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1 January 2008 AIBS news

2008 AIBS Board of Directors Takes Office

The 2008 AIBS Board of Directors, led by President Rita Colwell, takes office this month for the calendar year 2008. The Board thanks the following departing members upon the completion of their terms of service on the Board at the end of last year: 2006 President Kent Holsinger (University of Connecticut, Storrs), Secretary Dan L. Johnson (University of Lethbridge), Board member Barbara A. Schaal (Washington University), and Board member Geraldine Twitty (Howard University).

Joining the Board this year is President-Elect May Berenbaum (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign), with new Board members Carol Brewer (University of Montana), Louis J. Gross (University of Tennessee), and Ellen J. Censky (University of Oklahoma). Returning Board members who were reelected are Gordon E. Uno (University of Oklahoma), who has been elected secretary, and Charles Berry (South Dakota State University).

For the full Board roster, see

2008 AIBS Annual Meeting Adds Newt Gingrich and James Hansen to List of Speakers

The 2008 annual meeting of AIBS has added Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives, and James E. Hansen, the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, to its list of plenary speakers. The meeting will be held 12–13 May at the Westin Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on the topic “Climate, Environment, and Infectious Diseases.” Registration and poster submission forms are online at

Gingrich will speak on themes related to his recent book, A Contract with the Earth; Hansen will speak on climate change. The meeting's other confirmed speakers and the topics of their presentations are listed below:

  • Andrew Dobson (Princeton University): the role of climate, immunity, and biotic interactions in the dynamics of infectious diseases

  • Durland Fish (Yale University): Lyme disease

  • Howard Frumkin (National Center for Environmental Health): environment and health

  • Stephen Hoffman (Sanaria, Inc.): malaria

  • Duane Gubler (University of Hawaii): dengue fever and other emerging fevers

  • Stephen Morse (Columbia University): avian influenza

  • David Rogers (Oxford University): infectious diseases and the environment

Confirmed participants in the communications symposium, titled “Science and Society, the Art of Communication,” are Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Sixty Days and Counting, and Robert Morris, author of The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink.

Attention Graduate Students: 2008 EPPLA Applications Now Available

AIBS is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the 2008 AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award (EPPLA). The EPPLA program, established by AIBS in 2003, enables graduate students in the biological sciences to receive first-hand experience in the science-policy arena.

Award winners will receive a trip to Washington, DC, in the spring of 2008 to participate in a Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition Congressional Visits Day (BESC CVD). The BESC CVD is an annual event that brings scientists and science educators to Washington to advocate for federal funding for the biological sciences.

Applications for the 2008 EPPLA will be accepted from graduate students in master's or doctoral programs in the biological sciences who have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to biological science or science education policy. The application packet must include a cover letter, a brief statement on the importance of federal funding for biological science research, a one-page résumé emphasizing leadership and communication experience, and a letter of reference from someone who can attest to the candidate's leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills.

More information about the 2008 EPPLA application and previous EPPLA recipients is online at The application deadline is Thursday, 31 January 2008.

AIBS Encourages Congress to Fund NBII

On 8 November, AIBS wrote to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, encouraging them to restore funding to the US Geological Survey's National Biological Information Infrastructure program. A number of AIBS member societies, including the Long Term Ecological Research Network and the Natural Science Collections Alliance, also sent letters supporting greater funding for the program.

COPUS Receives Funding to Support Meeting of Regional Hub Representatives

The Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) network is working to form regional hubs of activity. A COPUS hub is a locally based community of COPUS participants and science stakeholders who work together within a designated geographic region to promote the public understanding of science. Its members are self-determined and include scientists, universities, K–16 educators, informal science-education centers, business leaders, and other professionals who collaborate to develop and coordinate activities that engage the community in science. More information about hubs, including an inter active map of hub locations, is available on the COPUS Web site at

The COPUS organizers recently requested and received additional funding from the National Science Foundation on behalf of the regional hub network. Funds will support a two-day workshop that will focus on building stronger bridges among stakeholders and identifying strategies for sustaining efforts through the regional and thematic hubs. The primary goals of the workshop are (a) to examine different hub models; (b) to identify and articulate the motivations, opportunities, advantages, and challenges of developing and maintaining a regional or thematic hub; (c) to share successes and best practices; (d) to focus on critical needs for a successful hub, including those that can best be met by COPUS; and (e) to discuss needs and strategies for long-term networking.

