Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 48:2-3; 2016


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


Greetings GPNSS members! I hope summer finds you well and enjoying the Great Plains in some way, whether that be getting your hands dirty with field work, a reprieve from the office, anxiously awaiting the crappie bite at your favorite lake, or taking a much needed vacation. For those who enjoy cooler temperatures, summer heat and humidity are challenging and even the most seasoned field biologists among us are tested when fighting the conditions doing what we are passionate about. I personally prefer the fall and winter seasons, though also look forward to summer because it offers me a break from the rigors of an academic semester, time away from the office, time to locate bobcats and capture flying squirrels, or simply a chance to spend more time with my family. Summer also offers me more time that usual to prepare my own manuscripts and to think more critically about the research my graduate students are analyzing and preparing for submission (Chamberlain 2008).

Admittedly, I struggled to find a subject for this editorial until just the other day when I asked a colleague to review a manuscript I have been working to complete. One section of the manuscript was giving me particular trouble and I wanted somebody else’s perspective. To my surprise, my colleague raised few concerns with this section, though had substantive concerns about my Introduction and my attempt to justify need for additional research. After wading through track change comments, I posited questions about how my colleague missed the point of the message I was attempting to convey to a graduate student who conveniently (or perhaps not so much for them!) walked in my office. Following that conversation, I thought “Voila, the subject of my editorial!” This is a subject matter I encounter frequently with authors and one I too contemplate, so I offer my perspectives on it.