SEEDS Leadership Meeting, San Jose CA (DAY 2)

The ESA Strategies for Ecology Education, Developing Sustainability (SEEDS) Program offers professional mentorship, funding and the opportunity for students to develop ecological research through the Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Today we had a full agenda of meetings for the 2007 Leadership Conference and it was great to share our ideas with current and past SEEDS fellows as well as the ESA Advisory board. Governing board members Meg Lowman and Rich Pouyat shared a ”101″ course of what the ESA Governing Board entails and also gave us an introduction to what they work on.

We also had introductions which updated us about the 5 generations of SEEDS fellows. It’s amazing because the community we have built goes beyond science! We have made many educational contacts for our future in academia but we have also made many friends of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. We are exited to know that our SEEDS family is composed of colleagues, mentors and first and for most friends. Thanks to the SEEDS family this meeting has been very inspirational. One of the major issues we are focusing on is that of communicating science to larger audiences. We feel that as ecologists we have the responsibility, the knowledge and the tools to bring change but to be effective it has to go beyond our scientific community.

The SEEDS students are responding to this need by implementing an outreach activity at the San Jose, ESA Meeting. Our vision is to integrate ESA members with their families and high school students in a variety of wetland activities, which will be lead by SEEDS students at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Thankfully, our field trip and special session proposals were accepted as session for the Meeting! However, we still have a long way to go in figuring out the logistics of the field trip. It’s great to know that we have an amazing team that will work together to make it happen.

Among all the great energy of our group, we were struck to find out that the SEEDS Director, Jason Taylor will no longer be with us after the month of May. Jason has been an amazing inspiration (often through his quotes) and support to the SEEDS community. We respect him so much, and wish the best in his futures endeavors. Jason will be truly missed but we sure hope to see him around the ESA meetings! We would like to thank him for his great contributions!

Contributed by Andrea Rivera- recent graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa