AIBS Members Support and Benefit from AIBS Public Policy Office Operations—You Can Too!

AIBS members generously contribute in partial support of the AIBS Public Policy Office. AIBS pays the remaining costs from its own funds. All contributions are ear-marked to help the AIBS Public Policy Office pay its staff and conduct its activities on behalf of the AIBS membership.

Make a donation in support of public policy programs!

The continued growth of the AIBS Public Policy Office will greatly enhance the benefits to all AIBS member societies and the discipline of biology as a whole. Contact us to learn more about the AIBS Public Policy Office and its activities.

Read testimonials from AIBS members on the benefits of working with the AIBS Public Policy Office.



  • Natural Science Collections Alliance


  • Society for the Study of Evolution


  • American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
  • Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
  • Botanical Society of America
  • Organization of Biological Field Stations
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
  • Society of Systematic Biologists
  • Society of Wetland Scientists


  • American Arachnological Society
  • Mycological Society of America
  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry - North America

Funding Levels and Benefits

(Revised September 2004)

Level 1: AIBS Member Core Benefits

(For both Individual Members and Member Societies / Organizations)

Annual Contribution Required

This cost is already included in the standard AIBS individual member dues & regular AIBS member society and organization dues

Benefits Received

  • Collective action by AIBS Public Policy Office staff on behalf of research and education in biology
  • AIBS Public Policy Reports (bi-weekly via e-mail) and e-mail Action Alerts
  • Weekly Federal Register notices, posted to the AIBS website
  • Annual Report on AIBS Public Policy Office activities, posted to the AIBS website

Level 2: Supporter

(For both Individual Members and Member Societies / Organizations)

Annual Contribution Required

Payment in excess of regular dues, up to $1,000

Benefits Received

All Member benefits, plus:

  • Reprint rights for the Washington Watch column, from BioScience
  • Special acknowledgement on the AIBS website and in BioScience
  • Assistance with arranging Congressional visits, based on AIBS staff availability

Level 3: Participant

(For Member Societies/Organizations)

Annual Contribution Required

$1,000/yr for member-based societies with fewer than 1,000 individual members and for non-member-based organizations with an annual budget under $1M

$3,000/yr for member-based societies with 1,000 to 4,999 individual members and for non-member-based organizations with an annual budget between $1M and $3M

$5,000/yr for member-based societies with more than 4,999 individual members and for non-member-based organizations with an annual budget over $3M

Benefits Received

All Supporter benefits, plus:

  • A seat on the AIBS Public Policy Committee (see Note below for details)
  • Quarterly teleconference briefings by AIBS staff (more often if necessary and appropriate)
  • Eligibility to sponsor a 3 to 6 month graduate student public policy fellow in the AIBS Public Policy Office.
  • Use of the AIBS Legislative Action Center to help your members track and respond to policy developments that impact your areas of biology.

And one or more of the following, based on AIBS staff availability:

  • Customized Annual Report on AIBS Public Policy Office activities
  • Meeting with your board
  • Conducting policy workshops at your annual meetings (additional costs apply)
  • Assistance with responding to Federal Register notices or drafting letters to Congress
  • Assistance in organizing Congressional briefings
  • Assistance with preparing written or oral testimony

Level 4: Collaborator

(For Member Societies / Organizations)

Annual Contribution Required

Participant levels ($1,000/yr to $5,000/yr) plus special project costs (up to $30,000)

Benefits Received

All Participant benefits, plus dedicated staff time for a special project for your organization, such as:

  • Compiling information for a report
  • In-depth analysis of policy issues or funding trends in your field
  • Policy articles for your bulletin or newsletter
  • Tracking or lobbying on specific bills or provisions

Level 5: Partner

(For Member Societies / Organizations)

Annual Contribution Required

$30,000 or more. Includes office and personnel costs.

Benefits Received

All Collaborator benefits, plus:

  • Dedicated staff time and a staff job title, in your organization's name, to work on your organization's specific issues
  • Assistance with developing and implementing a policy agenda/campaign
  • A Washington, D.C. presence for your organization, including phone line, mailing address at the AIBS office, and the use of AIBS facilities


AIBS staff's out-of-town travel costs and other direct costs are not included in the above amounts. AIBS members are responsible for these expenses when incurred by staff activities initiated at the member's request.


