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Policy Section 2016-2017 Report

Policy Section 2016-2017 Report

The Policy Section is in its sixth year and is continuing to provide resources of interest to its members. Our 168 members come to the section with diverse ecological backgrounds. As such, we strive to provide members with policy information useful to all fields of ecology.

At the 2016 Annual Meeting, section members participated in a number of policy related activities. Notably, the section organized a successful IGNITE session titled “Spanning the Boundary: Opportunities for Ecologists in the Science-Policy Nexus” where several members shared their expertise.

New to the Policy Section this year was a Student Travel Award, which provides funding to students presenting a policy-related poster or talk at the Annual Meeting. This year’s award was given to Kara Pellowe whose talk is titled: “How seasonal variability shapes the social­-ecological resilience of small­-scale fisheries: A case study from Baja California Sur, Mexico”.

The Policy Section also submitted and received a Long Range Planning Grant for 2017, which provides funding for materials to promote the section at the Annual Meeting in Portland. These materials include promotional items, postage for letters/postcards to policy makers, and printed handouts with information on policy opportunities, all of which will be handed out in collaboration with the Science Communication Section.

The Long Range Planning Grant was also intended to fund a regional mentoring/networking event. At the 2017 Annual Meeting the Policy Section will host a special session titled: “Local Ecology-Policy Connections in the Pacific Northwest and Beyond”.  Here, panelists from the area will facilitate a discussion of how they came to work in the Ecology-Policy nexus, what their jobs entail, and the importance of policy grounded in sound ecological principles. After the panel, in a networking period that is part of the session, panelists will engage session attendees in a discussion about ecological policy.

The Section will also convene its business meeting, which will allow members to brainstorm ideas for future sessions and activities, and to discuss Section leadership. We hope that these actions will bring bright, like-minded individuals to the Policy Section who will help achieve our goal of providing ecology-policy resources to the entire ESA.