AIBS Launches Hurricane Katrina Support Network for Biologists
In response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, several scientific societies are actively working to support researchers, institutions, and collections in the affected area. AIBS has established an online forum for biologists affected by Hurricane Katrina to exchange messages, share professional resources, learn of other scientific organizations' efforts, and summarize damage sustained to specific collections and institutions. This resource, called the Katrina Support Network for Biologists, is available at www.aibs.org/announcements/050907_aibs_katrina_support_network.html.
Program Set for AIBS Evolution Symposium and Session on Creationism/Intelligent Design
AIBS is convening an all-day symposium on the theme of “Evolution and the Environment” at the 2005 annual meeting of the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) on 7 October in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The cosponsors of the symposium are the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). Speakers will provide updates on evolution research and education, with a focus on the causal connections between evolution and environmental health and change. The presentations will be followed by an afternoon BSCS workshop.
The soon-to-be-released BSCS/AIBS video Evolution—Why Bother? will debut at the workshop. (For information on ordering the video—plus the new BSCS/AIBS book Evolutionary Science and Society: Educating a New Generation, based on the symposium held by AIBS and BSCS at the 2004 NABT annual convention—contact BSCS at email@example.com.)
After the 2005 symposium, AIBS and BSCS will hold a special discussion session dealing with creationism and intelligent design, titled “Defending the Teaching of Evolution—National and Local Resources for Educators.”
Registration for the NABT annual meeting includes the AIBS-sponsored symposium and special discussion session. To register, visit the NABT Web site at www.nabt.org.
Program and Schedule
Friday, 7 October 2005 9:00 Introduction to the Symposium
Gordon E. Uno, Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman; chair, AIBS Education Committee
9:15–10:00 The Diversification of Flowering Plants: Key Innovations and Radiations
Pamela Soltis, curator, Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville
The flowering plants (angiosperms) diversified rapidly soon after their appearance in the fossil record nearly 130 million years ago, and the periodic radiations they have undergone since then characterize angiosperm phylogeny. Soltis will explore the role that floral and other changes played in spurring radiations and diversification to yield the 300,000+ species of flowering plants on Earth today.
10:00–10:45 The Role of Climatic Change in the Evolution of Mammals
Anthony D. Barnosky, Department of Integrative Biology and Museums of Paleontology and Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley
The paleontological record of mammals offers many examples of evolutionary change in a diversity of animals that range from large-bodied species such as elephants and horses to tiny rodents and insectivores. Some researchers have presented evidence that certain climatic changes stimulate evolution, whereas others argue cogently that interactions between species are more important than climate change in accelerating natural selection. Barnosky will address the question, Do evolutionary effects of climatic change manifest at different levels of the biological hierarchy, depending on the rate and magnitude of the climatic change?
11:00–11:45 Evolution and Diversification in the Tropical Crop, Cassava
Barbara Schaal and Kenneth Olsen, Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Cassava is one of the most important crops in the world today. Evolutionary studies show that the crop was domesticated in the southwestern part of the Amazon basin. Schaal and Olsen will describe the varieties of cassava used by the indigenous people of this region and the important traits that have potential for enhancing the nutrition of people in the developing world.
11:45–12:30 Amphibian Population Declines and Some Misconceptions about Natural Selection
Andrew R. Blaustein, Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis
Seemingly adaptive behaviors that have persisted in amphibians for millions of years appear to be putting amphibians in harm's way under today's environmental conditions. Blaustein will discuss several factors contributing to amphibian population declines.
1:30–2:15 Ecological Change Drives Evolutionary Diversification: A Case Study with Caribbean Lizards
Jonathan B. Losos, Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Evolutionary trees built using DNA data indicate that Anolis lizards have evolved separately on different Caribbean islands, yet the end result is the same set of habitat specialists on each island. Manipulative experiments on natural populations over a microevolutionary time scale support the hypothesis that interspecific interactions have driven this evolutionary divergence.
