- AIBS Past President Dr. Joseph Travis has been awarded the prestigious E.O. Wilson Naturalist Award. Presented by the American Society of Naturalists, the award "is given to an active investigator in mid-career who has made significant contributions to the knowledge of a particular ecosystem or group of organisms." Dr. Travis' recent research has studied how environmental factors affect evolution of fish in Trinidad, and how this process produces change in the environment.
- The Senate finally confirmed Dan Ashe to serve as the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Several Republican Senators held up Ashe's confirmation for more than six months over concerns with the Department of the Interior's policies on wilderness areas, offshore oil and gas leasing, and endangered species. Ashe is a 15-year veteran of the FWS who served as the agency's science advisor from 2003 to 2009. He also helped to develop the agency's recent climate adaptation strategy.
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a new tool to help natural resource managers evaluate which species of land animals are most vulnerable to the risks posed by climate change. The System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species presents 22 questions regarding projected changes to habitat, major life cycle events, interactions with other species, and species' potential to cope with those changes. To access the tool, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/grassland-shrubland-desert/products/species-vulnerability/savs-climate-change-tool/.
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