Summer comes to ecology and the ESA Bulletin

Summer means two things for ecologists: fieldwork or lab work and the ESA Annual Meeting. I am particularly aware of the diversity of research done by ecologists as the Director of an Institute which has two field stations and a research watershed. Early in May the snow researchers are shutting down their research and the bird and mammal people are arriving to keep track of nesting and births. By mid-summer the flower and insect people arrive. Besides researchers, there are field courses or as university administrators now wish to call them experiential learning classes. We are now halfway through our 21 summer courses. Our last was a Master Teacher course on Evolution.

Although ecologists do more than fieldwork, the ESA Bulletin still gets mostly pictures of ecologists’ first love- field work as the photo gallery testifies. I like particularly the Pacific salmon in the July issue.

Increasingly we find programs and websites that help natural resource managers in making informed and consistent decisions. The July Bulletin’s “Ecology on the Web” gives a good example in “Causal analysis, diagnosis/decision information systems” on impairments in bodies of water. I encourage readers of the ESA Blog to contribute their ideas for websites that ecologists would be interested in.

Bill Reiners at the University of Wyoming once said that in the weeks before the ESA Annual Meeting more research was done than in the rest of the year. Certainly this is the time of year we are all taking out our abstracts that were written in February and frantically trying to put together our talks and posters. The Bulletin has been publishing commentaries on some of the symposia of past years (e.g. Bulletin 88#2) for some inspiration for future meetings.

Contributed by E.A.Johnson, Editor in Chief, Ecological Society of America Bulletin