2:15–3:00 When Humans Create Rapid Evolution by Changing the Environment
Stephen Palumbi, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, California
Without evolutionary science, we could not understand how HIV becomes so deadly, how to win the arms race with bacterial diseases, or how to prevent the next global flu epidemic. The value of science is that it is explanatory and predictive, leading to technology to enhance society.
3:00–5:00 Evolution Teaching Resources
Jerry L. Phillips, science educator and project director, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Colorado Springs, Colorado
This two-hour workshop organized by BSCS follows the symposium “Evolution and the Environment” and is designed to provide participants with resources and strategies to teach evolution in the classroom. Included in the teaching resources will be the newly released film Evolution—Why Bother?
5:00–6:00 Special Session: Defending the Teaching of Evolution—Sponsored by AIBS and BSCS
Robert E. Gropp, AIBS director of public policy, Washington, DC
With active movements to introduce intelligent design or other forms of creationism into the science curricula in nearly 20 states, and recent statements by the president and Senate majority leader supporting such efforts, the well-funded political movement to redefine science is quite alive. In this environment, evolution and the nature of science are in jeopardy of being redefined to serve political agendas. Indeed, these attacks on science go beyond evolution. Educators, scientists, and others must begin to effectively and energetically defend the teaching of science. This session, convened by AIBS, will review the current state of affairs regarding threats to evolution education, and present information and policy resources available to educators. It is also an opportunity for concerned educators to share information and develop contacts.
AIBS and BSCS Release Evolution Book and Video
The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study is now taking orders for the BSCS/AIBS video Evolution—Why Bother? and for the BSCS/AIBS book Evolutionary Science and Society: Educating a New Generation, which is based on the symposium of the same name that AIBS and BSCS held at the 2004 NABT annual convention. See the BSCS ( www.bscs.org) and AIBS ( www.aibs.org) Web sites later this month for additional information, or contact BSCS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIBS Board Elections Under Way; Polls Close 15 October
Ballots for the AIBS Board elections are in the mail; members can also vote online at www.aibs.org/vote.
As a member-governed organization, AIBS can continue fulfilling its scientific mission to its members and the broader biological community only via a strong and effective Board of Directors and Council. At the end of 2005, three positions become vacant on the 13-person AIBS Board of Directors for the membership to vote on: (1) president-elect; (2) one Board member elected by the AIBS membership at large; and (3) one Board member elected by the Council of AIBS member societies and organizations, now numbering more than 90. The president-elect serves a one-year term and automatically succeeds to a one-year term as president, then a one-year term as immediate past-president. Board members serve a three-year term. The Nominating Committee, chaired by Immediate Past-President Joel Cracraft, has prepared the following Board-certified slate for members' attention and consideration. AIBS thanks all of the candidates for their dedication and willingness to run for these volunteer positions. Biographical sketches and election statements prepared by the candidates are presented below. All terms start on 1 January 2006.
Douglas J. Futuyma
Douglas J. Futuyma is Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, where he has been a faculty member since 1969, except for two years at the University of Michigan, where he served as chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History and has been a visiting professor at Cornell University, James Cook University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Padua, Miami, and others. He received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and has been an instructor with the Organization for Tropical Studies in about 12 tropical biology courses. His research concerns speciation, ecological genetics, and the evolution and ecology of interactions between insects and plants. His books include Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, Coevolution (coedited with M. Slatkin), and the textbooks Evolutionary Biology (three editions) and Evolution. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fulbright Senior Scholar, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been president of the Society for the Study of Evolution and the American Society of Naturalists, and editor of Evolution and the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. He has served with AIBS on the Task Force for the '90s (1990) and the Board of Directors (1995–1996).
