Related topics: Natural History

Natural History at the 2012 Ecological Society Meeting in Portland

By Joshua Tewksbury

If you don’t know about the Natural History Section of ESA, come to Portland, sign up, and get involved. Lots going on with this new section, and with the first set of official officers, this section is finally poised to be the primary advocate for Natural History within The Ecological Society of America. And there are all sorts of good reasons we need an advocate for Natural History. If you want one argument on this, and you will be in Portland, you can hear Kirsten and I make the case for the decline and importance of Natural History in OOS 33 – Growing Pains: Taking Ecology Into the 21st Century (Wednesday, August 8, 2012: 1:30 PM). Kirsten is the incoming chair of the section – more on her work here, and the incoming co-chair is Terry Wheeler. Our own Karen Reagan is the incoming secretary for the section. All three will be in Portland for the annual meeting.

And speaking of the annual meeting – the section has a lot going on.

The Natural History Booth: We will be running a booth again this year, and at the booth we will be holding a silent auction of great natural history books, showing audio and video clips from the Natural Histories Project, and signing up new members. Please contact KirstenRowell ( if you want to donate a book or get involved with staffing the booth.

The Natural History Mixer and Business Meeting: (Wednesday from 6:30 PM-8:00 PM, at the Three Sisters room in the Doubletree Hotel). This is where the silent auction for books concludes. Beer, wine, snacks, and lots of great naturalists. Come share your ideas for the section.

Sessions and Symposia: here are a number of symposiums and organized oral sessions we would love to draw your attention to. The section gave a primary endorsement to OOS 46 – From Books to Barcodes: Challenges and Opportunities of Next-Generation Field Guides for Ecologists, Students, and Educators (Thursday PM), and we gave two secondary endorsements, one to SYMP 3 – Observation and Life On Earth: The Changing Face of 21st Century Ecological Science (Monday PM), and another to OOS 49 – Why Do Birds Matter? Birds’ Ecological Functions and Ecosystem Services (Thursday PM), and, in that session, Haldre Rogers (Tewkslab Alum) will be presenting results from the Ecology of Bird Loss Project. One other session I would love to draw your attention to is OOS 39 – Insights and Innovations From Sustained, Place-Based Collaborations In Arts, Humanities, and Environmental Sciences (Thursday AM). This session focuses on a really interesting network of sites and individuals called the Long Term Ecological Reflections Project, started at Andrew’s forest. The network is focused on building links between the natural sciences and the arts and humanities and using these links to explore the natural world.

Free Books: And as an incentive for new members, we are giving away free hardcover editions of Richard Conniff’s book “Swimming With Piranhas at Feeding Time” to the first 100 folks who become members. So, tell your friends to sign up when they come to the meeting, or take them by the booth and they can sign up there.

There are lots of other great natural history related events at ESA. Add comments below and I will post these too! Check back here for another post highlighting all the great Tewkslab presentations at ESA this year.

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