Policy Activities: Briefings

Endangered Species

SCB - ESA -TWS (February 2006)

This multi-society briefing featured a joint science statement designed to inform Members of Congress and their staff on the scientific perspective on managing endangered species. ESA member Nick Haddad (NC State) represented ESA during the Senate briefing. A press release was also distributed to ESA media contacts (www.esa.org/pao/PressRoom/pressReleases2006/02272006.php)

E.S.A. Briefing (January 2005)

House and Senate-side briefings and meetings with ESA members Stan Temple (University of Wisconsin-Madison), John Wiens (The Nature Conservancy), and Virginia Dale (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), focused on Endangered Species Act reforms. The series of meetings and briefings addressed current Endangered Species Act contributions to species conservation, the role of science in proposed reform legislation, and proactive, cost-effective strategies for conservation and recovery.

The Scientific Basis of Species Preservation (1996)

ESA members Gordon Orians (University of Washington-Seattle) and Walt Reid (then at the World Resources Institute) met with congressional staff to discuss ESA 's position paper on the Endangered Species Act.


Michael Beck (University of California-Santa Cruz) and Michael Weinstein (New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium) spoke at an ESA /The Nature Conservancy briefing in 2003 that examined the role of nearshore ecosystems as fish and shellfish nurseries.


ESA teamed up with the American Institute of Biological Sciences to sponsor a 1998 briefing entitled Floods: Catalysts for Change and Restoration . William Michener (then at the Jones Ecological Research Center), John Schmidt (Utah State University), and Penny Firth (National Science Foundation) were among the speakers.

Environmental Change

Acid Rain (December 1999)

ESA partnered with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation to offer the briefing: Acid Rain Revisited , which featured Jim Galloway (University of Virginia), Charley Driscoll (Syracuse University), Art Bulger (University of Virginia), and Jill Baron (U.S. Geological Survey) as speakers.

Biocomplexity (March 2000)

ESA teamed up with the American Mathematical Society to offer perspectives from ecology and mathematics on the National Science Foundation's biocomplexity program. James Elser (Arizona State University) and Michael Steuerwalt (National Science Foundation) gave examples of the scientific questions best addressed at the interfaces of traditional disciplines.

Carbon Sequestration (February 2000)

ESA and the Soil Science Society of America sponsored a briefing that informed staffers about agricultural soils as carbon sinks as well as offered some cautions on soil carbon sequestration. David Kissel (University of Georgia) and William Schlesinger (Duke University) were speakers.

Global Warming Impacts in the Great Lakes Region (May 2003)

ESA and the Union of Concerned Scientists jointly published a report on the likely ecological consequences of global warming in the Great Lakes. Donald Wuebbles (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign), Katherine Hayhoe (Atmos Research & Consulting), George Kling (University of Michigan-Ann Arbor), and Lucinda Johnson (University of Minnesota-Duluth) spoke at the Hill briefing highlighting the joint publication.

Invasive Species (March 2006)

In conjunction with the release of ESA 's position paper on invasive species, Biological Invasions: Recommendations for U.S. Policy and Management , the Society held a briefing at the National Press Club. Co-authors David Lodge, Dick Mack, and Susan Williams spoke at the briefing.

Invasive Species (March 2005)

ESA joined five other professional societies in sponsoring a congressional briefing on invasive species

Mercury (March 2005)

The Society joined with the BioDiversity Research Institute to sponsor a Capitol Hill briefing on mercury and wildlife.

Wetlands Course & Field Trip (August 2006)

ESA teamed up with the Society of Wetland Scientists and the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography to offer a three-day wetlands ?course' on Capitol Hill. The course covered the fundamentals of wetlands, restoration efforts and culminated in a day-long field trip to wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Ben LePage (URS Corporation), Amy Jacobs (Delaware Department of Natural Resources), Pat Megonigal, Tom Jordan, and Dennis Whigham (all of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center) were speakers and field trip leaders for the course.

Natural Hazards

Ecosystem Recovery after Natural Disasters (March 2006)

ESA co-sponsored a House and Senate briefing on the response of ecosystems to natural disasters such as hurricanes and forest fires. ESA members Monica Turner and Robert Twilley were among the presenters.

Wildfire & Forest Ecosystems in the Western United States (July 2001)

ESA briefed Senate-side staffers on wildfire and forest ecosystems in the western United States featuring Thomas Swetnam (University of Arizona-Tucson) as the speaker.

Hurricane Katrina (October 2005)

ESA sponsored the House-side briefing, Hurricanes: Ecological Scientists Address Causes, Consequences, and Rebuilding , featuring Robert Twilley (Louisiana State University) and Dennis Whigham (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center) as speakers.