Futuyma's statement: For all that it has become a cliché, it is nonetheless clear that we have entered the Century of Biology. Biology as a field of inquiry is being transformed, biological information and understanding display an ever-increasing rate of exponential growth, and the applications of the life sciences to human affairs grow ever more intricate, promising, and worrisome. Even as biology fragments into more and narrower specialty disciplines, it shows the promise of, and need for, greater unification, for molecular tools are providing means of integration among developmental biology, cell biology, neurobiology, and the intrinsically integrative fields of physiology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Ecology, systematics, and evolutionary biology are increasingly important for coping with a lengthening and ever more alarming list of environmental ills, while biotechnology, growing from unprecedented understanding of life processes, provides unalloyed blessings, perhaps Faustian bargains, and unprecedented ethical dilemmas. Never before has it been so important for people to understand basic biology, yet the public, by and large, at best knows little, and at worst fears and mistrusts biology and science in general.
As the single broadest representative of biology in the United States, AIBS will play an ever more important role as a voice for biology, as a coordinator of multidisciplinary research efforts, as a provider of expertise, and especially as a force for education. Through BioScience and BioOne, AIBS helps to foster information exchange among biologists of many stripes. By interfacing with the National Association of Biology teachers, AIBS is increasingly contributing to an all-important cause, the teaching of evolution in an increasingly hostile, antiscientific environment. AIBS will make a further contribution to this effort as the education arm of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. And AIBS is poised as is no other organization to advise funding agencies on future directions in biological research and applications and to speak for biology in the halls of Washington.
As the umbrella organization for 90 biological societies, AIBS is the broadest representative of biology as a whole. However, I believe it could be still broader, for the realms of molecular, genomic, and cell biology are not as well represented as they might be. It is absolutely essential that AIBS continue to represent forcefully the organismal spectrum of biological disciplines, including systematics, behavior, and ecology. But as biology becomes more integrated—as disciplines such as evolutionary developmental biology, molecular evolution, and molecular ecology develop; as genomic data call for a symbiosis of molecular, developmental, cell, and evolutionary biologists; as genomics joins with neurobiology and developmental biology to provide deeper understanding of behavior—it should be possible for AIBS to become for biology what the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society are for those disciplines, a body that truly represents the full range of the science. As research projects in biology come to match those in physics for size and cost, as the increasingly integrative nature of biological research calls for new formulations of research funding, as evolution—and therefore the scientific enterprise as a whole—comes under attack, it will be important for the more organismal disciplines to join with the more mechanistic disciplines, and to work to each others' mutual advantage. Unfortunately, a history of tension among disciplines and the dissolution of many university biology departments into more specialized units have produced some great gulfs in understanding, so that movement toward a more universal, unified biology may require that biologists themselves learn more about each others' disciplines. Still, I think AIBS should explore the possibility of expanding its membership, involving more of the societies and institutions concerned with molecular and cellular mechanisms, and fostering interchange between groups that may have more common concerns than they perhaps realize.
At the same time, AIBS must continue to do what it has been doing so well. It must continue to represent biology to the press, the public, and the politicians, to help decisionmakers develop funding structures and priorities, to attract diverse talent to the new ranks of biologists, to foster communication among biologists on an international scale in order to address international problems, and to help in education at every level. As president, I will support these efforts, and advocate an even broader effort.
David M. Hillis
David M. Hillis is the Alfred Roark Centennial Professor in the Section of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his PhD from the University of Kansas in 1985, and has been at the University of Texas since 1987. He studies molecular evolution and systematics, with a particular interest in the applications of phylogenetic analysis (from human health, to biodiversity, to origins of life). He has served as president of the Society for the Study of Evolution and president of the Society of Systematic Biologists, as well as editor of Systematic Biology. He has served on the editorial boards of a dozen journals, including BioScience from 1993 to the present. He serves on the Board of Directors and cochairs the Science Committee of The Nature Conservancy, Texas Chapter, and is on the Senior Advisory Board of NESCent. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the Board on Life Sciences of the National Research Council. He was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow in 1999.
Hillis's statement: We have been fortunate in AIBS to have been served by a series of excellent presidents, who have each helped increase the effectiveness of the society. I hope to continue this trend of greater AIBS involvement and coordination, with two particular emphases:
Biological education: I believe that AIBS has an essential role to play in promoting and improving biological education at all levels. Teachers of biology are under attack from grade schools through to universities, especially from politically motivated special interest groups. AIBS can continue to provide coordination of resources, encourage partnerships and interactions, provide information for teachers and parents, sponsor conferences and workshops, and serve as a conduit to ensure that students receive accurate and up-to-date biological instruction.
