President's Budget Cuts Science

The White House released the President’s Budget Request for fiscal year (FY) 2021 on February 10, 2020. The budget proposes large cuts for science for the fourth consecutive year. The $4.8 trillion budget framework calls for cuts to most federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The proposal would provide $1.3 trillion for discretionary programs, including $590 billion for non-defense spending - the source for most scientific research programs. Last year, Congress reached a bipartisan budget deal to raise the overall federal spending caps by $320 billion over FY 2020 and 2021. The agreement set the caps for defense and nondefense discretionary spending in FY 2021 at $741 billion and $635 billion, respectively. While the President’s request of $741 billion for defense spending is in line with the budget deal, the request for nondefense discretionary spending falls $45 billion below the cap.

The Administration has proposed increased investments in technologies that will be “at the forefront of shaping future economies,” including artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, advanced manufacturing, and biotechnology. The budget describes these technologies as “Industries of the Future.”

However, overall federal investments in R&D would decrease by 8.8 percent in FY 2021 to $142.2 billion. Some key items related to science in the budget request include:

  • NSF would receive $7.7 billion, a 6.5 percent cut relative to the FY 2020 enacted level. The Research and Related Activities account within NSF, which includes the Biological Sciences Directorate, would be cut 7.8 percent to $6.2 billion.
  • NIH’s budget would be slashed by 7.2 percent to $38.7 billion in FY 2021.
  • NASA is among the few science agencies slated for a boost in funding. Overall, the space agency would receive $25.2 billion (+11.6 percent), but its Science account will shrink by 11 percent to $6.3 billion. NASA’s Earth Science program, which includes climate research, would be cut by 10 percent.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would take a 29 percent hit, shrinking its budget to $738 million in FY 2021.
  • The Department of Energy Office of Science would receive $5.8 billion in FY 2021, a 16.6 percent cut from FY 2020. Funding for Biological and Environmental Research would be slashed by 31 percent to $517 million. The President has once again called for terminating the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a proposal repeatedly rejected by Congress in the past. Support for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would shrink by 74 percent.
  • A $12.8 billion (-16 percent) budget is proposed for the Department of the Interior. The National Park Service would be funded at $2.8 billion, 17 percent below FY 2020, with $327 million (-4.4 percent) targeted to natural and cultural resource stewardship. The Bureau of Land Management would be trimmed by more than 10 percent to $1.2 billion, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would receive $1.4 billion (-16 percent). The department’s science agency, the USGS, would see its budget slashed by nearly 24 percent. The Administration has once again proposed restructuring its 7 mission areas into 5 mission areas. Under the proposed structure, the new Ecosystems mission area would receive a nearly 50 percent budget cut. The proposal would terminate the Cooperative Research Units and reduce funding for climate research.
  • EPA is slated for a 26.5 percent budget cut in FY 2021. Overall, the agency would receive $6.6 billion, with $485 million targeted to science and technology (-32 percent).
  • Funding for the Agricultural Research Service within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would be slashed by 12 percent. On the upside, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) would receive a boost of 3 percent, with the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) slated for a 41 percent increase to $600 million.
  • NOAA’s budget would shrink by 14 percent to $4.6 billion. The Administration has again proposed eliminating the National Sea Grant College Program.
  • The budget request for Smithsonian Institution has not yet been released.

Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle have rejected the President’s proposal and have said that they will adhere to the budget agreement on spending caps that was reached last year. “We’re going to write our bills according to the agreement that we have with the administration,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also indicated that he would stick with the agreed upon spending caps. “What we will be looking at is trying once again to have a relatively regular appropriations process since we have agreed on what the cap is supposed to be for this year,” said McConnell.

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President Proposes Cuts at NSF

The President has proposed a 6.5 percent cut to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in fiscal year (FY) 2021. The science agency is slated to receive $7.7 billion, which is $537 million below the FY 2020 level enacted by Congress.

According to the budget proposal, NSF will continue to invest in its Big Ideas and Convergence Accelerator, providing support for “bold inquiries into the frontiers of science and engineering” in order “to break down the silos of conventional scientific research funded by NSF to embrace the cross-disciplinary and dynamic nature of the science of the future.”

