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Education Report for January/February 2007

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.

AIBS Annual Meeting 2007: Evolutionary Biology and Human Health

AIBS will mark its 60th Anniversary at its 2007 AIBS annual meeting, to be held 14 to 15 May 2007 in Washington DC, on the theme of "Evolutionary Biology and Human Health," at the Capital Hilton Hotel. The program chair is 2007 AIBS President Douglas Futuyma, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Plenary speakers and discussion groups will approach the meeting's topic from a variety of cross-cutting themes involving science, education, and public policy. Principles and methods of evolutionary biology are becoming increasingly important in many aspects of health science, among them understanding the human genome, the normal functions and malfunctions of human genes, and the origin and evolution of infectious diseases. These are among the topics addressed in sessions on Infectious Diseases; Genes and Genomics; and Human Adaptation and Malfunction. The rest of the meeting's program will be rounded out by events such as a contributed poster session, a diversity lunch, and AIBS awards.

Speakers include Eric Green, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD / Edward Holmes, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA / Rustom Antia, Emory University, Atlanta, GA / Carlos Bustamante, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY / Douglas C. Wallace, Center for Molecular & Mitochondrial Medicine and Genetics, Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA / Sarah Tishkoff, University of Maryland, College Park, MD / Martin Nowak, Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA / Randolph Nesse, Evolution and Human Adaptation Program, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

The AIBS meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Natural Science Collections Alliance (requires separate registration, see the NSC Alliance meeting website). The AIBS and NSC Alliance meetings take place immediately after the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) Conference and General Assembly (requires separate registration, see the IUBS meeting website), 9 -12 May, also at the Capital Hilton.

Following the AIBS annual meeting, the AIBS Council of member societies and organizations will meet at the Capital Hilton, 15-16 May (contact: rogr...@aibs.org).

For the AIBS Annual Meeting program and registration information, including poster submissions, please visit the annual meeting website at:
http://www.aibs.org/events/annual-meeting/annual_meeting_2007.html

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AIBS Education and Outreach Office expands in 2007 under new leadership

The AIBS Education and Outreach Office enters 2007 welcoming new staff and bidding fond farewell to departing staff. Susan Musante, the outgoing manager and head of the office, has left AIBS to work on community education projects near her Virginia home in the Shenandoah Valley. She leaves AIBS with a broad portfolio of successful and respected programs to carry on and build upon.
Dr. Samantha Romanello Katz joined the AIBS staff in late January 2007 as Director of Education and Outreach. Dr. Katz was previously based in Colorado, working on education and training activities for the Science Environment for Ecological Knowledge (SEEK), the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), and the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Office. She holds a B.A. in English and a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo; a M.Sc. in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Ohio State University (see http://lno.lternet.edu/personnel/sambio.html ).
Dr. Katz has extensive knowledge, training and experience in managing and coordinating science/environmental programs, including: project management and facilitation; budgeting and leveraging projects; sourcing, scheduling and managing trainers; and curriculum design and development. Her experience includes nine years leading and supervising workshops in science and environmental education program development at the local, state and national levels, six years teaching at the college level, and five years in university administration. In 2000, she was a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. During her year at the Department of Commerce, she was special assistant to the Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on education-related affairs. She helped to coordinate and focus a national education program for NOAA and worked closely with the chair and executive director of the NOAA Science Advisory Board to develop, plan, and execute top-level government meetings. Samantha can be reached at smus...@aibs.org.
Additional staffing for the AIBS Education and Outreach Office will be provided on the associate level by Abraham Parker, who is remaining with AIBS until March 2007 before heading off to other employment, and by new arrival Sharon Potter, who is also the webmaster for the AIBS education website, ActionBioscience.org

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Year of Science 2009 and COPUS Initiatives

Your organization is invited to participate in The Year of Science 2009 and COPUS, coordinated nationwide efforts to engage the American Public in activities that will stimulate their interest in and appreciation of the process of science.

