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Annual Meeting

#ESA2021 has gone virtual.

#ESA2021 will be fully virtual, according to this announcement from ESA. 

Whether online or in-person, we are committed to centering inclusion and underrepresented voices in the programming the C&E Section contributes to at the annual meeting and always. Please contact us directly (or anonymously through our website contact form) if you have anything you’d like us to consider.


illustration of a sea star - top half is the exterior (red and white), bottom half is the interior skeleton (ivory and gray)

C&E Science Communication Awards!

We are accepting nominations for our 2nd annual Science Communication in Practice Award and Best Poster Award! Both will be awarded at the time of the 2021 Annual Meeting. Please see this link for details and to nominate yourself or others.


EVENTS AT ESA 2021

Communication & Engagement. Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. Careers.

If you have a SciComm or Engagement poster/event/talk/session not mentioned here or have an update, please let us know and we can amplify it here, in our monthly newsletter, and on Twitter. We’d love to spread the word about your session!

* = indicates sessions being led, offered in collaboration with, or featuring C&E Section members and/or officers. If we should add/remove an *, please let us know!

*Communication & Engagement Section “Booth”:

  • Connect with C&E officers and volunteers;
  • #SketchYourScience – connect with the 2021 event here once we have it set up!
  • Learn more about the C&E Section and pick up our new fabulous postcards;
  • Sign up to volunteer

———- 

*We offer a HUGE thank you to Nicole Zimmerman at ESA for pulling this list together this year!* Direct links to these sessions’ program listings are available on this ESA webpage.

Monday, August 2

*Symposium 1: Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Connecting Past and Future, People and Place, and Ways of Knowing
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Robert Newman – University of North Dakota, Biology

In this symposium, speakers will reflect on the contributions of Indigenous knowledges / ways of knowing to ecology and what they see as the role of Indigenous knowledges in the future.

Special Session 5: Vital Connections Tribal Culture & Ecology
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Frank K. Lake – U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station

This special session, hosted by the TEK section provides a regional perspective of communities and ecosystems inviting indigenous/tribal peoples as historically underrepresented groups to address the ESA annual conference theme: “Vital Connections.” Tribal representatives from the region, will share their cultural history, uses of ecosystems, habitats and resources.

Special Session 6: Careers in Science Policy
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Thomas D. Olszewski – Science and Technology Policy Institute

This session will feature a panel of ecologists with a variety of experiences in the arena of Federal science policy. It will focus on advice for individuals who may be interested in pursuing a career in science policy.

Symposium 2: Looking Beyond Stockholm +50: Moving Toward Solutions: System Approaches to Sustaining Human-Environment Systems
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Dennis Ojima – Colorado State University, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Natural and Environmental Sciences Building

The cross-linkages between practitioners and researchers have strengthened over the past 50 years. This session will highlight how trans-disciplinary approaches are being developed to address issues related to earth system stewardship, climate mitigation, urban systems, and to local considerations of action to cope with emerging environmental changes.

Roundtable: Collaborations Across ESA Programs to Advance Science, Education and Diversity
12:00 – 1:00 PM PST/3:00 -4:00 PM EST
Moderator: Pamela Templer, Boston University

This year’s Diversity Roundtable (aka Diversity Luncheon) will feature our ESA program leaders who will share their perspectives on “Collaborations across ESA programs to advance science, education and diversity”. In line with the ESA meeting theme of Vital Connections in Ecology, the need for collaboration across disciplinary ideas, communities and spaces have never been more critical. ESA has a vibrant suite of programs including our meetings, publications and a wide range of activities designed by sections and chapters and grant-funded activities such as SEEDS. Our complex and changing world calls for novel approaches in research, engagement and leadership. How can we advance science, education and diversity through a collaborative model starting with our own programs, chapters and sections? How can we ensure that the next generation of ecologists remain supported throughout their careers in all sectors?

*Workshop 1: Reciprocity of Indigenous Knowledge in Ecology Education: Towards a More Inclusive Ecology
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Robert Newman – University of North Dakota, Biology

There is growing awareness and interest among ecologists in Indigenous knowledges (IK) and ways of knowing. Our workshop will assist educators in formulating culturally respectful, ethical, and mutually beneficial approaches to including IK in ecology courses and curricula.

