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Education Report for November/December 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 Teaching and Learning Resources Now Online from 2008 Symposium and Educator Workshop at NABT

The teaching and learning resources compiled for the fifth annual evolution symposium and educator workshop, “Illuminating Biology: An Evolutionary Perspective,” held in October at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) professional development conference, are now online: www.nescent.org/media/nabt2008/. The web-based compilation features the four speakers invited by Douglas J. Futuyma, AIBS’s immediate past-president, to the event cosponsored by AIBS and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). The symposium speakers, Joram Piatigorsky of NIH’s National Eye Institute, Robert Blankenship of Washington University in St. Louis, Patricia Wittkopp of the University of Michigan, and Georg Striedter of the University of California at Irvine, shared the latest research results from their respective fields of biochemistry, developmental biology, molecular biology, and neurobiology and described how evolution has impacted and informed this research. During the accompanying workshop, attendees received hands-on classroom activities for teaching about phylogenetics-based whaling conservation efforts and using systematics to select biocontrol agents. The site includes these teaching activities as well as resources on the nature of science, materials from previous symposia, and links to additional resources for those interested learning more about and teaching about evolution.

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NABT's 2008 Evolution Education Award Presented to Randy Moore

Randy Moore was awarded the 2008 NABT Evolution Education Award on October 17th. Moore, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, has been involved in evolution education for almost 30 years. The award, which “recognizes innovative classroom teaching and community education efforts to promote the accurate understanding of biological evolution,” is cosponsored by AIBS and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS; www.bscs.org). Susan Musante, AIBS’s Senior Education Program Associate, and Janet Carlson, BSCS’s Executive Director, presented Moore with the award, which included a plaque, $1000, and a set of evolution education resources from the two organizations, during an honors luncheon at the NABT professional development conference. For more information on the 2008 award winner, view a PDF of the press release on the AIBS website: www.aibs.org/announcements/RandyMoorepress_release.pdf. To learn more about the award and how to nominate yourself or a colleague, go to the NABT website: www.nabt.org/sites/S1/index.php?p=290.

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New Educator Portal at ActionBioscience.org

The AIBS education resource ActionBioscience.org now has a new section on the site specifically for educators. The “Educator Resources” page, found at www.actionbioscience.org/educators/educator-resources.html, provides easy access to the array of relevant resources provided by AIBS. These resources include the ActionBioscience.org peer-reviewed articles on bioscience education; lessons written to accompany the ActionBioscience.org articles and interviews, which are correlated to national science standards; audiovisual media presentations from AIBS meetings and events; and select articles published in BioScience. All of these resources are available for free. If you’ve visited ActionBioscience.org before, you’ll notice that the site has a new look and organization based on feedback from its users.

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Call for Applications: Diversity Scholars Award and Diversity Leadership Award

AIBS is now accepting applications and nominations for two awards geared toward promoting the participation of underrepresented minorities in the sciences. The AIBS Diversity Scholars Award recognizes an outstanding minority undergraduate or graduate student. Award includes travel support and free registration to the AIBS annual meeting and AIBS membership for a full year. The AIBS Diversity Leadership Award recognizes a program or initiative that actively promotes a diverse biological community. Nominations are welcome from scientific societies, K-12 institutions, colleges and universities, government entities, nonprofit organizations, and community groups, as well as biological entities such as museums, botanical gardens, and field stations. The deadline for the diversity awards is January 15, 2009. Visit [www.aibs.org/diversity](http://www.aibs.org/diversity) for selection criteria, application and nomination forms, and additional information. Contact Sheri Potter, Manager, Membership and Community Programs , at spot...@aibs.org.

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Call for Applications: Pi Lambda Theta Scholarships, Grants, and Awards

Pi Lamba Theta (PLT) is a selective national honor society of educators that supports accomplished teaching, standards-based professional learning, and the recognition of educators for excellent performance. PLT offers a number of scholarships, grants, and awards to students and educators. For an overview of these opportunities and nomination/application instructions, go to www.pilambda.org and click on of scholarships/grants/awards.

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EPA's 2009 Environmental Education Grants

Program guidelines and application information are now available for the 2009 Environmental Education Grants, a program run by the Environmental Education Division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Applications must be submitted by December 18, 2008. Visit the EPA’s website for more information: www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html.

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Knowles Science Teaching Fellowships

The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF), a national advocate for improving the quality of science and mathematics education, is now accepting applications for its signature program, the KSTF Teaching Fellowships. The KSTF Teaching Fellowship is valued at nearly $150,000 over the course of five years and supports teachers as they embark on careers teaching high school science and mathematics. Designed to meet the financial and professional needs of beginning teachers, the fellowship exposes educators to a variety of teaching resources, new curriculum materials, and current research from experts in the field. Most importantly, the program fosters professional development within a community of high school science and mathematics teachers and prepares Fellows to become leaders in their field. Specific information about eligibility and selection criteria is found at: www.kstf.org/tfapplicationFAQ_eligibility.aspx#1. Applications are available at online at www.kstf.org. The deadline for entries is 5:00 pm EST on January 14, 2009.