Testimonials from AIBS members on the benefits of working with the AIBS Public Policy Office:

The Natural Science Collections Alliance relies on AIBS to support our organization's initiatives, from executive office functions to policy development and advocacy initiatives on behalf of our member institutions. As a result of our partnership, we have developed new national investments in the critical biodiversity infrastructure that is represented by the natural science collections and natural history museums.

Dr. Joseph Cook, President, Natural Science Collections Alliance
Director, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico


The AIBS Congressional District Visits event was the perfect first step on my path to a career in science policy. As a bench scientist with nearly no policy experience, the training and resources provided by AIBS made me confident and gave me inside knowledge on how to conduct a successful meeting with a member of Congress and his/her staff. During the event, I had fun, productive and successful meetings with the staff of my representative and one of my senators. My experiences during the Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event inspired me to remain engaged in science policy to convey the very important work done by scientists to our representatives and the public.

Christopher L. Pickett, Ph.D.
Science Policy Fellow
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


The AIBS Policy Office has an extraordinary level of professionalism and collegiality. Their depth and breadth of knowledge on policy processes and their ability to provide objective guidance on effective communication dramatically increased our ability to inform decision-making.

Erica Fleishman, Ph.D.
John Muir Institute of the Environment
University of California, Davis


The Public Policy Report is among the most useful and reliable publications I receive. It is timely and up-to-date, with news items expertly targeted to the interests and needs of the biological sciences and education community.

Merrily Sterns
Senior Director, Federal Programs, American Museum of Natural History


When I met with Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner to discuss the current state of biological research, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had never met with an elected representative before, let alone to advocate for something I care about as much as science. Together, the preparation for the meeting and the meeting itself served as an excellent introduction to working on science policy. I experienced how meetings with elected officials work and got lots of ideas for how to advance the cause of scientists in the future. I'm glad I had the chance to work with AIBS in reaching out to my representative on behalf of my fellow scientists.

Jo Downes
Research Associate
University of California, Berkeley


Thank you for coordinating and hosting a very engaging Congressional Visit Day! All aspects of the trip proved helpful in guiding me down my future career path... The Congressional visits were the highlight of the trip! We had an incredible team of inspiring scientists, resulting in purposeful and instructional meetings. This has been a transformative experience, and I am inspired by the science policy work taking place.

Margot Wood
Graduate student
Texas A&M University


We are very appreciative for the letter AIBS sent to the Oklahoma Governor urging him to veto Rep. Sally Kern's HB 2633 containing the 'Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act.'

Dr. V. H. Hutchison
Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education


I truly applaud AIBS' efforts in this area. You folks did a great job for this AERC meeting, as always.

I reflect back on our poorly informed and uncoached efforts to talk to folks on "The Hill" during the Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest in the 80s/early 90s - all the false starts and stumbles trying to communicate to those in power as to why we should change federal management of National Forests and BLM lands. We'd have benefitted so much from something like the kind of "how to" lessons AIBS offers.

Art McKee
Board of Directors, Association of Ecosystem Research Centers


Cornell Center for the Environment has found the AIBS Public Policy Office instrumental in helping scientists understand and influence public policy decisions related to scientific research. For the benefit of the Cornell community, we post a link to the PPO report in our weekly newsletter as soon as we receive it.

Michèle van de Walle
Executive Director
Center for the Environment
Cornell University


The membership of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) for a decade has been eager to have a policy presence that is effective, responsive enough to operate on punctuated legislative timescales (long waits coupled with sudden needs for fast action) and sensitive to the unique culture of our society. Although ASLO's policy presence is still evolving, it is already clear that Partnership with AIBS was the best choice toward ASLO's mission "to foster a diverse, international scientific community that creates, integrates and communicates knowledge across the full spectrum of aquatic sciences, advances public awareness and education about aquatic resources and research, and promotes scientific stewardship of aquatic resources for the public interest." Through partnership status, coupled with a member-populated Public Policy Committee, ASLO is increasingly recognized as having a policy interest and capability, with quickly mounting requests for positions and testimony on funding and legislation, and even for help in crafting legislation where our society has expertise. AIBS and Richard O'Grady have been very sensitive to the individual needs of ASLO (such as its need to cater to geologists, physicists and chemists as well as biologists), and there is no substitute for having an able professional like Adrienne [Sponberg] dedicated to ASLO's issues. She doesn't do ALL the policy work at ASLO, but she influences most of it, and it sure makes the rest of us more effective to be able to meet at 14th and Eye Street within walking and metro distance of the Hill and the federal agencies. Her policy workshops at our twice yearly meetings are also a big hit with members and are beginning to compound our policy effectiveness.

