Engaging the Scientific Community

ESA Panel on Vegetation Classification

The ESA Panel provides support for the US National Vegetation Classification (USNVC), a national framework organized around ecological principles for the study of plant communities, and manages a peer review process for incorporating proposed changes into the classification.

In April 2018, a working group of Regional Editors met in Fort Collins, CO to formalize a detailed action plan to get more USNVC types described. In July, Panel members presented a special session on The US National Vegetation Classification System and the EcoVeg Approach at the International Association of Vegetation Science (IAVS) annual meeting in in Bozeman, MT.

Engaging the US Scientific Community in IPBES

The Science Office works to raise the profile of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) among U.S. scientists. The recent IPBES Plenary in March 2018 approved regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia, as well as a separate global assessment of land degradation. The reports and accompanying summaries for policymakers will be made available at www.ipbes.net. In June 2018, the Science Office reviewed and recommended eight applicants for upcoming IPBES assessments.

Engaging and Connecting Scientists

ESA launched its ECO platform (Ecologists Collaborating Online) in 2018, and with it was honored to take over administration of the ECOLOG-L listserv from its founder, Dr. David Inouye, and its previous host at the University of Maryland. Learn more.

In addition to ECOLOG-L, ECO is also home to collaborative working groups for all of the Society’s sections, chapters and committees, the Governing Board, the ESA Council, the Board of Professional Certification and various ad hoc and appointed collaborations, as well as extensions of interest groups to the community beyond ESA’s current membership (such as early-career ecologists).


Workshop on The Nagoya Protocol and the Shifting Landscape of International Biological Research
The Nagoya Protocol is a supplementary international agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Its core purpose is to provide a transparent legal framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits that arise from the use of genetic resources.

In October 2017, ESA convened a workshop of twenty-four leaders of biological professional societies gathered to learn about the Nagoya Protocol and its potential effects on research. Participants identified future outreach and communication efforts to help scientists navigate the Protocol’s requirements. For more information, please see this related article published in the ESA Bulletin.

Sustaining Data Repositories: PI Workshop on Creating and Implementing Sustainability Plans
Twenty-two data repository leaders from a variety of disciplines (including biology, geology, engineering, computer science, math/physical sciences, and social sciences) attended this workshop to identify challenges and opportunities specific to data repository sustainability and to brainstorm collaborative, creative solutions.  Outcomes include three sustainability case studies, as well as a process guide to help data repository leaders create their own sustainability plans.