Ecological Society of America announces 2016 award recipients

Details on the 2016 ESA Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, 19 May 2016
Contact: Liza Lester, 202-833-8773 ext. 211, LLester@esa.org

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present the 2016 awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology in new discoveries, teaching, sustainability, diversity, and lifelong commitment to the profession during the Society’s Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, August 8, at 8 AM in the Floridian Ballroom AB, Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. A preliminary meeting program is available on the meeting website. Learn more about ESA awards on our home website.

Eminent Ecologist Award: Jerry F. Franklin
The Eminent Ecologist Award honors a senior ecologist for an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit. Jerry Franklin is renowned in the field of ecology for applying forestry research to management, challenging clear-cutting practices to mold a “new forestry” in the later 20th century attuned to healthy forest ecosystems. He taught foresters to value snags, fallen trees, and woody debris and urged forest managers to learn from natural patterns of disturbance and regeneration in forests. His emphasis that old growth forest is not “decadent wasteful stands” just needing a thorough clear-cutting, but instead a vital component of a healthy mosaic of forest types in managed landscapes, was revolutionary in forestry. He was instrumental in linking early landscape ecology to forestry, helping to develop landscape ecology as a discipline.

Dr. Franklin’s strong record of ecological scholarship on the old-growth and regenerating conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest stretches back to 1961. His work on the role of coarse woody debris in forest dynamics, and on articulating landscape and site-specific characteristics of successional dynamics, has been very influential, with implications ranging from biodiversity maintenance to carbon storage. Several of his papers have been cited thousands of times. He has been a leader in analyzing of the return of plant life to Mt. St. Helens following the 1980 eruption, developing influential ideas of “ecological memory” or biological legacies in ecosystem recovery from natural catastrophe.

Born in a small town on the coast of Oregon, an early love for the woods led Dr. Franklin to forestry and a lifetime study of ecology, starting with the USDA Forest Service in 1959. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forest management from Oregon State University in 1959 and 1961, going on to complete a doctorate in botany and soils at Washington State University in 1966. He has mentored the careers of a wide range of professionals, both in and out of the academy, as a teacher at Oregon State University and at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he has been a professor of ecosystem analysis in the College of Forest Resources since 1986. He served as President of the Ecological Society of America in 1993–4.

Dr. Franklin has played a highly significant role in developing major, multi-institutional programs aimed at forest ecology at the broadest scale, including the International Biological Program (IBP) in the 1960s and early 1970s, and later the Long-term Ecological Research Program (LTER). As the first program officer for the Ecosystem Studies Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF), he helped nurture the LTER network around the country. He had a particularly significant influence in fostering research and teaching at the Andrews LTER site, widely viewed as one of the best in the LTER network, and the Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility. The long-term studies that Dr. Franklin presciently set up many years ago have already produced outstanding scientific insights and will be paying intellectual dividends for decades to come.

Robert H. MacArthur Award: Anurag A. Agrawal
The MacArthur Award, presented in alternate years, recognizes the contributions of an outstanding ecologist in mid-career. Anurag Agrawal of Cornell University has shown consistent leadership in opening up new research themes in ecology and continues to push the envelope with novel approaches to science, teaching, and community building. Like Robert H. MacArthur, Dr. Agrawal synthesizes conceptual themes within the field, drawing together topics as far ranging as the causes and consequences of variation in plant biodiversity, chemical ecology and coevolution, trait versus density-mediated interactions, and the interdisciplinary pursuit of environmental sustainability. His research has impact outside of ecology. His early work on phenotypic plasticity is widely cited in the fields of neurobiology, systems science, molecular biology, and beyond. He seamlessly applies his amazing natural history and empirical understanding of his study systems to develop new and exciting concepts in general ecological theory, grounded in the real world.

Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education: Carolyn L. Thomas and Bob R. Pohlad
Odum Award recipients demonstrate their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs through teaching, outreach, and mentoring activities. Bob Pohlad and Carolyn Thomas have been a passionate and committed team of educators in the field of ecology for almost four decades. While the work of either alone would be worthy of recognition with the Odum Award, this married team represents such an outstanding example of long-term mutual support and collaboration, both professionally and personally, that their colleagues who submitted their nomination feel that a shared award is the most appropriate way to honor their legacy in ecological education.

In their work as professors at Ferrum College, Drs. Thomas and Pohlad focus on integrating technology and research experiences into the ecology classroom. For decades, they have engaged students and local citizens in sophisticated, long-term, water quality monitoring projects in regional lakes, serving as pioneers in citizen science. They mentored K-12 science teachers through the School Yard Ecology Project, providing professional development for teachers to communicate ecological concepts in effective and engaging ways to younger students. They are founding members of the Collaborations through Appalachian Watersheds Project (CAWS) and the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN), both large-scale endeavors focused on developing innovative ways for ecologists and their students at primarily undergraduate institutions to collaborate and learn through authentic, multi-site research projects. Finally, they have both served the Ecological Society of America as Chairs of the Education Section, giving generously of their time to help other ecologists educate more effectively.

ESA Distinguished Service Citation: Carol A. Brewer
The Distinguished Service Citation recognizes long and distinguished volunteer service to ESA, the larger scientific community, and the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare. Carol Brewer, a professor emeritus at the University of Montana, has a long and distinguished record of service to the Ecological Society of America and to the broader science community, especially through her efforts in science and conservation education. She holds a B.S. in education as well as a B.A. in biology. In 1993, while still a doctoral student, the society asked her to be one of the campus leads for the new, NSF-supported “Schoolyard Ecology for Elementary School Teachers (SYEFEST) project. Shortly after receiving her Ph.D., she served on ESA’s Standing Committee on Education (1995–99) and became chair of the Education Section (1996–97).

Dr. Brewer helped develop ESA’s Education Office, now the highly successful Education and Diversity Office. She served two terms as ESA’s Vice-President for Education and Human Resources (2000–2006), chaired the Education and Human Resources Committee (2000–2006), and led ESA’s survey of undergraduate ecology education. Most recently, she served as Program Chair for the society’s 2015 Centennial Meeting in Baltimore, Md. Dr. Brewer is active in the Long Term Ecological Research network and was a founding member of the board of directors of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). She co-founded the citizen science Project Budburst in 2007.

Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award: Frank P. Day
This ESA award recognizes long-standing contributions of an individual towards increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching, or outreach. Frank Day, a professor of ecology and eminent scholar at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. is known for mentoring many graduate and undergraduate students as well as his stellar career as a wetland scientist. For 14 years, he has been instrumental in obtaining National Science Foundation funding and developing and implementing wetland science career development mentoring programs for minority undergraduates. In 2002, as President of the Society of Wetland Scientists, he started the SWS Human Diversity Committee, developing their undergraduate mentoring infrastructure. He continues working on increasing minorities in wetland ecology in collaboration with ESA’s Strategies for Ecology Education Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) initiative and NSF’s Long Term Ecological Research Human Diversity Committee. Of the many students he has mentored in the study of wetlands, all have graduated with a B.S. or B.A. degree, 64 percent are currently enrolled in graduate school, and about half are employed in some capacity within a natural resource, wetland science or ecology field.

W.S. Cooper Award: Etienne Laliberté, Graham Zemunik, and Benjamin L. Turner
(2014) Environmental filtering explains variation in plant diversity along resource gradients. Science 345: 1602–1605. DOI: 10.1126/science.1256330

The Cooper Award honors the authors of an outstanding publication in the field of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients. William S. Cooper was a pioneer of physiographic ecology and geobotany, with a particular interest in the influence of historical factors, such as glaciations and climate history, on the pattern of contemporary plant communities across landforms. Dr. Laliberté of the Université de Montréal (at the University of Western Australia at the time of the study), Dr. Zemunik of the University of Western Australia, and Dr. Turner of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute take a similar geobotanical angle in a study that simultaneously addresses alternative hypotheses underlying a geographic plant diversity gradient. Specifically, they tackle an age-old question in ecology—what determines spatial variation in species diversity—using a cleverly chosen system, an ancient dune ecosystem in southwestern Australia. The end result is a rare, compelling, example of regional and historical processes being key to explaining a local-scale diversity gradient.

George Mercer Award: Jennifer R. Gremer and D. Lawrence Venable
(2014) Bet hedging in desert winter annual plants: optimal germination strategies in a variable environment. Ecology Letters 17: 380–387. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12241

The Mercer Award recognizes an outstanding and recently-published ecological research paper by young scientists. Unpredictable fluctuation in environmental conditions is a ubiquitous challenge for all forms of life. “Bet-hedging” names a strategy for dealing with environmental variation by adopting physical characteristics that are not best suited to average conditions, but allow survival in a wide variety of conditions, sacrificing short-term success to minimize risk over time. In a synthesis of 30 years of data, with multiple modeling approaches, Jennifer Gremer and D. Lawrence Venable, both at the University of Arizona at the time of the study (Dr. Gremer has since moved to the University of California, Davis), present definitive evidence that delayed seed germination acts as a bet-hedging strategy in winter annual plants of the Sonoran Desert. Their elegant paper provides a test of an age-old problem, in an iconic system. As predicted, species that face more risk exhibit stronger bet-hedging. This paper is a model of how to test general, qualitative theoretical predictions by making them quantitative. It provides a convincing example in a classic system, while at the same time inspiring new questions concerning the evolution of life history strategies.

Sustainablility Science Award: Margaret A. Palmer and J.B. Ruhl
(2015) Aligning restoration science and the law to sustain ecological infrastructure for the future. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13: 512–519. DOI:10.1890/150053

The Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of the scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences. Margaret Palmer and J.B. Ruhl tackle a critical issue in sustainability science: how the application of ecological science can be translated into effective policy that ensures the restoration of degraded ecosystems.

The complimentary expertise of the authors and their shared interest in restoration science and policy make this paper particularly noteworthy. Dr. Ruhl, director of Vanderbilt University’s Program on Law and Innovation and co-director of the Energy Environment and Land Use Program, has invested his career in legal and regulatory aspects of restoration and environmental science. As Director of the Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), Margaret Palmer, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), brings a transformative vision for advancing research and public understanding of sustainability science.

They make the case that, while restoration is a crucial tool that is used in environmental policy, lack of a clear ecological context for what constitutes restoration leads to confusion in implementing policy. The key, they argue, is to include consideration of establishing self-sustaining living systems and the landscape and environmental context essential to recovery. The paper presents an actionable research plan that bridges science and policy and includes specific guidance about how to best incorporate a clear and science-based definition of restoration into administrative laws.

Innovation in Sustainability Science Award: Ariana E. Sutton-Grier, Kateryna Wowk, and Holly A. Bamford.
(2015) Future of our coasts: The potential for natural and hybrid infrastructure to enhance the resilience of our coastal communities, economies and ecosystems. Environmental Science & Policy 51: 137–148 DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2015.04.006

The Innovation in Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of a peer-reviewed paper published in the past five years exemplifying leading-edge work on solution pathways to sustainability challenges. In the United States, Hurricane Sandy brought unprecedented attention to building resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems to the growing threats of storm surge and erosion. This has led to a focus on how both “natural infrastructure” and “hybrid infrastructure” that incorporates both natural and engineered features, can increase coastal protection.

Drs. Sutton-Grier, Wowk, and Bamford provide an exemplary example of how the integration of ecological and social science can inform and increase the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems worldwide. They synthesize available socio-environmental science about natural and hybrid infrastructure, including an analysis of the state of the U.S. policy landscape for coastal resilience, and laying out the key policy opportunities and the challenges to implementing natural and hybrid approaches. Their analysis is placed in a real-world context that highlights the importance of their own research and that of others related to natural and hybrid infrastructure. The paper has reached a wide-audience and promoted discussions about coastal resilience and sustainable management among a wide range of stakeholders including engineers, policy makers and coastal businesses.

