DNR Chair to Serve on ESA’s Rapid Response Team

Marianne Krasny, Chair of the Department of Natural Resources, has agreed to serve on the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) Rapid Response Team.

A select group of ESA members serve on the Society’s Rapid Response Team (RRT), a diverse group of about 40 ecologists who help ESA address policy and media opportunities in a timely and effective manner.

One of ESA’s central missions is to share ecological information with policymakers and members of the media.  Since the Society opened its Public Affairs Office in 1983, ESA has served as a trusted source of ecological information.  The establishment of the RRT in 2005 has greatly enhanced our ability to respond to time-sensitive issues, such as 2010’s BP oil spill.

RRT members work closely with the Society’s Public Affairs Office to:

  • Identify the potential ecological consequences of proposed federal regulations and legislation
  • Respond quickly to media inquiries
  • Assist ESA with position statements or letters
  • Present ecological research at ESA congressional briefings and science exhibitions
  • Interact with congressional offices on time-sensitive issues
  • Write letters to the editor for national and local media outlets

Depending on current national events, ESA may call upon members several times a year.  RRT members generally serve for three years.  ESA also encourages RTT members to alert the Society to policy issues or other opportunities.  In addition, RRT members may contribute guest posts to the Society’s popular blog, EcoTone and participate in ESA’s podcast, The Ecologist Goes to Washington, which features interviews with ecologists who engage in public policy.

Emerging Issues Conference

Next month, the Ecological Society of America will host its second Emerging Issues conference, “Developing Ecologically-Based Conservation Targets Under Global Change.” The conference, conceptualized by Bernd Blossey and Laura Martin of DNR and Dov Sax of Brown University, will bring together one hundred ecologists, social scientists, conservation practitioners, and graduate students to (1) identify existing and novel conservation targets that are ecologically sound in light of rapid global change, and (2) develop a framework for assessing the inherent trade-offs, risks, and benefits involved in achieving those conservation targets. The ultimate objective is to provide science-based, practical decision tools for those charged with implementing conservation strategies throughout North America and internationally.

The conference will be held on February 27-March 1, 2012, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. The conference organizing committee also includes Cornellians Susan Cook-Patton (EEB), Ashley Dayer (DNR), Harry Greene (EEB), and Karim-Aly Kassam (DNR).

In 2007, the ESA Governing Board announced a new conference series to provide ESA members the opportunity to organize special conferences highlighting emerging, exciting ideas in ecology with the endorsement and support of the Society. The series, originally named the Millennium Conference Series and renamed the Emerging Issues Series, is intended to address high-visibility issues of wide interest in the science community. Organizers are encouraged to work across disciplinary boundaries, to engage compelling speakers, and to produce high-quality publications.