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AIBS Education Report, Volume 2, Issue 1, January/February 2005

  • NEON Education Committee Requests Feedback on Initial Ideas
  • National Evolutionary Synthesis Center Opens, Seeks Education Manager
  • Teaching Students with Disabilities - New "Eye on Education" Column in BioScience
  • Council on Undergraduate Research Convenes 2005 Dialogue on Fundraising
  • Quality Education for Minorities National Conference on Critical Disparities
  • American Society for Microbiology's Scholars-in-Residence Program
  • Aldo Leopold Leadership Program - Call for Applications
  • Input Requested for NCLB Technical Assistance

The AIBS Education Report is distributed broadly by email six times a year to AIBS membership leaders and contacts, including the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Director, AIBS Council Representative, Journal Editor, Newsletter Editor, Public Policy Committee Chair, Public Policy Representative, and Education Committee Chair of all AIBS member societies and organizations (see the MEMBER SOCIETY AND ORGANIZATION DIRECTORY section of www.aibs.org for contact information).

All material from these reports may be reproduced or forwarded. Please mention AIBS as the source; office staff appreciates receiving copies of materials used. If you would like to share information about your organization's education initiatives with the AIBS community, please contact the AIBS Education and Outreach Program Manager, Susan Musante (smus...@aibs.org; 202-628-1500 x 249). Any interested party may self-subscribe to receive these free reports by email. Go to www.aibs.org and click on EDUCATION REPORTS on the opening page, then follow the text links to complete the subscription form. The News & Publications section of the AIBS website also contains back issues of these reports.
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NEON EDUCATION COMMITTEE REQUESTS FEEDBACK ON INITIAL IDEAS

The NEON Education Committee, co-chaired by Carol Brewer (University of Montana) and Laura Huenneke (Northern Arizona University), invite those in the biological science education community to review and comment on the initial reports from their three subcommittees: Higher Education, K-12, and Informal Education. The committees will continue to work on their plans throughout 2005 and welcome additional suggestions or comments. Visit www.neoninc.org/Article16.html to learn more about the NEON committee draft plans and how to comment.


NATIONAL EVOLUTIONARY SYNTHESIS CENTER OPENS, SEEKS EDUCATION MANAGER

The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) has opened its doors in Durham, North Carolina. The NESCent website is www.nescent.org. Established with a $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the center is a collaboration of Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is providing education and outreach services to NESCent on a sub-award and is now advertising for a full-time education and outreach manager to be stationed at NESCent (see www.aibs.org/classifieds).

NSF's goals for NESCent--modeled after the highly successful National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), at the University of California, Santa Barbara--are for the center to "serve the needs of the evolutionary biology community by providing mechanisms to foster synthetic, collaborative, cross-disciplinary studies. It will play a pivotal role in the further unification of the biological sciences as it draws together knowledge from disparate biological fields to increase our general understanding of biological design and function. Finally, the center will play a critical role in organizing and synthesizing evolutionary knowledge that will be useful to policy makers, government agencies, educators and society."

NESCent contact: Cliff Cunningham, NESCent Director, Duke University, cliff@duke.edu

AIBS contact: Richard O'Grady, AIBS Executive Director, rogr...@aibs.org


BOOK ON STUDENT-ACTIVE LEARNING AVAILABLE FOR FREE

A limited number of copies of "Student-Active Science: Models of Innovation in Undergraduate Science Teaching," edited by Ann McNeal and Charlene D'Avanzo (Hampshire College) and published by Saunders College Publishing, are now available free from the editors. This pioneering volume of articles from leading faculty all over the country contains:
- numerous examples of small-group learning
- investigative labs and classes
- many other ideas for active learning
- specific activities for physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics
- overviews of science education reform

If interested in receiving a copy, send your name and mailing address to: sas@carbon.hampshire.edu.


TEACHING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

The January 2005 "Eye on Education" column in BioScience addresses the issue of teaching students with disabilities. A faculty member at the University of Minnesota shares the challenges he faced when a student with severe disabilities enrolled in his biology course. The article illustrates how faculty members and their students can work together to find solutions for students who wish to participate fully in courses, and it provides resources. To read the column, visit the BioScience section of the AIBS website (www.aibs.org/bioscience) or go directly to the "Eye on Education" section of the AIBS website: www.aibs.org/eye-on-education.