Among the research-focused Big Ideas, Understanding the Rules of Life (URoL), Navigating the New Arctic (NNA), and Windows on the Universe would each receive flat funding of $30 million relative to FY 2019. The agency would allocate $45 million each to Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) (+50 percent) and the Future of Work at the Human Technology Frontier (+50 percent). Quantum Leap (QL): Leading the Next Quantum Revolution, would receive $50 million, which is a 67 percent increase relative to FY 2019. NSF INCLUDES, which supports education and career pathways to help broaden participation in science and engineering and build a diverse and skilled American workforce, would receive $18.9 million (-6 percent). Growing Convergence Research at NSF would receive a 3.8 percent cut, while Mid-scale Research Infrastructure would receive a boost of 63 percent compared to FY 2019. For the Convergence Accelerator, the agency would provide a 60 percent boost compared to FY 2019 for a total of $70 million.

Research would be cut by 7.8 percent. The Research and Related Activities account would receive $6.2 billion, $524 million below FY 2020. Most research directorates across the agency would lose funding relative to FY 2019:

  • Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO): $705 million (-10.1 percent)
  • Geological Sciences Directorate (GEO): $836.6 million (-13.7 percent)
  • Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE): $1.06 billion (+7.8 percent)
  • Engineering Directorate (ENG): $909.8 million (-8.2 percent)
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS): $1.4 billion (-2.8 percent)
  • Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE): $246.8 million (-9 percent)
  • Office of International Science and Engineering: $44 million (-10.2 percent)
  • Office of Polar Programs: $420 million (-14.1 percent)
  • Integrative Activities: $539 million (-1.6 percent)
  • U.S. Arctic Research Commission: $1.6 million (+8.1 percent)

Within BIO, which provides about 67 percent of federal funding for fundamental non-medical biological research at academic institutions, funding cuts would be allocated to its five divisions accordingly (relative to FY 2019):

  • Molecular and Cellular Biosciences: $130.9 million (-9.5 percent)
  • Integrative Organismal Systems: $175.8 million (-9.5 percent)
  • Environmental Biology: $150.3 million (-2.2 percent)
  • Biological Infrastructure (DBI): $158 million (-12.6 percent)
  • Emerging Frontiers: $89.9 million (-18.5 percent)

The “bioeconomy” has been recognized as a research priority by the White House Office of Science and Technology. The BIO directorate would increase investments to support the bioeconomy to $96 million (+6.7 percent compared to FY 2019) through research funding programs in synthetic biology, genomics, bioinformatics, and biotechnology, and training fellowships to build the U.S. workforce. Other research directorates within NSF will work together with BIO to make investments in the bioeconomy, including CISE ($4.75 million), ENG ($96 million), and MPS ($25 million).

Other major BIO investments include stewardship for URoL, Advanced Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Information Sciences (QIS), and Understanding the Brain (UtB), which includes the BRAIN initiative. URoL would support multi-disciplinary, team science approaches towards a predictive understanding of how complex traits of an organism emerge from the interaction of its genetic makeup with the environment. In collaboration with the Engineering Directorate, BIO would support Advanced Manufacturing through investments in synthetic biology. Investments in Artificial Intelligence through the Division of Biological Infrastructure would focus on applying machine learning and genetic algorithms in biological research to solve problems such as genome sequence alignment, predicting species range distributions, and predicting protein structure. The directorate would also increase funding for QIS through investments in fundamental research in biophysics to understand quantum phenomena within living systems.

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)would receive a total of $65 million in FY 2021 through DBI, a decrease of 12 percent from FY 2019.

The Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) would operate at $931million, one percent below FY 2020. Within EHR, the Division of Undergraduate Education would see their budget cut by nearly 11 percent, while the Division of Graduate Education would receive an 11 percent boost compared to FY 2019. NSF’s investments in the STEM professional workforce would fall by 8.4 percent relative to FY 2019 to $430 million. EHR would allocate $9 million for bioeconomy through research and workforce development programs.

Support for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) would decrease by 5.5 percent to $230 million compared to FY 2020. Agency Operations and Award Management would receive a 2.6 percent boost, while the National Science Board would lose 6.4 percent compared to FY 2020.