Communication and coordination among biological societies: Biologists need a mechanism to speak in a more uniform and united manner so that we can promote changes that are needed to support biological education and research. AIBS can also serve as a focal point for discussions of interest that transcend the boundaries of the traditional subdisciplines. I plan to work with the Board, the Council, and the staff of AIBS to enhance communication among biologists on issues of common concern, and to develop new approaches that allow us to develop coherent responses to problems that cross disciplinary boundaries.
Candidates for Board Member Elected by the Membership at Large
The two candidates are listed alphabetically below; vote for one.
Scott V. Edwards
Scott V. Edwards received a BS from Harvard University in 1986 and a PhD from the University of California–Berkeley in 1992; he was an Alfred P. Sloan Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Evolution at the University of Florida, Gainesville, 1992–1994. He has been an assistant, associate, and full professor of zoology and biology, and curator of genetic resources, at Burke Museum, University of Washington (1994–2003), and is now Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Ornithology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (2003–present). He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, NESCent; a member of the Committee for Research and Exploration, National Geographic Society; a member of the Comparative Genome Evolution Working Group, National Human Genome Research Institute; principal investigator for the NSF-funded “Undergraduate Diversity at the Society for the Study of Evolution and Society of Systematic Biologists” ; associate editor of Molecular Biology and Evolution; and president-elect of the Society of Systematic Biologists.
Edwards's statement: I have always looked to AIBS for guidance and advocacy—guidance with regard to the appropriate political resources and stance on issues of pressing importance to biology and biologists in the United States, and advocacy in terms of a demonstrated record of informed lobbying on “the Hill.” The biological sciences in the United States in particular stand at a paradoxical crossroads today: although we continue to lead globally in a variety of fields of critical importance to medicine and basic science, there seems to be no end to societal and political roadblocks to continued progress, in fields as diverse as stem cell research to evolutionary biology. These roadblocks are severe enough that, if left to continue unchecked, they will ultimately stymie research and cause science in the United States to fall behind research in politically more progressive countries. These roadblocks can take many forms, depending on the scientific discipline—from insufficient funding, to inadequate public education and understanding of science, to an unsatisfactorily diverse scientific workforce, to simple resistance to new and bold visions of the role of science in society.
One of AIBS's many roles is to educate politicians and society as to the vital role that biology plays in our culture and to help erode the fear that all too often prevents society from embracing and managing new scientific advances and initiatives in an informed way. As a Board member of AIBS I hope to help remove these fears and thereby promote biological science by informing policy, contributing to lobbying efforts, and helping galvanize and coordinate the diversity of scientific societies that make up biological science.
As an evolutionary biologist and curator, a key interest of mine is in helping increase student diversity entering the evolutionary sciences, which are among the least diverse of all biological sciences. Through participation in organizations such as the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists, and through diversity-increasing initiatives at the Society for the Study of Evolution and the Society of Systematic Biologists, I strive to convey to students the excitement and pride of conducting research in fields whose focus is the origin and maintenance of biodiversity. Although large initiatives and targeted funding can work wonders here, an equally important ingredient is one-on-one interaction and mentorship. Ultimately I aim to help create an environment in our national scientific societies to which students from all backgrounds will be attracted and flourish, and help societies learn from one another in this important endeavor.
