Good-bye ESA, a farewell photo gallery
Sep19

Good-bye ESA, a farewell photo gallery

By Nadine Lymn, ESA director of public affairs After 21 years working for the Ecological Society of America, first as communications officer and then as director of public affairs, I feel like I’ve kind of “grown up” with ESA.  During my time here, I got to see ESA go from a mostly volunteer-run organization to one with a professional staff of thirty. The Society opened a headquarters office in Washington, DC and learned what goes into effectively managing a mid-size scientific organization. It launched its Issues in Ecology series and the journals Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment and Ecosphere and started a blog. It worked to increase human diversity in our field through its award-winning SEEDS program. And members sought out more opportunities to share ecological science beyond our community. I am deeply grateful to our members and my colleagues for the wealth of experiences and happy memories I’m taking with me. Hope you enjoy some of my favorites in this photo gallery. E.O. Wilson and Jane Lubchenco at ESA’s 1994 Annual Meeting held in Knoxville, TN. Gordon Orians, Judy Meyer, Jerry Franklin, and Jane Lubchenco at 1994 Annual Meeting. All are past presidents of ESA. Reporters attending ESA’s 1997 Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM got to participate in a field trip of the Sevilleta LTER. Note Scott Collins on the far right. Members of ESA’s 1998 Public Affairs Committee. Back row: Tom Stohlgren, Rick Borchelt, Susan Musante (ESA staff), Shealagh Pope, Curtis Bohlen, Yaffa Grossman. Front row: Chris Potter, Nadine Lymn (ESA staff), Richard Pouyat, Ann Bartuska (VP for Public Affairs), Rebeccah Goldberg. Rosina Bierbaum (White House OSTP) talked with reporters during an ESA press conference in 1998. ESA Executive Director Katherine McCarter, Science EIC Don Kennedy (ESA Opening Plenary speaker) and ESA President Alan Covich at the 2007 ESA Annual Meeting in San Jose, CA. ESA President Norm Christensen with ESA’s 10,000th member, Walter Heady in 2007. Charlie Nilon, with ESA’s Education Committee, participated in congressional meetings. Robert Twilley talked about the ecological aspects of Hurricane Katrina at an ESA congressional briefing in 2005. ESA President Steward Pickett talked about the ecology of cities with visitors to ESA’s booth at the 2012 USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. ESA 2007 Graduate Student Policy Award recipients Dena Vallano (left) and Thomas Morrison with ESA Science Policy Analyst Colleen Fahey on Capitol Hill. ESA President Mary Power with the Society’s 2010 Regional Policy Award recipient Mayor John Fetterman. ESA VP for Public Affairs Sunny Power with Congressman Hinchey and other constituents in 2004. Margaret Palmer and Emily Bernhardt tell Rep. Ehlers about their research during the...

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Scientists, practitioners, religious communities urge collaborative action to save our planet
Sep03

Scientists, practitioners, religious communities urge collaborative action to save our planet

September’s Special Issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment brings together the perspectives of anthropologists, architects, city planners, ecologists, engineers, ranchers, members of religious communities and others on ways to foster Earth Stewardship—defined here as taking action to sustain life in a rapidly changing world.

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What’s the Future of Ecologist-Communicators?
Aug15

What’s the Future of Ecologist-Communicators?

