Reflections on My Career, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
1y ago
I never thought of a career as a professor. Not until college did I even have any personal experiences with professors. However, after a 43-year career at Virginia Tech, I have learned much and share a few of my favorite memories and lessons. Rather than repeat the misguided “publish or perish,” I rather advise to "publish and flourish" in academia. Done right, a career in academia provides fulfillment in our lives through accomplishing meaningful and worthwhile work, and connecting with others at a deeper level. My favorite short poem, Instructions for Life, by Mary Oliver (Red Bird 2008), is ..read more
Visit website
A Message to Students: Is Your Future in Fish, Fisheries, or Conservation? by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
2y ago
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” – Joseph Campbell I have five simple messages for those still seeking a career path. First, start developing and nurturing your network of friends and associates and learn what you can from them. Second, everyone’s path in life is unique so seek your own way in college and beyond. Third, you belong and you can succeed. Fourth, diverse career opportunities exist in the fisheries profession. Finally, your future options ..read more
Visit website
On the Reality of Wild Salmon Recovery: Accepting Limits to Growth, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
3y ago
The role of a fisheries scientist in advancing policy and science of recovery of Pacific Salmon is a valiant, perhaps quixotic struggle. While most believe salmon are important indicators of environmental health and believe it is important to restore wild salmon runs for future generations, surprisingly little progress is evident.  The historic expansion of human activity in the Pacific Northwest has driven a loss of phenotypic and genetic diversity in Pacific salmon. Almost 50 years since publication of  “The Limits to Growth” (Meadows et al. 1972), we are still shouting “there a ..read more
Visit website
Fluvial Fishes Lab Year in Review, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
3y ago
Being alive in 2020 meant so many new experiences. The year 2020 was very likely the only year you will live through wherein the first two digits will match the second two digits.   But that is NOT what we will remember about 2020.  In my 2019 year in review I wrote about the nearly completed renovations of the lab.  See video and photo. That did not go as planned. By the time the lab was certified ready to occupy, I was sent home for teleworking as a nonessential employee.  I did manage to raffle off the Mexican Cowboy painting from the lab. But all supplies and equip ..read more
Visit website
Thoughts on Virtual Worlds of Teaching, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
3y ago
The coronavirus pandemic caused us fear and panic and made us reconsider how to do everything. Until we discover and deliver a vaccine, we will continue to work in new ways.  While we debate various approaches to re-open colleges, we need to acknowledge how pandemic teaching forced a long-overdue conversation that will affect us in the post-pandemic world.  Shelter-in-place orders in March 2020 meant students were sent home. All my lab and lectures were forced online without face-to-face learning experiences.   The post-pandemic world will include more and more o ..read more
Visit website
Liberty and Justice for Black Lives, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
3y ago
Two weeks of protests, prompted by the killing of George Floyd by police officers, dominate the news cycle. We’ve seen this before. I fully support protesters and demand liberty, justice, and an end to police brutality. Black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police officers. I am angry. Click to see police killing rates by states. Where black people are most disproportionately killed by police. Source. Where you live matters! The color of your skin matters! The color of skin matters if you complain about police misbehavio ..read more
Visit website
Writing During The COVID-19 Pandemic, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
3y ago
Stay healthy and learn something during the pandemic! That’s been my credo since COVID-19 sent me home March 7th. I created a nearly impossible writing schedule, and then realized I budgeted no time for reading, research, responding to survey requests, writing letters of reference, many rounds of editing, interruptions, zoom meetings, and finding my copy of that article or book I know possesses the wisdom I lack. In this post I follow the advice of Yoda “Pass on what you have learned.” It's been 10 weeks of stay-at-home, so I must have learned something that may help at lea ..read more
Visit website
Pandemic Online Ichthyology Teaching, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
3y ago
Teaching Ichthyology online was never imaginable nor desirable. Lab periods in Ichthyology were typically a chance for students to get hands-on training in anatomy, dissections, and identification of many fish orders, families, genera, and species.  Field trips provide access to live unknown specimens in their natural habitats.  Without these options, Ichthyology instruction had to adapt to a virtual world. Two teaching strategies persisted in the pivot to online teaching— the concept of mere belonging and the student notebook.  When students engage in synchronous behavior ..read more
Visit website
Recommendations for Pandemic Stay-at-home Reading, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
3y ago
During my stay-at-home time, many things have changed, but reading at home is still a welcome escape. There is only so much binge-watching of Grey’s Anatomy and Bosch that I can take.  I have a stack of books to read when I’m not in a zoom meeting, writing papers, teaching online, reviewing student work, and shopping online. Here I share some books that might be of interest to you. I realize the precarious nature of small, independent booksellers as I often rely on Amazon to deliver books. In 2011 Amazon was estimated to have sold around 22.6% of the books in the U.S. and today is likel ..read more
Visit website
How To Teach Online — Right Away, by Don Orth
Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class
by Donald Orth
3y ago
Early in March it appeared that the coronavirus would soon close down the campus and our classrooms. We were advised to consider how we might continue the educational experience for students if campus is closed. Rather than simply announcing to class to “read the book, the exam will be held on finals week,” I enrolled in an online class on “Everything you need to know to teach online.”  Why bother.  I was ready because I had written about this before (Orth 2018).   Maybe now students would return from their extended spring breaks and abandon the “cram, pass, and forget” st ..read more
Visit website

Follow Virginia Tech Ichthyology Class on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR