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Archive for the 'Activities & Events' Category

17 May 2019

NSC Alliance Members: Inform Science Policy This Summer

The Natural Science Collections Alliance is pleased to announce that your organization, as an Alliance member, is eligible to participate in the 2019 Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event.

This national initiative, organized by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), and co-sponsored by NSC Alliance, is an opportunity for scientists from across the country to meet with their federal or state elected officials to showcase the people, facilities, and equipment that are required to support and conduct scientific research.

Now in its eleventh year, the event enables scientists, curators, museum professionals, and graduate students to meet with their elected officials without traveling to Washington, DC. Participants may either invite an elected official to tour their research facility or can meet at the lawmaker’s local office. Meetings will take place mid-July through October, depending on the participant’s schedule.

“When I found out about the AIBS Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits, I thought that this would be a perfect way to share not only my passion about my work but also my concerns and interests with a local government representative that might be able to influence policy and share advice about how to become even more involved,” said 2018 participant Khailee Marischuk. “I had not had any previous experience with this type of meeting, but AIBS did a fantastic job connecting me with my State Representative and preparing me for the lab tour and conversation. My meeting with Representative Terese Berceau was incredibly rewarding as she shared our enthusiasm for scientific research and our passion for promoting science policy for elected officials and the general public alike, along with giving our group insight in how best to make our voices and opinions known and heard. It was a thought-provoking discussion for me and hopefully everyone else involved.”

NSC Alliance members who participate will receive one-on-one support and online training to prepare them for their tour or meeting. The event is open to all types of natural science collections, including biological, geological, and anthropological collections.

The event is made possible by AIBS, with the support of event sponsors American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Botanical Society of America, Helminthological Society of Washington, Natural Science Collections Alliance, Paleontological Society, Society for Freshwater Science, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, and Society for the Study of Evolution and event supporter Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Participation is free for NSC Alliance members, but registration is required and will close on July 10, 2019. For more information and to register, visit https://www.aibs.org/public-policy/congressional_district_visits.html.

17 May 2019

BCoN: Consider Endorsing Extended Specimen Report

Last month, members of the NSC Alliance Board of Directors participated in a National Press Club event on April 4, 2019, to celebrate the public release of the Biodiversity Collection Network’s (BCoN) community-informed vision document: Extending U.S. Biodiversity Collections to Promote Research and Education. If you have not yet reviewed the document, we invite you to read the summary brochure and longer document which are available at https://bcon.aibs.org/2019/04/04/bcon-report-extending-u-s-biodiversity-collections-to-promote-research-and-education/. A special report will appear in the journal BioScience later this year.

NSC Alliance members are encouraged to join fellow NSC Alliance members — Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, the KU Biodiversity Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, and Occidental College, among others — in endorsing the vision document.

If your organization would like to endorse the plan, please send a PDF file of a letter on letterhead and signed by an authorized representative of your organization to BCoN care of the American Institute of Biological Sciences at publicpolicy@aibs.org.

17 May 2019

National Science Board Seeking New Members

The National Science Board (NSB) is accepting nominations for the NSB Class of 2020-2026 through May 31, 2019. NSB, the oversight and governance board of the National Science Foundation, is seeking recommendations for new Board Members from leading scientific, engineering, and educational organizations, as well as the public.

Information about the process and requirements is available at: https://www.nsf.gov/nsb/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=298427

19 Apr 2019

Plan to Attend: 2019 Digital Data Conference

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in collaboration with iDigBio of the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Natural Science Collections Alliance, and Ecological Society of America is pleased to announce the third annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research conference, to be held 10-12 June 2019 at Yale University, New Haven, CT.

The 2019 conference will focus on methods, protocols, and analytical tools for the use of digital data in biodiversity research and encompass the uses of such data across all disciplines within the biological and ecological sciences. Special emphasis is placed on the use of digitized specimen data and big data analytics.

For more information and to register, please visit
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-digital-data-conference-methods-protocols-and-analytical-tools-for-specimen-based-tickets-54760252389

19 Apr 2019

Action Alert: Ask Your Members of Congress to Support NSF

Congress has begun work to set funding levels for federal programs for fiscal year (FY) 2020. Scientists interested in the National Science Foundation (NSF) should consider contacting their U.S. Representative and Senators to ask that they provide NSF with $9 billion in FY 2020.

