ESA Soil Ecology Logo

The Soil Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America seeks to promote an understanding of the importance of soil biota among ecologists, soil scientists, and members of related disciplines, to encourage education and research in soil ecology, to sponsor meetings and publications for the communication of research and educational activities in soil ecology, and to increase student participation in the Society.

ESA Soil Ecology Section Officers, 2015-2017:
Dr. Sara Baer, Chair, Southern Illinois University
Dr. Christopher Schadt, Vice-Chair, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dr. Becky Ball, Secretary, Arizona State University

We are preparing for the 2016 ESA meeting in Fort Lauderdale! Here are some key activities that section members should keep in mind:

First, we will be holding a Strategic Planning Workshop and Luncheon on Tuesday, August 9th (estimated 12:00-1:30 pm). Workshop goals include cultivating new ideas to increase member participation and interaction, developing means to sustain successful fundraising for student travel awards, and raising the visibility and impact of the section through outreach and communication. The workshop will be structured to achieve productive brainstorming, subcommittee point persons, and action plans for growing membership, continuing fundraising, involving student and early-career soil ecologists, raising visibility, and having broader impacts on society. We want participation from new and long-term members, representative of all career stages. If you are interested in becoming more involved in the Soil Ecology Section, this an ideal opportunity!! RSVP to Sara Baer (sgbaer@siu.edu) and indicate “ESA lunch RSVP” in the email subject. Reservations will be made in the order they are received. We have funding for the first 50 participants.

Second, we have planned for another joint mixer with the Microbial Ecology and Biogeosciences Sections. There will be an additional bartender this year and food in case you missed the good eats last year. The joint mixer will be Tuesday evening (August 9th).

Third, we will be offering 5-6 student travel awards again this year. Travel award applications will be due May 15th. To apply, send a copy of your accepted abstract, personal statement of your research impact and need for support, and one letter of recommendation to Sara Baer (sgbaer@siu.edu) and indicate “SES travel application” in the subject line. See the “Awards” tab for more information.

Fourth, we would like to continue our section’s mentoring program. A very small time commitment (one hour meeting) from our members can have large impact on a student’s ESA experience and career. As the coordinator of this program for the past two years, I can vouch that these meetings can be the highlight of the student’s ESA experience. We need volunteers to keep this going. Please email Sara Baer (sgbaer@siu.edu) if you would like to participate as a mentor (indicate “SES Mentor” in the subject line).

Fifth, last year the section initiated the Deborah A. Neher Career Award to honor one of our members who has made significant contributions to the field of soil ecology and the Soil Ecology Section of ESA. If you would like to nominate someone, please send a letter of support for your nominee to sgbaer@siu.edu by June 15th. See the “Awards” tab for more information.