The Ecological Society of America's SEEDS Program promotes opportunities to diversify and advance the profession of ecology.
To learn more about SEEDS, visit www.esa.org/seeds/
In this issue:
Upcoming Opportunities & Deadlines
March 6, 2006: SEEDS Konza Prairie Field Trip Application Deadline
The June 2006 SEEDS Field Trip application deadline is March 6, 2006. The June 4-9 field trip, hosted by the Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program, will be an excellent opportunity for students to explore their interests in ecology, find out more about what ecologists do, and to network with students and professionals. The field trip will feature the research of the Konza Prairie LTER, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program designed to address long-term research questions relevant to tallgrass prairie ecosystems, and the science of ecology in general. For more information and applications, please visit www.esa.org/seeds/activities/FieldtripsInfo.php.
March 13, 2006: 2006 ESA Annual Meeting SEEDS Travel Award Application Deadline
The SEEDS Program offers travel awards for students, faculty, and alumni to defray travel, lodging, meal, and registration expenses to attend the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting. The ESA Annual Meeting draws more than 4,000 professionals from around the world to participate in scientific presentations, symposia, workshops, field trips, and a trade show. It provides an excellent venue to engage students and faculty in one of the most important facets of science – communicating ideas and new knowledge with the scientific community. The 2006 ESA Annual Meeting will be held August 4-11 in Memphis, Tennessee. For more information and applications, http://www.esa.org/seeds/activities/AnnualMeetingInfo.php
SEEDS Seeking ESA Annual Meeting Mentors for SEEDS Students
SEEDS is seeking ESA members to serve as “meeting mentors” for SEEDS undergraduate students at the 2006 Annual Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. SEEDS sponsors Annual Meeting attendance for underrepresented students and those with a demonstrated commitment to the program’s mission. The mentorship program is integral in helping SEEDS nurture student interest in ecology, ultimately to diversify and advance the field. For more information and to complete the signup form, visit http://esa.org/seeds/activities/AnnualMeetingInfo/mentor.php.
2005-06 Undergraduate Research Fellow: Andrea Rivera
Growing up in Honduras exposed me to the fascinating world of nature and my father, who was a geologist at that time, introduced me to the field of science. National Geographic Magazines, maps, and having the rainforest as my backyard helped me develop a true interest in tropical ecosystems. At the age of thirteen, my life transformed when I moved to New Jersey with my family making me realize how negatively humans are impacting our Earth.
After high school, I decided to go the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) to pursue a B.S. degree in Marine Biology, and discovered a passion to study coral reefs. During my first year, I realized that I was interested in a more expansive major that would offer more of a global perspective, targeting environmental problems. Feeling accomplished at UVI, I was ambitious to develop my education at a larger college and transferred to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. I am currently a senior student and will graduate this spring. My major is Environmental Studies, with a Marine Option Program certificate titled “Lobster Research Management.”
This past summer, I was fortunate to be awarded with the ESA SEEDS Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and have had the opportunity to travel to the ESA Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada and the ESA International Conference in Merida, Mexico. I learned a great deal about current ecological research and expanded networks with ecologists and related professionals. The scientific conference gave me an idea for the next ESA Annual Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee where I will be presenting my fellowship research findings. The fellowship program is a great experience that is enabling me to do an individualized research project for a year. My mentor is Hunter Lenihan from the University of California at Santa Barbara and I’ll be working in the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site in French Polynesia. I always wanted to do coral and algal research and SEEDS is making my dream come true. I enjoy the ocean, and I am in the process of becoming a scientific diver. As a result of the SEEDS program, I can do my fieldwork in the ocean and expand my understanding of coral and algae interactions. In addition, a SEEDS field trip to the Sevilleta LTER Project exposed me to dessert ecosystems for the first time.
SEEDS also helped sponsor the first University of Hawai’i at Manoa Ecology Chapter (UHMEC). As the President of the club, my involvement with outreach activities, grant applications and ecological activities has increased. The best advice I could personally give a student it to stay positive in college, because it can be very stressful at times, and to try to stay active with extracurricular activities. This will open many doors and help keep you focused. Also, once you find a program you like, don’t be afraid to apply, just get it done and perhaps you’ll experience something amazing.
In the future, I am planning to pursue a Masters degree and hopefully a Doctoral degree in Marine Environmental Science to help create a non-profit organization in Honduras. My ultimate goal is to develop applied ecological projects involving communities and help create marine protected areas in the Bay Islands of Honduras.
Muchas Gracias SEEDS for all your support, funding, advice and for making my dreams of becoming a marine ecologist true!
