What do you do?  I get asked this question frequently by just about everyone, parents, friends, and colleagues.  Once the words “I study the Textural Discontinuity Hypothesis …” fly out of my mouth, eyes glaze over and people become deaf.  So I give really simple explanations as to what I do, for example, “I try to determine which bird species within a particular habitat are migratory, nomadic, and declining using only the species’ body mass.”  Sometimes this explanation is satisfactory, but most of the time people ask “how do you do that?” as a follow up question.  This is the point in the conversation where the listener regrets ever starting the conversation.  To be fair the Textural Discontinuity Hypothesis concept isn’t very intuitive or commonly known, meaning that the listener doesn’t really have a mental reference point to understand the hypothesis from; the hypothesis seems too abstract. 

    When explaining a scientific process or idea I ask myself: how can I utilize common language and pictures?  It is very possible to explain the Textural Discontinuity Hypothesis using common language, but it requires the listener to pay very close attention for an extended duration of time; unfortunately this is something people infrequently do.  This behavior is understandable though, people have grown to expect concise and short pieces of information just look at the popularity of Wikipedia and Twitter.

    To better communicate what I do, I have created a series of images with accompanying short snippets of text