Tyler Prize nominations open

The information below was submitted by Sue Anderson of the University of Southern California. The 2010 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, an international award that honors achievements and contributions in the fields of environmental science, protection, energy and medicine, is now open for nominations. The deadline is September 15. The winner will receive a gold medallion and a $200,000 cash award. The 2009 Tyler Prize was...

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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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For now, forget biofuels in reserves

Ethanol as the next generation of alternative fuels has stirred significant controversy. While some tout its lower-than-gasoline greenhouse-gas emissions and its usefulness in creating carbon sinks in its agricultural fields, many other ecologists call ethanol production the most inefficient of alternative fuel options. Even the most optimistic scenarios still show that using current technologies, it can take years – in some...

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Ecosystems and the public good, Darwin style

This week there has been no shortage of Darwin-related events to attend about town in Washington, D.C., as science and environmental  groups have clamored to put on talks, events and celebrations commemorating Darwin’s legacy. Today I attended a symposium sponsored by the National Academies , titled “Twenty-first Century Ecosystems: Systemic Risk and the Public Good.”  The session I attended on biodiversity gave...

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Alternate stimulus bill suggests cutting NSF funds

The stimulus bill that was passed by the House of Representatives last week includes $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, among other large sums set aside for NOAA and the USGS. The bill is having trouble gaining support in the Senate, however, because many lawmakers believe that the bill includes too many long-term projects that would do little to immediately boost the nation’s economy. Another bill, put forth by...

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ESA’s letter to Obama

ESA sent a letter today to president-elect Barack Obama recommending top priorities where ecological science should inform policy decisions in the new administration. Obama has already pledged his commitment to curbing climate change during his term. ESA applauded that commitment and outlined four other priorities for the next administration: ▪ Protecting water quality and quantity, especially in conjunction with worldwide agriculture...

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