Murray F. Buell Award: Cody S. Clements
The Buell award recognizes an outstanding research talk presented by a student at the ESA Annual Meeting. Panel members at the Centennial Annual Meeting of the ESA in Baltimore, Md. (August 2015) honored Cody S. Clements, a graduate student in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga., for his presentation “Seaweeds protect corals from predatory starfish: competitors become accomplices as reefs degrade” (abstract). His work is highly significant because it speaks to reef species interactions that may mitigate coral loss due to climate and ocean pH shifts. It has important management implications and tests foundational concepts about context dependence in species interactions. Reviewers commented on the creativity of the experimental methodology, thorough controls and multiple approaches to the hypothesis. They praised the clarity and pacing of the presentation, supported with well-chosen photos, video and charts.

E. Lucy Braun Award: Timothy Fegel
The Braun award recognizes an outstanding poster presented by a student at the ESA Annual Meeting. Panel members at the Centennial Annual Meeting of the ESA in Baltimore, Md. (August 2015) honored Timothy Fegel, a graduate student at Colorado State University, for his poster “Biogeochemical attributes of ice glaciers and rock glacier in low latitude alpine ecosystems” (abstract). The amount and quality of nutrients, metals, and contaminants coming into water bodies from melted glaciers can have a huge impact in those water bodies’ communities and cascade down to other levels of the ecosystem. Mr. Fegel sampled microbial communities in a large number of glacier meltwaters across several mountain ranges. His work is a timely and important study under the impending increased glacier melting due to climate change. Reviewers praised his poise and articulate engagement with questions, and the clear layout of information on the poster.

Honorary Membership Award: Richard Hobbs
Honorary Membership is given to a distinguished ecologist who has made exceptional contributions to ecology and whose principal residence and site of ecological research are outside of North America. Richard Hobbs, a professor of restoration ecology in the School of Plant Biology at the University of Western Australia, is an innovative, collaborative scientist with proven capacity to bridge the fields of basic and applied ecology. He laid foundational work in the area of novel ecosystems, the theme of the forthcoming 2016 ESA Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., and his research focuses on applying ecology in a rapidly changing world. He promotes ample, fruitful debate within our community and beyond.

Robert H. Whittaker Award: Simoneta Negrete-Yankelevich and Ezatollah Karami
The Whittaker Award recognizes an outstanding ecologist in a developing country who does not currently reside in the United States and is not a U.S. citizen. The award is open to ecologists at any career stage and covers expenses up to $1,200 for travel to the United States for research or to attend a meeting. Simoneta Negrete-Yankelevich is an outstanding researcher (equivalent to “senior scientist” at U.S. institutions) at the Instituto de Ecología A.C. (INECOL), in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Her research focuses on soil ecology, its application to indigenous agroecosystems, and spatial ecology. She has a very active research career and many high profile accomplishments. Ezatollah Karami, a professor at Shiraz University in Iran, does applied research in agro-ecology and water sustainability. The selection committee was impressed with his contributions, and welcomes the re-integration of outstanding ecologist colleagues from Iran after that country’s many years of isolation.

Forest Shreve Student Research Fund: Nameer Baker and Camila Medeiros
The Shreve award supplies $1,000-2,000 to support ecological research by graduate or undergraduate student members of ESA in the hot deserts of North America (Sonora, Mohave, Chihuahua, and Vizcaino). Nameer Baker, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Irvine, works on the effects of climate on microbial decomposition and carbon cycling in desert systems. Camila Medeiros, beginning a doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles, focuses on the physiological ecology and mechanistic basis of species responses to water availability and drought in plant communities across California.

Learn more about the August 7–12, 2016 ESA Annual Meeting on the meeting website:  http://esa.org/ftlauderdale/

ESA welcomes attendance from members of the press and waives registration fees for reporters and public information officers. Information about our policy on press credentials and press room support is available on the 2016 Annual Meeting website. To apply, please contact ESA Communications Officer Liza Lester directly at llester@esa.org.

 


The Ecological Society of America (ESA), founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes six journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org.

ESA receives NSF Award to seed new Network for Next Generation Careers

ESA 100 years logoFor immediate release: Tuesday 15 September 2015
Contact: Alison Mize alison@esa.org 202.833.8773, ext. 205

 

The Ecological Society of America, in partnership with the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), will create a new network of prospective employers, faculty and professional societies over the next eighteen months with a $48,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The Next Generation Careers – Innovation in Environmental Biology Education (NGC) incubator project will explore undergraduate college career progression into environmental biology, including fields such as ecology, evolution, conservation, and natural resource management. 

“We all know that academia is able to absorb only a limited number of biology graduates. A vast majority of graduates find their way into industry, government, or other applied and non-science jobs,” said Teresa Mourad, ESA’s Director of Education and Diversity Programs and Principal Investigator for the project. “What is not clear is how Biology students are being prepared for these rapidly evolving career tracks in environmental biology with an innovative mindset.”

New groups of professionals will be brought together that include academic faculty, industry, government, and non-profit organization personnel.  By working together, the network will develop materials, programs and career development tracks designed for 21st century STEM professionals in environmental biology and inform the broader community of the nature of education and skills that are necessary for future jobs in this ever-changing field.  This project addresses the goals and programs of NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education initiative, particularly the goal of building the professional STEM workforce for tomorrow.

The incubator project activities include surveys of biology department chairs, academic counselors, graduate schools as well as biology faculty and those at the nexus of biology and mathematics. Additionally, an analysis of job postings for entry-level positions in related jobs will seek to identify the most commonly sought skills for graduates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Focus groups at selected disciplinary and professional scientific society meetings will also be organized to gather input. 

The results will be presented at a workshop of participants from academia, private sector, government, and non-governmental organizations in the fall of 2016.  Implications of the findings for underrepresented populations of students will be underscored.

“Recommendations  generated at the workshop will help us establish the network of prospective employers, higher education and professional associations essential to invigorate career preparation programs,” said Geri Unger, SCB’s Executive Director and co-PI on the project.  “This will enable us to identify what faculty need to effectively inspire, motivate and mentor new students and build new synergies across sectors to advance Next Generation careers in Environmental Biology and allied fields.”