The NSF Innovation Corps, which improves researchers’ access to resources that help transfer knowledge to downstream technological applications, would receive $31.4 million, a decrease of 4 percent from FY 2019.

Cross-cutting programs would receive funding cuts all across the board. The Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network would receive $28 million, nearly 16 percent below FY 2019. The Research Experiences for Undergraduates program would be slashed by 19.2 percent compared to FY 2019. Support for Faculty early career development programs or CAREER grants would be slashed by 30.2 percent compared to FY 2019.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships would be cut by 3.3 percent compared to FY 2019 to $275 million in FY 2021, while support for NSF’s Research Traineeship program would increase to $62 million (+14.4 percent).

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NIH Slated for 7 percent Budget Cut

The President has proposed a $38.7 billion budget for the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year (FY) 2021. This translates to a $3 billion or 7 percent cut in the agency’s funding compared to FY 2020.

The NIH budget request includes a $50 million initiative to use artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a better understanding of the causes of chronic diseases and to identify early treatments. This plan is in line with the Administration’s “Industries of the Future” effort, which supports using and developing AI across sectors.

The budget would provide $50 million for the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative that plans “to build a connected data infrastructure to enable childhood cancer data sharing from multiple sources; to identify opportunities to employ that data better for patients, clinicians, and researchers; and to develop and enhance tools and methods to extract knowledge from the data to directly address challenges in caring for children with cancer.” This 10-year, $500 million initiative proposed by the President doing his 2019 State of Union address is now in its second year.

Another priority for NIH in FY 2021 would be research on tickborne diseases. The proposal includes $44 million in additional funding to accelerate NIH’s priorities outlined in its Strategic Plan for Tickborne Disease Research published in 2019. The budget for NIH also includes $404 million in funding made available through the 21st Century Cures Act. NIH will continue to support research on opioid addiction and influenza vaccines. The plan also provides $16 million for the NIH-sponsored Centers for AIDS Research.

The leading biomedical research agency in the world would receive budget cuts across the board. All NIH centers are slated for budget reductions:

  • National Cancer Institute (NCI): -8.7 percent
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: -9 percent
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: -8.2 percent
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: -7.3 percent
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences: -9 percent
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: -9.1 percent
  • National Institute of Mental Health: -9.7 percent
  • National Human Genome Research Institute: -8.9 percent
  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering: -8.9 percent
  • National Library of Medicine: -9 percent

The proposal would also cut the Office of the Director’s budget by 8.2 percent. The buildings and facilities account for NIH would see a boost of 50 percent to $300 million, with the increased targeted to renovations and repairs at NCI’s Frederick, Maryland, facility.

The Administration once again proposes replacing the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), an independent agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, with the National Institute for Research on Safety and Quality (NIRSQ) under NIH. The AHRQ received $445 million from Congress in FY 2020, but the budget would provide only $355 million (-20 percent) for NIRSQ in FY 2021. Congress has repeatedly rejected the Administration’s efforts to move AHRQ under NIH.

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President Slashes USGS Funding by 24 percent

Under President Trump’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2021, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) would be funded at $971.2 million, a 24 percent cut from the FY 2020 level enacted by Congress.

The budget once again proposes to consolidate the agency’s seven mission areas into five new mission areas to “better address stakeholder priorities.” The five new mission areas would be: Ecosystems, Energy and Mineral Resources, Natural Hazards, Water Resources, and Core Science Systems. Programs formerly under the Environmental Health area would be moved into the Ecosystems mission area and programs formerly under Land Resources would be transferred to Ecosystems and Core Science Systems.

Under the new structure, the Ecosystems mission area would receive $127 million in FY 2021, nearly 50 percent below FY 2020 enacted levels. The plan restructures the Ecosystems account to include programs formerly under Land Resources and Environmental Health mission areas, specifically the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers, significant portions of Land Change Science, Toxic Substance Hydrology, and Contaminant Biology.

Other mission areas are also slated for budget cuts. Water Resources would be slashed by nearly 23 percent; Natural Hazards would be reduced by 19 percent; and Core Science Systems is facing a 14 percent reduction. Energy and Mineral Resources, however, is looking at a small increase of 1.3 percent. The Science Support accounts at USGS would receive a small cut of 2.7 percent and the Facilities account would be slashed by nearly 30 percent.

