Cody Clements and Tim Fegel win the #ESA2016 Buell and Braun student awards
Jun03

Cody Clements and Tim Fegel win the #ESA2016 Buell and Braun student awards

ESA presents the Murray F. Buell  and E. Lucy Braun Awards for an outstanding research talk  and poster presented by students at the  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., with the Buell Award 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. Panel members honored Timothy Fegel, a graduate student at Colorado State University, with the Braun Award 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. ESA will present the 2016 awards during the 2016 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. Read about all of the 2016 award winners in the awards master...

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Frank Day honored for Commitment to Human Diversity #ESA2016
Jun02

Frank Day honored for Commitment to Human Diversity #ESA2016

ESA’s Commitment to Human Diversity 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, Dr. Day 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. ESA will present the 2016 awards during the 2016 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 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. Read about all of the 2016 award winners in the awards master...

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Coastal resilience wins the #ESA2016 Innovation in Sustainability Science Award
Jun01

Coastal resilience wins the #ESA2016 Innovation in Sustainability Science Award

Innovation in Sustainability Science Award honors Ariana E. Sutton-Grier, Kateryna Wowk, and Holly A. Bamford. 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 in a review of “The future of our coasts” in the journal Environmental Science & Policy. 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. 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 ESA will present the 2016 awards during the 2016 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. Read about all of the 2016 award winners in the awards master...

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Reforming loose legal definitions of ecological restoration
May31

Reforming loose legal definitions of ecological restoration

Laws allowing open interpretation of ecological restoration undermine sound science in the recovery of self-sustaining living communities. Though mandates like the Clean Water Act have been powerful tools for instituting environmental protections in the United States, loose legal definitions of “restoration” mean that few mitigation projects install whole, functioning, and self-sustaining ecosystems. Likewise, programs aimed at recovery of endangered species do not necessarily prioritize the recovery of functional ecosystems to support them. Ecologist Margaret Palmer and legal scholar JB Ruhl examine the scientific and (US) legal bases for ecological restoration, considering how the two may be more fruitfully unified in “Aligning restoration science and the law to sustain ecological infrastructure for the future,” on page 512 of ESA Frontiers November 2015 (open access) special issue on “Preparing for climate change — infrastructure and other innovations.” Palmer, director of the Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), and Ruhl, director of Vanderbilt University’s Program on Law and Innovation received ESA’s 2016 Sustainability Science Award for this effort to review the legal basis for restoration, identify unintended consequences of imprecise policies, and offer solutions. They describe valid ecological restoration projects, which either remove sources of destruction or mitigate their effects by actively influencing the biophysical processes that make the local ecological communities self-sustaining, and conclude with pathways to creating national best practices and minimum standards for restoration projects. Margaret A Palmer and JB Ruhl (2015). Aligning restoration science and the law to sustain ecological infrastructure for the future. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 13:...

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Margaret Palmer and JB Ruhl’s critical review of restoration science law wins the #ESA2016 Sustainability Science Award
May31

Margaret Palmer and JB Ruhl’s critical review of restoration science law wins the #ESA2016 Sustainability Science Award

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. Ecologist Margaret Palmer and legal scholar 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, in a 2015 review for Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 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. 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 ESA will present the 2016 awards during the 2016 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. Read about all of the 2016 award winners in the awards master...

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