The AIBS Education Office provides analysis and communication for the AIBS Board, Headquarters Office, and Education Committee on issues of import to the AIBS membership and the larger scientific community. Reports are broadly disseminated by email every few months to AIBS membership leaders and contacts. Special reports are sent more frequently as needed. We have archived these reports here for your information and attention. Read about each report's contents below, then click to read the complete text.
On 23 May, the AIBS Board of Directors and AIBS Awards Committee presented Judy Scotchmoor with the AIBS Education Award. The award is presented annually to individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to education in the biological sciences, at any level of formal and informal education. After teaching middle school science for 25 years, Scotchmoor joined the staff at the University of California's Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley where she continues to educate people about the history of life on Earth. Her more recent initiatives include the website Understanding Evolution (http://evolution.berkeley.edu) and the Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science.
The 2006 symposium, cosponsored by AIBS, the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), will take place on Saturday, October 14, during the National Association of Biology Teachers annual conference. The symposium, titled "Macroevolution: Evolution above the Species Level," will provide current information about macroevolutionary processes, the distinctions between and the interactions of micro- and macroevolution, the development and evolution of "key innovations" and major lineages of organisms, and the evidence for these processes. Classroom activities developed by BSCS will be integrated into the program so educators can gain hands-on experience teaching about macroevolution and learn new ways to improve student understanding of the concept. For further program details, visit www.aibs.org/events/special-symposia/2006_macroevolution.html.
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale research program designed to advance understanding of how ecosystems and organisms respond to variations in climate and land use. The network will deploy standardized sensors and cyberinfrastructure across the United States to provide near-real-time ecological data to researchers and citizens. The observatory network will also include a national-level education program integrated into a suite of ecological research programs. It's mission: to train the next generation of ecological researchers while translating scientific data into meaning for all citizens. Through formal and informal education initiatives and a variety of data portals and online collaborative opportunities, NEON education will promote scientific ways of thinking, provide learners with level-appropriate ecological data and information, and enable students and citizens to contribute data to the accumulated knowledge base. See the education chapter of the NEON Integrated Science and Education Plan: www.neoninc.org/documents/ISEP2006Feb2.pdf.
The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, invites PI's to submit applications for a unique research and teaching opportunity. NCEAS promotes collaborative, synthetic research to address important ecological questions. Distributed Graduate Seminars pair a PI with faculty and graduate students at multiple universities to address a research question too large for one group to tackle independently. Each faculty member teaches in-person at his or her own institution. Seminars are held simultaneously across sites. Each group works with local or regional data, interacting with other groups through web-based collaborative spaces. At the end of the seminar representatives from each group come to NCEAS to conduct a grand synthesis.
The seminar affords students the opportunity to learn data-sharing tools and to participate in collaborative and synthetic research. Faculty will benefit from the opportunity to collaboratively address large research questions while engaging in meaningful and creative pedagogy. A relatively high level of participation (~25%) from minority-serving institutions is strongly encouraged. Since 1995, NCEAS has hosted 3,500 individuals and supported 370 projects that have yielded more than 1,000 scientific articles. Proposal deadlines are twice a year. The next deadline is July 24, 2006. For additional information and application instructions, go to www.nceas.ucsb.edu/opportunity/rfp.html, call 805-892-2500, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AAAS recognizes individuals who "demonstrate extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering fields and careers" through their Mentor Awards. The deadline for applications is July 31, 2006. Both awards recognize an individual who has mentored and guided a significant number of students from underrepresented groups to the completion of doctoral studies or who has impacted the climate of a department, college, or institution to significantly increase the diversity of students pursuing and completing doctoral studies. Both award category recipients receive a monetary prize, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration, and reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting. Application forms are available online at www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/awards/mentor/index.shtml. For additional information, please write: Mentor Awards Coordinator, AAAS Education & Human Resources Programs, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Room 650, Washington, DC, 20005; phone: 202-326-6670; fax: 202-371-9849; or email: email@example.com.
The League for Innovation (www.league.org) recently released a program called Getting Results, a professional development course for community college educators. Faculty at all institutions will find valuable strategies in the six modules that provide resources on such topics as "Creating a Community of Learners" and "Planning for Outcomes." The modules include video clips on pedagogy and show the use of the strategies in the classroom. The modules are free and available at www.league.org/gettingresults/web. For more information about the full project, visit www.league.org/league/projects/results/index.html.
The Fulbright Scholar Program is pleased to announce the following awards in biological sciences are available in countries in southeastern Europe and the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, and Turkey. The deadline for submission of applications is August 1, 2006. For additional information about the awards and the application process, please consult the Fulbright Program website at www.cies.org, or contact Cynthia Crow, senior program officer, Europe/Eurasia (202-686-7872; firstname.lastname@example.org), or program associates Greg Zalasky (202-686-6241; email@example.com) and Alisha Scott (202-686-6244; firstname.lastname@example.org).