For more information on the SEEDS Undergraduate Research Fellowship, visit http://www.esa.org/seeds/activities/FellowshipsInfo.php
Undergraduate Research Fellowship Mentor: Hunter Lenihan
My name is Hunter Lenihan and I am an Assistant Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. I have enjoyed very much participating as a SEEDS Fellowship mentor and look forward to future interactions with this unique and important program. Working with Fellow Andrea Rivera on her coral population ecology study has been rewarding and fun for both of us.My research interests are general ecological processes and mechanisms that influence (1) abundance and dynamics of marine populations and (2) species composition, structure diversity of communities. My primary research programs are in the population and community ecology of fishery organisms and ecosystem engineers. My main scientific focus is to address conservation-related research questions and develop methods to advance marine resource management and restoration, especially through adaptive learning processes. Past and present projects have used large-scale field experimentation to compare the ecological impacts of fishing practices; to identify how multiple stressors (pollutants, fishing, climate change) interact to cause complex outcomes; to develop more efficient, less-destructive fishing techniques and practices; to examine the fishery effects of marine protected areas; and to test methods for restoring or enhancing populations of fishery organisms or habitat. Recent work also focuses on development of community-based fishery co-management programs, especially with the California spiny lobster fishery in the Santa Barbara Channel. My work usually involves integration with other disciplines, including physical oceanography and fluid dynamics, chemistry, economics, and governance. Work in my lab often involves a combination of ecological field experiments, monitoring, and modeling.
I earned my Ph.D. in marine sciences in 1996 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I worked with Charles (Pete) Peterson. Prior to earning my doctorate, I received a master’s degree from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, a research facility associated with San Jose State University and six other California state universities. I was a fishery biologist with the NOAA-National Marine Fisheries Service in Newport, Oregon, studying marine reserves and their applicability to fishery management. I am pursuing similar research in the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary, presently with the local lobster fishery. I teach courses in Applied Marine Ecology, Restoration Ecology, and Coastal Marine Ecosystem Processes.
Student Highlight: Angela Loud Bear
My name is Angela Loud Bear and I am from Keshena, Wisconsin located on the Menominee Indian Reservation. I am a graduate of Sherman Indian High School located in Riverside, California and am a recent graduate of Mount Mary College (MMC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I recently applied to graduate programs at the University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and University of New Mexico. I would like to conduct my graduate work on the Menominee Reservation, ideally working with wild rice restoration. After the completion of my M.S. degree I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Policy at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. My ultimate plans are to become a tribal legislator working to protect and preserve the natural resources on the reservation, sustain the traditional ways of the old ones, and, in general, improve the lives of my people.
My research interests include aquatic ecology, phytoplankton and ethno-botany. My current research project “Characterization of Keshena Lake” is a project that focuses on Keshena Lake, which is culturally significant on the Menominee Reservation. Components of my research project include: taking physical measurements of the lake; biological and nutrient measurements; identification of phytoplankton in the lake; collecting plants to determine species composition in the lake; and investigating traditional uses of the Menominee and tribal legends about the lake.
Prior to enrolling in college I worked with elders in my community to become fluent in Menominee Language. During that experience I discovered the importance of the land, and began my pathway into the field of Ecology. From the creation of the first Menominee person “Aweahseah” from the mouth the Fox River our culture, history, values and traditions have always been dependent on Mother Earth. Therefore, pursuing a career as an Ecologist seemed to be the most logical way I could be a professional and contribute to what I care about the most - the Menominee People. I believe the only way to sustain our people and our way of life is to be proficient and knowledgeable in the traditional way of life as well as the professional scientific world.
Like a lot of people from the reservation I struggled financially and academically. I had the drive and right reasons to attend college, but those two factors really beat my confidence. I constantly wondered if I would make it, if I was crazy for thinking I could move away and be a successful college student. Each semester would go by and I would barely hang on. After participating in the June 2005 SEEDS Field Trip to the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) my educational career and personal life began to fall into place. From each presentation, talk, and field trip, I developed a new game plan on how I could get on the right track and make this happen for me. I made a decision that week that I was going to make it happen, and that I was capable of doing well and moving on in college and my struggles and hard work would pay off in the future. The experiences that week from UMBS were my tool for becoming successful in the field of Ecology. I went back to MMC with direction and confidence, and since then I have been making great accomplishments in my education and career.
Along with my commitment to my educational and career goals, I am certified to instruct Menominee Language and was appointed to serve on the tribe’s Culture Committee. As a student athlete at MMC I represent the softball team as the NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Council President.
All of my SEEDS experiences include: UMBS Field Trip, the University of New Mexico Sevilleta LTER Field Trip, and the ESA International Meeting in Merida, Mexico. Each of these activities has given me direction in my life. The professional development gained from participating in the SEEDS program has helped me to form a plan on how to approach my career. The exposure to different aspects in Ecology and varieties of research has allowed me to form an interest for areas that I really care about and want to learn more about. The experience along with the memories of friendships and time with my fellow SEEDS colleagues and staff was equally important. The informal interaction has also played a key role in my development. I think about everyone often and I am truly grateful for what we have shared and I will always remember what the whole SEEDS experience has done for me.
