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Jon Ort


Protecting birds: A lofty argument

Without Neotropical migratory birds, ecosystems across the Americas would unravel. By eating millions of locusts, ants, and mosquitoes every year, migratory birds act as an important natural control on insect populations. Many species of plant depend upon migratory birds to pollinate or disperse their seeds. Ecologists often consider migratory birds to be “indicator species,” because the size and success of their populations reflect wider trends about the health of the ecosystems they inhabit. 

In moments of trial, are we ready to act?

My blood ran cold as I watched the man smash his fist into his victim’s face. The other man crumpled to the floor, but the assailant continued to strike. I was terrified. This was neither a scene from an action movie nor a training simulation. It was real-life violence, unfolding before my eyes.

Looking for grad student writers

To continue the conversation among the graduate student community, the section is looking for regular contributing columnists.

Reviewing the legacy of Harvey Firestone

As a community, we may decide that there are better uses of our scholarly attention than to retroactively evaluate the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Or, we may find the company’s conduct inexcusable, no matter when. In either case, the University must first investigate its historical links to the company. We cannot reach an educated and equitable decision until we know more fully how our institution profited from the Firestone plantation.

The case for cash

A cashless economy would endanger our centuries-strong tradition of financial autonomy and accountability. Cashless platforms facilitate imprudent and impulsive spending, because we are less likely to care about the amount we spend than if we used cash.