Symposium 3: Racial Bias in Ecological Citizen Science
1:30 PM-2:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Zakiya Leggett – North Carolina State University, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources

Citizen science is an umbrella phrase that includes a wide range of project designs that vary in scale and structure. There are racial patterns across the spectrum of projects, with consequences for environmental justice and data quality. 

Organized Oral 9: Maintaining Vital Connections in Human Dimensions During a Global Pandemic
2:30 PM-3:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Robert Dyball – Australian National University, Fenner School of Environment and Society

This session examines the ways COVID-19 has disrupted vital human connections in ecology, but has also allowed for the opening of new avenues for ESA to expand its tent.

*INS 4: Building Belonging in Ecology: Networks as Connectors; Networks as Disruptors
Monday, August 2, 2021 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM MD. Organizer: Marty Downs, LTER Network

*Human Dimensions Collaborative-UCS Mega Mixa 2.0
3:30-5:00pm PDT

Join us for the second annual “Mega Mixa” of like-minded sections interested in the human dimensions of ecology. With 100+ attendees last year, the event is a great chance to network, meet new people, and have some fun interacting with colleagues in the virtual world.

Tuesday, August 3

*Organizer Oral 13: Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities: A Community-based Initiative Exploring Vital Connections in Urban Soil Science
7:00 AM-8:00 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Kirsten Schwarz – University of California, Los Angeles, Departments of Urban Planning & Environmental Health Sciences

The Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities Initiative is a partnership between an environmental non-profit organization in Los Angeles, multiple academic institutions, and local government that engages L.A. communities around urban soil research and action. Join us to learn about the Initiative as a model for community-engaged urban ecosystem science.

Organizer Oral 14: Meta-analysis and Beyond: Connecting Secondary Data and Scientific Synthesis to Environmental Decision-making
7:00 AM-8:00 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Caroline E. Ridley – US EPA, Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment

In this session, we explore approaches and applications for secondary data analysis, interpretation, and delivery in several fields of environmental decision-making, including national-scale US environmental policy and international conservation.

Navigating a Gender-Biased World: Lessons from the Experiences of Women in Ecology across Cultures and Generations
7:00 AM-8:00 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Alejandra Martínez-Blancas – Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Ciencias

Because women in Ecology face greater challenges and are underrepresented despite producing cutting-edge science, we want to reflect on the current state of gender inequality in ecology, and assess how stereotypes and biases against women of color and immigrants perpetuate disparity in academia. 

Special Session 8: First Steps to Introduce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts in Your Lab, Department and Beyond
Organizer: Laura J. Jones – Pennsylvania State University, Department of Entomology, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

In this session, we will discuss first steps that ecologists can take at the lab- and department-level to instigate equity and inclusion initiatives at their home institutions. We will provide perspectives from graduate students and faculty in a panel-style discussion and lead small group activities to develop DEI action plans.

Organized Oral 15: Integrating Climate Justice Into Ecology Education – Elevating the Human Dimensions of ESA’s 4DEE for a Sustainable Future
11:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Leanne Jablonski – Marianist Environmental Education Center, University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute

Higher education and NGO presenters explore multicultural, local to global, and socio-ecological components of Climate Justice – ensuring equity and environmental justice for disadvantaged groups while achieving sustainable solutions – and how to integrate it into youth and adult initiatives, and ecology education for students, faith groups and general public.

Workshop 5: RaceTalk Skills for Cross-Racial Communication
11:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Organizer: Bedelia Richards, RaceTalk LLC

Interested in acquiring the skills, tools and strategies that will boost your confidence and ability to engage effectively in cross-racial dialogues? Then this workshop is for you. The workshop draws on the sociological literature to help participants understand how structural racism shapes and informs “racetalk” across social groups. By the end of the workshop participants are expected to acquire a framework for identifying common obstacles to cross-racial dialogues about race and racism, as well as specific tools and strategies for addressing them. Tools and strategies reflect empirically-based best practices and years of practical experience. This workshop will benefit any individual who wishes to improve their racetalk skills in order to more effectively communicate, interact and build trust across racial lines.