Terry Yates is currently serving as vice president for research and economic development, as a professor of biology and pathology, and as curator of genomic resources in the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico. He formerly served as director of the Division of Environmental Biology, National Science Foundation; chair of the Department of Biology, University of New Mexico; director of the Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico; and director of the Systematic Biology Program and head of the Systematic and Population Biology Cluster, National Science Foundation. He has published over 125 papers in refereed outlets. He is a member of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Board of Trustees, American Society of Mammalogists; a trustee of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists; president of the Natural Science Collections Alliance; president-elect of the Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges; chairman on the Board of Trustees, Society of Systematic Biology; member of the Board of Directors, National LambdaRail; president of the Monzano Conservation Foundation; member of the Board of Directors, La Semilla Institute; member of the Executive Board of Directors, Science and Technology Corporation at the University of New Mexico; member of the Board of Directors, New Mexico Technology Research Corridor; 1991 recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award, The Nature Conservancy; and 1995 recipient of the Robert L. Packard Outstanding Educator Award, Southwestern Association of Naturalists. He received a BS in 1972 from Murray State University in Kentucky; an MS in 1975 from Texas A&M University in College Station; and a PhD in 1978 from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Yates's statement: Never in the history of the field of biology has the potential been brighter. Theoretic and technological advances now make it possible to address complex biological questions with a rigor and speed far exceeding that of only a few decades ago. At the same time, biological problems facing society are enormous and our challenge to solve them critical. A rapidly expanding human population is putting enormous pressure on biological systems on a planetary scale. Loss of biological diversity, global warming, public health, pollution, and homogenization of the world's ecosystems all will depend on the biological sciences for solutions.
Unfortunately, despite the critical nature of all of these and other problems, political forces have by their nature a temporal view too short in most cases to support the long-term solutions these problems require. In addition, the large-scale and long-term funding needed faces the same temporal forces and is subject to severe competition from sectors far better organized than the biological sciences. Unlike other scientific disciplines, such as chemistry or physics, that can present a united front, biology has found such an effort difficult at best. This must change, however, if we are to have the influence that is needed to address these critical problems through research, education, public policy, and funding.
I believe that AIBS is the only organization currently available that can serve to accomplish these goals. Through my service on the governing boards of other biological organizations and through my four years at NSF I have seen AIBS emerge from near death to a well-run, diverse organization with the potential to become the umbrella organization that can finally unite the many diverse segments that constitute the biological sciences. My diverse research and educational experiences coupled with my administrative and political knowledge can be helpful at this stage of AIBS's evolution. I would be honored to have an opportunity to assist with this important task by serving on the AIBS Board of Directors at this time.
Candidates for Board Member Elected by the Council
Note: Council votes are cast by a separate mail ballot, not the www.aibs.org/vote interface.
Edna S. Kaneshiro
Edna S. Kaneshiro received a BS cum laude, an MS in science education, and a PhD in zoology from Syracuse University, and performed postdoctoral work in cell biology and biochemistry at the University of Chicago and Bryn Mawr College. She has served as a classroom teacher in Baldwinsville, New York; as an assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, and Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Cincinnati; and as a senior research microbiologist at the National Institutes of Health. Her fields of research include microbiology, biochemistry, and cell physiology. She has been a member of Phi Sigma, a corporation member of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, and a Fellow of the Graduate School at the University of Cincinnati, where she received the Faculty Achievement Award and the Rieveschl Award for Distinguished Scientific Research. She has also received the Henri Warembourg Faculty of Medicine Medal at the University of Lille, France, and the Outstanding Accomplishments Award from the Society of Protozoologists. Kaneshiro has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a member of the American Society for Microbiology Council Policy Committee. She has served on the AIBS Council, on the BioOne Publisher's Advisory Board, and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Microbiological Methods and BioScience.
Kaneshiro's statement: Having served on the AIBS Council since 1999, I have become familiar with AIBS and its dynamic nature. I have witnessed the installation of the Public Policy Office staffed by people familiar with current issues and how Washington works, the launching of BioOne that enabled small societies to place their journals online, and the recent success in enrolling a broader diversity of organizations and institutions under our enlarging umbrella. Trying different meeting formats over recent years indicates that we are still flexible and trying to better serve our membership while being fiscally responsible. Our activity in the area of science education is a major focus of the members under the AIBS umbrella, and hence it is good that AIBS recognizes outstanding media colleagues who help in this endeavor. Boosting underrepresented minority students in their careers as biologists is also a priority, and special awards that AIBS has given to student presentations are appropriate. AIBS has clearly grown and matured and now plays a more visible and unique role in the scientific and academic communities. However, with growth and change come new challenges.
