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Education Report for January/February 2010

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.

Teaching Introductory Biology? Participate in Professional Development Webinars

Join us in a series of monthly professional development webinars offered by AIBS, National Association of Biology Teachers, University of California Museum of Paleontology, and the RCN-UBE Introductory Biology Project to support undergraduate educators teaching introductory biology. Each webinar in the series will offer information about a great teaching resource or pedagogical technique and provide the opportunity to interact with resource providers and your colleagues about successful teaching strategies. Visit www.aibs.org/events/webinar to learn more.

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Resources to Teach about Evolution in Extreme Environments

The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) and AIBS cosponsored the sixth annual evolution symposium, “Evolution in Extreme Environments,” at the 2009 National Association of Biology Teachers professional development conference. The event featured presentations on evolution in four different extreme environments: high altitudes, deep sea, caves, and Arctic ice. All of the presentations, including audio and visual of the speakers and their slides, are now available on the NESCent website (www.nescent.org/media/NABT.php#nabt2009). There you can access the presentations as well as the educational resources compiled for symposium participants. The next symposium will take place at the 2010 NABT conference.

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New in ActionBioscience.org

There are two new articles in ActionBioscience.org. “The Future of Marine Fish Resources,” by J. Emmett Duffy, outlines the potentially catastrophic issue that society faces as marine species get closer to becoming extinct and possible actions that, if taken, can address this issue. To read the article, visit www.actionbioscience.org/biodiversity/duffy.html. In “Darwin’s Deliberations about Origin of Species,” author John Buckeridge shares insights into the pressures and anguish Charles Darwin felt prior to the decision to publish his seminal work. To read the article, visit www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/buckeridge.html. Both articles link to additional resources for learning more about the issues or for getting involved.

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New in BioScience

Susan Musante, AIBS Education Programs Manager, writes about using DNA barcoding in the classroom in the January 2010 issue of BioScience. The complete article is freely accessible through University of California Press Journals on Caliber (http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/full/10.1525/bio.2010.60.1.4) or on the AIBS website (http://www.aibs.org/eye-on-education/eyeoneducation201001.html). Here is an excerpt from “DNA Barcoding Investigations Bring Biology to Life”:

When Sophia Cuprillnilson walked into her undergraduate genetics class in the fall of 2008, little did she realize that her perception of biology would be transformed forever. “I thought I was going to be learning about Mendel and peas,” she said. Instead, Cuprillnilson and her classmates became DNA detectives, sent out in pairs to collect samples of fish from local restaurants. Back in the lab at Nova Southeastern University’s Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences in Florida, they extracted DNA, created primers, and analyzed the sequences to determine whether consumers were really getting the species described on the menu.

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Submit a Proposal for the NABT Professional Development Conference

The deadline for submitting a proposal to present at the National Association of Biology Teacher’s Professional Development Conference is March 15, 2010. Anyone interested in leading a special workshop has until February 15, 2010, to submit a proposal. The conference will take place in Minneapolis, MN, from November 3-6, 2010. For complete requirements, visit www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=10.

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TIEE Seeking Submissions of Experiments and Issues

The editors of Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology (TIEE, http://tiee.ecoed.net) are currently seeking submissions of experiments and issues for the next volume. Submissions undergo review, and if accepted, become a part of a peer-reviewed publication of educational materials offered through ESA. Submissions will be accepted on an ongoing basis until November 15, 2010. Anticipated time between submission and initial decision is six weeks. For more details on the submission process and templates for submission, visit http://tiee.ecoed.net/misc/submit.html. If you have any questions, please contact Christopher Beck, lead editor: TIEESubmissions@esa.org.

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Symposium to Address Retention of Female Scientists

Women Evolving Biological Sciences, or WEBS, is three-day symposium on the retention of female biologists and the transition of women from early career stages to tenure track positions and leadership roles in academic and research settings. It will take place October 24-27, 2010, in Seattle, WA. WEBS targets early career women in ecology and evolutionary biology, particularly women who have earned their doctoral degrees within the past two to eight years and who do not have tenure, to address the critical transition from graduate studies and postdoctoral positions to permanent research and teaching positions. The symposium provides a forum for professional development, including awareness and improvement of academic leadership skills, opportunities to establish mentoring relationships, and resources for developing professional networks. Please visit the website, www.webs.washington.edu, for details and application materials. Applications are due April 15, 2010.

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Call for Proposals

  • National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis: The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), a research center of the University of California, Santa Barbara, accepts applications for Working Groups, Center Fellows (sabbatical visitors), Postdoctoral Associates, and Distributed Graduate Seminars. NCEAS stimulates cultural shifts in collaboration, synthesis, and education and promotes the analysis and synthesis of scientific data across many ecology-related disciplines. NCEAS promotes training at all levels. Graduate students in the United States and South Africa 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. The next deadline is June 2010. For complete details, visit www.nceas.ucsb.edu/rfp.

  • National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis: The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is now taking applications for an eight-week-long summer research program for undergraduates (REU) and veterinary students (REV) interested in work at the interface between biology and mathematics. Disease modeling, population dynamics, biodiversity, and climate change are among this year’s research topics. Undergraduate majors in biology, math, and related fields will work as teams with UTK faculty; some teams will include veterinary students or high school teachers. A stipend and housing are provided, along with some funding for travel. The deadline for applications is February 19, 2010. The program takes place June 7 to July 30, 2010. To apply and for more information, go to www.nimbios.org, or contact Sarah Duncan, NIMBioS Education and Outreach Coordinator (sduncan7@utk.edu), or Suzanne Lenhart, NIMBioS Associate Director of Education, Outreach, and Diversity (lenhart@math.utk.edu).

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Call for Applications: Undergraduate Diversity at the Evolution Meetings

Undergraduate students are invited to apply for the Undergraduate Diversity at SSE/SSB Program. Twenty-five students from throughout the United States and Puerto Rico will be selected to receive travel, registration, food, and accommodations to present a poster at the Evolution meetings, June 25-29, in Portland, OR. Students will receive mentoring from graduate students, postdocs, and faculty and participate in two events: the Diversity Social and a career-oriented Undergraduate Futures in Evolutionary Biology panel and discussion. The application deadline is March 1, and applications from all undergraduates are welcome. In past years NESCent has received fewer applications than can be funded, therefore all are encouraged to apply. Program overview and eligibility requirements can be found here: www.oeb.harvard.edu/faculty/edwards/community/application.html. An online application is here: www.nescent.org/eog/signup_evolution2010diversity.php. The program is also in search of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members who would like to serve as mentors during the meetings. Contact Richard Kliman at rmkliman@cedarcrest.edu if you are interested in serving as a mentor and Jory Weintraub at jory@nescent.org will all other questions.

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Chat with Carl Zimmer and Chris Mooney

Authors Chris Mooney and Carl Zimmer will join AIBS for a virtual book party webinar to discuss their most recent books. AIBS will provide participants with a chance to interact with these two exceptional science writers. Plus, participants can win copies of Mooney’s Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future and Zimmer’s The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution. Checkout these featured books in the AIBS Webstore. Registration for the virtual book party is free but space is limited. Register now!
http://www.aibs.org/events/webinar/aibss-1st-virtual-book-party.html

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