AIBS has endorsed a petition expressing support for scientific research stations and their educational programming that have been adversely impacted by financial concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition reads, in part: “Unfortunately, current circumstances, especially COVID-related travel restrictions, have truncated cash flow to field stations thereby debilitating their capacity to generate essential data, conduct outreach activities, and offer unique learning experiences. At a time when environmental issues demand heightened attention, we simply cannot risk undermining the continuum of scientific endeavors and education. Field stations and the courses they deliver are integral to scientific literacy and remain critical to the protection of Earth’s natural heritage and its life-sustaining ecosystem services.”
Petition signatories call on governments, foundations, and universities to “commit to supporting scientific research stations and their educational programming throughout current pandemic adversities and subsequently, to augment resources at a level commensurate with their expanding importance to science and society.”
The petition has garnered signatures from more than 2000 individuals and more than 25 organizations. A related Viewpoint article in BioScience, entitled “Growing Threats to the Scientific and Educational Legacies of Research Stations and Field Courses,” is now available at https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biaa166.