Campus Ecology Chapter: Johnson C. Smith University
The JCSU SEEDS Chapter seeks to generate minority ecologists who will go on to further their education, help their communities through environmental work, and generate new generations of minority ecologists. This attempt consists of three basic ecological efforts which include:
1) SEEDS scholars concentrate on their academic preparation to pursue ecological studies following their undergraduate studies. One way they do this is by ‘infusing ecology into their curriculum.’ In these efforts students keep journals recording their perceptions of connections between their courses and ecological themes; for example the connection between English and African-American literature and nature. By this means, the hope is that ecological thinking will become a mind-set that won’t be later lost. Another way is participation in the ‘Ecology Journal Club’ where papers devoted to ecological themes are discussed.
2) The Chapter seeks to provide SEEDS students with experiences in the field by taking them on weekend field trips to areas of ecological interest. We try to arrange visits to ‘Fail Farm’ – a recovering old cotton farm in Georgia where students spend a night and a day exploring a southern forest and its relation to the impacts of agriculture. We also visit the U.S. Forest Service Experiment Station in Huger, South Carolina where we collect data on growth and recovery of an oak-pine forest since its encounter with Hurricane Hugo in 1989. We are trying to set up a new overnight field experience at the Beidler Old Growth Cypress Forest in central South Carolina. Here we would study a wetland forest and its relation to its unique water source. We also have an arrangement with a local environmental company – Carolina Wetland Services – whereby we send a student over there once per week and they learn hands-on environmental work by assisting professionals with their work, such as restoring wetlands around Charlotte.
In the summer we take our ‘Southeastern Biomes Tour’ to explore the different biomes of the south. We also encourage SEEDS students to apply for summer internships.
It is felt that the most effective tool for teaching about nature is by being in nature and exposing students to nature and that is what these field trips and internship seek to do – provide experiences in nature that are so intense that students never forget them and that bring them back to nature again in their future work.
3) The Chapter seeks to recruit new students in two ways: (1) on campus through the work of SEEDS scholars educating their fellow student biologists of ecological work they are doing; and, (2) by teaching ‘no-holds-barred ecology’ to students at a nearby minority elementary school with the long-term goal of encouraging a mindset of ‘ecological thinking’ in very young students that will perhaps lead to their study of ecology in the future.
Campus Ecology Chapter Advisor: Joseph Fail, Jr., PhD
Dr. Joseph Fail, Jr. teaches botany, ecology, and evolution at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. Dr. Fail is interested in the impacts of humans on nature in agricultural and urban systems, hurricane impacts on forests and their long term recovery from those impacts, and in environmental education of elementary children. Dr. Fail’s interest in ecology and plants was sparked by a botany professor from the University of Marburg, Germany, whom he met during a trip to Europe in 1973. Dr. Fail was amazed that the botanist knew so much, not just about plants, but about interactions within the entire natural system he was working in. It is after this encounter that Dr. Fail decided to try studying botany and plant ecology himself. After earning a Masters Degree from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in Botany from the University of Georgia., he joined the faculty at Johnson C. Smith University in 1989. He has helped to teach “No-holds-barred Ecology” to elementary kids since 1995 and has graduated several students with training in that area. Dr. Fail hopes to write a primer on ecology for non-bio-major students and to stimulate more interest in infusing ecology into elementary education curricula.
Dr. Fail became involved with the SEEDS program by offering a proposal to UNCF-ESA/SEEDS about three years ago. The heart of the proposal was an idea to increase the number of minority students studying ecology/environmental science at his school by offering a substantial financial ‘carrot’ to students who would agree to ‘infuse ecology across their curriculum.’ This infusion would lead to a mindset of ecological thinking about academics that would lead both to further work in graduate school and also in the students’ own day-to-day lives. Students would also transfer their ecological thinking to other students through their interaction with them and, by this means, hopefully increase the pool of students thinking about ecology as a course of study.
The program has been quite successful with a continual flow of minority students into the program and has resulted most recently in two students, who are now SEEDS alumni in graduate school, being selected to mentor undergraduate SEEDS students at the 2005 ESA Annual Meeting. The program’s philosophy then, is that by interacting their academic pursuits with ecological thinking students come to think of themselves as capable biologists, ecologists, and naturalists, and teach others by example.
Three New Campus Ecology Chapters
SEEDS welcomed three new schools into its Campus Ecology Chapter program in February: Fort Lewis College, Howard University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Fort Lewis College is in Durango, CO; Howard University is in Washington DC; and, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is, of course, in Madison. Read more about these new Chapters at http://esa.org/seeds/activities/CampusEcologyChapters.php.
