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Despite the fact that it was held at 7am, this year’s ESA Student Section business meeting was well attended. We focused on ideas for activities at next year’s annual meeting, as well as how to increase section membership benefits for students that don’t attend annual meetings. Many wonderful ideas came up during the discussion, those that were most popular are described below, others are documented in the future ideas section.
In addition to planning activities for next year’s meeting, we discussed how to improve benefits for members who do not attend the annual meetings. Much of the discussion centered on continued development of the website. Though a site is currently up and running (http://www.esa.org/students/section), many of the links could be expanded. Examples of ideas that came up were: increasing resources such as information about funding, grad schools information, classic papers in ecology, etc.; an electronic newsletter; and developing an online discussion group. If anybody is interested in working on improving the website, volunteers are needed. There is a good infrastructure set up through ESA Headquarters that makes the site really easy to update even if you only know a little about web programming.
Ideas for future meetings: student sponsored symposia, mentoring program, discussion on the benefits of a PhD versus Masters, women in science, negotiating an academic position, “role playing” job interviews, discussion on student funding sources, and discussion on giving a good poster/talk.
Other ideas: joint mixer with other sections, article/section for students in ESA’s new journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, message board in the Student Lounge, add something to registration packet about student activities at the annual meeting.
Compiled by Faith Kearns, Chair