 

The Ecological Society of America is the largest professional organization for ecologists and environmental scientists in the world.   The Society’s 10,000 members work to advance our understanding of life on Earth, directly relevant to environmental issues such energy and food production, natural resource management, and emerging diseases.  ESA works to broadly share ecological information through activities that include policy and media outreach, education and diversity initiatives and projects that link the ecological research and management communities and help integrate ecological science into decision-making.  The Society also organizes scientific conferences and publishes high-impact journals. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org.

The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is a global community of conservation professionals with members working in more than 100 countries, dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving Earth’s biological diversity.  SCB’s membership includes resource managers, educators, government, non-government, and private sector staff, students, and policy makers.  Our Sections, Chapters and Working Groups work regionally, locally and on issues concerning conservation and religion, freshwater, social science and conservation, and ecological economics and sustainability.  SCB hosts the international Congress on Conservation Biology, and regional meetings.  Our journals include “Conservation Biology” and “Conservation Letters”, both peer reviewed and high-impact. Visit the SCB website at http://www.conbio.org.

Ecological Society of America awarded National Science Foundation funding to retain diversity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, 1 June 2015
Contact: Teresa Mourad, 202-833-8773 ext. 234, Teresa@esa.org

 

SEEDS alumna Betsabé Castro, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Berkeley starting in fall, 2015, studies artificial selection of medicinal and edible traits in plants native to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands with support from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Read an interview to learn more about Betsabé's experience with SEEDS.

SEEDS alumna Betsabé Castro, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Berkeley starting in fall, 2015, studies artificial selection of medicinal and edible traits in plants native to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands with support from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Read an interview to learn more about Betsabé’s experience with SEEDS.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded  a $597,643 grant to the Ecological Society of America’s Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) program, supporting a three-pronged approach to increase diversity within the ecological field. The grant spans four years, beginning today.

The new NSF award will support activities that guide students to identify ecology as a viable career option, develop a sense of personal connection with science, and surmount cultural stereotypes that hinder participation. It will also fund development of a mechanism for connecting the “marketplace” of opportunities along a variety of career pathways in ecology.

“While most diversity programs seek to recruit and engage underrepresented students, this SEEDS project expands our work with the aim of retaining underrepresented students in the ecological field,” said Teresa Mourad, ESA Director of Education and Diversity Programs.

A 2011 National Academy of Science study indicates that underrepresented minority populations in the science and engineering workforce needs to triple to keep pace with the nation’s changing demographics. 

The NSF grant supports three new activities building on the existing SEEDS program: regional ecological field experiences, partnerships with field stations and researchers for undergraduate summer research, and a SEEDS Certificate program. Although the program is open to all students, it makes a special effort to attract minorities, first-generation college students, economically-disadvantaged and veteran students.

Working with over 90 SEEDS campus chapters across the US, regional field experiences funded by the NSF grant are designed specifically for freshmen and sophomore college students to gain real-world exposure by working hand-in-hand with ecologists. For many underrepresented students, this is usually their first opportunity to work at a field station or engage in a field investigation.

New ecological field station partnerships will offer more summer research opportunities for undergraduate students.  They will present their summer research at SEEDS Leadership Meetings and the ESA Annual Meeting. Held annually, the Leadership Meeting is an opportunity for SEEDS student leaders to engage in a dialogue about the connections between science and society. The meeting provides a venue for SEEDS participants to develop 21st century skills and understanding in communications, policy, community outreach and education, rounding out their experience as young scientists.

SEEDS students on the first regional field trip to Puerto Rico, in 2013.

SEEDS students record measurements in Puerto Rico on the program’s first regional field trip, in 2013.

Set for a Fall, 2015 launch, the SEEDS Certificate will function as the hub to provide students with a range of experiences to prepare them for an ecological career.  An ESA member will mentor each participating student during and after their participation in SEEDS to advise them in their career development. This is the first time that ESA will implement long-term mentoring in SEEDS.

“Just-in-time advising is critical for many students to succeed in ecology,” said Mourad.  “All too often, underrepresented students are simply unaware of the skills and experiences needed to succeed. For instance, students do not commonly know that research experience is required for acceptance into a graduate ecology program.”

Minority students face an additional hurdle—some of their institutions do not have ecology programs or cannot provide ecology research experiences.  This means they must seek out opportunities. SEEDS is designed to facilitate opportunities for them. Students also need to know the range of ecology careers that are available in both research and applied practice.

###

SEEDing a diverse peer network:  read an interview with SEEDs alumna Betsabé Castro, currently completing her MA at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She will begin a PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley in the fall of 2015 with support from the NSF’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship.


The Ecological Society of America (ESA), founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes six journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org.

Ecological Society of America announces 2015 award recipients

logoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, 7 May 2015
Contact: Liza Lester, 202-833-8773 ext. 211, LLester@esa.org

 

 

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present nine awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology in new discoveries, teaching, sustainability, diversity, and lifelong commitment to the profession during the Society’s 100th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, August 10, at 8 AM in the Key Ballroom, Hilton Baltimore. More information about ESA awards is available here.  

 

Eminent Ecologist Award: Eric Pianka
The Eminent Ecologist Award is given to a senior ecologist in recognition of an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit.  During his 50-year academic career, Pianka, a professor at the University of Texas since 1968, published nearly 200 scientific papers, several of which became “Citation Classics.” His textbook “Evolutionary Ecology,” first published in 1974, went through six editions and has been translated into multiple languages.  Pianka’s key and durable contributions to empirical ecology encompass wide‐ranging studies of lizard community ecology across many continents and the  discovery of many new lizard species. In 2004, Pianka was chosen as the Herpetologists League’s “Distinguished Herpetologist” and in 2006 the Texas Academy of Science named him “Distinguished Scientist.” All of his conceptual contributions are grounded in a thorough understanding of natural history with a deep love of the natural world. His work has influenced many individuals, both inside the ecological profession and beyond.

