The 2008 AIBS Board of Directors, led by President Rita Colwell, takes office this month for the calendar year 2008. The Board thanks the following departing members upon the completion of their terms of service on the Board at the end of last year: 2006 President Kent Holsinger (University of Connecticut, Storrs), Secretary Dan L. Johnson (University of Lethbridge), Board member Barbara A. Schaal (Washington University), and Board member Geraldine Twitty (Howard University).
Joining the Board this year is President-Elect May Berenbaum (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign), with new Board members Carol Brewer (University of Montana), Louis J. Gross (University of Tennessee), and Ellen J. Censky (University of Oklahoma). Returning Board members who were reelected are Gordon E. Uno (University of Oklahoma), who has been elected secretary, and Charles Berry (South Dakota State University).
For the full Board roster, see www.aibs.org/about-aibs/board.html.
The 2008 annual meeting of AIBS has added Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives, and James E. Hansen, the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, to its list of plenary speakers. The meeting will be held 12–13 May at the Westin Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on the topic "Climate, Environment, and Infectious Diseases." Registration and poster submission forms are online at www.aibs.org/events/annual-meeting.
Gingrich will speak on themes related to his recent book, A Contract with the Earth; Hansen will speak on climate change. The meeting's other confirmed speakers and the topics of their presentations are listed below:
AIBS is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the 2008 AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award (EPPLA). The EPPLA program, established by AIBS in 2003, enables graduate students in the biological sciences to receive first-hand experience in the science-policy arena.
Award winners will receive a trip to Washington, DC, in the spring of 2008 to participate in a Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition Congressional Visits Day (BESC CVD). The BESC CVD is an annual event that brings scientists and science educators to Washington to advocate for federal funding for the biological sciences.
Applications for the 2008 EPPLA will be accepted from graduate students in master’s or doctoral programs in the biological sciences who have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to biological science or science education policy. The application packet must include a cover letter, a brief statement on the importance of biological science funding, a one-page résumé emphasizing leadership and communication experience, and a letter of reference from someone who can attest to the candidate’s leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills.
More information about the 2008 EPPLA application and previous EPPLA recipients is online at www.aibs.org/public-policy/policy_training.html. The application deadline is Thursday, 31 January 2008.
On 8 November, AIBS wrote to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, encouraging them to restore the funding cut by the Bush administration to the US Geological Survey’s National Biological Information Infrastructure program. A number of AIBS member societies, including the Long Term Ecological Research Network and the Natural Science Collections Alliance, also sent letters supporting greater funding for the program.
The Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) network is working to form regional hubs of activity. A COPUS hub is a locally based community of COPUS participants and science stakeholders who work together within a designated geographic region to promote the public understanding of science. Its members are self-determined and include scientists, universities, K–16 educators, informal science-education centers, business leaders, and other professionals who collaborate to develop and coordinate activities that engage the community in science. More information about hubs, including an interactive map of hub locations, is available on the COPUS Web site at www.copusproject.org/regional_hubs.php.
The COPUS organizers recently requested and received additional funding from the National Science Foundation on behalf of the regional hub network. Funds will support a two-day workshop that will focus on building stronger bridges among stakeholders and identifying strategies for sustaining efforts through the regional and thematic hubs. The primary goals of the workshop are (a) to examine different hub models; (b) to identify and articulate the motivations, opportunities, advantages, and challenges of developing and maintaining a regional or thematic hub; (c) to share successes and best practices; (d) to focus on critical needs for a successful hub, including those that can best be met by COPUS; and (e) to discuss needs and strategies for long-term networking.
The meeting will be held in Tampa, Florida, 7–8 March 2008, and will include representatives from seven hubs, as well as Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the WGBH Educational Foundation.
The AIBS Public Policy Office recently launched a new Web resource that will help interested parties gain a better understanding of the federal budget and appropriations process. The Web resource may be viewed at www.aibs.org/public-policy/budget_source.html.
The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) held its annual conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia, 14–17 November. With 17 workshops, 15 field trips, more than 300 concurrent sessions and presentations, and about 50 posters, this conference provided rich resources for people in the education profession to improve their ability to teach and understand sustainability and the environment.
Keynote speakers included Syliva Earle, oceanographer and writer, and Milton Chen, of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Chen described the “Edutopia” envisioned by his foundation and many leading educators, wherein project learning displaces textbook learning, technology is used to help students express their knowledge and creativity, and community partners break down the isolation of the classroom.
Brian Stagg and Oksana Hlodan from AIBS attended the event. They collaborated on a presentation and manned a booth in the exhibition hall. In the presentation, Hlodan spoke about issue-based teaching and ways to engage students in topical, meaningful activities. Stagg illustrated how BioScience is an excellent source of topical material and walked session participants through a lesson plan using a BioScience article. The AIBS Education and Outreach department wants to introduce educators to lesson planning with BioScience resources, and is collecting teacher feedback at conferences to help in the development of this venture.
Original article in English
Spanish translation of a previously posted article