Advances and updates

The 2013 ESA meeting was another year of growth for the ESA Natural History section. This was our THIRD year as a section and it gets more fun and exciting as we go along. I was delighted to meet folks and hear about student’s studies, passions and commitment to Natural History. Last year I reported that our membership double, totaling 117 members. This year we have continued this trajectory ~170 members!!  We raised over $300 in silent auction funds. Well done! Thank you all for getting the word out and welcome new members. We would also like to thank the volunteers that helped to staff the booth.

Changes in officers

Nash Turley, Ph.D. candidate at Toronto University, has become our official student liaison with the ESA Student Section. Nash is a perfect person for this position. He is an avid explorer, a noticer of things, and he is talented in his ways of documenting natural history: colleting data, creating photos, and producing graphs, tweets, and songs. As the Natural History Section Student Liaison, he will be co-managing the website, the Twitter account and our up-and-coming Facebook page. Welcome Nash!

We are sad to announce that Terry Wheeler is stepping down from his post as Vice Chair. While he is stepping back from the ESA Natural History post, he will continue to do the hard work of promoting and practicing natural history. Like many Natural History Museums, Lyman Entomological Museum, is in a budget crunch.  Consequently, Terry’s duties have multiplied. He also has been elected as the president of the Natural History Network (great stuff, check it out at: Terry has been a load of fun to work with and I would like to publicly thank him for his time and wisdom. That said, we are now in need of an interim Vice Chair who can help with the heaving lifting of getting this new section well-established.  Please submit nominations directly to me!  

Update on activities

We submitted two long range planning grants this year aimed at activities that will increase our visibility and create collaborative links within ESA as well as in other spheres (Natural History Museums and Centers).  The first is a collaborative project with other sections (Applied Ecology, Human Ecology, Agro-Ecology, Urban Ecology, and others) and it focuses on reinvigorating the sections’ presence at meetings.  The second planning grant is focused on extending our network to local and national natural history-focused institutions. We have proposed a collection of activities that will involve experts of local Natural History (meeting place specific) as well as nationally recognized natural historians for a Special Symposia at the 2015 meeting. If funded we will have more capacity for outreach and opportunities for collaboration, not to mention more opportunities to indulge in local natural history!

We are still working on the logistics of a field outing for next year’s meeting in Sacramento.  Karen Reagan has been spearheading this effort. Thanks to Mary Power and Sudeep Chandra for their ideas and willingness to share their back yard.

But wait!  There’s more!  We are developing a proposal for  Issues in Ecology on the role of Natural History in the practice of ecology. Reed Noss, Julia Parish, Josh Tewksbury and Rafe Sagarin will be leading this effort. We thank you!


Call for Proposals
Ignite ESA, Workshops, Special Sessions, Field Trips for the 99th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America
 Sacramento, California
 August 10-15, 2013. Deadline for Submission: November 21, 2013
 5:00 PM Eastern.

Warm Wishes,

Kirsten Rowell

ESA Natural History Chair