Eugene P. Odum Education Award:  Nathaniel Wheelwright
The Eugene P. Odum Award recipients have demonstrated their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs through teaching, outreach, and mentoring activities. ESA honors Wheelwright of Bowdoin College, whose 29 years of exemplary teaching has influenced over 49 students to pursue a Ph.D. in ecology or related fields. He has co-authored peer-reviewed papers with more than 25 undergraduate students. Beyond his responsibilities at Bowdoin, Wheelwright has served as a visiting faculty resource person for over 20 Organization of Tropical Studies courses, mentoring hundreds of graduate students from dozens of universities. While on a Fulbright grant at the University of Botswana, Wheelwright taught more than 400 students and established the University’s first natural history club. 

Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award: Mary McKenna
This ESA award recognizes long-standing contributions of an individual towards increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching, or outreach. ESA honors McKenna, a professor at Howard University, for her leadership in developing diversity-enhancing programs within the Society and working to improve minority access to all Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In her 29 years at Howard University, McKenna’s greatest contribution to promoting the diversity of future ecologists has been her ability to develop structured, engaging and meaningful undergraduate research mentoring programs for aspiring minority students.

ESA Distinguished Service Citation: Alan Covich
The Distinguished Service Citation is given to recognize long and distinguished volunteer service to ESA, the larger scientific community, and the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare. Covich, a professor at the University of Georgia, has contributed over 40-years of service to ESA in many roles and was elected as ESA President in 2008. His work to advance the science of ecology and foster international cooperation and communication through other service activities includes his leadership roles as Past-president of North American Benthological Society, American Institute of Biological Science, and INTECOL.

Whittaker Distinguished Ecologist Award: Inderjit
This ESA award recognizes an ecologist outside of the United States who has earned a doctorate and an outstanding record of contributions in ecology. Inderjit is Director of the Centre for the Study of Degraded Ecosystems at the University of Delhi, where he is also a professor. Noteworthy is his outstanding and meticulous experimental work into the mechanisms responsible for plant invasions. These insights have been presented in over 20 invited-plenary lectures worldwide. He has penned eight books on plant ecology and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles.

Honorary Membership Award: Stuart Bunn
This ESA award is given to a distinguished ecologist who has made exceptional contributions to ecology and whose principal residence and site of ecological research are outside of North America. Bunn is Director of the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, and is one of Australia’s leading freshwater scientists, earning national and international recognition for his outstanding contributions in water science and management. His research has resulted in over 250 technical publications, of which more than half are peer-reviewed journal papers receiving 900 citations per year. Bunn also serves in formal advisory roles with international and Australian government agencies on water resource management and policy. In 2007, Professor Bunn was awarded the Australian Society for Limnology Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research and management of Australia’s inland waters.

W.S. Cooper Award: Carissa D. Brown and Mark Vellend
The Cooper Award honors an outstanding contribution to the field of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients. ESA recognizes Brown of theMemorial University of Newfoundland and Vellend of the University of Sherbrooke for their paper “Non-climatic constraints on upper elevational plant range expansion under climate change,” published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The study focuses on interactions between soil, climate, and biotc factors on plant performance and distributions.

George Mercer Award: Marcelo Ardón, Jennifer L. Morse, Ben P. Colman, and Emily S. Bernhardt
The Mercer Award recognizes an outstanding and recently-published ecological research paper by young scientists. Ardón (East Carolina University), Morse (Portland State University), Colman (Duke University), and Bernhardt (Duke University) co-authored “Drought-induced saltwater incursion leads to increased wetland nitrogen export,” published in Global Change Biology. In the tradition of landscape-scale ecosystem ecology, their study finds that saltwater intrusion has the potential to liberate vast stores of legacy nitrogen from past agricultural fertilizer use, leading to ecosystem degradation and coastal eutrophication on a massive scale.

Murray F. Buell Award: Nina Lany
This ESA award is given for excellence in ecology to a student for the outstanding oral paper presented at the ESA Annual Meeting. Lany, now a postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State University, presented “Top-down vs. bottom-up is a function of temperature for forest Lepidoptera,” at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Sacramento, CA in 2014, while completing her doctorate at Dartmouth College. The study measured the daily survival rate of caterpillars finding that negative indirect effects on caterpillars propagated through predators and food quality can outweigh the benefits of faster development time at higher temperatures.


To learn more about the August 9–14, 2015 ESA Annual Meeting see:  http://esa.org/baltimore/

ESA welcomes attendance from members of the press and waives registration fees for reporters and institutional public information officers. Information about our policy on press credentials and press room support is available on the Centennial Meeting website. To apply, please contact ESA Communications Officer Liza Lester directly at llester@esa.org.

###

The Ecological Society of America (ESA), founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes six journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org.

Ecological Society of America announces 2015 fellows

ESA 100 years logoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, 7 May 2015
Contact: Liza Lester, 202-833-8773 ext. 211, LLester@esa.org

 

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce its 2015 fellows. The Society’s fellows program recognizes the many ways in which our members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, education and pedagogy, and to management and policy.

ESA fellows and early career fellows are listed on the ESA Fellows page.

Fellows are members who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA, including, but not restricted to those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations and the broader society. They are elected for life.

Early career fellows are members who have advanced ecological knowledge and applications within 8 years of completing their doctoral training (or other terminal degree), and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. They are elected for five years.

ESA established its fellows program in 2012.

Awards Committee Chair Alan Hastings says that the program’s goals are to honor its members and to support their competitiveness and advancement to leadership positions in the Society, at their institutions, and in broader society.

