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Duke C.S.,Ecological Society of America | Porter J.H.,University of Virginia
BioScience | Year: 2013

Recent increases in capabilities for gathering, storing, accessing, and sharing data are creating corresponding opportunities for scientists to use data generated by others in their own research. Although sharing data and crediting sources are among the most basic of scientific ethical principles, formal ethical guidelines for data reuse have not been articulated in the biological sciences community. This article offers a framework for developing ethical principles on data reuse, addressing issues such as citation and coauthorship, with the aim of stimulating a conversation in the science community and with the goal of having professional societies formally incorporate considerations of data reuse into their codes of ethics. © 2013 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: NAT ECOLOGICAL OBSERVATORY NET | Award Amount: 170.27K | Year: 2012

Opportunities to address new scientific questions at continental scales have been growing enormously over the past decade or so, as new networks and knowledgebases are developed and deployed at a rapid rate. While ecosystem ecologists are used to addressing questions on such scales (productivity of biomes, global nitrogen cycles), population and community ecologists have less experience working at these spatial scales. The award provides funds to support two joint, co-occurring workshops, one for early-career population and community ecologists to develop research plans for continental scale questions on population and community ecology, and the other for undergraduate students to explore ways to apply continental and regional scale knowledgebases and tools to environmental policy issues. The proposed workshops would bring large scale data and analytical tools to the attention of young career scientists and undergraduates in population and community ecology. Practitioners at landscape and ecosystem levels are more comfortable with these tools, but population and community ecologists need to be encourages to explore questions at larger scales than plots and transects. The award will enable a broader movement in ecology towards the use of networks, global knowledgebases and distributed public data. The workshops will provide training, ideas, and collaborative network for students and early career scientists who wish to scale-up in the questions addressed in community and population ecology.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 183.16K | Year: 2013

This project, Diverse People for a Diverse Science, takes the Ecological Society of Americas Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) program into Phase IV of its mission. It integrates a set of existing and new programs into a sequence of activities that build upon previous experiences and an infrastructure of support designed to retain minorities in ecology. Specifically, students from groups underrepresented in science will be recruited to participate in multi-day field trips to sites of long-term environmental research, where they will meet scientists and learn firsthand about ecological research. SEEDS will help these students and their mentors build and strengthen SEEDS chapters on their college campuses. Students will be able to apply through SEEDS competitions for funds to support their own research and to attend the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), where they can present their work and meet a wide diversity of ecologists. This suite of activities provides students with mentoring support and exposure to a broad spectrum of career development opportunities. Effectiveness of these activities for recruiting students from underrepresented groups into the field of ecology will be assessed by independent evaluators.

By expanding and fostering the interaction of students across ESAs members and partners, SEEDS is well-positioned to enhance the visibility and value of diversity for the next generation of scientists. Through developing student leadership and community outreach skills, the project provides outlets for students to share the value of ecological science on campuses, in local schools and in communities. More broadly, SEEDS helps to ensure a diverse workforce, which will be necessary to solve the many ecological problems faced by practically all societies in the 21st century.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCES IN BIO INFORMATICS | Award Amount: 358.38K | Year: 2013

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is awarded a grant to develop a training program, Sustaining Biological Infrastructure: Strategies for Success, to provide directors of biological research infrastructure projects with training in strategic business planning, marketing, and communication. Successful biological research relies on access to a wide range of supporting infrastructure resources, including databases, living stocks collections, museum collections, and field stations. These resources in turn require informed planning to maintain their long-term financial sustainability and capacity to innovate to meet the research communitys constantly changing needs. The intellectual merit of this program, which will conduct an annual training workshop for three years, consists in providing research infrastructure directors with the skills they need to integrate long-term financial sustainability and innovation into their management and continuing development of these essential resources.

Biological research, including research in fields of direct societal relevance such as agriculture, genetics, environmental science, and human diseases, depends on infrastructure. Examples of this infrastructure include collections of living organisms with documented provenance and genetic histories, data repositories with information about gene sequences and protein structures, and field stations with environmental monitoring equipment. Directors of these resources need in-depth knowledge of strategic business planning to ensure the long-term sustainability of infrastructure vital to scientific development and innovation. Workshop organizers will encourage participation by a wide range of scientists, including those from groups underrepresented in science, and participants will have the opportunity to exchange information about their challenges and experiences, successes and failures. The broader impacts of this program thus lie in its contribution to the long-term sustainability of biological research and to the development of a community of scientist-program directors who can in turn pass along their new knowledge to the next generation of scientists. Additional information about this workshop will be made available in the Science Programs section of ESAs website, www.esa.org.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 45.00K | Year: 2015

In August 2015, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) celebrates its centennial year with a major conference in Baltimore, MD. The meeting theme, Ecological Science at the Frontier, reflects back 100 years on ESA as a scientific society, as well as into the uncharted future of the planet. This award will provide partial support for one of the main products of that meeting, a centennial special issue of the ESA membership journal, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, that looks forward to the next 100 years of life on Earth. Future generations will have to increasingly deal with the impacts of a changing climate in a wide range of practical ways. Many countries are already constructing or evaluating a range of new infrastructure prototypes, with the aim of supporting ecosystems and ecosystem services, and protecting human lives and property. It is critical that scientists are engaged in this discussion as investments are projected to increase dramatically over the next century. Therefore, ESA invited the authors to showcase the most interesting innovations around the world that address predicted future trajectories of change in ecosystems as climates change, and how humans might respond to those changes. Because all special issues of Frontiers are gold open access on the ESA website, this publication will be fully accessible to all interested readers. Authors are also welcome to post copies of their papers to their own personal or institutional websites, further increasing accessibility. Since Frontiers is designed to be understandable to a very broad audience, one way that scientists use it is as explanatory material when meeting with non-scientists, particularly resource managers and policy makers. As the planet changes, both the scientists and their stakeholder communities will benefit from having information on these infrastructural developments in one understandable package. Finally, this special issue will provide scientists with an early opportunity to develop related research agendas for addressing the challenges presented, the results of which will be critical to public policy as most regions of the world prepare to invest in adaptation.

Specific topics for this special issue of Frontiers include how infrastructure systems will respond to increased temperatures in cities, accelerating rates of sea level rise, long-term droughts, increased flooding, and species movements towards northern latitudes and higher elevations. Other topics focus on the changes in scientific understanding required for tracking and predicting major changes in ecosystems, in the form of both new statistical analyses and integrated models that cross scales from local populations of organisms to continents. Finally, this issue will also describe key modeling efforts that may influence our thinking about ecosystems in a changing climate and catalyze the development of new ideas related to coastal ecosystems, river and watershed dynamics, continental-scale biogeographic responses to climate change, and urban heat island effects related to human health.

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