Workshop 6: Building Alliances with Climate Activists to Support Climate Action and Ecological Knowledge
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Kennedy Rubert-Nason – University of Maine Fort Kent – Madison, Natural and Behavioral Science

Through conversations with climate activists, participants will 1) learn about the goals, strategies, and systems of climate activism; 2) develop skills for building partnerships grounded in respect, relationship, reciprocity and responsibility; and 3) develop a plan for interpreting, creating, defending, or delivering ecological knowledge in partnership with climate activists.

Workshop 8: Diverse Leadership in Ecology: Expanding Your Influence and Generating a Leadership-Network
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Teresa Mourad – Ecological Society of America, Education & Diversity Programs

This workshop seeks to enhance the ability of racial and ethnic minority ecologists to pursue and join leadership positions in ecology. Participants will explore characteristics of inclusive organizations, identify core leadership skills, potential leadership positions, and join a community of minority ecologists in support of their leadership endeavors.

*Workshop 9: Telling Stories, Sharing Knowledge, and Seeing the Nature of Things:  Teaching Scientific Communication in Ecology Courses
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Robert Newman – University of North Dakota, Biology

Science communication is central to science that benefits society. Ecology courses can introduce students to best practices, but fitting in scicomm is a challenge. Workshop instructors will guide participants through module/assignment design. Participants will leave with a draft module using inclusive communication, storytelling, visual communication, and/or talking with the media.

*Roundtable: Traditional Ecological Knowledge for A More Inclusive Ecology
2:30 – 3:30 PM PST/5:30 -6:30 PM EST
Moderator: Robert Newman, University of North Dakota

Join the TEK section for film/video viewing followed by informal conversation.

Wednesday, August 4

Inspire 10: Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Ground-Breaking Women in Soil Science
8:30 AM-9:30 AM Pacific Time 
Organizer: Courtney Collins – University of Colorado, Boulder, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research  

Women remain underrepresented in soil science, particularly at higher levels including editorial boards, senior faculty, and conference keynote speakers. Here we gather ten soil ecologists from a diversity of identities, career stages, disciplines and scientific approaches to highlight the fundamental contributions women are making in the field of soil science.

Special Session 12: Enhancing Urban Ecosystems in Los Angeles: How Research Can Inform Plans, Policies and Projects that Address Green Infrastructure in Cities
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Kat Superfisky – City of Los Angeles

This session will present the Virtuous Cycle framework (Morrison, 2016) and highlight the power of creating regenerative cycles to move from status quo to a desired future state. Presenters will focus on green infrastructure in Los Angeles, and how government, researchers and nonprofits can collaborate to achieve urban conservation goals.

Special Session 13:  Envisioning the Future of SEEDS
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Esbeiry Cordova-Ortiz – Ecological Society of America, Education and Diversity Department

Envisioning the Future of SEEDS is an initiative that was developed at the Virtual SEEDS Chapter Regional Meetings in the Spring of 2021 that allowed us to brainstorm ideas and strategies to better serve the SEEDS Chapters and community for the next 25 years.

Special Session 14: Success Stories from the Front Lines of Policy and Science
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Charlotte Levy – University of Massachusetts, School of the Environment

Join us for inspiring stories from the trenches by senior scientists at Union of Concerned Scientists, USAID, Nature Conservancy, and the National Academies. From climate change to land governance, these researchers have turned their scientific expertise to informing policy and connected their policymakers, communities, and constituents with key scientific research.

*Organized Oral 27: Equity-Focused, Evidence-Based Approaches to Teaching and Assessing SciComm in Higher Education
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
11:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Bethann Merkle – University of Wyoming, Department of Zoology & Physiology, UWyo Biodiversity Institute, Ecological Society of America, Communication and Engagement Section past chairperson, Public Engagement at Annual Meetings subcommittee member

Science communication is an essential, but oft-overlooked aspect of ecology training. We take a multidisciplinary approach to teaching science communication in higher ed, featuring scholarship and case studies on three themes: decolonizing STEM through scicomm, evidence-based teaching of scicomm, and publishable assessment of scicomm teaching/training.