Fellows elected in 2015:

  • Jayne Belnap, Research Ecologist, Southwest Biological Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey
  • John Blair, University Distinguished Professor and Edwin G. Brychta Professor of Biology, Division of Biology, Kansas State University
  • David D. Breshears, Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
  • Grace Brush, Professor, Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
  • Peter Chesson, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona; Visiting Professor, Department of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan
  • Kathy Cottingham, Professor, Biological Sciences, Dartmouth
  • Evan DeLucia, G. Arends Professor of Integrative Biology, Department of Plant Biology, Baum Family Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana
  • Valerie Eviner, Associate Professor, Plant Sciences, University of California Davis
  • Mary Firestone, Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley
  • Janet Franklin, Professor, School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, Arizona State University
  • Peter Groffman, Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • Drew Harvell, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
  • Sarah Hobbie, Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota
  • David Inouye, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, University of Maryland
  • Pat Megonigal, Senior Scientist & Deputy Director, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Institution
  • Gary Mittelbach, Professor, Kellogg Biological Station and Dept. of Integrative Biology, Michigan State University
  • Craig Osenberg, Professor, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia
  • Mercedes Pascual, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago
  • Ivette Perfecto, George W. Pack Professor of Ecology, Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
  • Steward Pickett, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • Jim Reynolds, Professor, Environmental Sciences and Policy, The Nicholas School, Duke University
  • Os Schmitz, Oastler Professor of Population and Community Ecology, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
  • Sharon Strauss, Professor and Chair, Department Evolution and Ecology, University of California Davis
  • Kathleen Weathers, Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

 

Early Career Fellows elected in 2015:

  • Karen Abbott, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University
  • Brian Allan, Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Liza Comita, Assistant Professor of Tropical Forest Ecology, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
  • Rob Pringle, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University
  • Corinna Riginos, Adjunct Professor, Haub School of the Environment, University of Wyoming
  • Rob Salguero-Gómez, Australian Research Council Fellow, University of Queensland; Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
  • Daniel Stouffer, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Integrative Ecology and the School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury
  • Ariana Sutton-Grier, Assistant Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites in the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland; Ecosystem Science Adviser, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Hillary Young, Assistant Professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara

 


The Ecological Society of America (ESA), founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes six journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org.

ESA announces 2015 Graduate Student Award Recipients

Graduate students from University of Illinois at Chicago, Princeton University, Oregon State University and University of Texas at Austin will speak with federal lawmakers about sustaining support for science.

ESA 100 years logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 25, 2014
Contact: Terence Houston, 202-833-8773 ext. 224, terence@esa.org

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Ecological Society of America (ESA), the world’s largest professional society of ecological scientists, is pleased to announce this year’s Graduate Student Policy Award winners. The award affords ESA graduate students the opportunity to participate in two days of science policy activities, including meetings with congressional offices. This year’s winners are Sydney Blankers (University of Illinois at Chicago) Cleo Chou (Princeton University), Natalie Hambalek (Oregon State University) and Emlyn Resetarits (University of Texas at Austin).

All four students demonstrate a commitment to engaging in public policy and the ESA Award allows them to build on their prior experiences. Blankers, Chou, Hambalek and Resetarits, will participate in a congressional visits event in Washington, DC, this May, sponsored by the Biological Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) and co-chaired by ESA. The event brings together young scientists from across the country to meet with lawmakers. The scientists will highlight the benefits of biological research and education in their respective states and the nation. Participants attend sessions about how current political and fiscal issues may impact federal agencies. ESA graduate student policy awardees also meet with federal ecologists to learn about their work and that of their respective agencies.

 

2015 ESA Graduate Student Policy Award winners

Sydney Blanker

Sydney Blanker

Sydney Blankers is pursuing a Masters in urban planning and policy with a concentration in environmental planning. She studies regulatory and economic techniques for influencing development and resource use in a manner that is more in tune with urban community ecosystems. She will present her thesis on urban and natural interconnectedness at the American Planning Association National Conference in Seattle in April 2015. Through her work with the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, she has interviewed sustainable businesses and showcased their work through a marketing campaign.

 

Cleo Chou

Cleo Chou

Cleo Chou is expected to obtain her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology this year. Her dissertation is on carbon and nutrient cycling in tropical rainforests. She is a fellow in the Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars group, an interdisciplinary group of PhD students from energy and climate-related fields. She also serves as project coordinator and co-author of a publication on nuclear fusion technology as an energy source in the Andlinger Center Energy Technology Distillate series, geared towards policymakers as well as academics. As an undergrad at Columbia University, she planned and organized events designed to bring timely and social-relevant science to the student body and local community.

 

Natalie Hambalek

Natalie Hambalek

Natalie Hambalek’s policy engagement began while as an undergrad at Sonoma State University where she called on California state lawmakers to pass legislation to expand access to education at the university level, including the California Dream Act. She’s been a presenter for Discovering the Scientist Within and Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Math. Her honors include a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention. She is also a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar. In pursuing her Ph.D. in zoology, she is studying the physiological effects of pesticides on amphibian declines and management efforts to mitigate adverse outcomes.

 

Emelyn Resetarits

Emlyn Resetarits

Emlyn Resetarits has collaborated with Shoal Creek Conservancy and the city of Austin watershed department to conduct a biodiversity assessment of the Shoal Creek watershed. Her Ph.D. research focuses on expanding metacommunity theory and bridging the gap between theoretical and empirical work. At the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, she helped alert local government entities to a harmful algal bloom genus that produces a neurotoxin that causes amnesiac shellfish poisoning in humans. During her time as an undergrad at Columbia University, she worked as an environmental liaison between the university and student body to find sustainable solutions on campus issues. She is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

 

The Graduate Student Policy Award is one of several ways ESA works to offer its graduate student members opportunities to gain public policy experience. The Society also provides policy training during its annual meeting and by request throughout the year. ESA graduate student members also may run—through ESA’s Student Section—to serve on several ESA standing committees, including the Public Affairs Committee, which works closely with ESA’s Washington, DC-based Public Affairs Office and focuses on activities to engage ecological scientists with policymakers and the media. Reflections from past recipients are available on the Graduate Student Policy Award alumni network page.

 


The Ecological Society of America (ESA), founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes six journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org.

Ecological Society of America announces 2014 award recipients

ESA2014 Sacramento logo

99th Annual Meeting
The Ecological Society of America

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 15, 2014
Contact: Alison Mize (202) 833-8773 x205; alison@esa.org
or Liza Lester (202) 833-8773 x211; llester@esa.org

 

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present ten awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology in new discoveries, teaching, sustainability, diversity, and lifelong commitment to the profession during the Society’s 99th Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, August 11, at 8 AM in the historic Memorial auditorium near the Sacramento Convention Center. More information about ESA awards is available here.

