As outlined in President Joel Cracraft's editorial, the AIBS Board of Directors has established revised and expanded membership categories to facilitate the participation of the broader biological community in AIBS activities, and vice versa. AIBS's core membership—about 80 societies and institutions, with a combined total membership of nearly 250,000 professional biologists and educators—will now be expanded into four new membership categories for organizations:
Professional scientific societies. Open to all nonprofit biological societies and associations that are membership governed.
Academic units at research and educational institutions of all levels. Open to all nonprofit biological educational associations or educational consortia, as well as academic departments, divisions, or research and teaching centers. Multiple academic units on campuses are welcome to join as members.
Institutions engaged in biological research and public education. Open to all nonprofit biological collections institutions, research or teaching field stations, and consortia of such institutions.
Corporations that share AIBS's mission goals and aspirations. Open to all for-profit organizations and corporations interested in promoting biological science and education.
Organizations in all four membership categories are treated as equals with respect to the appointment of their representative to the AIBS Council (the advisory body to the Board of Directors, AIBS's governing body). As members of the Council, these organizations also have the right to vote up to four of their Council peers onto the 13-seat Board of Directors, depending on the number of vacant board seats in a given year of the election cycle.
Furthermore, effective January 2005, annual dues for all member organizations of AIBS—societies, institutions, academic units, and corporations—are $125. This new dues level applies to current and new members alike. As before, applications from organizations to join AIBS must be approved by vote of the Board of Directors, and while a member of AIBS, an organization is expected to engage in scientific activities that are consistent with the AIBS mission and ethics statements (online at www.aibs.org).
The AIBS individual membership dues and structure remain unchanged. For more information about AIBS's revised and expanded membership categories for organizations, including newly developing benefits packages, please see www.aibs.org/ organization-membership or contact Richard O'Grady at .
In October 2004, the AIBS Board of Directors welcomed The Wildlife Society (TWS) and the Society for Range Management (SRM) as member societies in AIBS.
TWS, founded in 1937, is a scientific and educational association dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education. Its mission is to enhance the ability of wildlife professionals to conserve diversity, sustain productivity, and ensure responsible use of wildlife resources for the benefit of society.
TWS works to develop and maintain professional standards for wildlife research and management, enhance knowledge and technical capabilities of wildlife managers, advance professional stewardship of wildlife resources and their habitats, advocate the use of sound biological information for wildlife policy decisions, and increase public awareness and appreciation of the wildlife profession.
TWS publishes the Journal of Wildlife Management. Read more about the society at www.wildlife.org.
SRM is the professional organization dedicated to supporting those who work with rangelands and are committed to their sustainable use. Established in 1948, SRM works for the conservation and sustainable manangement of rangelands, which make up almost half of all the lands in the world.
SRM has over 4000 members in 48 countries, including many developing nations. SRM's members are land managers, scientists, educators, students, producers, and conservationists.
The society publishes the Journal of Range Management. Look for more information about SRM and its activities at www.rangelands.org/srm.shtml.
Yasmeen Qadim'asil, diversity and outreach program assistant at AIBS, attended the Organization of Tropical Studies (OTS) symposium, "Fostering a Diverse Scientific Community: Developing Strategies for Identifying, Recruiting and Retaining Minorities in the Environmental and Biological Sciences," held 12–13 August at Howard University in Washington, DC.
The two-day symposium, which drew participation from internationally recognized scholars, consisted of four panel discussions, as well as a reception at the embassy of Costa Rica (OTS has three biological field stations in that country). During the first session, faculty discussed methods aimed at increasing awareness of the issue of underrepresentation in the sciences, indicating which were outdated, redundant, or incompletely implemented and thus failed to achieve the desired outcome. Participants in the next session talked about the merits and drawbacks of recruiting individual students, versus groups of students, into science programs. The third panel focused on strategies for retaining underrepresented groups in programs and discussed the importance of considering the perspectives of different cultures. In the final session, alumni of the OTS Minority Scholars Program (MSP) offered their perceptions about ways in which OTS has changed to help them reach their goals. All of the students agreed that outreach programs such as OTS's MSP are important, as is a positive and supportive mentor.
Original article in English
Spanish translations of previously posted articles