Field Follies: David Brischke

Field Follies

David Brischke


I’ve been called many things: Andrew, Andrew Steven (when mom was really mad), Brischke, Brewski, AB, Belly, Ice Cold, Bubbles, sibling names, and many names I’m not going to repeat. No surprises there. But I have never, not once, been called David. Until recently.

I’m in academia. In academia we have to do academiaey things (I know it is not a word, leave it). Writing is one of those things. When I tell someone I’m in academia, they take great delight in screeching our motto: “Publish or Perish!” Then whoever said it has a good cackle. I have a laugh, and if other people are around, they have a good laugh. Then I mope to the corner and sob because while we were all having a laugh I probably should’ve been writing. When I do write, I take every ounce of credit I can and pat myself on the back no matter how important or difficult the writing task is.

So I was really looking forward to seeing my name in the National SRM Newsletter for our AZ Section update, “The Year of Native Rangelands.”

That didn’t happen. Usually people misspell my last name.

Do I still get credit for David Brischke’s work?

Can I list it on my promotion dossier (another academiaey thing)? 

I get it. Dr. David Briske (Texas A&M) does great rangeland research and his work gets published on a regular basis. I emailed him to ask if we could share CV credit 50/50. I also emailed my uncle David to congratulate him on his good work and dashing picture. Dr. Briske hasn’t responded yet, probably because he is busy writing publishable work and not silly stories.

One of these days I hope to meet him. Dr. Briske, if this reaches your eyes I’m available and willing to work with you on a paper. The Briske/Brischke theorem has a nice ring to it, don’t you think (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)? 

In the end the editor was very apologetic and made a correction in the next newsletter. I’m not a smidgeon upset, it makes good folly fodder.

Epilogue: It’s contagious! My professor and now colleague just made a similar mistake. He sent an email that was meant for me but addressed it to Dr. Briske. I apologize for the interruption on everyone’s behalf Dr. Briske. One of us is going to have to change our name.