SEEDS alumni receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

The SEEDS program (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, and Sustainability) is an education initiative of ESA. Since its founding in 1996, the SEEDS mission has been to diversify and advance ecology as a profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students. Focused at the undergraduate level, the program sponsors student field trips, research fellowships, semi-annual leadership...

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NOAA adminstrator Lubchenco on Living on Earth

Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of NOAA (who, by the by, is a former president of ESA), gave a great interview on this week’s Living on Earth series.  If you don’t listen to Living on Earth, it’s an excellent weekly radio show by Public Radio International that focuses on environmental issues. Lubchenco told the Living on Earth folks that she wants to start a National Climate Service, which would be akin to the...

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Science outreach is becoming hip

The world of academia used to be a place where professors and students stayed shuttered away in their research labs and offices, doing their research for the benefit of one another, with no desire to engage in the public eye. Cynics may chuckle and comment that this stereotype is still largely true today. But more and more, institutions and granting agencies are looking favorably, instead of suspiciously, at scientists who step out of...

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Obama speaks to National Academy of Sciences

President Obama addressed the attendees at the 146th annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences this morning, where he highlighted new directives that support his science initiatives, including a new agency for high-risk energy research and increased funding for education at the secondary and graduate levels. According to NAS President Ralph Cicerone, who gave introductory remarks, every room of the NAS building in Washington,...

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The Ecologists go to Washington

With massive issues like invasive species, climate change and protection of biodiversity moving onto the world stage, ecological knowledge has perhaps never been in higher demand than today. Support for most (about 67 percent) of biological research in the U.S. comes from the National Science Foundation’s Biological Sciences Directorate (affectionately known as NSF BIO);  a similar granting program at the USDA, the Agriculture...

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Wikipedia: A scientific and educational opportunity

Emilio Bruna of the University of Florida wanted to assign students in his graduate seminar on plant -animal interactions something different than a term paper.  So he devised a novel plan that would help them learn some crucial concepts while writing concisely: rewriting Wikipedia entries.  I caught up with Emilio and student Kristine Callis, who is the first author of their resulting Trends in Ecology and Evolution paper, to learn...

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SICB: ‘No thanks, New Orleans’

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology announced this week in a letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal that the society would not hold future scientific meetings in Louisiana in response to the recent passage by the state legislature of the Louisiana “Science Education Act.” The letter was first reported Monday in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has also drawn coverage in The New York Times and at Discover.com. Passed...

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Reflections on light pollution

In a paper published online this month in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, ESA member Bruce Robertson and his colleagues in biology and biophysics explore the concept of polarized light pollution. They synthesize work that shows how light reflected off of human-made surfaces can confuse animals and alter their behavior, leading to injury or even death. The American Museum of Natural History is featuring this research in an...

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