Ballots for the AIBS Board elections have been mailed; members can also vote online at www.aibs.org/vote.
At the end of 2008, the following positions become vacant on the 13-person AIBS Board of Directors: (a) president-elect and (b) one board seat from the AIBS membership-at-large. (Board elections by the Council of AIBS Member Societies and Organizations are also under way at this time through a separate ballot.) The president-elect serves a one-year term and automatically succeeds to a one-year term as president, then a one-year term as immediate past-president. Board members serve three-year terms. The Nominating Committee has prepared the following slate, listed alphabetically by category, for your attention and consideration. All terms start on 1 January 2009.
Board member elected by the membership-at-large
Board member elected from the Council
To cast your vote, please go to the online ballot at www.aibs.org/vote and sign in with your last name and six-digit AIBS membership number (as it appears on your AIBS membership card and on the BioScience mailing label; for assistance, contact AIBS at adm...@aibs.org, 703-790-1745 or 800-992-2427). A paper ballot has also been mailed to all members; if you prefer to use that ballot, please complete it and mail it to AIBS. The polls close on 10 October 2008.
AIBS thanks all of the candidates for their dedication and willingness to run for these voluntary positions. Biographical sketches and election statements are included with the online and paper ballots.
The AIBS Media Library contains plenary lectures by some of the world’s most eminent biologists recorded at AIBS annual meetings from 2000 onward. The free recordings offer synchronized video, audio, slides, transcripts, and MP3 podcast files of most presentations. The 2008 AIBS annual meeting addresses on “Climate, Environment, and Infectious Diseases” are now online at www.aibs.org/media-library.
AIBS and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) are cosponsoring the fifth annual evolution symposium, organized by AIBS Immediate Past-President Douglas J. Futuyma. The theme for the symposium is “Illuminating Biology: The Evolutionary Perspective.” It will take place on Thursday, 16 October, at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Professional Development Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.
The speakers will address the question of how an evolutionary perspective can contribute to and deepen understanding in specific biological disciplines. The speakers will be Joram Piatigorsky, of the National Eye Institute, National Institues of Health; Robert Blankenship, of Washington University in St. Louis; Patricia Wittkopp, of the University of Michigan; and Georg Striedtr, of the University of California, Irvine.
In addition to the symposium, NESCent is organizing an education workshop that will take place the following morning on Friday, 17 October. Conference registration is required to attend the symposium and workshop. Visit the NABT Web site for information on conference registration: www.nabt2008.org. For details about the symposium and workshop schedule, visit the AIBS Web site: www.aibs.org/special-symposia.
This fall, the American Society of Mammalogists has teamed with AIBS to offer a mammalogy graduate student the opportunity to gain firsthand exposure to how science policy is developed in Washington, DC. This is the fourth consecutive year the two organizations have offered this unique learning opportunity.
The 2008 fellow is Sarah Smiley. A master’s student in the Department of Biology at the University of South Florida, Smiley studies the distribution and genetics of the golden mouse (Ochrotomys muttalli) in Florida. Before graduate school, Smiley received her bachelor’s degree in 2004 from Florida State University with dual degrees in biological science and environmental studies.
Smiley has research experience working with a wide range of taxa, from loggerhead sea turtles to flying squirrels and migrating songbirds. During her fellowship, she hopes to “use her time to gain a general overview of the policy-making process and insight into how basic scientific research plays into the development of public policies,” particularly in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, and science education.
For more information about the AIBS Graduate Student Science Policy Fellowship Program and other policy training opportunities for scientists and students, please visit www.aibs.org/public-policy.
ActionBioscience.org, the AIBS education resource, has created a section on its Web site devoted exclusively to educators (www.actionbioscience.org/educators/educator-resources.html). The “Educator Resources” menu offers an expanded array of resources from AIBS:
The resources fall into two categories: some are suitable for classroom activities, and the others support professional development. In addition to the menu options, educators will find links to BioSciEdNet (or BEN), which is the biology education pathway of the National Digital Library, the AIBS Bookstore, and the biology job classifieds in BioScience. The educator resources section is designed to help educators find all AIBS resources without having to browse several Web sites.
Representatives of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) spent a busy week at the Ecological Society of America Conference in Milwaukee, 4–8 August 2008.
NEON Chief Executive Officer David Schimel, Board Chair James A. MacMahon, and Chief of Science Michael Keller joined the National Science Foundation’s Assistant Director of the Biological Directorate James Collins at a Town Hall meeting to update the community on NEON developments.
MacMahon opened the session with an overview of both NEON the project and NEON, Inc., the nonprofit corporation that manages the project. He outlined the development of NEON, Inc., into an organization that could in the future manage research initiatives in addition to the NEON project. MacMahon also described the evolution of the NEON Board of Directors and discussed the first NEON annual meeting of member representatives, scheduled for October 2008.
Schimel presented an overview of observatory design and offered details of all NEON monitoring systems. He stressed that the network is designed to be open to new measurements and experiments proposed by the community as the project develops, and stressed that NEON will make usable information available to a variety of audiences, not merely archive data for specialists. Schimel also described NEON’s cyberinfrastructure, partnerships with federal agencies, and emphasis on collaboration, education, and outreach.
Keller briefed attendees further on the national design of the network, recent site visit activities, and the outlook for deploying instruments. He noted a number of next steps: development of the domain scientific community, refinement of a site strategy for deployment of relocatable instruments, and the planned launch of domain wikis at the NEON Web site (www.neoninc.org).
Collins described the National Science Foundation’s role in NEON oversight, compliance, and funding. He announced that the opening of new horizons in the science of large-scale biology is a long-term investment for the foundation. “Life put Earth under new management,” Collins said, emphasizing that science, education, and the management of the life sciences are all in transition. He discussed the key challenges of climate change and energy systems and underscored the importance of NEON’s contributions. The speakers then answered numerous questions from the audience.
On the last day of the conference, Schimel cohosted a symposium with the Ecological Society of America, “Toward Ecological Forecasting: Applications of Model-Data Fusion Techniques,” which focused on the evolving agenda for ecological research in the data-rich NEON era of the next three decades. Schimel’s own presentation was titled “A Conceptual Framework for Ecological Forecasting Using Data Assimilation.”
NEON staff unveiled their recently redesigned exhibit at the conference. In addition to media and outreach staff, scientists from the NEON office in Boulder, Colorado, were available to update conference-goers on project developments. In advance of the November Preliminary Design Review of NEON by the National Science Foundation, NEON, Inc., is finalizing its construction-ready design and execution plan, including the location of all facilities, designs of sensors and supporting infrastructure, definition of required data processing, and the concept of how the facility will operate once commissioned.
Spanish translations of previously posted articles