Progress in science has been so great that it is taken for granted, and even breeds a widespread complacency... The biggest challenge to the scientific enterprise today is not to achieve deeper understanding of genomes or ecosystems or black holes--¬that understanding is coming along just fine. The challenge that matters now is to make sure that science is taken seriously. Scientists need to convince people that we have developed honest procedures for understanding how the world works, that we can put confidence limits around most of our conclusions, and that our track record shows we have achieved reliable, if still incomplete, knowledge. (Futuyma, D.J. (AIBS President, 2007). Science's Greatest Challenge. BioScience. 57(1): 3)

A general public with an understanding and appreciation of the nature of science is a prerequisite for a skilled workforce able to compete in a knowledge-based global economy, able to make informed decisions about relative risks such as medical treatments and other quality of life factors, and prepared to engage in public policy discussions involving science and technology. An insufficient understanding of science leads to exclusion from much of the discourse of modern society, and inability to distinguish science from non-science, and a vulnerability to special interests attempting to drive public perceptions of science in their favor.

Activities will include:

1. In 2009, a national year-long celebration of science to engage the public in science and improve public understanding about the nature and processes of science.

2. Integration of the time-specific 2009 efforts with the ongoing efforts of the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS: www.copusproject.org), a grassroots effort linking universities, scientific societies, science advocacy groups, science media, science educators, businesses, and industry in a peer network having as its goal a greater public understanding of the nature of science and its value to society.

3. Creation of a Year of Science 2009 website and online resource center to coordinate and promote 2009 activities. The website will include suggested activities and kits, a searchable database of events, an interactive map of events, a blog, a press room, and links to content in the Understanding Science website currently under development at www.understandingscience.org.

4. Opportunities to mark 2009 as the anniversary of seminal events in the history of science: the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, founder of the National Academy of Sciences, the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species, and the 400th anniversary of the publication of Johannes Kepler's first two Laws of Planetary Motion.

5. Collaborations with communications experts
on framing scientific communications most effectively for general public understanding as well as for particular public constituencies.

6. Summary reports, other deliverables, and follow-up plans after the end of 2009; opportunities to continue collaborating on public understanding of science projects via the COPUS network.

Participating organizations in Year of Science 2009 will automatically become part of the COPUS network and will have access to the brands, logos, media coverage, other publicity materials and databases that are developed for this and related projects. They will receive regular updates on what organizations will be doing for this year-long celebration and will receive assistance in planning events to conform to the overall themes and branding that will be used throughout 2009. Organizations that agree to participate by June 2007 also will be able to suggest which specific crosscutting themes will be developed for 2009.

To learn more about Year of Science 2009 and how to participate, see the planning website at www.yearofscience2009.org or the COPUS website at www.copusproject.org.

Contacts: American Institute of Biological Sciences: Richard O'Grady / National Academy of Sciences: Jay Labov & Barbara Kline Pope / Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science: Lee Allison & Judy Scotchmoor / National Science Teachers Association: Gerry Wheeler. year...@aibs.org.

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AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leader Award

Applications Due by 5 p.m. Friday, 16 February 2007

As part of its focus on engaging scientists in the public policy process, the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is pleased to offer the AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leader Award (EPPLA). The EPPLA is an opportunity for graduate students in the biological sciences to receive first-hand experience in the policy arena.

AIBS pays travel costs and expenses for 1-2 EPPLA recipients to participate in a Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition Congressional Visits Day (CVD) in Washington, D.C. on April 17-18, 2007 (dates subject to change). This is an annual event that brings scientists and science educators to Washington, D.C. to raise visibility and support for the biological sciences. The EPPLA recipient(s) will attend briefings by key officials from the White House and Congress and a reception honoring members of Congress for their work on behalf of biology. Participants will also meet with members of Congress and their staff to explain the importance of federal support for scientific research. AIBS is now accepting applications for the 2007 Emerging Public Policy Leader Award from graduate students (master's or doctoral) in the biological sciences with a demonstrated interest in and commitment to biological science and/or science education policy. Submit applications electronically to publ...@aibs.org
NO LATER than 5 p.m. on Friday, 16 February 2006.

