A surprise message from President Obama greeted the ecological community at the first scientific plenary of our 100th Annual Meeting on Monday, 10 August 2015.
“Hi everybody. Happy 100th birthday to the Ecological Society of America. You’ve come a long way from the first handful of ecologists who met in a hotel lobby to compare notes on plants and experiments. They were pioneers of the discipline, driven by a love of this country and its ecosystems.
“Today, you number 10,000 members, from all fields and walks of life, clamoring for answers to our greatest environmental questions. Some of you lead major research programs at top universities. Some of you serve in the public sector. Some of you are students, interested in joining the scientific workforce. But you all share the passions of your pioneering founders; a love of our diverse and bountiful ecosystems, a dedication to protecting them for future generations, and a commitment to working together toward that goal.
“As President, I share your vision. That’s why my administration has protected more that 260 million acres of public lands and waters. Through my climate action plan we’re cutting dangerous carbon pollution and boosting the resilience of our communities and ecosystems. We’re succeeding in recovering more species from the threat of extinction than ever before.
“And I want you to know that I’m grateful that ESA has been by our side, helping us bring science to the table to address climate change, preserve our oceans, and combat droughts and wildfires. Your mission and message couldn’t be more urgent. Today like one hundred years ago, you remind us that the health of our nation depends on the health of our environment and I know that you will be at the forefront of this national mission for your next hundred years. So thank you, and congratulations.”
(Transcript provided by ESA.)