NOTE: THIS WEBSITE IS BEST VIEWED ON A TABLET OR COMPUTER MONITOR
After decades of travel to nearly 40 countries, we have decided to put some of our experience in nature-focused travel into a form others can benefit from. This website is one form of that realization.
This name of our website, “The Naturalist’s Travel Page” requires some explanation. Just what is a naturalist? One definition of a naturalist is a person who is studies or is otherwise interested in natural history. But just what is natural history? One internet definition of natural history is “ The study and description of living things and natural objects, especially their origins, evolution, and relationships to one another”. Natural history includes many subdisciplines, such as geology, meteorology, botany, zoology. Each of these major divisions can be further subdivided; zoology includes ornithology, herpetology, ichthyology, mammalogy, and other “ologies”.
The About Us section describes our backgrounds and something about where and why we have been traveling. Links to more detailed information about us and more detailed descriptions of where we have been are found in this section.
Our webpage also provides extensively illustrated material related to our travel to some of the locations we have visited. This is a work in progress – perhaps a never-ending task, given the many places we have visited over the past three decades. We are attempting to make these less of personal travelogs (people tire of these) and more like Wikipedia-type of informational material so that they can be used by others.
We have given many presentations over the years, mostly to our Central Oklahoma Cactus and Succulent Society. We are now putting these talks online; they can be freely used by other cactus and succulent societies (or other organizations) in the US and abroad. Talks of a scientific or more technical nature can be found here.
Under the Photography tab you will now find a short course on field photography, intended for biologists, but also of value to any anyone interested in nature who takes photos. Natural history photography has been one of our interests and in the “near” future (always just a few months from now) we may be advertising some of our images. These images will be include supplementary text and will be intended (in large part) for educators and educational use.
There are two tabs, Astronomy and Meteorology, that are related to our interests and to these sectors of the natural history community. They are outgrowths of 1) the 2017 total solar eclipse and 2) Mike’s professional background in meteorology. The meteorology section is aimed more towards biologists, ecologists and the likes, with material focused on improving activities in biogeography and conservation biology.
The short section on outreach summarizes our willingness to give talks on various subjects. To date we have not actively advertised this.
Finally, our blog post page, providing short comments on subjects related to our activities, and mentioning updates to the webpage can be found in Updates.
SMART PHONES, THE INTERNET, AND OUR WEBSITE
We very recently bought our first smartphones in some years and their use has made us aware of some important issues we hadn’t realized. First, this website and others we have been developing are hard to peruse on smartphones – not because of the limited resolution of the phones, but because of the large amount of scrolling required to read the text. For example, to read the “About this site” page one needs to swipe about 9 times to read the text. If the audience is predominantly using smartphones, websites are faced with the need to “dumb-down” the content to reduce the need to swipe endlessly, otherwise the site risks losing the attention of the reader. Thus, in this Internet age of nearly unlimited information available to all, we see a tendency to simplify content to make it accessible to the largest audience possible.
We are convinced that effective internet use requires large monitors that can be connected to a laptop, for example. Browsing the internet requires a relaxed “real estate” on your monitor. We hope that anyone encountering our website for the first time does not do so on a smart phone, or if so, they return to the website later with a larger monitor to enjoy the experience.
Other websites of ours that may be of interest
In addition to our main website (The Naturalist’s Travel Page) we maintain websites on the following topics:
Sites maintained by Mike for a meteorology audience:
This site is intended to help meteorological services in developing countries improve their organization and operations. It has material in both English and Spanish. It is perpetually in a state of (slow) development.
Sites maintained by Rosario:
This site serves the needs of the local cactus and succulent society, but also includes material intended for aficionados of these plants anywhere.
and one maintained by both of us for the Norman, Oklahoma community:
Here we describe a small (about 200 acres) urban wild area that is managed by the City of Norman. The website material could serve as a template for other such areas near urban areas. The discussions of environmental education are probably universal.