Call for nominations: ESA2014 Opening Plenary speaker

Just 25 miles south of Sacramento in California Central Valley, the Comsumnes River Preserve is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Credit, Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management.

Just 25 miles south of Sacramento in California’s Central Valley, the Comsumnes River Preserve is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Credit, Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management.

Do you have ideas for next year’s 2014 Ecological Society of America Opening Plenary?

If you’ve been to an ESA meeting, you probably know that it officially kicks  off with the Opening Plenary on Sunday evening. We’ve had  some great Opening Plenary speakers over the years including Jane Lubchenco, David Suzuki, Don Kennedy, Sandra Postel, Cristian Samper and many others who inspired us and set the tone for the meeting.

Last summer’s speaker, Jon Foley, drew a large and vocal crowd in Minneapolis. Foley, a Saint Paul local, is active in the University of Minnesota’s public outreach director of the Institute on the Environment. He spoke about prospects for feeding the world in a future of global change, arguing passionately for the interdependence of human and environmental health and wellbeing. His presentation nicely introduced the meeting theme of “Sustainable Pathways: Learning from the Past and Shaping the Future” — and ignited some equally passionate discussions.

Next August, ESA’s 99th Annual Meeting will be held in  Sacramento, CA, with the theme of “From Mountains to Oceans, it’s all Ecology.”

The Public Affairs Committee has suggested focusing the upcoming Opening Plenary on agriculture, water use and policy, or coastal ecosystems, all of which are consuming economic, social, and environmental issues in California. We invited members to vote on  EcoTone for their favorite  topic last August (about 50 people voted; water was the most popular).

But we are not limiting you to those topics — this is an open call. Who would you like to see as the 2014 Opening Plenary speaker?  We’re looking for someone (s/he doesn’t need to be an ecologist) who may move, inspire, provoke or motivate us and whose insights need to be heard by our community.

ESA doesn’t pay speaker fees but we’ve managed to attract impressive folks in the past.

If you have suggestions, please  leave a comment or drop us an email at pao@esa.org

The Public Affairs Committee will select their top choices during the first week of January, so think about getting your nominations in before the end-of-year holidays!

Author: Liza Lester

ESA's Communications Officer came on board in the fall of 2011 after a Mass Media Science and Engineering fellowship with AAAS and a doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Washington.

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