Why The Aggie Brickyard?

Not so long ago, the students of the Ecology Graduate Group put together a quarterly newsletter known as The Egg. The Egg showcased the scientific, artistic, comedic, and general brilliance of the students and faculty of the Ecology Graduate Group. Beyond just a reflection of the community of ecologists at UC Davis, The Egg provided a forum for student and faculty interaction that helped to strengthen our community. In that spirit, we decided to revive the student publication and bring you The Aggie Brickyard. We hope that this publication can serve an important role in the beautiful, large, (at times) amorphous, force of ecological research and social revelry that is the Graduate Group in Ecology at UC Davis.


Bernard Forscher invokes the brickyard metaphor in his classic essay “Chaos in the Brickyard” to illustrate the dangers of becoming focused simply on producing bricks rather than on building edifices. As graduate students, we are trained to become specialized in whatever narrow area of expertise we have chosen for ourselves. We continue to discover new facts and, in the process, become excellent brickmakers. Yet, to truly understand the complexity of ecological systems we must do more than produce facts, we must integrate them into a structure. In a graduate group that includes soil chemists, shark biologists, resource economists, social scientists, and everything in-between there is little doubt that we can produce some of the finest bricks. Our challenge remains to create buildings that are both more beautiful and durable than the sum of the bricks on which they rest.

We hope The Aggie Brickyard can serve as a conduit among students and faculty allowing us to bridge knowledge gaps and leverage the diversity of expertise we have here at UC Davis.

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