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Understanding Science - Beta Site Launched

The beta site for the Understanding Science project was launched during the California Science Teachers Association annual conference at the end of October. The site includes information for the general public on the real process of science, highlighting the creative and nonlinear paths scientists take. Educators can find tips and tools to make this process explicit, as well as the new and innovative Science Flowchart. Visit www.understandingscience.org to explore this new website and learn how to make the nature and process of science easily accessible to your students.

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Research Residency Program - Call for Applications

Educators who have thought about the effectiveness of their own teaching practices and would like to investigate their impacts on students are encouraged to apply for the NSF-supported Biology Scholars Program Research Residency (www.biologyscholars.org). The Research Residency is a year-long program that begins with a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Institute in Washington, DC, July 15-18, 2009. The SoTL Institute is an intensive program designed to help faculty learn how to conduct research in teaching and learning in the biological sciences with improved pedagogy practices and student learning outcomes. Space is limited to 20 scholars. The application deadline for the Research Residency is March 1, 2009. More details about the program and application process are available below and at the website: www.biologyscholars.org/page02c.shtml.

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Upcoming Conferences, Events, and Workshops

December 5, 2009--Biology Day at the National Science Teachers Association area conference, sponsored by the National Association of Biology Teachers, Cincinnati, OH. The National Association of Biology Teachers is sponsoring a biology day during the NSTA area conference. The event will provide teaching resources and information for educators interested in increasing their biology-specific knowledge and pedagogical techniques. Visit the NSTA conference website for details: www.nsta.org/conferences/2008cin/specialprograms.aspx#biology.

January 1, 2009--Year of Science 2009, Worldwide.The first of January is the official beginning of the Year of Science 2009, a year-long celebration lead by participants in the Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS; http://copusproject.org). Educators and students have multiple opportunities to participate in local and regional events geared toward increasing the understanding of science as a process and as a community. For a list of January events, the monthly themes, and ways to get involved, visit www.yearofscience2009.org.

January 3-7, 2009--Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting 2009, Boston, MA. The SICB Annual Meeting is the forum for broad comparative approaches to biological investigations, and the 2009 gathering will include many symposia and special programs, as well as contributed papers. The official launch of the Year of Science 2009 will take place on Monday, January 5th, at 12:00 noon, followed by a workshop on communicating science. For more information, visit www.sicb.org/meetings/2009/index.php3.

February 12-15, 2009--IUBS BioEd 2009, Christchurch Convention Centre, Christchurch, New Zealand. The International Union of Biological Sciences' (IUBS) BioEd 2009 will be one of six coordinated international events celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. Information on evolutionary science and teaching resources, as well as a "Future of Biological Education" symposium, are all part of the program. Conference information can be found at http://awcmee.massey.ac.nz/IUBSBioEd2009.

February 14 and 21, 2009--Darwin Day Teachers Workshop and Symposium, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, Durham, NC. The NESCent Education and Outreach staff are organizing a workshop on February 14th to prepare teachers for the symposium the following week. Teachers and their students are invited to attend the symposium on the 21st to learn how evolutionary research benefits everyone's lives. For further details, visit www.nescent.org/eog/eognews.php?id=80.

May 18-19, 2009--AIBS Annual Meeting, "Sustainable Agriculture: Greening the Global Food Supply," Washington, DC. The annual meeting will feature presentations on such topics as biotechnology and pest resistance management, sustainable practices for food production, ecosystem services, food-borne disease, food supply, and global hunger. In the context of the Year of Science 2009, the meeting will also provide opportunities to engage in discussions on agriculture, food supply, genetically modified foods, biofuels, and the public understanding of these issues, and to participate in an educator workshop sponsored by NABT and BSCS. Visit the AIBS annual meeting website for details: www.aibs.org/annual-meeting//annualmeeting2009.

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.

June 9-13, 2009, 31st Annual ABLE Conference, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.  The Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE) will hold its 31st annual conference at the University of Delaware.  As stated on the ABLE website: "Each conference brings together a group of selected presenters with about 140 participants from university and college biology departments throughout Canada and the U.S. In three very full days, the participants are actively involved in four 3-hour 'hands on' workshops and several shorter "mini" workshops. The workshop presenters provide all of the essential information and experiences that the potential user of the laboratory would require in order to "take it home" and use the exercise in their own teaching program." For information about the upcoming conference, go to: http://www.ableweb.org/conf/conferences.htm.

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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