Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 47:2-3; 2015


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


Greetings GPNSS members! By the time you read this editorial, most of us will be enjoying the summer vacation and all that the Great Plains has to offer. Warmer temperatures, increasing day length, and time in the field are a welcomed change from the seemingly endless grip of “old man” winter (for those of us in the northern Great Plains). Of course, believing that anyone could truly enjoy the clouds of tormenting, biting insects and high humidity across the Great Plains is hard to imagine, in my opinion. There are plenty of summer activities for the outdoor enthusiasts among us, though for the cold-loving endotherms among us, July and August are the months that have us wishing we had saved a frozen a bag of snow from last winter to remind us that cooler temperatures are only a short four months away!

I chose to dedicate this editorial to improving communication through writing, a topic I hope you all can relate to and find of interest. The emphasis placed on writing to communicate has become increasing important in recent years (Chamberlain 2009). In our professional capacity, we have always had to communicate through writing when constructing quarterly reports, final project reports, and scientific manuscripts. Our ability to successfully convey information in these documents often means the difference between securing additional research funding or acceptance and rejection of a manuscript (Chamberlain 2009). With the ever-increasing advancements in electronic technology, we perform many tasks in our day-to-day lives using email, text messaging, or social media. The editorial board of TPN conducts all journal business through writing, most of which consists of an electronic format starting with initial submission of manuscripts and cover letters by authors and followed by formal peer- review and revision through written communication. As- sociated manuscript inquiries or concerns from authors are almost always conducted using email. Likewise, I conduct virtually all of my activities as Editor-in-Chief using email, which places increasing emphasis on the need for effective written communication with authors or prospective authors (Chamberlain 2009).