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Education Report for September/October 2008

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.

Evolution Symposium and Educator Workshop at NABT 2008

“Illuminating Biology: An Evolutionary Perspective,” the fifth annual evolution symposium at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), is taking place on Thursday, October 16th, in Memphis, TN. The symposium is co-sponsored by AIBS and NESCent (National Evolutionary Synthesis Center) and will feature four leading scientists talking about ways in which an evolutionary perspective informs other fields of biology, such as neurobiology and developmental biology. All participants must be registered for the NABT Professional Development Conference. For more information, including a list of the speakers and their topics, visit: www.aibs.org/special-symposia/Illuminating-Biology.html.

A workshop introducing educator resources and sharing strategies for using symposium materials in the classroom will take place the following day on Friday, October 17th. Presenters from Understanding Evolution and BioQUEST will offer hands-on activities that demonstrate applications of evolution. Participation is free but limited to 50 people; therefore, all participants must sign up with NESCent and be registered for the NABT Professional Development Conference. For more information, contact Susan Musante at smus@aibs.org or 703-674-2500 x311, or visit the symposium webpage.

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Call for Proposals from NCEAS

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), a research center of the University of California, Santa Barbara, is currently accepting applications for Working Groups, Sabbatical Fellows, Postdoctoral Associates, and Distributed Graduate Seminars. Deadline for submissions is January 12, 2009. Postdoctoral appointments offer an unusual opportunity for interdisciplinary research with the advantages of both independence and collaboration with scores of researchers in diverse fields. Postdoctoral applications are open to all areas of inquiry in ecology and allied disciplines. NCEAS promotes training at all levels. Graduate students in the United States and abroad participate in distributed, web-based collaborative seminars where they learn the concepts and data-sharing tools to synthesize information across geographic areas or habitat types. NCEAS is home to an international and interdisciplinary team of scientists committed to fostering a diverse community of ecologists. For additional information and application instructions, visit www.nceas.ucsb.edu/rfp/.

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Feedback Requested on the NABT’s Guidelines for Four-Year Undergraduate Biology Programs

The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) is currently soliciting feedback on their recently published guidelines for four-year undergraduate biology programs. The current version of the guidelines, developed over the past nine years, is available at www.nabt.org/sites/S1/index.php?p=614. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide guidance for those interested in examining their own programs and conducting self-assessments. The guidelines will be revised based upon feedback from the broader community. If anyone would like to provide input, send comments to John Moore, NABT president-elect, at jhmoore@tayloru.edu.

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Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education

Members of AIBS can subscribe and contribute to the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education (JNRLSE, www.jnrlse.org). Published by the American Society of Agronomy (www.agronomy.org), the peer-reviewed journal is interdisciplinary and cooperates with nine other associations: American Association for Agricultural Education, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Phytopathological Society, American Society for Horticultural Science, American Society of Plant Biologists, Crop Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Entomological Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. Cooperators can subscribe at the member price of only $35 per year, which includes online access.

The journal is written by and for educators and covers all disciplines in the life sciences, natural resources, and agriculture. Educators in universities, extensions, industry, administration, and grades K-16 share teaching techniques, concepts, and ideas. Articles published include research, notes, case studies, web lessons, software, letters, editorials, news features, and profiles. A special section of the journal emphasizes K-16 education. AIBS members can subscribe for the member price of only $35.00 in five ways: - Subscribe online at www.agronomy.org/publications/journals/. - Request a subscription by email to journals@agronomy.org. - Call ASA-CSSA-SSSA headquarters at 608-273-8080. - Fax a request to 608-273-2021. - Make a request by mail to JNRLSE Subscriptions, ASA, 677 S. Segoe Road, Madison, WI 53711.

For those interested in submitting a manuscript, visit these links for more information: Instructions to authors: www.jnrlse.org/pdf/instruct_author.pdf Publications Handbook and Style Manual: www.agronomy.org/publications/style/ Submit manuscripts: www.manuscripttracker.com/jnrlse/

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ASA-CSSA-SSSA’s Students in Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Program

The Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences (SASES) is the undergraduate student program of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). Its membership comprises chapters of student members at various colleges and universities. SASES is governed by five student officers and three faculty advisors, each representing one society. SASES sponsors seven contests and holds their annual meeting with the ASA-CSSA-SSSA annual meetings. Highlights of the annual meeting include Quiz Bowl, tours, election of officers, and professional development programs. There are currently 50 chapters with approximately 675 members. Interested students may join one, two, or all three societies for $10 annually. For more information about the societies, visit www.agronomy.org/students, www.crops.org/students, and www.soils.org/students.

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APS/NIDDK Minority Travel Fellowship Awards

Science is incomplete without the contributions of scientists from both genders, diverse backgrounds, and all racial/ethnic groups. Toward that end, the American Physiological Society (APS) provides travel fellowships to minority students and faculty members to attend their annual spring meeting, Experimental Biology, and other APSconferences. Travel support for these meetings includes registration, travel (air and hotel), and reimbursement for meals and ground transportation. In addition, each fellow is paired with a meeting mentor, an APS member who is an established researcher, usually in the same research area. For more information about the APS Minority Travel Fellowship Awards, please visit www.the-aps.org/education/minorityprog/stufellows/minoritytvl/ovmt.htm.

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New Teaching Materials Needed

The American Physiological Society’s Archive of Teaching Resources is looking for new teaching material submissions. The archive, partnered with Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, National Association of Health Science Education Partnerships, Society for Developmental Biology, and Physiology for the 21st Century, contains about 2,000 learning objects for K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education. By submitting a resource, authors will increase the exposure of their teaching materials, get them peer reviewed, and receive a citation reference. APS is in the process of upgrading the existing archive to be more user friendly, which should be complete by the end of the summer. During this time, the website is still active and authors can submit material for review. Items submitted by December 1st will be included in the winter review cycle. For more information, contact the APS Education Office at archive@the-aps.org, or view the website at www.apsarchive.org.

