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The Ecological Society of America took a leadership role in reaching out to the community of ecological scientists in the Americas by hosting a gathering of the Presidents of the Ecological Societies of the Americas, August 2, 2003 just prior to the ESA Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia. The meeting was attended by representatives of ecological societies from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico, United States and Venezuela. The objective of this one-day meeting was to explore possibilities for collaboration among ecological societies of the Americas and to seek novel ways to address common goals, needs, and emerging challenges. The meeting was designed to allow each President to briefly describe their society and its mission and collectively explore common issues, the desirability of future collaboration, and a process to continue a dialogue.

The response to the meeting was extremely positive. The meeting resulted in a list of actions that the societies are vigorously pursuing. One immediate action was to agree to continue to work together in the future as a Federation of the Ecological Societies of the Americas. A listserv of those in attendance and others from countries not attending the meeting has been organized to facilitate ongoing communication, and a Federation website designed.

The gathering envisioned a series of collaborative actions leading towards the overall objective of addressing ecological issues and developing the tools to solve environmental problems that are characteristic of the region.

Some of the collaborative actions that the Federation hopes to pursue include:

  • A thematic meeting in 2005 or 2006 that will focus on topics common to North, Central and South America such as invasive species, mercury pollution, tar stands/oil shale, ecosystem services, protected lands and eco-tourism, and migratory species
  • Translation of the ESA publication series, Issues in Ecology, into Spanish and Portuguese and distribution in the Americas
  • A program to provide support for outstanding Latin American students to attend the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting.
  • An exchange student program for graduate students to spend part of their program in the laboratory of another country
  • Development of a post-doctoral ecologist exchange program to promote networking among the countries of the Americas
  • A visiting scholars program
  • A faculty exchange program within the Americas
  • A virtual mentor program for the Americas


Last updated: August 18, 2008
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