This guest post is by Holly Menninger, Director of Public Science for Your Wild Life at NC State University. Engage. Communicate. Reach out. Engage. Communicate. Reach out. These words echoed throughout the hallways of the Minneapolis Convention Center last week like a mantra. From organized symposia to high-energy Ignite sessions, ecologists both urged for and heard a rallying call to cross boundaries during this year’s Annual Meeting – to leave the ivory tower, to connect to policy makers, to connect to educators, to connect to resource managers, to connect to communities. The battle cry reached a crescendo in the standing-room-only Ignite session on Thursday afternoon: A Conversation on the Future of Ecology. Past and future leadership of the Ecological Society of America called on us to – in the words of our past president Steward Pickett – be fearless, to connect our science to society. I’ve been attending the ESA Annual Meeting since I was an incoming graduate student in 2000. More so than any time in the last 13 years, this year’s meeting in Minneapolis featured a sustained waving of rally caps in support of ecologists participating in public engagement, communication and policy, greater than I’ve ever witnessed before. In fact, I wildly swung my own rally cap during an earlier Ignite session about bridging the gap between basic and applied science – I spoke passionately about the lessons we’ve gleaned from building a successful science outreach and communication program about biodiversity. I suggested approaches that could enhance other scientists’ efforts to connect their science to the public, as required for addressing our planet’s grand environmental challenges. Continuing the drumbeat at the Future of Ecology session, there was a call for ecologists to learn how to communicate and to recognize that communication is not a one-way transfer of information. Agreed, I thought. But then, as I surveyed the room full of nodding heads, I felt something powerful well up in me. It wasn’t anger. It wasn’t heartburn (although I did have Mexican food for lunch). It was more like that red-faced indignant feeling one gets when one is either deliberately or inadvertently ignored. I felt ignored because I sensed that many in the room (and those avidly live-tweeting the session) didn’t realize or recognize the awesome pool of communications and outreach talent already within ESA’s membership. The rallying calls for increased and improved science communication seemed aimed squarely at the Society’s mid-to-late career academic scientist crowd, a crowd that has long needed arm-twisting and cajoling to engage the public, not a group that had already embraced public engagement as a core value. I am a scientist-communicator. It’s my...

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Using fire to manage fire-prone regions around the world
Aug14

Using fire to manage fire-prone regions around the world

Inaugural online-only Special Issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment  By Nadine Lymn, ESA director of public affairs The Ecological Society of America’s first online-only Special Issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment showcases prescribed burns around the globe, some of them drawing on historical practices to manage forests and grasslands in fire-prone regions. The Online Special Issue looks at fire practices in the United States, Australia, southern Europe, South Africa and South America. One review article focuses on the cooperative efforts of US ranchers in the Great Plains using fire to beat back juniper encroachment on native grasslands.  Another features traditional Aboriginal approaches to minimize greenhouse-gas emissions from savanna fires in northern Australia.  In South America, traditional Mayan practices to produce “forest gardens” are applied to create spaces within the forest for different kinds of crops while contributing to soil fertility and sustaining wildlife.  And in southern Europe, a significant challenge is contending with stringent laws that create obstacles for using managed burns to decrease wildfire risk and manage habitats for grazing and wildlife. The August online-only issue of Frontiers is open access, as are all Frontiers Special Issues. Access Prescribed burning in fire-prone landscapes here.  Or just peruse by article: Prescribed burning in southern Europe: developing fire management in a dynamic landscape Prescribed fire in North American forests and woodlands: history, current practice, and challenges Prescribed burning in southwestern Australian forests Fire management in species-rich Cape fynbos shrublands The Maya milpa: fire and the legacy of living soil Managing fire regimes in north Australian savannas: applying Aboriginal approaches to contemporary global problems The rising Great Plains fire campaign: citizens’ response to woody plant...

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Slime, spores…fungi!
Aug01

Slime, spores…fungi!

One of many sessions that will focus on species interactions at ESA’s 2013 Annual Meeting by Nadine Lymn, ESA director of public affairs As different from plants as plants are from animals, Fungi feature varieties that decompose dead organisms, engage in mutually beneficial relationships with other species, cause disease to plants and animals, and act as predators and parasites.  Mycologists—those who study fungi and their relationships with other organisms—note that only a fraction of Fungal species are known and that modern mycology’s potential applications to engineering and other possible contributions remain largely untapped. Sydney Glassman, at the University of California, Berkeley, and Roo Vandegift, at the University of Oregon, will be talking about the marvels of mycology at the Ecological Society of America’s upcoming Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.   Part of the organized poster session Current Perspectives on the History of Ecology, Getting freaky with fungi: A historical perspective on the emergence of mycology, will take place on Wednesday, August 7, 2013, from 4:30 – 6:30 PM in Exhibit Hall B of the Minneapolis Convention Center....

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