Archives for October 2012

First-Year Birdwatcher Revives Campus Birding Group

Photo by Emily Tong ’11

Since Ben West ’16 was 8 years old, he’s been birding; he says it’s part of his overall interest in nature. By now the 18-year-old knows 100 bird songs and has accumulated a life list (a birders’ way of keeping track of their bird sightings) of around 520 birds.

When he started at Bowdoin this fall, West quickly discovered he had a shared ornithological passion with his advisor, Biology Professor Nat Wheelwright. When Wheelwright suggested to West that he reach out to other birders on campus and start a birders’ club, West quickly went about setting one up.

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Online Graphic Shows the Beauty of Winds


This wind map, created as “a personal art project,” displays the movement of wind across the United States. With Sandy still swirling across the Eastern Seaboard, the graphic is particularly impressive.



Susan Culliney ’04 Writes Cover Story for ‘Ecological Applications’

Susan Culliney ’04 has published an article in the latest issue of the journal Ecological Applications, which contains ecological research and discussion papers that are relevant to environmental management and policy.

The article, authored by Liba Pejchar, Richard Switzer and Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez along with Culliney, is on the role of the endangered forest bird, the ‘Alalā (Corvus hawaiiensis). The researchers argue that the bird helps establish and maintain native Hawaiian forests by dispersing the seeds of a wide variety of native plants.

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Born in June or July? You’re Less Likely to be Boss (Time)

Although it sounds a bit like astrological superstition, new data shows that babies born in June and July are statistically less likely to grow up to become CEOs, according to a new study analyzed by Time.

The study’s authors found that while 8.16% of U.S. births happen in June and 8.75% of births occur in July, only 6.13% of CEOs were born in June, while just 5.87% of CEOs were born in July.

The thought is that children born before the cutoff date for a class year at school are at a disadvantage because they’re younger than most other children in their group. “As a result of being intellectually or physically less mature, the theory goes, such kids are less likely to excel from the outset, which makes it less likely that they’ll get the particular kind of attention and feedback that tends to flow toward high achievers. Similarly, they’re less likely to be chosen for leadership roles, such as speaking at assemblies or captaining a team,” Time explains.