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Building an Inclusive Society

ESA worked to build both a more inclusive society and a more diverse science of ecology in 2021. We celebrated our historical successes while simultaneously making strides in the present and looking ahead to new ways to make ESA a place for all ecologists.

In celebration of the 25th year of our flagship undergraduate diversity program, SEEDS, we launched multiple highly successful fundraising campaigns to support the Henry L. Gholz SEEDS Field Trip Endowment. Vicki Moore once again pledged $25,000 if the ESA membership could step up and match it. We did and then some, ultimately crossing the halfway mark in our goal to how $400,000 in the endowment.

An infographic shows monetary funding to our general donation fund and endowment.

Regular SEEDS business picked up as well, with five new chapters being launched — at the University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Auburn University of Montgomery, Elmhurst University and Temple University — and two dozen SEEDS leaders were able to take part in a virtual workshop. We deepened our relationship with Indigenous communities thanks to the work of our Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section, which launched a webinar series on TEK, its applications and how ecologists can approach Indigenous communities and science.

And beyond those programs, we took a look to the future, forming strategic relationships with other societies to pursue grant-funded programs that would improve our mutual abilities to support underrepresented people in their career aspirations as well as the work of our organizations. Most notably, we were given at $250,000 subaward from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society in their program to drive change in among bioscience societies.