COUNCIL ON UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH CONVENES 2005 DIALOGUE ON FUNDRAISING

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is organizing a conference on fundraising, CUR Dialogues: The Art of Grantsmanship, April 17-19, 2005, in Arlington, VA. The conference is for faculty, administrators, undergraduate research directors, and development officers to learn practical strategies, interact with grantmakers, and share ideas on grant writing. Register by February 15th to take advantage of the early-bird discounted rates. Additional information can be found on CUR's conferences webpage: www.cur.org/conferences.html.


QUALITY EDUCATION FOR MINORITIES NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CRITICAL DISPARITIES

The Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) is hosting its 14th annual national conference on Friday and Saturday, February 25-26, 2005, in Washington, DC, at the Washington Marriott Hotel. The theme of the conference is "Critical Disparities Disproportionately Affecting Minorities: Institutional and Faculty Leadership in Their Resolution." The Conference will focus on acute disparities affecting African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Mexican Americans, and Puerto Ricans in areas such as education, health, socioeconomic status, criminal justice, and environmental justice. Conference presenters and participants will examine the role that engineers and scientists from a range of disciplines can play in helping to significantly reduce these disparities. For complete details, visit the QEM website: qemnetwork.qem.org/msenetwork.html.


AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MICROBIOLOGY SCHOLARS-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) invites faculty to apply to be a part of their new Scholars-in-Residence Program. This is a one-year program for ASM members interested in conducting evidence-based research in the area of student learning and the microbiological sciences. The program begins with a summer workshop at ASM headquarters in Washington, DC. Space is limited. Participants are chosen through a competitive evaluation and selection process. The workshop will produce the inaugural "Scholars" of the ASM Scholars-in-Residence Program. Applications are due March 10, 2005. Visit the ASM website for details: www.asmcue.org/index.asp?bid=2332.


ALDO LEOPOLD LEADERSHIP PROGRAM - CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program invites mid-career academic environmental scientists from North America (Canada, Mexico and the United States) to apply for the 2006 fellowships that provide scientific leadership, communications and outreach training. Through a competitive process, the Leopold Leadership Program selects up to 20 Fellows annually to participate in an intensive training program designed to build and enhance the skills of academic environmental scientists to communicate with policy makers, media representatives, businesses, non-profit organizations, and the general public. The program's goal is to increase the understanding of complex environmental issues among non-scientific audiences in order to improve policies and practices for sustainability of the planet.

The program seeks candidates with terminal degrees from a broad range of disciplines including biological, physical and social sciences (e.g., economics, political science) and technical, medical and engineering fields (e.g., wildlife veterinary medicine, environmental health, hazardous waste management) related to the environment. Applicants must be employed by an academic institution in North America, be at mid-career as a tenured or tenure-track professor (associate professor level or equivalent), and be active in teaching and research.

The deadline for applications is Monday, April 25, 2005. Fellowship details, including application forms, can be downloaded from the web site, www.leopoldleadership.org.

INPUT REQUESTED FOR NCLB TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Ten Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) have been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education to conduct outreach efforts and collect input on the technical assistance needed to implement the goals of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. RACs are soliciting input from a variety of stakeholders including governors, chief state school officers, state educational agency staff, school and district administrators, parents, teachers, representatives of higher education, business people, researchers, and regional education service providers. This fast-track effort will conclude in March with the submission of 10 regional reports that will help the U.S. Department of Education establish priorities for new regional technical assistance centers to be funded next year. Your comments and input are encouraged via local outreach efforts planned by RAC members, as well as via the RAC website and email. You may also observe the deliberations of the RAC for your region at three electronic public meetings. Further details are available on the RAC website: www.rac-ed.org.

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- Sign up for AIBS email education updates at www.aibs.org/mailing-lists.

- Biological literacy for all: read www.ActionBioscience.org online free, in English and Spanish.

- National Ecological Observatory Network updates, www.neoninc.org.

- K-12 institutional subscriptions to BioScience for only $55/yr; personal subscriptions for $20 - $70/yr; see www.aibs.org/bioscience/subscription_rates.html.

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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