Turning to a New Century


Outgoing ESA president Dr. Monica Turner highlighted ESA’s first century as she directed attention to present accomplishments and plans for the decades ahead. Her presidential address, The Turn of the Century (28 mb), included callouts to the centennial celebrated last year in Baltimore, as well as to HRC’s role in drawing attention to the organization’s history.

At the 2015 centennial, nineteen of ESA's presidents gathered for a group photo.
At the 2015 centennial, nineteen of ESA’s presidents gathered for a group photo.

In recognizing the 20th anniversary of the SEEDS program, Dr. Turner noted its significance as a model in STEM education. Many of the “personal accounts” on this website credit SEEDS as an influence in career success.

In slide 24, Dr. Turner highlighted the ways the science of ecology has changed since its early days, as follows:
Today’s expectations…

  • Excellence in science
  • Able to ask and answer good questions
  • Deep knowledge of study system
  • Proficient in (rapidly changing) quantitative methods
  • Clear, compelling, impactful writing
  • Be effective individually and in interdisciplinary teams
  • Assimilate novel data sources and technologies
  • Curate and share your data
  • Communicate well and to varied audiences
    • Multiple forms of media
    • Connect with non-scientists
    • Advocate for science in the policy arena
  • And… maintain work-life balanceDr. Turner outlined the roles of ESA and its strategic goals aimed at improving member services and communication. She captured the continued relevance of ESA using quotes from several long-term members:“ESA has been a place for me to grow as an ecologist, in research, education and administrative expertise… to make my work relevant to policy makers… to make a difference in the discipline and the multicultural diversity of ecologists.” —Carmen Cid (30+ yrs)“…with ESA providing a framework of emerging ideas, access to new colleagues, and novel environments to experience, I had grown intellectually and achieved considerable momentum in my career because of it.” —Kathy Ewel (40+ yrs)
    “I was graduating… and my friend gave me a gift of membership to ESA. I have a wide interest in ecology and related fields, so I go to the annual meeting every year… these meetings are times to get to know other people.” —Ed Johnson (40+ yrs)
    “No other professional organization provides such a big tent for my scientific interests.” —John Pastor (30+ yrs)
    “more than anything, ESA provides a sense of BELONGING. Of belonging to something bigger than myself, a community whose mission and values I share, a community I am proud to be a member of… and happy to support.” —Rick Lindroth (30+ yrs)
    In conclusion, Dr. Turner encouraged individual members to get—and stay—involved in shaping the organization to “sustain ESA’s tradition of excellence.”


    The gallery below features selected slides from Dr. Turner’s presentation. You can read or download the entire presentation at this link (note: 28.4 mb pdf).