Discussion Panels

Meeting Registration is required. Please visit https://www.esa.org/saltlake/ to sign up

Discussion Panel 1:  Diversity and Inclusion

Monday, August 3, 2020
2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern

Committing to Diversity: Perspectives of Inclusivity

Promoting and supporting diversity across areas including gender, age, race, professional sectors, and scientific disciplines plays a key role in advancing scientific understanding . The 2020 diversity luncheon presentation will explore definitions of diversity within science by providing three speakers with an opportunity to reflect on their unique experiences in committing to diversity. Each presenter will speak about what diversity means within their respective professions in an effort to help the audience understand how people view the commitment to diversity from multiple perspectives.

Panel Moderator

Dr. Pamela Templer, Boston University
ESA Vice President, Education and Human Resources

Pamela H. Templer is an ecosystem ecologist and professor at Boston University who focuses on plant-microbial interaction and their effect on carbon exchange and nutrient cycling. She is also interested in examining how urban ecosystems function, how human actions influence nutrient cycling, atmosphere-biosphere interactions, and other ecosystem processes.



Dr. Fushcia-Ann Hoover

Dr. Fushcia-Ann Hoover is an urban social-ecological post-doctoral researcher at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. Her research focuses on exploring the relationships between environmental justice and urban planning in the context of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and green space design. Through her work, she seeks to develop new applications for acknowledging and honoring the human to environment connection.



Dr. Aramati Casper

Dr. Aramati Casper is a research scientist at Colorado State University and the Mountain Studies Institute. Aramati’s current research ranges from diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice (DEIJ) projects focused on DEIJ-informed undergraduate curriculum in STEM, to a long term limber pine planting project that will help provide tools for more resilient forest management. Aramati’s education work currently focuses on integrating DEIJ material into technical STEM courses, which are often presented as “apolitical” and detached from their social contexts.


James, Rattling Leaf, Sr

James, Rattling Leaf, Sr. serves as a Cultural Engagement Consultant. He serves as a primary resource to the Federal Government, Higher Education Institutions and Non-Profits for developing and maintaining positive working relationships with federally and non-federally recognized Indian tribes, Tribal College and Universities and Tribal Communities. He was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.


Discussion Panel 2:  Careers in Ecology

Tuesday, August 4, 2020
2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern 

There’s no one way to be an ecologist: exploring career pathways in ecology

There are many ways to do ‘ecology’ in the world today. Members of ESA have vibrant careers in non-profits, government agencies, environmental consulting, research, and academia. The speakers in this session come from a variety of career paths in ecology and have a wealth of knowledge and life experiences to share with the ESA community. Our three speakers will discuss their own career experiences, challenges they encountered along the way, and why they’ve chosen the work that they do. This panel is coupled with a series of Career Networking events, that will focus on environmental consulting, government careers, academia, and non-profit/foundation work, taking place throughout the week.


Panel Moderator

Dr. Angee Doerr, Oregon State University
Chair, Early Career Ecologists section 

Dr. Angee Doerr is Assistant Professor of Practice and Fisheries Extension Specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University. She focuses on commercial fisheries and marine coastal resources, providing community outreach and education on a range of subjects, to include marine resource management, nearshore energy, and sustainable economic growth for coastal industries. Angee works closely with community partners, including commercial fishermen, managers, and researchers, to advance our understanding of fisheries and other marine resources in Oregon and along the West Coast. She has a B.Sci and an MBA, as well as a PhD focused on socially and ecologically sustainable fisheries. Angee is currently a Commander in the US Navy Reserves, having spent eight years on Active Duty as a Naval Flight Officer and ten years in the Reserves as the Officer-in-Charge of a variety of units.



Anny Chung, UGA

Anny started as an assistant professor at the University of Georgia in Fall 2019. Research in her lab focuses on questions that fall under the broad umbrella of “population and community ecology of plants, microbes, and their interactions”. Originally from Taiwan (with a stint in NZ), Anny has lived and worked in the United States since her undergraduate years. She gets excited about plants, fungi, coexistence theory, plant-soil feedbacks, experimental design, music, travel, and the art of translation.