 

W.S. Cooper Award: Scott Wing, Caroline Stromberg, Leo Hickey, Fleur Tiver, Brian Willis, Robyn Burnham, and Anna Behrensmeyer
The Cooper Award honors an outstanding contribution to the field of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients. ESA recognizes Wing, with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and colleagues for their paperFloral and environmental gradients on a Late Cretaceous landscape,” published in Ecological Monographs. The study provides a unique insight into the ecological structure of a local community to understand large evolutionary, ecological, and biogeographic patterns from a single point in space and time.

George Mercer Award:Douglas Rasher
The Mercer Award recognizes an outstanding and recently-published ecological research paper by a young scientist.Rasher, now a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maine, provides rich new insights forthe management and conservation of coral reefs in his 2013 “Consumer diversity interacts with prey defenses to drive ecosystem function,” in Ecology. The study, which he conducted as a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, shows that interactions between algal defenses and herbivore tolerances create an essential role for consumer diversity in the functioning and resilience of coral reefs.

Robert T. MacArthur Award: Mercedes Pascual
The MacArthur Award recognizes mid-career ecologist for meritorious contributions to ecology with the expectation of continued outstanding ecological research. ESA recognizes Pascual, with the University of Michigan, for her contributions to the theory of food web structure; the ecology, spread and evolution of infectious diseases; and the development and application of novel computational methods for relating climate to disease. Throughout her career, Pascual also has devoted enormous energy to fostering diversity of ecological researchers in the US and mentoring junior researchers worldwide.

Eugene P. Odum Education Award:ManuelC.Molles,Jr.
The Eugene P. Odum Award recipients have demonstrated their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs through teaching, outreach and mentoring activities. ESA honors Molles, with the UniversityofNewMexico, for his outstanding contributions in science, service, and education for K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels. Using his writing gifts, he authored numerous publications including an acclaimed ecology textbook, Ecology: Concepts and Applications. Molles’ teaching philosophy fostered students’ critical and independent thinking. Many of his students’ pursued careers in ecology and also diversified into careers in environmental law, water resources management, and restoration ecology.

Eminent Ecologist Award:Jane Lubchenco
The Eminent Ecologist Award is given to a senior ecologist in recognition of an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit. Lubchenco’s career spans from academia to distinguished public service. She has studied marine ecosystems around the world and championed the importance of science and its relevance to policy making and human well-being. From 2009–20013, she made history as the first woman under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. Lubchenco has served as president for the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Council for Science, and the Ecological Society of America, and was a member on the National Science Board for 10 years. She has received numerous awards including a MacArthur “genius” award and 18 honorary doctorates. Lubchenco co-founded three organizations (The Leopold Leadership Program, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea [COMPASS], and Climate Central) that aim to communicate scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media and industry; she also co-founded a research consortium, PISCO, which studies the near-shore ocean along the coasts of Oregon and California.

Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award: Charles Nilon
This ESA award recognizes long-standing contributions of an individual towards increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching or outreach. ESA honors Nilon, with the University of Missouri-Columbia, for his leadership in developing diversity-enhancing programs within the Ecological Society of America and working to improve minority access to all Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. His work illustrates the relationship between ecology, environmental justice and their impacts on disadvantaged communities.

Sustainability Science Award: Fikret Berkes
The Sustainability Award is given to the authors of a scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences. Berkes, with the University of Manitoba, explores the importance of local and indigenous knowledge as a complement to scientific ecology and its cultural and political significance for indigenous groups in his book Sacred Ecology, Taylor and Francis, 2008.

 

To learn more about the August 10–15, 2014 ESA Annual Meeting see:  http://www.esa.org/am/


The Ecological Society of America is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and the trusted source of ecological knowledge.  ESA is committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth.  The 10,000 member Society publishes five journals, convenes an annual scientific conference, and broadly shares ecological information through policy and media outreach and education initiatives. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org or find experts in ecological science at http://www.esa.org/pao/rrt/.

Minnesota Energy & Environment Senior Advisor Ellen Anderson to receive ESA Regional Policy Award

For immediate release: 16 July 20132013 ESA Logo

Media contacts:

ESA: Nadine Lymn (202) 833-8773 x205; nadine@esa.org

MN Dept. of Ag.: Margaret Hart (651) 201-6131; Margaret.hart@state.mn.us

On Sunday, August 4, 2013, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its sixth annual Regional Policy Award to Ellen Anderson, Energy and Environment Senior Advisor to Minnesota’s Governor Dayton, during the Society’s conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The ESA award recognizes an elected or appointed local policymaker who has an outstanding record of informing policy decisions with ecological science.

“Ellen Anderson exemplifies leadership in promoting sustainability” said ESA President Scott Collins.  “As a Minnesota state senator she championed bills to foster renewable energy, clean water and parks and in her current capacity she’s working to advance Minnesota’s environmental quality initiatives. She sets a high standard for policy makers everywhere.”

Ellen Anderson photo

Ellen Anderson

Anderson served in the Minnesota Senate for eighteen years, where she was the chief author of the 25 percent by 2025 legislation, which requires Minnesota energy companies to generate at least 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2025.  She also co-authored numerous bills related to energy, natural areas, and many other environmental issues. Since February 2012, Anderson has served as senior advisor on energy and environment to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.  Anderson works on clean energy, environmental policy issues, and public outreach for numerous state agencies and the Governor.   

“Sustainability is the headliner of our time,” said Anderson.  “I feel incredibly honored to receive this award from the Ecological Society of America whose members have spearheaded and helped shape our thinking about how we manage our ecosystems—from agricultural to urban—to sustain them for future generations.”  

ESA, which holds its Annual Meeting in a different city each year, established its Regional Policy Award in 2008 to recognize an elected or appointed local policymaker who has integrated environmental science into policy initiatives that foster more sustainable communities. Past recipients of the ESA award are Ken Bierly, with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Karen Hixon, with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, Braddock, Pennsylvania Mayor John Fetterman, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.