Inspire 11: State of Knowledge of Global Soil Biodiversity: The Vital Connection between Science and Policy
11:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Monica Farfan – Colorado State University, School of Global Environmental Sustainability 

With the release of the FAO report “State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity: Status, Challenges, and Potentialities” in December 2020, contributors to the report will present insights into global soil biodiversity knowledge, discuss gaps in research, and the potential for a North American soil biodiversity monitoring program. 

Workshop 10: Exchanging Best Practices to Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) in ESA and Our Institutions
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Pamela Templer – Boston University, Department of Biology

This workshop, led by members of the ESA Task Force on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ), will focus on the work of the DEIJ Task Force, progress of DEIJ efforts in ESA, facilitate exchange of best practices and provide resources to advance DEIJ in the ESA community.

Workshop 11: How Scientists Can Help Restore Scientific Integrity and Advocate for Science-Based Policy
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Augusta Wilson – Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

In this session, we’ll discuss how scientists can use institutional scientific integrity policies and principles of academic freedom to advocate for science and evidence-based policy-making.

*Roundtable: The Non-tenure Track Faculty Experience
12:00 – 1:00 PM PST/3:00 -4:00 PM EST
Moderator: Bethann Merkle, University of Wyoming

Are you an instructor or researcher or staff member at an academic institution who’s not on the tenure track? Interested in education but maybe not in everything required for tenure? Get to know professionals who share this experience, talk about the unique pluses and minuses, and pick up some strategies for success.

Inspire: Success Stories from the ESA SEEDS Program….. 25 Years Later
2:30 PM-3:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Zakiya Leggett – North Carolina State University, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources

This session will include Strategies for Ecology Education, Development and Sustainability (SEEDS) alumni from various years of the program. They will share their stories on how the SEEDS program has impacted their journey to their current career and personal accomplishments.  

Workshop 12: Communicating Your Science with the Media
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Heidi Swanson – Ecological Society of America

Public knowledge of scientific research is informed by effective communication and media outreach strategies. This hands-on session will provide tips for working with your press officer, discuss best practices for working with reporters, and supply participants with tools to publicize their research in a clear, engaging manner.

Roundtable: Language Bias as a Barrier in Ecological Sciences: Challenges and Solutions Toward A Truly Inclusive Community
3:30 – 4:30 PM PST/6:30-7:30 PM EST
Moderator: Josue Arteaga-Torres, University of Alberta

English has become the implicit official language of science globally. While using a common language has allowed for greater communication across different regions, it has also limited access to information and created additional challenges for non-native speakers. This, in turn, has generated a bias toward research involving information that is only available in English, as well as prevented information not in English from getting disseminated to the broader community. This panel will include native English speakers who have worked in non-English-speaking countries, as well as scientists who are native speakers of languages other than English and have worked or are currently working in English-speaking regions. Some of the panelists are actively pursuing how to build a more inclusive scientific community by highlighting the importance of including research conducted in other languages and the consequences of only including research published in English. In this panel, we will discuss different challenges and possible solutions for this language bias in an effort to promote and highlight ways to make the field of ecology more inclusive.

Thursday, August 5

Special Session 18: Urban Lakes as Focal Points for Community Science and Ecological Restoration
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: E. Perry Thomas – Kentucky Division of Water

Urban lakes often serve as oases, yet their ecological integrity is frequently threatened by their use in stormwater and wastewater management. With limited funding available for restoration, impairments persist. This Special Session brings together scientists and community leaders to explore urban lakes as focal points for community science and action.

Special Session 19: Vital Connections for Women and Non-Binary BIPOC in Ecology
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Adriana Romero-Olivares – New Mexico State University, Biology

This session will expand the existing network WoCinEEB (women of color and non-binary people of color in ecology and evolutionary biology) by creating a vital connection: a group mentoring initiative with the overall goal of recruiting, retaining, and supporting women and non-binary people of color in Ecology.

Organize Oral 39: Community Science in Southeastern Ecosystems
Thursday, August 5, 2021
11:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Susan Blas – Augusta University

Community science creates new opportunities for ecological research involving open collaboration between individuals and organizations enabling researchers to track ecological trends over larger spatial and temporal scales while at the same time expanding the awareness of stewardship and understanding the scientific process.