Colleen Nell, USGS

Colleen is a data visualization specialist with the USGS Water Mission Area, where they contribute to the design and implementation of web-based visualizations to communicate USGS science. This is a position they started a couple of months ago during the onset of the global pandemic, and have since relocated to Madison, WI from Washington DC, where they held a postdoc position at George Washington University. Colleen’s background is in ecology and data science; they completed their PhD in 2018 at UC Irvine, where they studied community ecology with an emphasis on tri-trophic interactions. During this time they became very interested in R and invested a lot of time learning data science & data visualization skills to complement their research, which eventually lead them to their current position with USGS!



José Herrera, Mercy College

José Herrera was named Mercy College’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs in January 2017.  He earned his doctorate at Kansas State University in 1996, in microbiology.    During his career, Dr. Herrera has collaborated with many undergraduate students, publishing several scientific articles characterizing the microbial community structure and function of root-associated fungal endophytes.  He is currently the Program Director of a recently funded Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence award as well as serving as PI on several NSF-funded research and educational projects.  In 2017, he was elected chair of the 2019 Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research in Lewistown, ME.  He is a lifetime member of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science).  Throughout his career Dr. Herrera has held a variety of increasingly complex leadership roles and has successfully served students, faculty, and staff at various institutions to guide them to exemplary models in an ever-changing educational landscape.


Discussion Panel 3:  COVID-19 Impacts and Opportunities

Thursday, August 6, 2020
2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern

Coping with the COVID pandemic: How has it impacted research, and what opportunities has it created?

The COVID pandemic has impacted our ability to do research and to engage students and the public in research projects. This panel brings together panelists from a diversity of perspectives to discuss impacts and opportunities created by the pandemic. Together, the speakers will offer insight into how the pandemic has impacted grant funding, including impacts on ongoing projects, but also opportunities created; how it has impacted researcher’s fieldwork plans, while also having enhanced collaboration; and, how it has impacted field stations, student involvement in research projects, and science outreach.

Panel Moderator

John Kominoski, Florida International University

John Kominoski is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Environment and Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University.  He is an ecosystem ecologist whose research focuses on how disturbances alter biogeochemical cycling and organic matter processing in terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems. John is co-PI of the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research program and chair of the Aquatic Ecology Section of ESA.



Marty Downs, Long Term Ecological Research Network

Marty manages the Network Office of the Long Term Ecological Research Network, coordinating scientific synthesis, education, and engagement activities for 28 research sites in every major U.S. biome. Since 2005, she has managed collaboration, communications, and outreach in environmental and public health organizations, including Brown University’s Environmental Change Initiative, the New England Aquarium, and the Nature Conservancy, where she led the Science Impact Project, a professional development program for TNC scientists. Marty earned her B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University and her M.S. in Science Journalism from Boston University.

Stephanie Hampton, Washington State University

Stephanie Hampton is an aquatic ecologist with expertise in environmental informatics and statistical analysis of time series data. Her research includes analyzing long-term ecological data collected from lakes as globally diverse as Lake Baikal in Siberia and Lake Washington in Seattle. Throughout her career she has been deeply engaged in community efforts to foster effective collaboration, open science, and reproducibility. She began her academic career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho, followed by 8 years as the Deputy Director for the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California in Santa Barbara. In January 2014, she was appointed Director for the Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach at Washington State University, where she also serves as a Professor in the School of Environment. She is currently serving as Division Director for the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation.

Jorge Ramos, Stanford University

Dr. Jorge Ramos is the Associate Director for Environmental Education at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve of Stanford University. Jorge oversees the education program at Jasper Ridge that can amount to more than 8,000 educational and outreach visits a year by people from very diverse ages, interests, careers and backgrounds. He completed his PhD at Arizona State University in which he focused his studies in understanding the ecohydrology of spring-fed ecosystems in Mexico and in quantifying greenhouse gas fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) under different management strategies from a constructed treatment wetland in Arizona. He previously worked at Conservation International in Washington DC, where he was the manager of the Blue Climate team in the Center for Oceans.  Jorge has founded and led national and international initiatives to promote the inclusion and retention of a diverse population in science, including taking on local and national-level leadership roles with Latino Outdoors, Ecological Society of America SEEDS Program, Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists, (INNGE), NSF GK-12 Sustainability Schools Program, and Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network.