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Committee Reports

Educational Council

Wendy L. Ryan, Chair

At the annual meeting in Anaheim, the Executive Committee approved a proposal forwarded by the Education Council to establish an SICB Award for Excellence and Innovation in Science Education. This award will be given in recognition of the outstanding presentation, whether poster or paper (oral) format, given at the annual SICB meeting in any area pertaining to science education. Competition will be open to all presenters, with one of the criteria favoring newer faculty and/or students. The intent of this award is to increase the profile of innovation in science education within and beyond SICB, and also to attempt to highlight the contribution of such activities towards the goal of increasing science literacy in the general population. As a reminder, you are eligible to make a presentation in the area of science education in addition to a research presentation. So, start planning your education presentations now in preparation for the 2003 annual meeting where this award will be available for the first time!

The Education Council is currently working on developing additional ways in which we can support science education within SICB. We encourage suggestions and input from the general membership concerning activities and/or programs that we could consider to better meet the needs of SICB constituents with regard to issues of science education.

On behalf of the Education Council, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of former Education Council members Sandra Gilchrist and John Hranitz. We are always looking for new members who have creative ideas and a willingness to dedicate some time to the concerns of science education both within SICB and beyond. If you are interested in joining the Council, please feel free to contact myself or any member of the Education Council.

Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee

Kevin M. Kelley, Chair

At all SICB Annual Meetings, the SPDAC hosts three large events, the First Timer Orientation, the Student/Postdoc Luncheon, and the Student/Postdoc Workshop. At the First Timer Orientation, we serve as one of the first official voices for the SICB, and thus we make every attempt to make new attendees feel welcomed, well-supported, and connected to the Society via our Committee. The Student/Postdoc Luncheon provides for a great opportunity for all of the student and postdoctoral members to convene over lunch, meet new colleagues, and provide direct input to the SPDAC. The "main event" for the SPDAC at annual meetings is the Student/Postdoc Workshop, with its subject matter changing every year.

For the Anaheim 2002 meeting, the SPDAC responded to recurring suggestions from its constituency over the last several years and convened a workshop on the topic of job opportunities outside of traditional academia, which was called Options Outside of Standard Academia: Fusing Your Academe With Your Professional Future. The SPDAC emphasized the kinds of non-typical career directions represented in SICB members of today. Many excellent jobs in today's market have a combined government-and-academic emphasis, while others may represent a fusion of academic and private interests.  Still others, such as careers within museums or aquaria, typically have extremely strong ties to academia.  The workshop explored these avenues for the student and postdoctoral SICB members, and it included an excellent panel of professionals who clearly represented these kinds of careers.  The SPDAC would like to acknowledge the following persons for their excellent presentations at the Student/Postdoc Workshop, as well as their willingness to carry on discussions afterward with the students and postdocs in attendance.

Dr. Joel Cracraft, Curator, Dept. Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History, New York

Dr. Susanne Lawrenz-Miller, Director, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro, CA

Dr. Paul Krause, Western Regional Coordinator, Risk and Associated Services Group, & National Sediment Quality Leader, ARCADIS-JSA, Inc., Long Beach, CA (Environmental Consulting)

Dr. Stephen D. McCormick, Physiology Section Leader, S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Laboratory, United States Geological Survey, & Adjunct Asst Prof, Univ. Massachusetts, Amherst

As a further bonus, two additional speakers provided thoughtful input on careers at primarily-teaching colleges and universities:

Dr. Wendy Ryan, Assistant Professor, Kutztown University, PA, and Chair, SICB's Education Council

Dr. Rachel Ann Merz, Professor, Swarthmore College, PA, and Chair, SICB's Division of Invertebrate Zoology

The SPDAC thanks the above workshop participants for taking their valuable time to interact with and show interest in those who represent the future of SICB and its science . . . your efforts were highly valued by all in attendance!

To All Student Postdoctoral Members of the SICB --- Keep an eye on us!
The SPDAC has some new developments underway in 2002, including a new SICB web-page oriented around your specific needs and interests.


For further contact or additional information, contact the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Chair (kmkelley@csulb.edu ) or see the Committee's SICB webpage.

Student Support Committee (SSC)

David W. Borst, Chair

Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR):

The Student Support Committee (SSC) met at the annual meeting of the SICB in Anaheim. We reviewed 76 research proposals and made 27 awards (total awards = nearly $21,000) to graduate student applicants from nine of the SICB divisions. The average award was about $800/grant. As in previous years, the committee was impressed with the high quality of the proposals, which made their evaluation challenging. We congratulate the recipients for their excellent proposals and we encourage those who were not funded to apply again this fall. A list of the GIAR awardees can be found at sicb.org/grants/giarawards2002.php3.

This year marked the second year that GIAR proposals and the reference letters for each applicant have been submitted through the SICB website. This system also allows members of the SSC to access the proposals electronically. The procedure works exceedingly well, and the SSC thanks Ruediger Birenheide for his continuing efforts to refine the GIAR website.

During the coming fall, the SSC will begin a second program for the support of graduate student research, the Graduate Student Travel Fellowship (GSTF). While the SSC is pleased with the current GIAR program, we felt that a subset of the current applications should be placed in a separate competition. These applications are primarily for travel support to distant research/collection sites or to a laboratory in another country where the student plans to learn a specialized technique or use unique equipment. Since the expense of traveling and living abroad is high, we proposed that the GSTF awards should be approximately $2,000 per year. The Executive Committee agreed to support the GSTF program during the coming year. More information about the GSTF program will be forthcoming this fall.

Travel Awards:

Each year the Society provides travel support to students attending the national meeting. This support is either for housing or registration fees. The students who receive these awards do small tasks for the Society at the meeting. The Society was able to support every student (173) who applied for support by the deadline (November 16, 2001). The total value of these awards was over $40,000. A substantial portion of the cost of these travel awards is provided by the generous bequest of Charlotte Magnum. The SCC thanks Micah Sauntry of Burk & Associates for the attention he gave to the administration of these awards.