Applications should include the following materials:
- Cover letter. Applicants should describe their interest in science policy issues and how participation in this CVD event would further their career goals. Applicants should also confirm their availability to attend the April 17-18 event.
- Statement on the importance of biological research (max. 500 words). The objective of CVD is to communicate to decision makers the long-term importance of the biological sciences to the nation. How would you convince your congressional delegation of the importance of biological research? Prepare a statement that emphasizes the benefits of biological research, drawing on your own experience and/or research area, and referencing local issues that may be of interest to your congressional delegation as
appropriate.
- Resume (1 page). Your resume should emphasize leadership and communication experience - this may include graduate, undergraduate, or non-academic activities. Please include the following items: education (including relevant law or policy courses), work experience, honors and awards, and memberships. Please do not list conference presentations, abstracts or scientific manuscripts.
- Letter of reference. Ask an individual who can attest to your leadership, interpersonal and communication skills to send a letter on your behalf to publicpolicy@aibs.org by the stated deadline. This individual should also be familiar with your interest in or experience with science or education policy issues.

Note: Prior EPPLA recipients and AIBS science policy interns/fellows are not eligible.

Questions about the award should be addressed to AIBS Director of Public Policy, Dr.
Robert Gropp at (202)-628-1500 x 250.

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NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Program

The Robert Noyce Scholarship program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. The program provides funds to institutions of higher education to support scholarships, stipends, and programs for students who commit to teaching in high-need K-12 school districts.

For more information, please go to: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf07529

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NSF Advanced Technological Education Program

With an emphasis on two-year colleges, the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and employers to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two-year colleges to four-year institutions; and other activities. A secondary goal is articulation between two-year and four-year programs for K-12 prospective teachers that focus on technological education. The program also invites proposals focusing on applied research relating to technician education.

For more information, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf07530

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AFS Summer internships for high school students interested in fisheries science

The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program is currently accepting applications for the 2007 summer program. Applications must be postmarked by February 15, 2007
.
The Hutton Program is a summer mentoring program for high school students sponsored by American Fisheries Society (AFS). The principal goal of the program is to stimulate interest in careers in fisheries science and management among groups underrepresented in the fisheries professions, including minorities and women. Application to the program is open to all current sophomore, junior, and senior high school students regardless of race, creed, or gender. Because the program seeks to increase diversity within the fisheries professions, preference is given to qualified women and minority applicants.

Students accepted into the program are matched with mentors who are fisheries biologists, and they enjoy an eight-week, hands-on fisheries science experience in a marine and/or freshwater setting. Assignments are made with participating organizations within reasonable commuting distance from the students. During the summer, students work alongside their mentors in the field and the lab, collecting samples and assisting with analyzing data. A $3,000 scholarship is provided to students accepted into the program. For more information, visit the AFS website at www.fisheries.org and click on “Hutton Program” on the left-hand navigational bar or email hutton@fisheries.org.

American Fisheries Society
5410 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 110
Bethesda, MD 20814-2199
301-897-8616

Danielle Hawkins, Hutton Program Coordinator
301-897-8616, Ext. 213
hutton@fisheries.org

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NABT Professional Development Regional Workshops

The National Association of Biology Teachers is offering the following professional development workshops. For more information, and to register, please go to: http://www.nabt.org/sites/S1/index.php?p=449

Where: Carnegie Institution of Washington , DC
When: April 21, 2007, 9am - 4 pm
Speaker: Dr. Georgia Dunston, Founder of the National Genome Center, Howard University Medical School
Cost: $85

Where: Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL
When: July 11, 2007
Speaker: TBA
Cost: $85

Where: Adirondak Teacher Institute, Silver Bay, NY
When: July 28 - August 1, 2007
Purpose: A chance for teachers of all grades to expand abilities and knowledge of the outdoors so that they are better able to use the outdoors as a teaching tool.
Cost: $250 Weekly (not including accomodations) $50 Daily (not including meals)
For more information and to register online go to www.silverbay.org or download the registration form.