We have been fortunate in having volunteer past officers and Board members who generously and thoughtfully served as the main guides, the makers of policy, and developers of programs. Also, having a talented and energetic director with his professional staff at headquarters has been key in the evolution of AIBS. Nomination to the Board of Directors is an honor and, if elected, I accept the challenge and opportunity to serve in this capacity. I hope to impact the effectiveness of all AIBS committees, programs, and projects.
Eric S. Nagy
Eric S. Nagy is a faculty member in the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia, and is associate director of Mountain Lake Biological Station. He received his PhD in population biology from the University of California, Davis, in 1995. He has been at the University of Virginia since 1996. Nagy's research focuses on the ecological, reproductive, and selective dynamics driving the evolution of natural plant hybrid populations. He currently serves as the AIBS Council Representative for the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS), and is past-president of OBFS. Nagy is co-leader of the Mid-Atlantic Region Ecological Observatory and is a member of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Consortium Development Committee. He is on the Advisory Board of the Mountain Lake Wilderness Conservancy, and the Steering Committees for the Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections and the Resource Discovery Initiative for Field Stations. Past service includes the presidency and vice presidency of OBFS, and the NSF-sponsored panel “Research and Education Blurring: The Challenges” and workshop “Enhancing Educational Opportunities at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories.” Nagy has been principal investigator for an NSF REU-Sites (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program at Mountain Lake Biological Station since 1998.
Nagy's statement: With the pace of science moving as never before, and the demands from society on scientists being greater that ever, the need for coordinated vision and collaborative initiatives among biological disciplines is at an all-time high. It is tremendously exciting to be involved with an organization that explicitly strives to tackle broad, national (in fact, global) scientific, education, and policy issues head on, all in the service of its members, the nation, the environment, and the benefit of all human society. AIBS is of course that organization, and it is unique in its position and capacity to pursue that mission. It would be an honor and a thrill to serve AIBS as a Board member.
Apart from my membership on the Council, I have been engaged with AIBS on two additional fronts: (1) matters concerning biological field stations, especially within AIBS's Public Policy Office, and (2) in planning efforts for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).
The Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS, for which I have served as Council Representative since 2002) was a founding contributor to the AIBS Public Policy Office. And during my term as president of the organization, OBFS was (and continues to be) heavily involved in initiatives coming form the Public Policy Office. Two notable examples of that engagement are Congressional Visits Day (in which OBFS members participate annually) and the 2003 National Press Club Roundtable, “Sensing the Environment: The Future of Biological Observational Networks” (co-hosted by three AIBS member organizations—OBFS, ESA, and AERC). I have seen firsthand how effective the Public Policy Office has been and am excited to see AIBS repeating the experiment in its establishment of the new Education Office.
AIBS has embarked on two ambitious projects to support the NSF NEON program—Infrastructure for Biology at Regional to Continental Scales (IBRCS) and the current NEON Planning Project. I participated as a formal committee member in both projects and will continue to strongly support AIBS's involvement in NEON. My engagement with the larger field station community has made my participation in NEON inevitable. But I am independently drawn to the vision of a revolution in environmental science, one that will illuminate global patterns and processes vital to the health and survival of many species, including our own. NEON embodies that vision more than any other initiative—nationally or globally. And it is AIBS that has led the NEON charge.
The model of incrementally adding well-conceived functions and services has a proven track record for AIBS. I will actively explore other arenas in which AIBS can pursue that strategy. An obvious issue in the public, policy, and academic spotlight right now is of course diversity. Increasing representation by underrepresented groups at all levels of biology (especially ecology, evolution, environmental science, and field-based research) is sorely needed and long overdue. AIBS is well positioned to make significant contributions in this area. AIBS's standing programs—BioScience, the newly acquired web resource ActionBioscience.org, collaboration with the e-journal database BioOne project, education support for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, scientific review and advisory services, facilitation of scientific meeting organization, and invaluable administrative, advising, and training support for member organizations—are all extremely valuable efforts that must continue to be supported as well. As a Board member, I look forward to helping guide the future direction of the organization, while at the same time remaining active in its programs and initiatives as a biologist and member representative.