The College Board (www.collegeboard.com) has received a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to revise the Advanced Placement (AP) biology course and other AP science courses. A press release issued May 2nd by NSF states that "the funds will be used to develop a process for making ongoing changes in the courses and exams to incorporate the latest science developments and leverage best practices in science teaching." The redesign will begin in summer 2006, carried out by commissions appointed for each of the four AP science disciplines, and completed in December 2007. Professional development programs will introduce teachers to the redesigned courses and test before the new AP science courses are implemented in fall 2009. To read the full press release issued by NSF, go to www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=106929.
• Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE) 28th Annual Conference. June 6-10, 2006. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
ABLE conferences seek to improve the undergraduate biology laboratory experience by promoting the development and dissemination of interesting, innovative, and reliable laboratory exercises. Each ABLE conference brings together a group of selected presenters with about 140 participants from university and college biology departments throughout Canada and the United States. In three very full days, the participants are actively involved in four 3-hour, hands-on workshops and several shorter workshops. The workshop presenters provide all of the essential information and experiences that the potential user of the laboratory needs to take it home and use the exercise in his/her own teaching program. The workshops are published in Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, the conference proceedings published by ABLE. More information is available at www.zoo.utoronto.ca/able/conf/able2006/index.html.
• 28th Annual Summer Institute on College Teaching. June 4-8, 2006. The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.
The Virginia Tidewater Consortium's Summer Institute on College Teaching is in its 28th year of helping faculty at every level and discipline to become more effective teachers. Over the years hundreds of faculty have participated in the institute and have found it very worthwhile and rewarding. The institute is unique in that it allows faculty members the opportunity to discuss college teaching and learning in-depth with their colleagues in a nonthreatening, pleasant environment. Enrollment is limited to allow ample time for one-on-one discussion with the other faculty. Applications are due by May 23, 2006. Early enrollment is encouraged. To register, go to www.vtc.odu.edu/summer_institute.html.
• Summer Institute: What the Best College Teachers Do. June 21-23, 2006. Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ.
Participants in this highly interactive workshop will explore and use findings from a 15-year inquiry into practices and insights of highly successful college teachers, people with enormous success in helping and encouraging their students to achieve remarkable learning results. The institute is based on Ken Bain's What the Best College Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2004), winner of the Virginia and Warren Stone Prize for an Outstanding Book on Education and Society, and will feature author Ken Bain and some of the best teachers in the 15-year study of excellence in teaching and learning. It also combines the resources of Montclair State University, Northwestern University, New York University, Georgia Tech, and Rhode Island School of Design. For more information, visit www.montclair.edu/tlrc/summerinstitute/ or www.nyu.edu/cte/summer06/.
• National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference. October 9-14, 2006. Albuquerque, NM.
AIBS is cosponsoring a symposium on evolution education at the 2006 conference titled "Macroevolution: Evolution above the Species Level." The symposium will take place on Saturday, October 14, during the NABT conference and is cosponsored by BSCS and NESCent. For more information about the symposium, visit www.aibs.org/special-symposia/2006_macroevolution.html. To learn more about the NABT conference, go to www.nabt2006.org.
• ACUBE's 50th Annual Meeting: The Revolution and Evolution of Biology Education. October 26-28, 2006. Millikin University, Decatur, IL.
The Association of College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE) is having its 50th annual meeting in October. This year, organizers invite ACUBE members who attend other education meetings (such as NABT, NSTA, ABLE, or HAPS), or who are involved in education activities at professional organizations (such as ASM, BSA, or APS), to represent their group in the poster/exhibitor sessions. The deadline for abstracts is May 31st. For more information, visit http://acube.org/50thannual/.
AIBS is now accepting applications and nominations for two awards that promote the participation of underrepresented minorities in the sciences. The AIBS Diversity Scholars Program recognizes outstanding minority undergraduate and graduate students. Diversity scholars will receive a $1,000 travel award to present research at a scientific meeting of the their choice; free registration at the AIBS annual meeting; free 12-month membership in AIBS; and a free 12-month subscription to BioScience. Submit applications by July 3, 2006, for meetings to be held between January 1 and June 30, 2007; for meetings between July 1 and December 31, 2007, the deadline is January 15, 2007.
The AIBS Diversity Leadership Award recognizes programs and initiatives that actively promote a diverse community of biologists. AIBS welcomes nominations from scientific societies, K-12 institutions, colleges and universities, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups, as well as institutions such as museums, botanic gardens, and field stations. Nominations for the Diversity Leadership Award are accepted throughout the year, with reviews conducted twice a year, at the end of January and at the end of July. For selection criteria and more information, and to download application and nomination forms, please visit www.aibs.org/diversity.