ESA 2013 meetings, Minneapolis MN, only a fortnight away!

We have a few updates on natural history activities and opportunities to help the section.  In effort to keep the membership growth trajectory (doubling every year so far), we will continue to have our NATURAL HISTORY booth. This will be the hotspot for signing up new members, and we will again have a natural history book auction.  To help make this a success, please bring any great natural history books you are willing to action, and contact Karen Regan to coordinate the donations; either by e-mail sphitz@u.washington.edu, or at the booth).  In addition, if you are coming from Seattle, let Karen know, because we have many books to auction, and we can’t possibly get them on the plan without spreading the load a bit.

We are also looking for volunteers for help staff the booth.  It’s a great place to meet other natural history enthusiasts, and a great way to bring natural history into the heart of ESA.  Sign up below – its great to have a couple people at the booth at all times, and it is the best way to recruit new members!

Sign-up through the doodle poll:  http://www.doodle.com/shw4n4vgpx3kdss8

If you don’t have time or a book to donate, you can always pop over to check out the books and bid on them – the bidding stops at the Social and Business meeting, which will be held on Wednesday night, after the poster session at the Hilton (check updated schedule).  On our agenda is the Natural History Student award, and plans for activities for the 2014 Baltimore meetings. We don’t have an organized Natural History Section outing this year, but we are excited to do this next year, and I encourage all of you to get outside and enjoy the local natural history in and around Minneapolis.  Feel free to email the membership if you want to organize an informal outing. Also the Bell Museum is opening a new exhibit that looks promising: Birds & DNA: Biodiversity and Mountain Islands.

In other news, the Natural History Student award for 2013 will not be awarded this year due to low numbers of applications. We will reserve these funds for next year and plan to offer two student awards.  Hopefully with a year’s lead-time and your help we can do a better job of getting the word out.  The award is also listed on the ESA website, so folks outside of the membership will know about it.

For those of you interested in mentorship and the role of natural history in the training of future ecologist, The Ecological Society of America is seeking volunteers from each section to participate in a new event: The Networking for Students and Early Career Professionals event. The event will take place on Sunday, August 5th, at 6:30 pm after the Opening Plenary, and is geared towards mentoring at various levels, ranging from undergraduates through post-docs.   I have attached a request letter with more information AND a document of talking points.  Those are who are interested will be formally recognized by ESA and cheered by fellow Natural History Section members!!

I would also like to remind you that we now have our ESA Natural History Section website.  I will continue to update this as we move along, but this is a section resource, so we all need to pitch in to make it successful.  If you have a contribution you would like to submit, please send your post or idea to me at rowellk@uw.edu. We are also encouraging our membership to use Twitter to help get the word out about the section (@ESANATHIST).  We will be actively tweeting about cool natural history talks using hashtags at the meeting: #ESA2013; #ESANATHIST and #Naturalhistory. We encourage others to join in using these hash tags and if you have never used twitter, this is a great excuse to give it a try.

All the Best,

Kirsten Rowell

Natural History Section Chair