Pete Jumars, Ph.D.
President, 2002 - 2004, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine at Orono & Darling Marine Center


I am the President-elect of ASLO. I write in strong support of the public policy services provided by AIBS. I have learned a tremendous amount about policy, an area I know little about, from the public policy write ups that are sent out every two weeks. And I greatly appreciate the role that AIBS plays in creating fora for discussion about important issues such as the funding of the National Ecological Observatory Network, etc.

Jon Cole, Ph.D.
President, 2004 - 2006, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Millbrook, New York


The Botanical Society of America has found the AIBS Public Policy Office to be a very cost-effective means of having an ear in Washington. As the Society becomes more interested in educating the public about laws and policy changes affecting botany and plant biology, our cooperation with the PPO will serve as a bridge to greater involvement. The Public Policy Office has proven to be very responsive to my inquiries and well informed--well worth our modest contribution!

Scott D. Russell, Ph.D.
President, 2002 - 2003, Botanical Society of America
Department of Botany & Microbiology
University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma


The Society of Wetland Scientists experienced very productive interactions with AIBS and in particular Adrienne [Sponberg] this past year. At our invitation, Adrienne attended a meeting of our executive board and worked with our public affairs chairperson to identify effective ways for our society to have influence on public policy through AIBS. Adrienne is also conducting a workshop at our national meeting in New Orleans. Without the Washington connections of AIBS, our society absolutely would not have the resources to deal as effectively with public policy issues at the national level.

Frank P. Day, Ph.D.
President, 2002 - 2003, Society of Wetland Scientists
Department of Biological Sciences
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia


The AIBS Public Policy office has provided up-to-date information in a clear and succinct form. I always read the report.

Rodger W. Bybee, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Biological Sciences Curriculum Study
Colorado Springs, Colorado


The Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) is an active AIBS member. We have supported the Public Policy Office since its inception. OBFS hasbenefited in two important ways by the work conducted in this office. Our organization lacks both the staff and expertise to initiate its own public policy activity in Washington DC. The AIBS office and all its staff have been more than generous in their willingness to both advise and facilitate OBFS in accomplishing its public policy objectives. We have also benefited greatly from the special projects initiated by the AIBS Public Policy Office. We have been both notified of, and invited to participate in, AIBS activities that have served us well. I cannot stress enough how vital this office has been to facilitating our organization's efforts in Washington. Just this past spring, Adrienne [Sponberg] invited our participation in both a National Press Club Roundtable, and a Congressional Visits Day. We participated enthusiastically in both activities which were extremely productive for us. OBFS fully endorses the continuation and expansion of this office and the services it provides AIBS members, and especially those members who support the office financially. OBFS will continue to support this office to the maximum level our modest organizational budget permits. We look forward to increasing future collaboration and cooperation with AIBS and this office.

Eric S. Nagy, Ph.D.
President, 2002 - 2004, Organization of Biological Field Stations
Mountain Lake Biological Station
Department of Biology
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia


The Association of Ecosystem Research Centers is pleased to support the AIBS Public Policy Office. We are very pleased to see AIBS take such an important leadership role in this niche. We have already been favorably impressed by the existing program. Our experiences with the Congressional Visits Day, and with AIBS's advisement on science/policy/funding have served a major role in convincing us that AIBS is doing a fine job in this area already and is poised to very successfully expand this role. We are pleased to be a part of AIBS, and know that we will serve our own institutional membership well by making this commitment. We look forward to this expanded role and our own participation in this process.

Lindsay Boring, Ph.D.
President, 2000 - 2001, Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
J.W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway
Newton, Georgia


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