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AIBS Education Report, Volume 2, Issue 5, September/October 2005

  • Evolution Symposium and Session on Defending the Teaching of Evolution at NABT 2005
  • Call for Proposals: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)
  • Announcing the New Understanding Evolution Website
  • Professional Societies and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • PKAL: What Works, What Matters, What Lasts
  • Biology Success: Teaching Diverse Learners
  • Database of Central European Women Scientists
  • News from the National Postdoctoral Association
  • Upcoming Conferences

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. All material from these reports may be reproduced or forwarded. Please mention AIBS as the source; office staff appreciates receiving copies of materials used.

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. 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; 703-674-2500 x311).

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EVOLUTION SYMPOSIUM AND SESSION ON DEFENDING THE TEACHING OF EVOLUTION AT NABT 2005
Join AIBS on October 7th at the 2005 annual meeting of the National Association of Biology Teachers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for two sponsored sessions. The first, cosponsored by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), is the symposium "Evolution and the Environment" from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. During this session, participants will hear presentations by six evolutionary biologists, learn about the connection between evolution and environmental health and change, gather curriculum resources and strategies to teach evolution, and see the newly released film Evolution-Why Bother? After the symposium, AIBS and BSCS are holding a special discussion session, "Defending the Teaching of Evolution" from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. This session will provide national and local resources for educators, updates about recent intelligent design/creationism developments from around the nation, information and policy resources about advancing the teaching of evolution, and a venue for participants to share information and develop contacts. Details are available at www.aibs.org/events/special-symposia/2005-nabt.html.

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CALL FOR PROPOSALS: NATIONAL EVOLUTIONARY SYNTHESIS CENTER (NESCENT)
The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), located in Durham, North Carolina, has issued a call for proposals for postdoctoral fellowships, faculty sabbaticals, and catalysis meetings and working groups. The deadline is October 15, 2005. NESCent's goal is to foster a grand synthesis of the biological disciplines through the unifying principle of descent with modification. To this end, NESCent supports projects addressing synthetic research on any aspect of evolutionary biology, including synthetic papers or reviews and the development of software, mathematical tools, or databases. In addition NESCent is dedicated to education and outreach, working toward effecting a profound and lasting change in popular, educational, and scientific cultures. Postdoctoral fellowships and sabbatical positions are available to address scientific or educational projects. Funding is also available for catalysis meetings or working groups. Catalysis meetings are one-time meetings designed to bring together a group of about 30 participants from diverse disciplines to focus on a major question or research area. Working Groups are small groups of participants who meet about three times over the course of two years to collaborate on the analysis or synthesis of data, models, or both, to address a major question in evolutionary biology or solve a particular analytical problem. Individuals or groups addressing issues in evolution education or science are encouraged to apply for funding. For more information, go to www.nescent.org/main, or contact Joel Kingsolver (jgking@biomail.bio.unc.edu).

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ANNOUNCING THE NEW UNDERSTANDING EVOLUTION WEBSITE
On September 15, the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education launched a major expansion to the "Understanding Evolution" website (evolution.berkeley.edu). The initial Understanding Evolution site was intended for teachers, but with this update the target audience is now everyone interested in learning about evolution. The site has numerous new feature articles highlighting many aspects of evolution science and presented as interactive investigations, research profiles, evolution news (updated monthly), and even a comic strip. All of the site's information is now accessible via a browsable topic directory that will grow as topics and resources are added. Visit the link, and share this news with others!

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PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES AND THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
A meeting of disciplinary societies and professional associations will take place on Friday, October 7, 2005, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. The meeting will focus on the scholarship of teaching and learning at research institutions and will feature:
• An overview and update about the scholarship of teaching and learning movement, centered on developments at the over 100 campuses in the Carnegie Academy Campus Program, and news from the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL).
• Research University Consortium for the Advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (RUCASTL) initiatives regarding specific opportunities and challenges in graduate education and the faculty reward system.
• Exchange among associations about ways that the scholarship of teaching and learning is supported by their organizations, how to address important issues arising in their work, and avenues for ongoing collaboration in the coming years.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Sherry Morreale of the National Communication Association at 202-464-4622 or smorreale@natcom.edu. The deadline for registration was September 16th, but there may still be room for additional participants.