The meeting will be held in Tampa, Florida, 7–8 March 2008, and will include representatives from seven hubs, as well as Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the WGBH Educational Foundation.

AIBS Launches Web Resource on the Federal and Congressional Budget Process

The AIBS Public Policy Office recently launched a new Web resource that will help interested parties gain a better understanding of the federal budget and appropriations process. The Web resource may be viewed at

AIBS at NAAEE Annual Conference

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) held its annual conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia, 14–17 November. With 17 workshops, 15 field trips, more than 300 concurrent sessions and presentations, and about 50 posters, this conference provided rich resources for people in the education profession to improve their ability to teach and understand sustainability and the environment.

Keynote speakers included Syliva Earle, oceanographer and writer, and Milton Chen, of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Chen described the “Edutopia” envisioned by his foundation and many leading educators, wherein project learning displaces textbook learning, technology is used to help students express their knowledge and creativity, and community partners break down the isolation of the classroom.

Brian Stagg and Oksana Hlodan from AIBS attended the event. They collaborated on a presentation and manned a booth in the exhibition hall. In the presentation, Hlodan spoke about issue-based teaching and ways to engage students in topical, meaningful activities. Stagg illustrated how BioScience is an excellent source of topical material and walked session participants through a lesson plan using a BioScience article. The AIBS Education and Outreach department wants to introduce educators to lesson planning with BioScience resources, and is collecting teacher feedback at conferences to help in the development of this venture.

Executive Director's Recent Blog Entries Online at

  • AIBS joins EOL and NEON institutional councils

  • Re: On making scientific research more accessible to the public

Recent Articles Online at

Original article in English

  • “Pets Gone Wild: Difficulties with the Exotic Pet Trade and Unwanted Animals,” by Kenneth L. Krysko, senior biological scientist in herpetology at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Spanish translation of a previously posted article

  • “La Búsqueda de la Pareja Genética Ideal: Investigación Genética Prematrimonial” [Looking for Ms. or Mr. Gene Right: Premarital Genetic Screening], by Gil Siegal, director of the Center for Health Law and Bioethics at Ono Academic College in Israel

Recent Education Reports Online at

  • AIBS and NESCent to host evolution symposium at NABTconference

  • AIBS, student chapters, DIBS, and COPUS now on Facebook

  • AIBS 2008 annual meeting on climate, environment, and infectious diseases next May to include BSCS/NABT workshop and WGBH session on science cafés

  • AIBS and AAAS to cohost an NSF Conversation in Undergraduate Biology/AIBS Biology Education Summit at AAAS in Washington, DC, 15–16 May 2008

  • AIBS updates State News on Teaching of Evolution

  • ESA honored at White House ceremony

  • Paula Fraser chosen as Walter P. Kistler Science Teacher of the Year

  • The Association for Science Education issues statement against the teaching of intelligent design

  • Biology scholars to lead national reform effort

  • US Department of Education launches “Doing What Works” Web site

  • E-learning: Engaging volunteers and the public in invasive plant issues and management

  • Call for proposals from NCEAS

  • Ready, Set, Science! Provides techniques to improve science teaching methods

  • NCSE announces new resource for faculty, scientists, and institutions

  • The Best of East Africa Tour: Parks and primates

  • Upcoming conferences and events

Recent Public Policy Reports Online at

Public Policy Report for 21 December 2007

  • Little holiday cheer for federal science agencies: Congress finishes FY 08 appropriations

  • More trouble in Texas: Institute for Creation Research seeks state approval for grad program

  • In memoriam: Terry L. Yates

  • Grad student policy training opportunity

  • From the Federal Register

Public Policy Report for 10 December 2007

  • Appropriations update: Omnibus on the way

  • E-mails stir up controversy in Texas, Florida

  • Members of Congress on the move

  • Climate talks get under way in Bali

  • New Green Schools Caucus in Congress

  • Climate legislation proceeds in Senate

  • Graduate student policy training opportunity: AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leader Award

  • New in BioScience: “Feds Seek to Ignite Bioenergy Research”

  • From the Federal Register

Public Policy Report for 26 November 2007

  • Appropriations hit a wall

  • AIBS launches Web resource on the budget process

  • UN warns of emissions growth

  • House member calls for changes to Smithsonian governance

  • Graduate student policy training opportunity: AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leader Award

  • From the Federal Register

"AIBS news," BioScience 58(1), 83-85, (1 January 2008).
Published: 1 January 2008

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