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1 July 2006 AIBSnews

Slate for 2007 AIBS Board Elections Approved

At the end of 2006, the following four positions become vacant on the 13-person AIBS Board of Directors: (1) president-elect, (2) treasurer, (3) a board member elected by the AIBS individual membership, and (4) a board member elected by the AIBS Council of member societies and organizations. 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. The treasurer and board members serve three-year terms. This year's slate, assembled by the Nominations Committee chaired by Immediate Past-President Marvalee Wake and approved by the AIBS Board of Directors at its spring meeting, is shown below, in alphabetical order.


  • Rita R. Colwell (Canon Life Sciences, University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University)

  • Massimo Pigliucci (State University of New York at Stony Brook)


  • Richard B. Norgaard (University of California at Berkeley; incumbent)

Board member elected from the AIBS Council of member societies and organizations

  • Sunny K. Boyd (Notre Dame University and Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology)

  • Alan H. Savitsky (Old Dominion University, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles)

Board member elected by the AIBS individual membership

  • Janet Keough (Environmental Protection Agency)

  • Steward T. A. Pickett (Institute of Ecosystem Studies)

Online and paper ballot voting will begin after Labor Day (4 September 2006). Results will be announced approximately 30 days later. All terms start January 2007. The individuals rotating off the board at the end of 2006 are Marvalee Wake, Richard Norgaard (who is running for reelection), J. Michael Scott, and Arturo Gómez-Pompa. The roster of the AIBS Board of Directors is online at

AIBS Presents Annual Awards in Science, Education, Service, and Media

AIBS's major annual awards were presented at a gathering of the AIBS Council of member societies and organizations on 23 May in Washington, DC. The awards went to the following individuals:

Distinguished Scientist Award

  • Louis J. Gross, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Education Award

  • Judy Scotchmoor, University of California, Berkeley

Outstanding Service Award

  • John G. Hildebrand, University of Arizona

President's Citation Award

  • Mary E. Clutter, former assistant director, Biological Sciences Directorate, National Science Foundation

Past President's Award

  • Marvalee Wake, University of California, Berkeley

Broadcast Media Award

  • Daniel Grossman, Radio Netherlands

Print Media Award

  • Margaret Wertheim, LA Weekly

Print Media Honorable Mention

  • Michael Balter, Science

In a joint statement, AIBS President Kent Holsinger and Executive Director Richard O'Grady commented, “We are pleased to honor these talented and dedicated individuals. From a variety of backgrounds, they have all made significant positive contributions to the field of biology.”

For more information on the AIBS annual awards, see

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert Receives Award from AIBS

To cap off its 2006 annual meeting, AIBS presented House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R–NY) with an award commending him for his distinguished record of service to the scientific community and support for the biological sciences.

Boehlert recently announced his retirement after representing New York's 24th House district for 24 years. He has been a member of the House Science Committee for the duration of his congressional career, and has chaired it since 2001. During his tenure he has supported a robust national science portfolio and has helped to secure crucial boosts in funding for agencies such as the National Science Foundation.

AIBS President Kent Holsinger said, “Science is losing a strong ally in Congressman Boehlert. We are pleased to honor him with this award.”

AIBS Cosponsors CNSF Reception Showcasing Science on Capitol Hill

On 7 June the Coalition for National Science Funding held its 12th annual exhibition and reception on Capitol Hill. The theme was “Science @ Work.” AIBS was among dozens of scientific societies and universities to display work funded by the National Science Foundation. AIBS's exhibit provided an update on National Ecological Observatory Network developments.

The reception drew a large crowd, which included members of Congress and their staffs. A number of top NSF officials, such as Director Arden L. Bement Jr. and Deputy Director Kathie L. Olsen, also attended.

BESC Writes to Senate Appropriations Committee Leaders about NSF

The Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC), of which AIBS is a founding member, sent a letter on 1 June in support of the National Science Foundation to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R–MS) and Ranking Member Robert C. Byrd (D–WV). The letter backs the administration's request for a budget of $6.02 billion for NSF in fiscal year 2007.

Along with AIBS, the letter's cosigners were the American Museum of Natural History, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Biophysical Society, the Crop Science Society of America, the Ecological Society of America, the Estuarine Research Federation, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the Institute of Food Technologists, the National Council for Science and the Environment, the Natural Science Collections Alliance, the Ornithological Council, and the Soil Science Society of America.

The full text of the letter can be found on BESC's Web site at

NEON on Display

As the design process for the National Ecological Observatory enters its final stage in 2006, the NEON Project Office staff have begun new outreach efforts to keep the ecological community apprised of program developments.

At the 56th annual AIBS meeting at the Westin Grand in Washington, DC, 24–25 May 2006, NEON staff members debuted a slide show describing the science context behind Observatory design. They also circulated a new set of briefing papers, including an introduction to Observatory science and design and an overview of the NEON education vision. A third paper on NEON sensor arrays and cyberinfrastructure has since been completed.