Workshop 28: RaceTalk Skills for Cross-Racial Communication
11:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Organizer: Bedelia Richards, RaceTalk LLC

Interested in acquiring the skills, tools and strategies that will boost your confidence and ability to engage effectively in cross-racial dialogues? Then this workshop is for you. The workshop draws on the sociological literature to help participants understand how structural racism shapes and informs “racetalk” across social groups. By the end of the workshop participants are expected to acquire a framework for identifying common obstacles to cross-racial dialogues about race and racism, as well as specific tools and strategies for addressing them. Tools and strategies reflect empirically-based best practices and years of practical experience. This workshop will benefit any individual who wishes to improve their racetalk skills in order to more effectively communicate, interact and build trust across racial lines.

Roundtable: Meet ESA Leaders in Education and Diversity Programs
12:00 – 1:00 PM PST/3:00 -4:00 PM EST
Moderators: Pamela Templer, Boston University and Carmen Cid, Eastern Connecticut State University

Join Pamela Templer (Boston University, outgoing VP of Education and Human Resources) and Carmen Cid (Eastern Connecticut State University, incoming VP of Education and Human Resources) along with members of the Committee on Diversity and Education for an informal chat and networking session. We will talk about existing programs and recent changes, your ideas for priorities in education and diversity and ways to get involved

Roundtable: Climate Science in the Courtroom: Being an Expert Witness
12:00 – 1:00 PM PST/3:00 -4:00 PM EST
Moderator: Augusta Wilson, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

Scientists from numerous disciplines can act as expert witnesses in climate-related cases. While this can be an exciting opportunity to participate in the legal process, the prospect of doing so can be intimidating. And there’s a great deal for scientists to know as the need for their participation in climate litigation expands.  This roundtable discussion, led by an attorney from the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund and based on our organization’s ten years of experience working at the intersection of science and the law, will focus on trends related to the use of science in the growing climate litigation arena. We will address how science has affected the decisions and outcomes in specific cases and how that has changed over time. We will also cover what this means for scientists who wish to participate in climate cases, what scientists should expect when acting as an expert witness, and advice for working with attorneys.

Inspire 16: Ecological and Social Crises: Adapting Ecological Teaching, Mentoring, and Outreach in the Time of COVID, Black Lives Matter, and Climate Change
1:30 PM-2:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: A.M. Aramati Casper – Colorado State University

Training the next generation of ecologists to address the complex problems of climate change, disease, and social justice requires that we address these interdisciplinary topics in our teaching, research, and outreach. Our session speakers share their strategies on how to integrate these timely topics into various facets of ecological training.

Inspire 17: Unregulated Contaminants: What’s Our Next Step with Microplastics, Pharmaceuticals, PFAS, and More 
2:30 PM-3:30 PM Pacific Time 
Organizer: Rachel Barkley – Sequence, Inc., Consultant I

Unregulated contaminants represent a public policy gap, and closing this gap will require ecologists to collaborate across different fields. This session showcases the approaches that researchers are using to address the unintended consequences of PPCPs, PFAS, and microplastics in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. 

Organized Oral 44: Developing Indicators and Policies for Managing the Global Nitrogen Challenge
2:30 PM-3:30 PM Pacific Time
Organizer: Jill Baron – US Geological Survey
Our session, linked to a large international program on nitrogen management, presents efforts being made to develop metrics and an epistemology for quantifying, and governing, the impacts of N across sectors, societies, and international borders.

Friday, August 6

Short Course 2: Science Policy 101: Survival in and Dynamics of the Congressional Ecosystem
7:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: Charlotte Levy – University of Massachusetts, School of the Environment

Ever wanted to meet with your member of Congress but weren’t sure how? This short course will guide you through the Congressional ecosystem to provide you the context, tools and words to prepare you for any interaction, with a focus on creating a 1-minute pitch for a member of Congress.

Short Course 4: Strategies for Incorporating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice into Ecology Curricula
7:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Organizer: A.M. Aramati Casper – Colorado State University

In this short course, participants will gain experience describing elements of inclusive pedagogy and its importance, and practice incorporating social justice elements into their lessons and syllabi.