NTS-Wide Trail Guides Project

Post by edfrank » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:50 am

Bob,

You wrote:
NTS, Any thoughts about the following suggestion made in my prior posting?

I very much hope we can turn this and other trail guides into an NTS-wide project where we all participate. There would be nothing like it anywhere on the Internet. Nobody deals with the trees the way we do, and if we add information from other disciplines, then we can make a series of tree-based trail guides like no others.
I have been trying to figure out how to respond. Overall the concept is a good idea, but perhaps more specific details need to be worked out about the proposed guides. Maybe a guide could be written for a specific trail in each of the major old growth/big tree sites so that people interested in trees would have a selection from different areas to explore as was suggested by Chris.

The one thing that keeps sticking in my mind is the idea of credit for the work. You have written books on old growth and articles on various subsets of the more general topic trees that have been published under your name. I think that many people who are doing a large amount of work on a specific site, location, or a species has somewhere in their heads an idea of publishing something about that site or project under their own name. It is not an expectation that they will become a NY Times best seller or become rich, but that they hope to receive some more specific acknowledgement for the work they have done rather than just being part of a larger project. Some of the members of the group are scientists that hope to use data collected used in their own publications or being given the opportunity to be coauthors and coworkers on projects related to the work they are doing in the field.

One of the driving forces of small science is the knowledge that you have contributed to an advancement in some field of scientific research. If it is part of a group effort that is fine, but if you can receive some tangible credit for the contribution you have made, so much the better. I don't see this so much as a matter of ego, as it is feeling that these individual contributions are not being ignored or dismissed.

In this example of a trail at Mohawk Trail State Forest. I would not have any problem with the trail guide being listed as being written by Robert Leverett, with an a general acknowledgement of other NTS members somewhere in the document. After all you did all the writing. Maybe NTS could be mentioned in the title of the document, in an acknowledgement section, or the document listed as a special publication series of the NTS or ENTS. If this was done in the same way for all of the trail guides, then the main person or persons writing the main bulk of the article would get "credit" and the NTS connection tying the articles together would also be present.

For example, I would not mind contributing materials to a general article without my name in lights if it were just some descriptions of miscellaneous sites, general geology stuff, or commentary on what someone else had written. I would not mind contributing specific or miscellaneous tree data to a legitimate research project. If the contribution were larger and included what I considered to be the core subject of my explorations or research, then I would have more proprietary feelings about it and would more likely want to see my name on the material. I don't want to sound like an egomaniac in what I am writing here, but feel this is a consideration that not only would apply to me, but to others also whether they are willing to admit it or not.

Ed Frank

.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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