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Porter Physiology Development Award

The goal of the Porter Physiology Development Program is to encourage diversity among students pursuing full-time studies toward a PhD (or DSc) in the physiological sciences, and to encourage their participation in the American Physiological Society. The Porter Physiology Development Program provides one- to two-year full-time graduate fellowships in programs leading to the PhD (or DSc) in the physiological sciences. The program is open to underrepresented ethnic minority applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its territories. Applications are due on January 15th of each year. More information about the program, including eligibility requirements, can be found at www.the-aps.org/education/minorityprog/stufellows/porterphy/ovpp.htm.

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APS K-12 Minority Outreach Fellowship Awards

The APS K-12 Minority Outreach Fellowship seeks to foster communication between minority students at the graduate and postdoctoral levels and minority life science students at the middle- and high-school levels. The program capitalizes on the opportunity for relationships that APS’s other programs (NIDDK Minority Travel Fellows, Porter Physiology Development, and Frontiers in Physiology) create. Program activities include year-long outreach fellowships for senior graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to visit K-12 classrooms, help conduct teacher professional development workshops, and attend scientific meetings. Applications are due December 31st. For more information, please visit www.the-aps.org/education/minorityprog/stufellows/k-12minor/ovk12.htm.

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Biology Scholars Travel Grants

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) provides travel grants of up to $1500 for biologists from community colleges and institutions serving significant numbers of underrepresented and underserved populations to participate in its Research and Writing Residencies (see section below). More information is available at www.biologyscholars.org/TravelGrant.shtml.

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Upcoming Conferences, Institutes, and Workshops

November 6-8, 2008—Engaging Science, Advancing Learning: General Education, Majors, and the New Global Century; Providence, RI. From the conference website (www.aacu.org/meetings/engaging_science/index.cfm): “This conference will explore the place and practice of science in college learning for the twenty-first century. Conference sessions will feature practices that engage students with the power and centrality of science and with the global reach of science and technology in addressing the world’s urgent challenges. Participants will work on ways to accelerate hands-on learning in science, both in general education and in majors, especially reforms that put critical inquiry, undergraduate research, and social responsibility at the center of the educational experience. And they will work on ways to remove the many barriers—in campus culture and the reward systems—that still impede faculty efforts to teach ‘science as science is done.’”

January 14-17, 2009—APS Professional Skills Training Courses; Lake Buena Vista, FL. Application deadline: October 3rd. The American Physiological Society is offering two courses in January: “Writing and Reviewing for Scientific Journals” and “Making Scientific Presentations: Critical First Skills.” The first course is for upper level graduate students and postdocs who are working on their first author manuscript. The second course is for lower level graduate students who are working on a poster presentation and abstract. The course registration is $700, which includes meals, transportation to and from the Orlando airport, course materials, and your hotel stay. It does not include airfare or mileage allowance to drive to Lake Buena Vista. There will be travel fellowships available to underrepresented minorities (African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and Native American). The application can be found online at www.the-aps.org/awardapps/login/index.cfm. For more information, please visit www.the-aps.org/education/profskills or contact Amy Feuerstein at afeuerstein@the-aps.org.

January 7-10, 2009—Biology Scholars Writing Institute; Washington, DC. Application Deadline: October 19th. A major challenge for faculty involved in undergraduate biology education reform and the scholarship of teaching and learning is dedicating time to publish their findings and contribute to the profession of scholarly work. This dilemma is especially true for faculty with large teaching loads and limited support for scholarship outside of more traditional scientific research. However, publishing one’s work is critical to promotion and to future funding in biology education. ASM’s Biology Scholars Program provides this intensive three-and-a-half day workshop for scholars in its Writing Residency program. For more information about the Writing Institute, visit www.biologyscholars.org/page03c.shtml.

February 9-12, 2009—Learning Interventions Institute; Washington, DC. Application Deadline: October 1st. This ASM institute is directed to all participants with an interest in and curiosity about how and why students, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, advance in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, as well as in the interdisciplinary, biomedical, and behavioral sciences. For more information, please visit www.facultyprograms.org/page04a.shtml.

March 11-14, 2009—Spring Bioinformatics Institute; Washington, DC. Application Deadline: November 15th. This ASM institute aims to meet the need for more undergraduate faculty in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines to understand, interpret, and use molecular sequence information to solve problems. The program features the analysis of microbial genomes, molecular sequences, and structural data, providing a framework for developing classroom activities and research projects for undergraduate students. For more information, please visit www.facultyprograms.org/page03a.shtml.

May 28-31, 2009—16th Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators; Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. The ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators is an interactive three-day conference on scientific updates and effective teaching strategies. The conference will feature plenary lectures, poster sessions, nuts and bolts sessions, and special interest groups. For more information, visit www.asmcue.org.

July 15-18, 2009—Biology Scholars Research Residency; Washington, DC. Biology faculty interested in measuring student learning but uncertain how to design experiments to ascertain whether certain teaching methods are improving student learning can apply to become Research Residency scholars. ASM is calling for applicants who are asking questions about the effectiveness of their teaching approaches, and information for a second cohort of biology scholars is now available. The program begins with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Institute, planned for July 15-18 in Washington, DC. Deadline for applications is March 1, 2009. The agenda is available at www.biologyscholars.org/page02d.shtml.

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