December 14, 2012


From the AAAS:

Dear Colleagues:

The Vision and Change effort to explore and implement needed changes in undergraduate biology education has been ongoing since 2007.  It is now time to take stock of what has been accomplished at the course and faculty level and consider how to accomplish the larger scale changes needed at the departmental and institutional levels. The attached document [available online at] briefly describes the AAAS Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology: Chronicling the Changes initiative, as well as other related activities. General information can be located on the website (

On behalf of the AAAS Vision and Change (V&C) in Undergraduate Biology Advisory Board and its partners, we are writing to request abstracts to document efforts to improve undergraduate biology education made after the start of the Vision and Change initiative. Your abstract should chronicle the efforts you have made to change undergraduate biology at your institution, the outcomes of the changes initiated, how those outcomes were determined and documented, information about any changes that your efforts have inspired in a department or larger institutional unit, and how these more global efforts were achieved.   Abstracts will be used to:

***Develop an online Change document to complement the 2011 Vision and Change document ( and

***Select participants for a Change meeting. 

One-hundred-fifty (150) of those submitting abstracts will be invited to participate in the Change meeting scheduled for August 28-30, 2013, in Washington DC, along with a colleague of their choosing from their institution. The colleague should be either a:

***Faculty member contemplating but not yet engaged in the change effort;

***Change-enabling administrator;

***Partnering science education researcher or director of a campus teaching and learning center (or equivalent); or

***Student who can give insight into the change process and outcomes.

Teams from professional societies must include a board member and the executive or education director.

This is an important activity. Your input is needed to develop the online Change document to complement the Vision and Change document.  Please submit an abstract even if you will be unable to attend the meeting.  All appropriate abstracts will be included on the website.

The deadline for submitting an abstract is January 31, 2013

The abstracts will be reviewed by AAAS and its partners and the Change advisory board to decide which will be included in the final report and to select invitees for the August 2013 meeting.  Selection criteria will take into account sub-disciplines, types of projects, types of products, innovative approaches to project design, development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination. Other selection criteria will include diversity of students served, type of institution, and geographic location.  We expect to announce teams selected for the conference by April 30, 2013.

Partners in the Change initiative include the National Science Foundation (NSF), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (TWD); and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

To submit an online abstract please go to

Air or train fare or car mileage/parking, hotel sleeping rooms, and some meals will be provided for teams selected to participate in the conference. The conference will begin at 5:30pm on Wednesday, August 28th and end by noon on Friday, August 30thth. Participants will receive a 2 night hotel stay for August 28th and 29th; buffet dinner reception on day 1 of the conference; lunch on Day 2 of the conference; and breakfast on Day 3.

If you have questions about the Change initiative, please email Yolanda S. George, (, Deputy Director for Education and Human Resources Programs.

For names of the Change Advisory Board Members, please see

We hope you are able to join us for this exciting set of activities as they are integral to help us all continue to shape the future of undergraduate biology education.


Carol A. Brewer, Vision and Change Advisory Board and Conference Co-Chair, Professor Emerita of Biology, University of Montana  

Alan I. Leshner, Vision and Change Advisory Board and Conference Co-Chair, CEO of AAAS and Executive Publisher, Science


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