Skip to main content

Our Annual Meeting is underway. Join us from Monday through Friday


Workshops and courses to help scientists gain the skills they need to navigate changes in funding, policy, and technology

Sustaining Biological Infrastructure (SBI) Training Initiative

SBI participants practice pitching their project ideas to each other and Bill Michener, one of our SBI instructors

This initiative, launched by ESA in 2014 and supported by the National Science Foundation, provides project directors with the core business planning, marketing, and communication skills they need to ensure their labs, collections, field stations, and digital data resources are more successful and financially sustainable. Our training is hands-on, with lots of group work, case studies, and time built in during the course for participants to draft an action plan for their project. 

 Our 3-day Strategies for Success course will be offered June 12-14 and October 15-17, 2019. See the SBI website for details and registration.

Creating Sustainable Models for Research Resources

This December 2016 workshop, building on the SBI Training Initiative, brought together a diverse, interdisciplinary group of natural history museum curators and collections staff, collections users (both current and potential), sustainability experts, management research specialists, and future studies experts to discuss the potential for developing (1) quantitative measures of collections value and (2) economic models for translating this value into support for collections, based on tangible benefits.

A follow-up meeting took place in March 2019 at the American Alliance for Museums in Crystal City, VA. Participants reflected on achievements since the 2016 workshop, discussed methods of overcoming real and potential barriers to maintaining and growing collections, and identified strategies, situations, and tools that help leaders implement innovative approaches to sustaining collections and developing new business models.

Sustaining Data Repositories:
PI Workshop on Creating and Implementing Sustainability Plans

The objectives of this January 2018 workshop were to identify challenges and opportunities specific to data repository sustainability, identify challenges and opportunities of implementing different sustainability models, and produce a process guide to help participants draft their own sustainability plans. Twenty-two data repository leaders from a variety of disciplines (including biology, geology, engineering, computer science, math/physical sciences, and social sciences) attended the workshop to identify challenges and opportunities specific to data repository sustainability and to brainstorm collaborative, creative solutions.

Participants, along with the help of our organizing committee and ESA staff, began working in earnest on a process guide to help data repository leaders draft their own sustainability plans. The process guide will is a step-by-step manual and includes links to helpful tools, templates, and case studies. This workshop was a direct outgrowth of the Science Office’s work on research infrastructure sustainability that began in 2010 and includes our Sustaining Biological Infrastructure Training Initiative.