NSF is the primary federal funding source for discovery-driven research at our nation’s universities and colleges. The President’s budget request for FY 2020 proposes a 12.5 percent cut to NSF, including a 13 percent reduction to its research activities. This budget hurts research and undermines the nation’s ability to address national challenges.

If funded at $9 billion, NSF can accelerate progress on its 10 Big Ideas, expand support for early career researchers, and create new interdisciplinary research programs. This funding level will also ensure that NSF can sustain investments in the programs that are of interest to NSC Alliance members. At the $9 billion funding level, NSF will be able to sustain investments in core research programs.

Individuals can send a letter to their members of Congress from the AIBS Legislative Action Center.

10 Apr 2019

NSC Alliance Urges Senate Appropriators to Support Federal Funding for Collections

The NSC Alliance provided testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee regarding fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding for certain programs that curate natural history collections within the Department of the Interior and Smithsonian Institution.

“Scientific collections are critical infrastructure for our nation’s research enterprise and a national treasure. Research specimens connect us to the past, are used to solve current problems, and are helping to predict threats to human health, methods for ensuring food security, and the impact of future environmental changes. Sustained investments in scientific collections are in our national interest.”

The testimony called for new investments within the Department of the Interior and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Read NSCA’s FY 2020 Interior testimony to Senate.

25 Mar 2019

Registration for Report Release

bconreport2019.pngThe Biodiversity Collections Network is releasing its new report, Extending U.S. Biodiversity Collections to Promote Research and Education. at 9:00 AM EDT on April 4, 2019, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

This National Agenda is a synthesis of scientific community recommendations from workshops and townhall-style discussions convened by the Biodiversity Collections Network and its partners during the past four-years. This report offers a community-inspired shared vision for next generation uses of biodiversity collections that will inspire new research and education, develop new opportunities for public engagement, and provide new data and information to guide commercial interests and public policy decision-making.

Register today!

15 Mar 2019

NSC Alliance Urges Congress to Support Federal Funding for Collections

The NSC Alliance provided testimony to the House Appropriations Committee regarding fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding for certain programs that curate natural history collections within the Department of the Interior and Smithsonian Institution.

“Scientific collections, and the collections professionals and scientists who make, care for, and study these resources, are a vital component of our nation’s research infrastructure. Whether held at a museum, government managed laboratory or archive, or in a university science department, these scientific resources consist of data (for example, genetic, tissue, organism, and environmental) that are a unique and irreplaceable foundation from which scientists are studying and explaining past and present life on earth. Research results improve human health, enhance food security, and provide monitoring for responses to environmental change and species conservation.”

The testimony called for new investments within the Department of the Interior and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Read NSCA’s FY 2020 Interior testimony.

12 Feb 2019

Training Course for Biological Infrastructure Project Leaders

Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) Sustaining Biological Infrastructure (SBI) training initiative is offering a short course, “Strategies for Success: Training for Project Directors”, on June 12-14, 2019 at Yale University, New Haven, CT. The course is co-located with the 3rd Annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference to be held on June 10-12, 2019 at Yale University.

During the 3-day course, participants will:

- Create a plan to make their project more financially sustainable and successful;
- Learn how to secure funding from private foundations;
- Hone their skills in strategic planning, finances, and communication; and
- Network with colleagues who face similar challenges.

View the course outline.

Registration deadline is May 17, 2019. Learn more and register at https://esa.org/sbi/for-participants/june-2019-course/

24 Jan 2019

NSC Alliance 2019 Collections Policy and Advocacy Meeting: Register Now

Registration is now open for the NSC Alliance 2019 membership meeting, Collections Policy and Advocacy. The meeting will be held in Washington, DC, on April 2-3, 2019. Learn more about the meeting, including a draft agenda, and register at http://nscalliance.org/?page_id=1084. All NSC Alliance member institutions are encouraged to participate. In addition to being an opportunity for NSC Alliance members to network and exchange information with each other, this meeting provides a platform for the community to interact with federal program officers and lawmakers. The meeting will explore opportunities for the community to work collectively to promote new investments in natural science collections, and opportunities to inform or reform policies impacting collections. NSC Alliance members are also invited to share information about initiatives or programs at their institutions. Information about submitting an abstract is available on the meeting website.

Questions about the meeting can be directed to Robert Gropp at rgropp@aibs.org or 202-628-1500 x 250.

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