ESA President Collins will present Anderson with the 2013 ESA Regional Policy Award at the start of the Opening Plenary on Sunday, August 4 at 5 PM in the auditorium of the Minneapolis Convention Center. ESA’s conference is expected to draw 3,000 scientists, educators, and policymakers from across the nation and around the world.    

Media Attendance

The Ecological Society of America’s Annual Meeting, Aug. 4 – 9, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is free for reporters with a recognized press card and institutional press officers. Registration is also waived for current members of the National Association of Science Writers, the Canadian Science Writers Association, the International Science Writers Association and the Society of Environmental Journalists. Interested press should contact Liza Lester at llester@esa.org or 202-833-8773 x211 to register.  In a break from previous policy, meeting presentations are not embargoed.

The Ecological Society of America is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and the trusted source of ecological knowledge.  ESA is committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth.  The 10,000 member Society publishes five journals, convenes an annual scientific conference, and broadly shares ecological information through policy and media outreach and education initiatives. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org or find experts in ecological science at http://www.esa.org/pao/rrt/.

Ecological Society of America announces 2013 award recipients

ESA2013 Minneapolis badgeFor Immediate Release: Monday, 17 June 2013

Contact: Nadine Lymn (202) 833-8773 x 205; nadine@esa.org
or Liza Lester (202) 833-8773 x 211; llester@esa.org

 

 

During the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) 98th Annual Meeting, the Society will present ten awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology.  The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, August 5 at 8 AM in the auditorium of the Minneapolis Convention Center. More information about ESA awards is available here.  

Braun Award:  Tony Kovach

Kovach is recognized for the design and methodology of his poster entitled “Determinants of avian density across a fragmented landscape.”  Kovach’s 2012 poster presentation was based on his M.S. research at the University of Hawai’i – Hilo. The Braun Award recognizes a student’s outstanding poster presentation at the ESA Annual Meeting and is presented at the following year’s meeting.

 Buell Award: Kate Boersma

Boersma is honored for her 2012 oral paper “Top predator extinctions in drying streams modify community structure and ecosystem functioning” that was based on her doctoral work at Oregon State University. The Buell Award is given to a student for an outstanding oral paper presented at the ESA Annual Meeting and is presented at the following year’s meeting.

W.S. Cooper Award: John Thompson, Anne Charpentier, G. Bouguet, Faustine Charmasson, Stephanie Roset, Bruno Buatois, Philippe Vernet, Pierre-Henri Gouyon

Thompson, with the Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle & Evolutive, and colleagues are being recognized for their paper Evolution of a genetic polymorphism with climate change in a Mediterranean landscape, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy.  The study found rapid and ongoing evolutionary change associated with strong environmental change.  The Cooper Award honors an outstanding contribution to the field of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients.

Honorary Member Award: Christian Körner

A strong scientific leader for European science, Körner, with the University of Basel, is known for his innovative approach in studying the response of mature trees to increased carbon dioxide (CO2). His work has enhanced understanding of the ways in which plants respond differently to CO2 and raised critical questions about what controls growth in trees. Recipients of the Honorary Member Award are distinguished ecologists who have made exceptional contributions to ecology and whose principal residence and site of ecological research are outside of North America.

George Mercer Award: Pieter Johnson and Jason Hoverman

Johnson, at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Hoverman, with Purdue University, used a novel approach in their 2012 Proceedings of the National Academy paper Parasite diversity and coinfection determine pathogen infection success and host fitness.  Their study demonstrates how an ecological approach can contribute deeper understanding of biomedical questions.  The Mercer Award recognizes an outstanding and recently-published ecological research paper by a young scientist.

Eugene P. Odum Education Award: Martin Main

Main, with the University of Florida, is honored for developing the highly innovative and successful Florida Master Naturalist Program, a state-wide environmental education initiative for professionals and laypeople that has awarded more than 7,000 certificates and resulted in 160,000 hours of volunteer environmental education, monitoring and restoration service. Through teaching, outreach and mentoring activities, recipients of the Eugene P. Odum Award have demonstrated their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs.

Eminent Ecologist Award: William Reiners 

Reiners’ career in ecology spans 50 years and has deepened the philosophical and conceptual foundations of ecology. Among his influential papers are a series on nitrogen dynamics in New England forests and pioneering long-term studies at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Reiners, now at the University of Wyoming, most recently coauthored a book that explores the philosophy of ecology. The Eminent Ecologist Award is given to a senior ecologist in recognition of an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit.

Distinguished Service Citation: Wes Jackson 

ESA recognizes Jackson’s long-standing efforts through the Land Institute, which he co-founded with his wife 30 years ago, to champion agricultural practices that use a variety of crop species and minimize erosion and the use of chemicals. Jackson has authored numerous books, including Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture (2011). The Distinguished Service Citation recognizes long and distinguished service to ESA, to the larger scientific community or to the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare.

Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award: Sonia Ortega

Ortega, who works for the National Science Foundation (NSF), is honored for her leadership in developing diversity enhancing programs within the Ecological Society of America and working to improve the diversity of scientists across all Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Ortega contributed to ESA’s Women and Minorities in Ecology report and spearheaded STEM pipeline development programs at the NSF, among many other diversity initiatives. This ESA award recognizes long-standing contributions of an individual towards increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching, or outreach.

Sustainability Science Award: Pamela Matson

Matson and a team of fourteen interdisciplinary researchers documented 15 years of agricultural development in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, one of the most intensive agricultural regions of the world, and its transition to more sustainable management. Matson, with Stanford University, is editor of the book Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution (2011) that reflects the team’s findings and insights. The Sustainability Award is given to the authors of a scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences.

 

To learn more about the August 4 – 9, 2013 ESA Annual Meeting see:  http://www.esa.org/minneapolis/


 
The Ecological Society of America is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and the trusted source of ecological knowledge.  ESA is committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth.  The 10,000 member Society publishes five journals, convenes an annual scientific conference, and broadly shares ecological information through policy and media outreach and education initiatives. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org or find experts in ecological science at http://www.esa.org/pao/rrt/.