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US Department of Education Teacher Awards and Workshops

The United States Department of Education is currently accepting nominations for its 2007 American Stars of Teaching awards, which recognize teachers who are improving student achievement -- using innovative strategies -- and making a difference in the lives of their students. Anyone can nominate an American Star. After the Department receives a nomination, a verification form is sent to the teacher's principal. One teacher will be recognized from each state and the District of Columbia. The deadline for nominations is April 1. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO https://www.t2tweb.us/AmStar/About.asp. (Note: Previous award winners are posted at https://www.t2tweb.us/AmStar/Prior.asp.)

Also, in a recent press release, the Department named 22 cities as sites for its summer regional workshops for teachers to learn best practices from fellow educators who have proven effective at raising student achievement. This year's co-hosts include two federal agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Park Service (NPS); a number of TechNet partners: Microsoft, EMC, AMD, Symantec, the University of Nevada, and Motorola; and General Motors, Siemens, Target, and MATHCOUNTS. Agendas for each workshop will be posted during January. Registration for the workshops, which are free of charge, will begin April 8. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.t2tweb.us/Workshops/Schedule.asp. (Note: Some teachers may be eligible for professional development credits through their states or school districts. Go to http://www.t2tweb.us/Workshops/FAQ.asp.)

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Programs That Work: A Workshop on Understanding Interventions that Encourage Minorities to Pursue Biomedical, Behavioral, and STEM Research Careers

May 3-4, 2007 • The National Academies • Washington, D.C.
http://www.nationalacademies.org/moreworkshop

The Challenge: Although underrepresented groups have made great strides in becoming part of the biomedical and behavioral sciences and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines, they are still underrepresented at every level along the education pathway to careers in these fields. Many programs have been designed to increase representation, but their design, implementation, and methods for demonstrating effectiveness are highly variable. Efforts to increase representation have often been conducted in isolation and have historically lacked the integration of empirical data leading to the determination of the most effective interventions.
A Response: A Committee assembled by the National Academies and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will convene a two-day workshop to consider the knowledge base on intervention programs that have been designed to increase the inclusion, preparation, retention, and success of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, and particularly in research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The workshop will bring together experts from a range of disciplines to share perspectives as well as evidence; to design and discuss research questions about measuring what programs work, for whom, and in what settings; and to expand the community of scholars that is committed to understanding and influencing the career choices of those who represent a growing proportion of the student talent pool.
The Workshop: The Committee is inviting a diverse audience to participate in the workshop. Participants will include representatives from the biomedical and behavioral sciences; researchers from other social sciences; and practitioners who specialize in program design, evaluation, and technical assistance. The workshop will focus on what is known about effective interventions and how those interventions are documented and disseminated. If you are a PI, program administrator, mentor, project evaluator, or human resource specialist, this workshop will inform and motivate your work.
Expected Outcomes: Participants will join a community of scholars studying the diversity of the STEM disciplines and encourage the development of research-based, student-focused interventions. Objectives of the workshop will include:
1. Examination of the current state of research related to interventions that influence the participation of underrepresented minorities in biomedical, behavioral, and other STEM disciplines.
2. Discussion of factors that are currently prominent in empirical studies of STEM recruitment and retention conducted in psychology, sociology, economics, and education.
3. An inventory of research questions, designs, and methodologies that capture the most promising contributions to the knowledge base on STEM education and careers.
4. Examples of field-based insights and technical assistance on how to study interventions that impact the participation of underrepresented minorities in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.
5. Discussion of mechanisms for encouraging the evolution of a community of scholars through outlets for scholarly work (e.g., journals, conferences, sponsored programs) and other opportunities to assess emerging ideas from outside STEM and the NIH-centric disciplines.

A summary of the workshop and additional information will be made available through the project website.

For more information or to register for the workshop: Please visit the project website at http://www.nationalacademies.org/moreworkshop
Committee: Anthony L. DePass (Co-Chair), Long Island University; Larry V. Hedges (Co-Chair), Northwestern University; Daryl E. Chubin, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Howard H. Garrison; Federation of American Societies for
Experimental Biology; Carol B. Muller, MentorNet; Karen Kashmanian Oates, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Questions: Contact Adam P. Fagen, Study Director, moreworkshop@nas.edu

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