BioOne Appoints Susan Skomal as Executive Director
BioOne, a nonprofit online aggregator of scholarly journals in the biosciences, has appointed Susan Skomal as executive director and chief operating officer, starting in mid-October 2005. Skomal has been a staff member of the American Anthropological Association since 1991, most recently (since 2000) as the association's director of publications and the leader of its transition from print to electronic publishing. She earned a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles and is a former adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, University College. She succeeds Heather Joseph, BioOne's founding president, who assumed the position of executive director of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) in July.
Kent Holsinger, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, and chair of BioOne, commented, “We are extremely pleased to be welcoming Susan to BioOne. She brings to our organization a high level of relevant experience and a strong commitment to ensuring the independence and viability of nonprofit scholarly publishing to benefit all stakeholders. We were particularly impressed by her ideas for addressing the issues that concern our particular publisher, library, scholar, and researcher communities. Susan has expressed a clear and compelling vision for how BioOne can continue its successful momentum in expanding global dissemination of bioscience research with affordable access.”
BioOne is a 501(c)(3) corporation formed in 1999 through a collaboration of librarians, scholars, society publishers, and others. The Web service ( www.bioone.org), which was launched in 2001, provides precise online access to peer-reviewed research in organismal and integrative biology, including ecology and the environment, in 80 journals and one e-book from 67 independent publishers. Subscribers, including academic libraries, exceed 750 worldwide. In addition, free or low-cost online access is available to researchers in developing countries.
AIBS Representatives Participate in Summit on Diversity
At the end of August, the Minority Environmental Leadership Development Initiative at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment hosted a summit on diversity in the environmental field. This summit, entitled “Thirty-five Years after Earth Day….Where Do We Go from Here?” brought together over 200 leaders and representatives from academia, environmental and social justice organizations, corporations, and media outlets to discuss the status of minority representation in environmental-related fields, and to examine strategies that attract members of underrepresented groups to environmental careers. AIBS was represented at this summit by Howard University professor and AIBS Board member Mary McKenna and by Education and Outreach program associate Abraham Parker. McKenna gave a talk describing the initiatives carried out by Diversity in Biological Sciences, a Washington, DC–based, AIBS-sponsored coalition of representatives from professional societies, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Parker staffed an exhibit booth that showcased AIBS programs and resources.
Recent Articles Online at www.actionbioscience.org
Original article in English
“Once in a Million Years: Helping Students Understand the Magnitude of Geologic Time,” by Susan E. Lewis, Kristen A. Lampe, and Andrew J. Lloyd, Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Spanish translation of previously posted article
“Biocomplejidad: La Nueva Frontera de la Biociencia” [Biocomplexity: The New Bioscience Frontier], interview with Rita Rossi Colwell, Canon US Life Sciences Chairperson and Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore
Recent Public Policy Reports Online at www.aibs.org
Public Policy Report for 12 September 2005
NSF and Energy respond to Hurricane Katrina
AIBS launches Hurricane Katrina Support Network for Biologists
Democrats speak out against politicization of science
Creationists sue University of California
Pew poll shows majority favor teaching creationism
Florida: Bush names Yecke to number two post in K12 education
New in BioScience: “Politics and Peer Review”
From the Federal Register
Public Policy Report for 29 August 2005
White House requests comments on multiple PI grants
Climate change politics heat up
AIBS evolution symposium and ID/creationism session at NABT 2005
Tri-Societies issue statement in support of evolution
Iowa State faculty rejects intelligent design/creationism
Now in BioScience: “NSF Funding Still Lags Behind, but More in Congress Show Concern”
New intern in the AIBS Public Policy Office
From the Federal Register
Plan to attend: 2006 AIBS annual meeting on biodiversity
Public Policy Report for 15 August 2005