SEEDS Exhibit & Workshop at MANRRS
SEEDS will have an exhibit booth and be presenting a workshop at the 2006 MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences) Annual Conference, March 30 – April 1, in St. Louis, Missouri. SEEDS’ Saturday workshop, “St. Louis Riverfront Trail: How People Use Ecology,” will be a field trip that travels along the twelve-mile trail on the Mississippi River’s west bank. Enjoy the natural and cultural sites while learning about local conservation, restoration, and environmental justice efforts. We hope to see you there!
These opportunities are shared with the mission of promoting ecology. Inclusion of announcements does not indicate endorsement by SEEDS. Please direct questions to each individual program.
Berry College Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
Location: Rome, Georgia Participation Dates: May 30 – August 4
Discover something new! Berry College will host 8-10 undergraduate students in a 10-week NSF REU program in Ecological and Environmental Biology, allowing students to design and implement research projects with faculty mentors who are conducting research in similar areas. This summer's programs include research in longleaf pines, limestone glade restoration, plant-animal interactions, host-parasite relationships, stress response in corals, and monitoring of coyote populations. Highlights include Berry's 28,000-acre campus which serves as an outdoor laboratory and has a state-of-the-art science building; weekly seminary series, social events, and field trips; a final seminar presentation at an on-campus research symposium; and, collaborating in the preparation of a scientific manuscript.
Benefits: Students will receive free on-campus housing, a $3250 stipend, access to $1000 in materials and supplies funds, and a travel allowance of up to $600.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students selected based on research interests, career goals, and academic achievement. Program is designed especially for individuals traditionally underrepresented in science. Must be a U.S. citizen attending a U.S. college or university.
Application & Deadline: http://www.Berry.edu/Academics/Science/REU - March 10, 2006
Contact: Dr. Martin L. Cipollini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-290-2149
Institute of Ecosystem Studies Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
Location: Millbrook, New York Participation Dates: May 30-August 21
The Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES) is pleased to announce its 19th summer of undergraduate research opportunities through our "Ecology in Context" program. In 2006, 10 students will join the unique IES research community to carry out cutting-edge investigations of their own design, working closely with a mentor scientist. The program emphasizes the community nature of the scientific enterprise.
Benefits: Participants receive a $4560 stipend for the twelve-week program, and free housing in an Institute dormitory.
Eligibility: Undergraduate freshmen, sophomores, juniors or first semester seniors are eligible to apply.
Application & Deadline: http://www.ecostudies.org/reu.html - March 15, 2006 (extended)
Contact: Heather L. Dahl at DahlH@ecostudies.org.
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Courses
Location: Crested Butte, Colorado Participation Dates: June 15-July 16; July 16-August 13; June 15-August 13
Taking classes is an excellent way to decide if a career in field biology is right for you. RMBL’s summer coursework program offers intensive mountain field work and emphasize individual research projects. You will interact with a variety of scientists and their research projects at RMBL. This year we offer a regular 8-week session and two 4-week sessions, including conservation biology/ecosystem management, field ecology, and introduction to animal behavior.
Benefits: There are a substantial number of full and partial scholarships. Students may also earn up to $500 working in various jobs during the summer session.
Eligibility: no restrictions
Application & Deadline: http://www.rmbl.org/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=2. - Classes full by April 1
University of Michigan Courses
Location: Pellston, Michigan Participation Dates: Spring term May 14-June 10; Summer term June 17-August 12
For students who are searching for a learning adventure this spring or summer, the UM Biological Station (UMBS), is just four hours north of Ann Arbor on Douglas Lake, in the wild splendor of the Northern Michigan woods. We have four great new classes (full listing at www.lsa.umich.edu/umbs): Field Training Course in Archaeology (6 credits) taught by Meghan Howey and Prof. John O’Shea; Summer term (-10 credits in 8 weeks): Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands, Forest Ecosystems taught by Prof. Burton Barnes, and Environmental Writing & Great Lakes Literature taught by Keith Taylor (director of the UM Creative Writing Program and Bear River Writers’ Conference).
Benefits: UMBS has its own Scholarship and Financial Aid program, with monies allocated for both merit-based and need-based scholarships and grants (including non-MI residents)
Eligibility: Some courses have prerequisites.
Application & Deadline: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/umbs/forms/. Deadline varies depending on the opportunity and space available.
Contact: email@example.com or 734-763-4461
Help Support SEEDS
We invite you to contribute to ESA's SEEDS Program to help support and encourage greater diversity in the ecology profession. Contributions to the SEEDS program are tax deductible and are used to support special initiatives for underrepresented students. To contribute, visit www.esa.org/seeds/supportSEEDS.php
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send mail to: SEEDS Program, Ecological Society of America, 1400 Spring Street, Suite 330, Silver Spring, MD, 20910.