The plan proposes reductions for several research programs, including species-specific research, research on contaminants, harmful algal blooms, White-nose syndrome, Coral disease, Asian Carp, habitat research, and water use and quality research. Environmental Health Research as well as research on the Everglades, California Bay Delta, Chesapeake Bay, and Arctic ecosystems would be zeroed out.

Drastic cuts have again been proposed to climate research. The National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers, responsible for developing the science and tools to address the effects of climate change on land, water, wildlife, fish, ecosystems, and communities, have been slated for a 64 percent budget cut. Congress provided a $13 million increase to the program last year.

The request once again proposed the elimination of the Cooperative Research Units (CRUs), which are located on 40 university campuses in 38 states. The CRUs allow USGS to leverage research and technical expertise affiliated with these universities to conduct research, provide technical assistance, and develop scientific workforces through graduate education and mentoring programs. Congress has rejected the Administrations repeated attempts the shutter this program in the past and provided CRUs with a more than $5 million increase in FY 2020.

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DOE Science Budget to Shrink by 17 percent

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) would receive $35.4 billion in FY 2021, an 8.1 percent decrease from the FY 2020 enacted level of $38.5 billion. Within this request, $5.8 billion (-17 percent) would be directed toward the Office of Science.

The Office of Science supports both scientific research and design, development, construction, and operation of scientific user facilities. Approximately 23,000 researchers located at over 300 institutions and the 17 DOE national laboratories are supported by grants from the Office of Science. The budget for the Office of Science includes $475 million for exascale computing, $237 million for quantum information sciences (QIS), and $125 million for AI and machine learning, to support the Administration’s “Industries of the Future” initiative.

Funding for Biological and Environmental Research (BER) would be slashed by 31 percent from the FY 2020 level to $517 million, with funds directed to support “fundamental research to understand complex biological, biogeochemical, and physical principles of natural systems at scales extending from the genome of microbes and plants to the environmental and ecological processes at the scale of the planet Earth.”

The FY 2021 request for Biological Systems Science prioritizes core research areas of genomic sciences, including foundational genomics that supports secure biosystems design research to modify microorganisms and plants with specific beneficial traits for renewable bioenergy, bioproduct and biomaterials production; new computational bioscience tools; and the four Bioenergy Research Centers. Overall, Biological Systems Science would receive $339 million, a decrease of 16.2 percent. The budget for Genomic Science would shrink by 9.7 percent, with the Bioenergy Research Centers slated for a flat budget of $100 million. The Biomolecular Characterization and Imaging Science account would receive a 45 percent cut and Biological Systems Facilities and Infrastructure would receive a 22 percent cut.

The budget would shrink for all three BER scientific user facilities, namely the Joint Genome Institute (-22 percent), the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Research Facility (-22 percent), and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (-3.3 percent).

Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences would receive $177.6 million (-49 percent) in FY 2021, with funding reduced substantially for all accounts including atmospheric systems research (-66 percent), environmental system science (-75.5 percent), earth and environmental systems modeling (-61 percent), and facilities and infrastructure (-16.6 percent). Environmental system science supports the study of terrestrial ecosystems, including the Arctic.

Advanced scientific computing research would receive $988 million, a small boost of 0.8 percent, with $439 million targeted to the development of exascale computing.

The budget for basic energy sciences would be slashed by 12.5 percent to $1.9 billion, with funding directed towards highest priority early-stage fundamental research, operation and maintenance of scientific user facilities, and facility upgrades. The request would continue to support the Energy Frontier Research Centers, two Energy Innovation Hubs, and five research centers for nanoscale science, among others. High priority research areas include QIS, next-generation microelectronics, artificial intelligence, exascale computing, critical materials, polymer upcycling, and next-generation biology. Under next-generation biology, the agency would support the development of bio-inspired, biohybrid, and biomimetic systems.

Science Laboratories Infrastructure is slated to receive $174 million, a decrease of 42 percent, with the funds directed towards three new construction projects: the Princeton Plasma Innovation Center at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), the Critical Infrastructure Recovery and Renewal project at PPPL, and the Ames Infrastructure Modernization project at Ames Laboratory, and fifteen ongoing construction projects.

