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Education Report for January/February 2009

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.

ActionBioscience.org Celebrates Darwin's Birthday

ActionBioscience.org celebrates the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin this month with an article by Tim M. Berra, professor emeritus in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University in Mansfield. The article, titled “The Legacy of Charles Darwin,” examines the implications of Darwin’s insight, enabling today’s research and future understanding. Tim Berra’s newest book, Charles Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man, was also published by Johns Hopkins University Press for the celebration. Visit www.actionbioscience.org to read the article and find other articles and interviews on evolution.

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Celebrate the Year of Science 2009: Focus on February's Theme

Though the Year of Science celebration will take place throughout 2009, each month the community focuses on a different scientific theme. The theme for the month of February is evolution. The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) has launched a new website with a special section dedicated to this year-long event and highlighting biology teaching resources that relate to the monthly themes. Visit www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=45 to search the resources and make science come alive in your classroom. Also this month, NABT is publishing a special commemorative issue of The American Biology Teacher featuring articles that emphasize the theory of evolution and its impact for the last 150 years. The February issue of ABT is available to all NABT members and can be ordered by contacting cmerrill@nabt.org or 703-264-9696. For more information about the Year of Science 2009, go to www.yearofscience2009.org.

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EarthTrek Seeks Citizen Science Projects

EarthTrek, a program developed and managed by the Geological Society of America’s Education and Outreach group, is in search of scientists who would like to broaden the impacts of their research by involving community participation. “The projects need to be ones in which people in the community can add real and valuable data using a GPS and simple, easy to obtain instruments. Examples of projects could be the identification as species and collecting lat/long data, recording water/air quality at sites, measuring sizes and locations of phenomena….the possibilities are endless! Projects can be local, regional, or even global in extent.” If you are interested in learning more, contact Gary Lewis, EarthTrek Project Director, Geological Society of America, glewis@geosociety.org, 303-357-1043, or visit www.goearthtrek.com/scientist.html.

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Help Build the Ecological Society of America's Digital Library for Undergraduate Ecology Education

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is seeking submissions of materials for EcoEd Digital Library (www.ecoed.net), ESA’s online library of free digital resources for teaching undergraduate ecology, which is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The next deadline for submissions of materials for review is February 18th, 2009. If you have developed activities for lecture, laboratory, or field classes, or you have a collection of digital images that have potential value for use in an ecology class, ESA encourages you to publish your work and share it with your colleagues. Submissions will be peer reviewed for scientific accuracy and pedagogical value. Accepted resources will be made available through the EcoEd website. Resources will be searchable through EcoEd and a larger biology library, the Bioscience Education Network (BEN, www.biosciednet.org). For more information about the submission process, visit www.ecoed.net/pages/submit or contact Ken Klemow, EcoEd Visual Resources Editor, Kenneth.klemow@wilkes.edu, or Jennifer Riem, ESA Education Coordinator, jennifer@esa.org. ESA is also looking for reviewers for the February submission cycle. Contact Jennifer Riem if you are interested in reviewing.

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Summer Bioinformatics Institute for Beginners

Applications are currently being accepted for the Summer Bioinformatics Institute, sponsored by American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute. The ideal participant is one who is new to using bioinformatics tools. “The Summer Bioinformatics 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 Institute features the analysis of microbial genomes, molecular sequences, and structural data, providing a framework for developing classroom activities and research projects for undergraduate students.” The institute will take place in Walnut Creek, CA, June 14-17, 2009. Space is limited to 24 attendees. The application deadline is February 15, 2009. For detailed information, visit www.facultyprograms.org/page03a.shtml.

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Society for Science and the Public Launches Fellows Program

Society for Science and the Public (SSP), with generous support from Intel, is pleased to announce the launch of its Fellows Program. The SSP Fellows Program provides funds and training to selected US science and math teachers who serve under-resourced students. The program will provide teachers the financial and training resources necessary to support and inspire the success of their most enthusiastic science students. Applicants must be from a school that has enrollment that is at least 40% underrepresented minority and/or with at least 30% of students qualified for free or reduced rate lunches. Fellows receive a stipend of up to $8500 per year. Deadline for application to the 2009 Fellows Program is February 15, 2009, at 5:00 pm EST. Successful applicants will be notified on March 5, 2009. For information on additional eligibility requirements and further details about the Fellows Program, please visit http://outreach.societyforscience.org/ or contact Jennifer A. Carter, Director of Outreach, Society for Science & the Public, at 202-872-5140 or jcarter@societyforscience.org.

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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

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 group is offering a workshop on February 14th to prepare teachers and their students for the symposium being held at the center the following week. Participants 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 AIBS 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: http://www.aibs.org/annual-meeting/annualmeeting2009.html.

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 event providing 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—Association for Biology Laboratory Education Conference, Newark, DE. The 31st annual Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE) conference will take place at the University of Delaware. The conferences attendees participate in hands-on workshops that prepare them to use laboratory exercises with their own students. For more information, visit 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, July 15-18, in Washington, DC. Deadline for applications is March 1, 2009. The agenda is available at www.biologyscholars.org/page02d.shtml.

November 11-14, 2009—National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference, Denver, CO. NABT is currently accepting proposals for the 2009 NABT Professional Development Conference being held November 11-14 in Denver. The deadline for program proposals is March 15th. More information can be found at www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=11.

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