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Senators Diane Feinstein (D–CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R–AK) were presented with the annual US Geological Survey (USGS) Coalition Leadership Award at a congressional reception on 14 September. They were honored for their continuing support for the USGS. Senator Feinstein chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment; Senator Murkowski is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Additionally, the USGS Coalition reception highlighted the research, information sharing, and services provided by the USGS.
"Senators Murkowski and Feinstein are keenly aware of recent volcanic eruptions in Alaska and ongoing wildfires in California," said Craig Schiffries, cochair of the USGS Coalition and director for geoscience policy at the Geological Society of America. "The USGS provided advance warning of explosive volcanism at Alaska's Mt. Redoubt, and it is working with other agencies to provide maps of California wildfire locations and the potential spread of fires. The USGS helps prevent natural hazards from becoming natural disasters. It plays a pivotal role in reducing risks from volcanic eruptions, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, and other natural hazards that jeopardize human lives and cost billions of dollars in damages every year."
Robert Gropp, cochair of the USGS Coalition and director of public policy at AIBS, added: "Data and products derived from USGS research benefit everyone. The work conducted and supported by the USGS informs drinking-water studies, biological and geological resource assessments, natural hazards monitoring, and other activities. The USGS is more essential than ever before to our national efforts as we try to conserve a growing list of threatened species, develop sustainable and cleaner energy sources, ensure that all Americans have access to clean water, and understand how our rapidly changing environment will impact our way of life."
USGS scientists and their collaborative partners were at the reception to discuss the vital work the USGS conducts in the biological, geographical, geological, and hydrological sciences.
The Association of Ecosystem Research Centers (AERC), an AIBS member organization, briefed policymakers on Capitol Hill about the impacts of climate change on urban ecosystems. The briefing, held 24 September, provided information about how climate change may affect urban infrastructure and water resources. Leading ecosystem researchers presented congressional staff, federal agency employees, and representatives of scientific societies with information about sea-level rise, water scarcity, urban infrastructure, and watershed planning. The briefing was held in conjunction with the annual AERC science meeting in Washington, DC. Presentations were made by Donald Boesch and Allen Davis, of the University of Maryland; Douglas Farr, architect at Farr Associates; Nancy Grimm, of Arizona State University; and Peter Groffman, of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
For more information about AERC, please visit www.ecosystemresearch.org.
AIBS public policy associate Jenna Jadin traveled to Estes Park, Colorado, in early September to participate in the 2009 Long Term Ecological Research program's All Scientists Meeting.
Jadin presented a plenary talk that addressed science in the federal government, the federal investment in scientific research, and the efforts of AIBS to help scientists engage with policymakers. Jadin's presentation also demonstrated how individual scientists can become advocates for science through the AIBS Legislative Action Center (capwiz.com/aibs/home). Following the plenary presentation, Jadin conducted a two-hour workshop that, through hands-on exercises, showed participants how to develop skills that will help them become effective advocates for science.
To learn more about AIBS policy initiatives and to find out how you can secure a training workshop for your meeting or academic department, please visit www.aibs.org/public-policy or send an e-mail to publ...@aibs.org.
Those who cannot attend this year's National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) conference in Denver will nonetheless be able to participate in the fifth annual evolution symposium, cosponsored by AIBS and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. Educators and students are encouraged to tune in to the live Webcast on Friday, 13 November, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, and to take advantage of this opportunity to hear internationally renowned researchers discuss their fascinating, cutting-edge work in "extreme" evolutionary biology. Speakers will talk about how life evolves, adapts, and flourishes in some of the most extreme environments on Earth, such as high-altitude areas, the deep-sea, Arctic ice, and caves. Classrooms around the world will be able to submit questions online and speakers will respond in real time. For full program information, including speaker names, talk titles and times, and the link to view the live Webcast, please visit www.nescent.org/NABT09Webcast.php or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Original article in English
Technology: An Educational Issue? Blog Post
This blog about issues in educational technology discusses ways to learn and teach the biological sciences using technology at www.teachissues.blogspot.com. Recent posts and discussions cover evolution symposia media and educator Web pages.
Spanish translations of previously posted articles