Workforce development for teachers and scientists would be cut by $7.5 million to $20.5 million, with funds targeted towards programs that place qualified students in STEM learning opportunities at Department of Energy laboratories as well as the National Science Bowl competition.

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Societies Urge CEQ to Extend Comment Period on NEPA Update

Thirteen scientific societies, including the American Institute of Biological Sciences, have urged the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to extend the comment period for the proposed changes for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA is a landmark law that requires proper environmental assessment prior to undertaking any major federal project that significantly affects the environment, such as airports, buildings, military complexes, and highways.

“The proposed changes to NEPA’s implementation guidelines are widely viewed as a regulatory overhaul to this landmark environmental law. This rule represents a significant shift in policy and the development of new language, interpretations, requirements, and procedures that will affect fish, wildlife, and forests. Narrowing the scope of environmental review for federal actions will have far-reaching implications for natural resources, including wildlife, fish, aquatic animals, forests, and ecosystems on which we all depend.”

The current deadline to submit comments on the proposed update is March 10, 2020. The societies have requested a minimum of a 120-day comment period to appropriately review the proposed rule changes.

Read the letter: https://www.aibs.org/position-statements/20200211ceqnepaupdatecomments.html

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Webinar: An Overview of the Nagoya Protocol from the U.S. Government

The Nagoya Protocol is a multilateral treaty that sets up a legal framework for utilizing genetic resources. It should be a part of every researcher’s thinking, from how to conduct research, to manage collections, and how to work with partners. Even for researchers based in the United States, familiarity with the Protocol, and what it requires, is important as provider countries may have rules/regulations/laws that carry obligations that apply to samples even after they have left the country, such as restrictions on use, third party transfer, and tracking of any shared benefits.

Please join us on Thursday, February 27 when Patrick Reilly, from the U.S. Department of State, conducts a webinar on the Protocol; offering a short history of how the Protocol was developed, what it actually says (and what it doesn’t), the difference between monetary and non-monetary benefit sharing, and how the U.S. government can help. Following the presentation, Patrick will be taking questions from webinar participants.

Life Finds A Way: An Overview of the Nagoya Protocol from the U.S. Government

Location: Online
Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Presented by: The American Institute of Biological Sciences
Thursday, February 27, 2020
1:30 - 2:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
Presenter: Mr. Patrick Reilly, U.S. Department of State

Registration is free, but required. For more information about the program and speakers and to register for the webinar, please visit: https://www.aibs.org/events/webinar/nagoya-protocol.html.

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Participate in the 2020 AIBS Congressional Visits Day

Join the American Institute of Biological Sciences on April 20-22, 2020 for our annual Congressional Visits Day in Washington, DC.

Meet with your members of Congress to help them understand the important role the federal government plays in supporting the biological sciences. Advocate for federal investments in biological sciences research supported by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.

Participants will complete a communications and advocacy training program provided by AIBS that prepares them to be effective advocates for their science. AIBS also provides participants with background information and materials, as well as arranges meetings with lawmakers.

Training program: In conjunction with the 2020 AIBS Congressional Visits Day, AIBS is offering its highly acclaimed Communications Boot Camp for Scientists. This professional development course will be on April 20-21. All participants who complete the course receive priority access to the Congressional Visits Day program and a certificate of completion indicating that they have successfully completed 16 hours of communications training. This professional development program provides practical instruction and interactive exercises designed to help scientists (e.g. researchers, graduate students, administrators, educators) translate scientific information for non-technical audiences and to effectively engage with decision-makers and the news media. For more information about the training program, including pricing, click here.

Scientists, graduate students, educators, or other science community members who are interested in advocating for scientific research and education are encouraged to participate in this important event.

Express your interest in participating in the event by registering. Registration will close on March 16, 2020. Space is limited and it may not be possible to accommodate the participation of all interested individuals.

Register at: https://www.aibs.org/public-policy/congressionalvisitsday.html

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Enhance Your Interdisciplinary and Team Science Skills

Reports abound from professional societies, the Academies, government agencies, and researchers calling attention to the fact that science is increasingly an interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and international endeavor. In short, science has become a “team sport.”