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PKAL: WHAT WORKS, WHAT MATTERS, WHAT LASTS
Throughout the 2005-2006 academic year, Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL; www.pkal.org) will post a series of articles for undergraduate professors as part of Volume IV: What Works, What Matters, What Lasts. This collection of articles and reports provides undergraduate professors with insights, background, and advice from others, and the latest is titled "The Research-rich Undergraduate Community" (www.pkal.org/template2.cfm?c_id=1595). To read all postings, visit www.pkal.org/template2.cfm?c_id=986.

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BIOLOGY SUCCESS: TEACHING DIVERSE LEARNERS
Complimentary copies of the book Biology Success! Teaching Diverse Learners, by Grumbine, Hecker, and Littlefield, are now available through The National Institute at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. The book is a resource manual for biology educators interested in reaching all students, including those with learning disabilities, in their biology courses. The National Institute provides resources for students with learning disabilities and professional development for faculty who work with them. For more information about book and program, visit www.landmark.edu/institute/grants_research/biology_success/index.html.

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TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
The NSF's Instructional Materials Development (IMD) program solicitation
(NSF 5-162) was recently announced and is available from the NSF
website: nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf05612. The deadline for preliminary proposals is November 14, 2005.

The 2005-2006 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program competition is open for applications. The fellowship provides three years of financial support including a $30,000 annual stipend and $10,500 cost of education allowance. U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent resident aliens at or near the beginning of research-based graduate studies in relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines are eligible to apply. For application and deadline information, go to www.fastlane.nsf.gov. For additional program information, go to www.nsf.gov/grfp.

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DATABASE OF CENTRAL EUROPEAN WOMEN SCIENTISTS
The Central European Centre of Women and Youth in Science (CEC-WYS; www.cec-wys.org), funded by the European Commission to help women and young scientists participate fully at all levels of work in the scientific community, has developed a database of more than 750 highly qualified women scientists from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, and Slovakia. The database was developed as a tool to realize the target set by the European Commission that aims to encourage all member states to increase participation of women in such decision-making bodies to 40 percent. A very broad spectrum of disciplines is represented, from astronomy to agriculture, education to engineering, forestry to philosophy. Currently 36 percent of the database members are from the field of natural sciences, 22 percent from social sciences, 15 percent from medical sciences, 12 percent from humanities, 8 percent from engineering and technical sciences, and 5 percent from agricultural sciences. The database is easily navigable and complies with national data protection standards: http://www.cec-wys.org/html/index.php?s1=1&s2=7&s3=2&lng=13.

The CEC-WYS hopes that the database will serve as a valuable resource for those seeking experts for scientific advisory committees, boards, and expert panels. For more information on the CEC-WYS project, visit or contact Laura Henderson, EU project manager, National Contact Centre - Women and Youth in Science, Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Jilska 1, Prague 110 00, Czech Republic, tel: +420 222 222 322, laura@zenyaveda.cz.

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NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATION
The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA; www.nationalpostdoc.org) is seeking proposals for workshops to be held at its 2006 annual meeting, April 21-23, in Bethesda, Maryland. For more details, please visit the NPA website: www.nationalpostdoc.org/annual_meeting/2006/workshop. The submission deadline is October 21, 2005. For general information about the meeting, please visit
www.nationalpostdoc.org/annual_meeting/2006/.

The NPA has a new online database of postdoctoral associations and offices at research institutions throughout the United States. To view the database, please visit www.nationalpostdoc.org/for_postdocs/PDOPDADatabase. This database is a free service to the postdoctoral community. If you know of information that should be added or corrected within the database, please contact Kenetia Thompson at kthompso@aaas.org. If you have any questions or comments, contact Alyson Reed, Executive Director, National Postdoctoral Association, 202-326-6427, areed@aaas.org.

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UPCOMING CONFERENCES

National Association of Biology Teachers
October 5-8, 2005
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
http://www.nabt.org/sup/conferences/

Association of College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE)
October 13-15, 2005
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
http://acube.org/49th%20annual/index.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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