Episode 9: The dumpster fire that is a thesis (okay maybe it’s not that bad).

Today we come to you with stories of writing a thesis. We are in the thick of it right now folks, and we wanted to share our experiences as they are happening.

As we speak my advisor is looking over my first draft of my thesis. Right now it’s bothering me that it’s not absolutely perfect. Are any of you perfectionists when it comes to writing? I know that it is impossible to write something that is considered perfect, especially in the eyes of the author, but it really will bother me right up until the day I hand it in.

Other than perfection, we also talk about taking care of yourself while writing and choosing a place where you will be most productive. For me, that is usually sitting on my couch in my sweatpants typing away for hours at a time. I usually maintain my stress levels by taking cooking breaks and making sure I drink enough water. Cari mentions that she takes cartoon breaks to minimize her stress. What are some ways that you have kept your stress levels down as much as possible during the thesis writing process?

Finally, we talk a little about the writing process as a whole. I’m a marathon writer. I sit down and do large sections all at once. For example, last Saturday I wrote the results and discussion of my thesis in one sitting. I get into a groove and just write for a long time. Other people probably think this sounds like death and write in more manageable moments.

So, if you’ve written a thesis we would love to hear your process and any suggestions you have to make it as manageable as possible! Also, this week we have a fantastic opportunity for you all to express your love for sharks! Our dear co-host, Cari, loves sharks more than we could ever describe to you. Recently she has become a brand ambassador for Respect The Fin, a group passionate about shark research, conservation, and education. In fact, 20% of your purchase goes back to that cause! But now, you can also get 10% off your order using Cari’s code (cariritz10), so there’s never been a more perfect time to expand your shark wardrobe! Best yet, this is a group run by a college student, which we think it super cool and can’t support her enough! So, check it out!


Welcome to a sneak peak of our first sponsor and our new favorite cup! Hydro Flask recently sent us an amazing gift: two of their new tumblers!


We can’t say enough about these amazing tumblers! They’ve been incredible and easily the nicest we’ve ever owned!

I had an iced tea in my 32 oz tumbler (Pacific) and the ice remained cubed from 9 am until 1 pm! It could probably chill for even longer. I didn’t leave it sitting just to find out, it literally just took me that long to finish drinking that much liquid.


On the flip side, in her 22 oz tumbler (Cobalt), Caitlin made hot tea! It kept hot for about the same amount of time. In fact, for a while after she made the tea it stayed too hot for her to even drink!


So, what makes these tumblers the most amazing things we’ve ever drank out of?

First of all, they’ve got a narrow design to fit in almost any cup holders! Which is crazy nice because I typically run into this problem where my giant drinks don’t fit into my cup holders. But I drink a lot of liquids so I need the big cups!

The tumbler itself is double walled, stainless steel! For added temperature control, the press-in lid has a honeycomb design!

And best yet, it’s BPA free!

The press-in lid isn’t spill proof, but it still what travel lid really is? I haven’t had any issues with spilling other then when I’ve over filled the cup.

Hydro Flask makes more than tumblers too! They also make water bottles, food containers, coffee cups, and growlers! All of their products are available in multiple colors and their newest water you can pick all your colors!

Long story short, we love our Hydro Flask’s and we want to encourage you to try them too! We promise you’ll love them as much as we have!


Episode 8: weird and Wild Science Stories

We gave you all want you asked for this week! We decided to talk about weird things scientists do…which turned more into weird/wild things we have done in the field. Also, this week Caitlin’s boyfriend Nick was on the podcast. He has some great but also scary stories from the field.

Please let us know what you think of the episode, and if you want to leave a comment or a rating on iTunes we would be so grateful for the feedback! Also remember that you can always email us at bugsandstuffpodcast@gmail.com. We’d love to hear about any of your fun/scary/exciting science stories!

We also wanted to let you all know that we are switching over to Blubrry to host our podcast. You can check out our latest post over there right now or on iTunes. We will slowly be moving over our other episodes over to that platform within the next couple of weeks but we will keep you updated! Sorry, everything has been a hot mess lately, but we think we have finally figured everything out.

Thank you for your patience!

Hi everyone! In our previous podcast we talked a little bit about getting into outreach either as a scientist wanting to share your research or as a non-scientist wanting to learn about research. Recently we heard from one of our lovely viewer who gave us a great list of outreach opportunities that I’m sure anyone can get involved with. I thought I would post them here for you but remember there are so many other ways to get involved within your community.

1. One of the first resources is through Natures Notebook. Through this organization you simply report observations that you see in the world around you. This can range from timing of plant growth to bird behavior. This can help us track changes in the environment.


2. The Great Sunflower Project helps you learn to count and protect pollinators. It’s a citizen science project that has great resources to help you learn to ID bees and other pollinators that may be making  a home in your yard. According to the organization, over a third of honeybee colonies collapsed during the winter of 2012-2013. By joining this group, you can help further understand how bees are affected by pesticides. This organization will also help you create a more pollinator friendly landscape if you are looking to maintain a garden that attracts these beneficial insects. From your garden you can also spend time counting bees and other pollinators to help increase what is known about these important creatures.

