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AIBS Education Report, Volume 1, Issue 2, September 2004

  • Survey of the NRC's BIO2010 Report: All Undergraduate Faculty Encouraged to Respond
  • Take the ActionBioscience.org Visitor Survey
  • Take the BioScience Readership Survey
  • Undergraduate Faculty Charged to Take Responsibility for Evolution Education
  • Call for Nominations to the NEON Design Consortium
  • Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network Workshops for Biology Faculty

SURVEY OF THE NRC's BIO2010 REPORT: ALL UNDERGRADUATE FACULTY ENCOURAGED TO RESPOND

The American Institute of Biological Sciences, Ecological Society of America, and Botanical Society of America are conducting a survey to measure the influence to date of the 2003 National Research Council of the National Academies report BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. The report is available for reading at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309085357/html/.

Anyone involved in undergraduate biology education is encouraged to respond to the survey and provide feedback. The survey is online at http://surveys.aibs.org/opinio/s?s=53. All responses to this online survey will be anonymous. The results of the survey will enable AIBS, ESA, and BSA to develop recommendations to their members to ensure that the curriculum needs of biology majors, as well as those of the general education biology student, are met.

TAKE THE ACTIONBIOSCIENCE.ORG VISITOR SURVEY

ActionBioscience.org (http://www.ActionBioscience.org/), an education resource of AIBS, is conducting a user survey at http://surveys.aibs.org/opinio/s?s=3. The goal of the survey is to learn more about the needs of the users and the way in which the resources are currently being used. Different questions are automatically generated depending upon who the survey respondent is, i.e., student, educator, general public. There is a separate survey for Spanish-speaking users, found at http://surveys.aibs.org/opinio/s?s=57.

If you have read the peer-reviewed articles published in ActionBioscience.org or have used the lesson plans or links to learn more about the issues addressed on the site, please provide your feedback by taking the online survey. All responses are confidential.

TAKE THE BIOSCIENCE READERSHIP SURVEY

Tell us how the AIBS journal, BioScience, meets your needs, and how we can do a better job with its publication in the future. Please complete the survey online at http://www.glickmanresearch.com/bioscience1.htm -- it will take only a few minutes of your time, but its results will help us to better serve our readers' needs far into the future. All responses are confidential.

UNDERGRADUATE FACULTY CHARGED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVOLUTION EDUCATION

The September 2004 issue of BioScience includes an Education article by Randy Moore, University of Minnesota, titled: "How Well Do Biology Teachers Understand the Legal Issues Associated with the Teaching of Evolution?" Moore conducted a survey of science teachers to determine their understanding of the laws associated with the teaching of evolution. The results reveal that a significant percentage of the teachers surveyed do not know their legal responsibilities regarding the teaching of evolution and creationism. The implications of this lack of legal understanding are connected to the science education content students are taught.

Read Moore's article in BioScience for free online at http://www.aibs.org/bioscience/current_issue.html. And if you are an undergraduate faculty member thinking that this is a middle or high school issue, think again. As Robert E. Gropp, AIBS Senior Public Policy Representative, writes in the accompanying BioScience editorial:

"University science education faculty need to provide current and future science teachers with accurate training on the legal environment in which evolution is taught, which means that alternative, nonscientific explanations are not to be taught at all. As Moore's survey results indicate, university biology faculty must accept partial responsibility for many science teachers' incomplete understanding of evolution and the nature of science. Thus, science faculty must commit to doing a better job of teaching the principles of evolution to all students."

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS TO THE NEON DESIGN CONSORTIUM

With a two-year, $6 million cooperative agreement between the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and the National Science Foundation now in place, the Design Consortium and Project Office for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is staffed and operational, preparing to develop a blueprint for the network and a plan for its implementation. Located at AIBS headquarters in Washington DC, the NEON project is accepting nominations from the scientific community for membership on certain committees charged with developing the scientific, educational, and technical plans for NEON. NEON will be the first national measurement and observation system designed both to answer regional- to continental-scale scientific questions and to have the interdisciplinary participation necessary to achieve credible ecological forecasting and prediction. See the new NEON website at www.neoninc.org , and the NSF press release at http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/newsroom/pr.cfm?ni=15100000000112.

If you have an interest in becoming involved in the challenge of designing NEON--or you think a colleague may be--you may review relevant background material and submit an online nomination form at http://www.neoninc.org. Preference will be given to individuals who:

• Have relevant scientific and technical expertise
• Work well in group settings
• Can compromise to reach closure
• Respond promptly and can work according to an aggressive schedule
• Think outside the box and are not prisoners of history or fashion
• Keep the community interest foremost in mind
• Are available for each of the three committee meetings in 2005 [Jan. 3-7 (West Coast TBD), Mar. 14-18 (East Coast TBD), and June 6-10 (Estes Park, CO)]

Committee nominations will be reviewed beginning October 8, 2004. Committee members will receive an honorarium for their service, and travel expenses to meetings paid.

QUALITY EDUCATION FOR MINORITIES (QEM) WORKSHOPS FOR BIOLOGY FACULTY

The Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network (http://qemnetwork.qem.org/) is holding two workshops on proposal development and evaluation. The workshops are designed to assist eligible biology faculty at accredited minority institutions and eligible underrepresented minority biology faculty at other accredited institutions in the preparation of proposals for submission to the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO).

To be eligible for support from QEM, faculty must meet each of the following criteria: (1) hold the rank of assistant professor or above; (2) be tenured or tenure track; (3) teach biology courses taken by students majoring in biology/biological sciences; and (4) be actively engaged in research.

The first workshop will take place October 29-30, 2004, at the Embassy Suites Hotel at the Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport. The second workshop will take place in Memphis, Tennessee, April 1-2, 2005. Each workshop is designed to accommodate 40 eligible faculty. QEM will cover travel and lodging expenses for only one eligible participant from a given institution; however, additional eligible faculty may participate at an institution's expense. QEM will provide meals during the workshop for all participants.

QEM invites nominations of eligible biology faculty to participate in the October 29-30, 2004, workshop in Baltimore. All nominations for the October 2004 Workshop must be received no later than Friday, October 1. For more information and for nomination forms, contact Shirley M. McBay, President, QEM Network, 1818 N Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20036, Tel: 202/659-1818, Fax: 202/659-5408, E-mail: smmcbay@qem.org.

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The American Institute of Biological Sciences is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) scientific association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society. Founded in 1947 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences, AIBS became an independent, member-governed organization in the 1950s. Today, with headquarters in Washington, DC, and a staff of approximately 50, AIBS is sustained by a robust membership of some 5,000 biologists and 200 professional societies and scientific organizations; the combined individual membership of the latter exceeds 250,000. AIBS advances its mission through coalition activities in research, education, and public policy; publishing the peer-reviewed journal BioScience and the education website ActionBioscience.org; providing scientific peer review and advisory services to government agencies and other clients; convening meetings; and managing scientific programs. Website: www.aibs.org.


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