NEON was also well represented at the 12th annual gathering of the Coalition for National Science Funding in Washington, DC, on 7 June 2006. The CNSF event highlights the role of the National Science Foundation in serving science research and education in the United States by showcasing research efforts supported by the National Science Foundation. The event, held at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, drew approximately 300 attendees, including members of Congress and their staff and NSF representatives.

Joining Project Office staffers Brian Wee, David Kirschtel, and Dan Johnson at the NEON booth at CNSF was Margaret Lowman from New College of Florida. Lowman, a pioneer in forest canopy ecology, also served as a member of the NEON Design Consortium (Informal Education Subcommittee). “I had the privilege of engaging in one-on-one discussion with Dr. Bement [Arden L. Bement, director of NSF],” said Lowman. “He made an impassioned commentary to me about how we know more about Mars than we do about the ecosystems of the Earth. He also noted the importance of the Observatory's educational outreach component, including the use of NEON data for K–12 science education activities.”

The next destination for the NEON exhibit will be the Ecological Society of America's 91st annual meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, 6–11 August 2006, where NEON will be featured at two sessions. On 7 August, Laurel Anderson, of Ohio Wesleyan University, and Kerry Woods, of Bennington College, will engage scientists from undergraduate institutions in a discussion focusing on how ecologists from colleges with diverse missions and resources can help to define the Observatory's future. Then, on 9 August, NEON representatives (staff scientist David Kirschtel and principal investigators Bruce Hayden and William Michener) will lead a workshop to update the community on NEON's transition from the design phase to deployment and operations.

AIBS Recognizes Outstanding Biology Teachers

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, administered by the National Science Foundation, are presented each year to some of the top science and math teachers in the United States and US territories. Awardees are invited to spend a week in Washington, DC, attending conferences, workshops, and recognition events with agency leaders, members of Congress, and the president.

On 5 May, AIBS cosponsored (with the National Association of Biology Teachers and the Biotechnology Institute) a breakfast for this year's awardees in the field of biology. These outstanding high school biology teachers were given a firsthand account of AIBS's programs and activities, as well as complimentary copies of the AIBS publication Evolutionary Science and Society: Educating a New Generation and the educational DVD Evolution: Why Bother? AIBS also participated in an information exchange with all award recipients immediately after the breakfast to inform them of the information and resources AIBS offers to those in the education field.

For more information on the awards program, go to

Recent Articles Online at

Original article in English

  • “Primer on Ethics and Crossing Species Boundaries,” by Françoise Baylis, professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, and Jason Scott Robert, assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, Tempe

Spanish translations of previously posted articles

  • “Inventarios Globales de Biodiversidad: Una Respuesta a la Crisis Taxonómica” [Planetary Biodiversity Inventories: A Response to the Taxonomic Crisis], by Lawrence M. Page, adjunct curator of fishes at the University of Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville

  • “El Estado de los Ecosistemas” [The State of Ecosystems], interview with Christián Samper, biologist and director of the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Recent AIBS Education Reports Online at

  • AIBS Diversity Programs: Call for applications and nominations

  • AIBS Education Award presented to Judy Scotchmoor

  • 2006 AIBS/BSCS/NESCent evolution symposium

  • Integrating NEON science and education

  • Research and teaching funding opportunity at NCEAS: Distributed graduate seminars

  • AAAS Mentor Awards: Call for nominations

  • Faculty development teaching modules

  • Fulbright Scholar Program in biological sciences

  • NSF awards $1.8 million to redesign advanced placement science courses

  • Upcoming conferences

Recent AIBS Public Policy Reports Online at

Public Policy Report for 5 June 2006

  • Cobb County case to go back to district court

  • AIBS honors Rep. Sherwood Boehlert and calls for 2009 to be the Year of the Public Understanding of the Nature of Science

  • EPA releases latest version of peer review handbook

  • 2005 national education report card shows US science education still needs improvement

  • Kempthorne confirmed as Secretary of the Interior

  • Now available: AIBS Congressional Directory

  • New in BioScience: “NSF's New Strategic Plan”

  • From the Federal Register

Public Policy Report for 22 May 2006

  • Public Policy Office launches media list serve

  • Science community mobilizes to protect NSF research priorities

  • Controversial salvage logging bill passes House

  • NSF and Department of Education discuss women in science

  • From the Federal Register



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NSF Director Arden Bement (left) discusses educational outreach with ecologist and NEON representative Margaret Lowman at the Coalition for National Science Funding event on 7 June 2006. Photograph: Jill Andres.

"AIBSnews," BioScience 56(7), 625-627, (1 July 2006).[625:A]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 July 2006

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