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Education Report for July/August 2006

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.

2006 AIBS/BSCS/NESCent Evolution Symposium Update

The speakers for the 2006 symposium, cosponsored by AIBS, the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), will be David Jablonski, University of Chicago; Jeff Levinton, State University of New York at Stony Brook; Nicole King, University of California, Berkeley; Philip Gingerich, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Scott Hodges, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Nipam Patel, University of California, Berkeley. The symposium will take place on Saturday, October 14th, during the National Association of Biology Teachers annual conference. The symposium, "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/special-symposia/2006_macroevolution.html.

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AIBS Executive Director's Blog Now Online

The AIBS Executive Director's blog is live at http://blogs.aibs.org/richardogrady/. There's a link to the blog toward the top of the opening page of www.aibs.org, and the blog is included in AIBS's RSS feeds at www.aibs.org/feeds/.

AIBS Executive Director Richard O'Grady says, "I plan to post to the blog as often as I can in order to give AIBS staff, leaders, members, and the general science community my first-person view on what's happening at AIBS on an ongoing basis. Comments on the blog postings are welcome and can be submitted online at the blog's site. I encourage other association executive directors and leaders to start their own blogs as another way of establishing two-way communication with their communities."

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Diversity Scholars Program Deadline is August 15th

Undergraduate or graduate students who are conducting research and are a member of an underrepresented minority group in the biological sciences are eligible to apply for this program. Students who meet the criteria receive travel support to present their research at a scientific meeting and become part of the AIBS community. The deadline for this round of applications is August 15th. For details, visit www.aibs.org/diversity/diversity_scholars_program.html.

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New Title for ASM's Microbiology Education Journal

The editorial board of the journal Microbiology Education (ME) and the American Society for Microbiology's Committee on Undergraduate Education have decided to change the name and expand the scope of the journal. Though the main focus of the journal is microbiology education, the board realizes that microbiologists teach other courses in the biological sciences as well. To recognize these other roles of microbiology educators, ME will change its name to the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education (JM&BE) and expand its scope to include manuscripts covering all aspects of biology education that may be of interest to microbiologists. The requirement of hypothesis driven, critically assessed research has not changed. JM&BE will now review manuscripts on a rolling basis if papers are submitted prior to the journal deadline, which is the first Friday in October. All manuscripts that meet the scope of the journal are extensively reviewed, and a board member is assigned to the manuscript to work with the author to meet the requirements of the journal. This hands-on approach is somewhat unique but is reminiscent of good classroom practice and appropriate for a journal that has education in its title. This interactive style of review has been a trademark of the journal since its inception.

Visit www.microbelibrary.org/about/index.asp?bid=1076 to learn more about the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education.

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American Society of Human Genetics's Katrina Equipment and Book Drive

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is working with the New Orleans Parish Schools, Jefferson Parish Schools, and the Louisiana State Department of Education to identify resources that schools need for a new curriculum and a new student-centered teaching environment. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, management of affected school systems was taken over by the State of Louisiana. Vast reorganization and restructuring are ongoing. But with the tax base diminished, there is little money for school improvement, especially for hands-on, inquiry-centered science education. The schools--and the students--need our help. Donations will go toward creating a professional development and materials resource center that will enable teachers to receive high quality professional development and the materials they need to provide inquiry opportunities to their classroom. To ensure that part of the center provides training and resources in molecular biology (gel electrophoresis chambers, micropipettes, bacterial transformation, etc.), ASHG is asking its members and other scientists to donate to this important cause. To find out more information or donate online in one easy step, please visit www.genednet.org/NewOrleans/.

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AAAS's Retired Scientists Volunteer Program

In the 2005/2006 school year, the American Associate for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) implemented a pilot project in Montgomery County, Maryland, to bring retired scientists and engineers into classrooms to assist in the science education. The volunteers participated in a number of activities, including interacting with students on investigations and inquiry problem sheets, advising students on science inquiry projects (all students in Montgomery County have to carry out one project in the school year), advising teachers on course content, and identifying and testing new investigations. In the 2006/2007 school year, the volunteers assigned to seventh grade classes will also be invited to submit recommendations for revisions to the course guidelines.

For the 2006/2007 school year, the pilot is being expanded to include a project for middle schools, and a pilot is being initiated for elementary schools. Volunteers will be asked to spend a minimum of 20 days a year in the classroom. A 2.5- to 3-day orientation and training session will be held in September. The volunteers will also be expected to attend a 1-day meeting in December or January to share their experiences with their fellow volunteers and the lead teachers.

AIBS is joining AAAS in inviting its members to volunteer for this project. If you accept this invitation, please send the following information to Sarah Ingraffea (singraff@aaas.org): name, home address, email address, telephone number, fax number (if you have one), and highest university degree. Also include a brief self-description, not exceeding 150 words, that introduces you to teachers and that they, in turn, can use to introduce you to their students.

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Upcoming Conferences

7th Annual Conference on Case Study Teaching in Science. October 6-7, 2006. University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY.
The conference features plenary speakers and a number of mini-workshops organized in two tracks, as well as a poster session. There will be workshop sessions and papers on writing cases, leading successful case discussions, designing and assessing cooperative learning activities, incorporating inquiry into traditional "cookbook" labs, teaching ethics through case-based methods, using TAs to teach case studies in large-enrollment science courses, assessing critical thinking in the science classroom, and much more. Travel reimbursements are available through a National Science Foundation CCLI National Dissemination grant to faculty who are first-time conference attendees from designated Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) or Minority Postsecondary Institutions (MSIs). For more information, go to the conference website: http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/conference/conference.html. Questions about the conference can be directed to Conference Coordinator Rebecca Firth, rsfirth@acsu.buffalo.edu, 716-645-2363 x 111, or Nancy Schiller, Co-Director of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, schiller@buffalo.edu, 716-645-2947 x 225.

National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference. October 11-14, 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 14th, 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. For more information, visit http://acube.org/50thannual/.

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