3. If you like exploring nature and want to learn to identify the different organisms within your environment iNaturalist might be something to think about downloading. It’s an app that allows you to connect with other naturalists so that you can figure out what happening in the world around you. This app also allows you to run a bioblitz which are events that allow people to go out and record as many species as they can in a certain amount of time. I think would be a great way to get the whole family out into the environment looking for different organisms!

4. eBird is a great place to go if you are interested in birding. If you already enjoy nature or you simply like looking out into your backyard for birds you should check out this site. They have a bunch of different apps. I will say that you do have to pay for most of them but there is a free version if you want to try your hand at IDing first. It may be worth it if you don’t want to carry a bird guide around and you never know. Maybe you will become an avid birder and make a life list.

5. The Great Backyard Bird Count is another birding website for all you bird enthusiasts! I’m a little late to the game on this one because the latests bird count just happened in February, but if you want to get involved next year you should! Every February worldwide, people join the great backyard bird count which lasts four days. You create a free online account and make your checklists of the birds you saw in your backyard that day. This gives us a snapshot into what the world population of birds is doing on those days of he year.

6. These next few outreach opportunities may mean a little more digging on your part but it will definitely be worth it. The first I’m going to mention are watersheds. Many watersheds appreciate volunteers coming in and helping them with research. I know that many rely on the public to count and identify stream invertebrates. These invertebrates can help us understand the conditions of the water. Some watersheds will also hire volunteers for a season to collect water samples which can be a great opportunity if you are a high school or college student thinking about a future in science. If you are in northern Michigan you should check out the Tip of the Mitt watershed council! They need volunteers for lake and stream monitoring. It’s a great way to get a little experience or simply get outside and see the beauty of our wetlands and waterways.

7. If you have younger kids, one outlet might be to look at the museums or universities in your area. Talk with the professors on the campus or see if there are any programs currently being run by scientists. Cari and I just volunteered at an event called Kids Tech here at Bowling Green State University. The event runs every weekend for a few weeks in February. It’s a great way to get children out an about when the weather might not be the greatest. We hosted a table where children drew up bug hotels. It was a great time and I think we learned just as much from the kids as they did from us!

8. Finally, if you are a scientist wanting to spread information about your research think about ways that you could get involved with outreach. This semester Cari and I are taking a science communication class where we have to develop a project, figure out our audience, and evaluate the process. We have decided to create a video for our viewers but maybe your goal is to create a table for a local Earth day event or perhaps you want to create a blog. Maybe you are great at drawing and want to make a children’s book or paintings! Get out their and try some outreach! You could find out, like us, that you love it!

Those are all of my tips for now. If I hear of anything else I will be sure to make another post! But we want you guys to get involved too! Do you have some cool way of reaching out to the world about science? What are some of your favorite ways that you have gotten involved! Please let us know in the comments! We would love to hear from you!

Update – Episode availability!

Currently we’re having issues with the availability of our 1st, 2ed, and bonus episodes of Bugs&Stuff. Turns out there is only so much room on Soundcloud to host our episodes, so after uploading our latest episode yesterday soundcloud hid our first three. These three are also missing from iTunes and our blog currently. We’re attempting to fix this, but it may take a little time. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s fixed.

We’re sorry about this mess, but we hope you still enjoy our newer episodes that are currently still available on all streaming platforms. Thank you!

Episode 7: Outreach

Here is our newest episode! This is going to be a short post because I got way to excited about our Girl Power event last week! If you want to read more about what we did at the girl power event, check out this post! Other than that, this podcast focuses on outreach and how you can get involved.

We strongly suggest that you get involved in outreach if you are a scientist, and if you are a student definitely seek out different resources to find an outreach event close to you. For both groups, it may be helpful to contact local universities and museums to find out more about events in your area. I’m sure you can find plenty of events that you can get involved with if you just do a little digging! Additionally, if you need a little help feel free to send us an email and we can try to give you ideas about people to contact!
Also, I want to say that we are slowly moving our blog over to WordPress! We will still be posting here for the time being to allow people the chance to move over. Check out that blog here!

Also one other thing, our Soundcloud subscription only allows us to have 3 hours of active uploads at a time. If you want to listen to some of our older clips you can check them out here or you can visit us on iTunes! Just search Bugs & Stuff and it will take you to our podcast page. If you have any trouble please feel free to send us an email. We want you all to have the best experience possible!

And as always we love you, we’ll see you, and goodbye!

Episode 5 – Self Care

Hold on to your pants because this is a long one! As promised we came back to self care on our topic list, and we made it even more special by including our labmates, Audrey and Eric! This is a topic we think about a lot and care about, so please take a listen. If you have any advice or want to discuss something we left out of this podcast you can find us on twitter @bugsandstuffpod, on our blog bugsandstuffpodcast.tumblr.com, or through email bugsandstuffpodcast@gmail.com.