There is a real and present need to better prepare scientists for success in this new collaborative environment. The American Institute of Biological Sciences is responding to this call with a new program for scientists, educators, and individuals who work with or participate in scientific teams.

Team science is increasingly common in 21st century biological, life, and environmental sciences. Collaboration is no longer limited to sharing ideas with the biologist in the lab next door. The questions confronting science often require teams that may include a mix of computer and information scientists, physical and social scientists, mathematicians, ethicists, policy and management experts, as well as community stakeholders and citizen scientists. Adding to this complexity, teams span programs within organizations, cross organization boundaries to form institutional consortia, and often include international partners.

This intensive, two-day, interactive, professional development course was designed by scientists and experts on collaboration and teamwork to provide participants with the knowledge and skills required to become productive and effective members of scientific teams. From its first offering the course has evolved to include a greater focus on team planning and teamwork, and less time allocated to university administration of interdisciplinary teams.

Nothing teaches collaboration like practicing collaboration. This is not a course that asks you to learn in isolation. It is a microcosm of scientific collaboration, with extensive hands-on learning as part of a scientific team, with scientific case studies and examples.

The Enabling Interdisciplinary and Team Science course is designed for anyone involved in collaborative scientific endeavors. Team leaders will find the course especially helpful. Because participants will work on “real-world” team science concerns, we encourage multiple members of a team to attend together. We can also customize the course and bring it to your university, department, lab, or research team. This course provides the right foundation from which your team can successfully accomplish your goals.

The next program will be held on April 27-28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Learn more at https://www.aibs.org/events/teamscienceevent.html.

Early career (graduate student or post-doctoral fellow) biodiversity scientists should consider applying for the travel grants being offered by the Biodiversity Collections Network: https://bcon.aibs.org/2020/01/17/bcon-early-career-travel-awards-for-team-and-interdisciplinary-science-training/

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Short Takes

  • iDigBio, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) have opened registration for the Biodiversity Summit 2020 to be held September 20-25, 2020 in Alexandria, Virginia. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/biodiversity-summit-2020-tickets-85264844445. Registration is free, but all participants must register and display credentials. Deadline for abstract submission is March 31, 2020. For more information visit: https://www.idigbio.org/content/biodiversity-summit-2020.

  • The Department of State is holding an information session regarding upcoming United Nations negotiations concerning marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The public meeting will be held on February 25, 2020, 2:00-3:00 PM at the Harry S. Truman Main State Building, Room 3940, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520. If you are interested in attending, please send your name, organization, email address, and phone number, as well as any requests for reasonable accommodation, to Elana Mendelson at Katz-MinkEH@state.gov. More information is available here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-02-03/html/2020-01931.htm

  • The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is soliciting nominations for experts to serve on the committee of a new study, Long-Term Environmental Trends in the Gulf of Mexico. This consensus study will assess the cumulative effects of multiple restoration projects; discuss potential impacts from both acute events and long-term changes; and consider synergistic and antagonistic effects across multi-decadal restoration activities and recommend adaptive management strategies. Approximately 8-10 volunteer experts will be selected from fields including, but not limited to: ecosystem restoration and function; restoration monitoring and evaluation; ecosystem services; geomorphology; coastal processes; land use planning; natural resource management and policy; stakeholder engagement; data management, synthesis, and modeling. Deadline to submit nominations is March 6, 2020. Submit your nominations at: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5430808/Nominations-Environmental-Trends-Study.

  • Indiana University (IU), iDigBio, and the Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSCA) will hold the 4th annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference on June 1-3, 2020 at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. The theme for the conference is "Harnessing the Data Revolution and Amplifying Collections with Biodiversity Information Science." Registration as well as abstract submission for oral and poster presentations is now open: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-digital-data-in-biodiversity-research-conference-tickets-86931098255. The conference wiki, which includes plenary and keynote speakers, a draft agenda, a list of workshops and events, and lodging options is available at: https://www.idigbio.org/wiki/index.php/4th_Annual_Digital_Data_Conference,_Indiana_University.

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