Policy News: July 29, 2020
Jul29

Policy News: July 29, 2020

In This Issue: White House Finalizes Revisions to NEPA Regulations New rules direct agencies to focus on “reasonably foreseeable” effects and set pages limits for environmental impact statements. Federal Government Begins Work on Fifth National Climate Assessment A notice identifies the proposed overarching themes and framework of the next assessment. Congress Full House passes spending bills funding the Departments of...

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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Blog Series #2: Speaking of Race
Jul06

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Blog Series #2: Speaking of Race

By Pamela Templer, VP of Education and Human Resources, ESA and Teresa Mourad, Director of Education and Diversity Programs, ESA “I can’t breathe.” These last words uttered by George Floyd galvanized protests against the ongoing racism embedded in the systems and culture in the United States of America and galvanized a movement that demanded critical self-reflection. We all know that science has not been immune to racism. In response,...

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Ecology and COVID #4: Leveraging the liabilities of virtual collaboration
Jun03

Ecology and COVID #4: Leveraging the liabilities of virtual collaboration

by Benjamin S. Halpern1,2, Julien Brun1, Amber Budden1, Marty Downs1, Carrie V. Kappel1, and Julia S. Stewart Lowndes1 1National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 2Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA When the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) started shutting down its research labs on March 12 in response to...

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Letter to the community
Jun01

Letter to the community

Dear ecological community, We reach out to you today in sadness and solidarity. Recent acts of violence against the Black community as seen in the horrific killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, have sparked protests across the United States. They underscore the long history of racism and discrimination in our country. Racism and prejudice continue to harm scientists, future scientists, and the communities they...

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Ecology and COVID #3: Can Technology Fill the Coronavirus Data Gap?
May22

Ecology and COVID #3: Can Technology Fill the Coronavirus Data Gap?

by National Ecological Observatory Network When humans can’t get to the field for ecological research, could the robots take over? When humans can’t get to the field for ecological research, could the robots take over? COVID-19 has limited the ability of ecologists to get to the field to collect samples and check instruments in many parts of the world. While travel and work restrictions may be lifted in some areas over the summer, the...

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NSF Biological Sciences Advisory Committee Meets Amid Pandemic, Discuss COVID-19 impacts, switch to no-deadlines and more.
May15

NSF Biological Sciences Advisory Committee Meets Amid Pandemic, Discuss COVID-19 impacts, switch to no-deadlines and more.

The National Science Foundation’s Biological Science’s Advisory Committee (BIO AC) held a virtual, abbreviated meeting April 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The committee, composed of biological and ecological scientists from across the research enterprise, typically meets twice a year for a two-day in-person meeting. Here are some of the highlights from that meeting relevant to the ecological science community: COVID-19...

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Benefit-Sharing, Nagoya, and DSI—Oh My!
May11

Benefit-Sharing, Nagoya, and DSI—Oh My!

“Do most of your members know about the Nagoya Protocol**?” This question appeared on a survey distributed to representatives from an array of professional societies in the social and life sciences, all of whom were about to attend a workshop on “The Shifting Landscape of International Biological Research” that ESA organized in 2017. A primary goal of this workshop was to identify how scientists in different disciplines could comply...

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Ecology and COVID #2: Evolutionary Biology and Questions Regarding the Coronavirus
May11

Ecology and COVID #2: Evolutionary Biology and Questions Regarding the Coronavirus

by Jorge V. Crisci (Universidad Nacional de la La Plata, Argentina) and Tod F. Stuessy (Ohio State University, USA) The great German physicist Werner Heisenberg remarked that nature does not reveal itself directly but only through questions we ask about it. This is true for questions we have with the tragic pandemic of COVID-19. In the last 17 years, coronaviruses, minute parasites of animals, have been transmitted to humans on three...

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ESA conversation with the NSF BIO Assistant Director
Apr27

ESA conversation with the NSF BIO Assistant Director

Blog post by ESA President Osvaldo Sala On April 9, I represented ESA in a meeting with Joanne Tornow, NSF assistant director for the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO). Tornow organized the Zoom meeting to listen to concerns of scientific society leaders and to inform us of NSF’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The other attendees were presidents and CEOs of scientific societies within the field of biology. ESA Executive...

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ESA announces 2020 Award Recipients and 2019 Student Awards
Apr16

ESA announces 2020 Award Recipients and 2019 Student Awards

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present the 2020 awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology in new discoveries, teaching, sustainability, diversity, and lifelong commitment to the profession during the Society’s Annual Meeting August 2-7.  ESA is weighing whether to hold an in person meeting in Salt Lake City that includes a virtual option or whether to hold a totally virtual meeting instead to protect human...

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