New & Noteworthy

Archive for March, 2011

16 Mar 2011

President’s Budget Request for IMLS Would Cut $39.6 Million

The fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget request for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) was released on February 14, 2011.  The President’s budget would fund IMLS at $242.6 million in FY 2012, $39.6 million less than the FY 2010 enacted level.

Museum services would receive $30.8 million, a $2.9 million decrease.  Funding for Research, Analysis, Evaluation and Data Collection, a budget line which was recreated after the reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Act of 2010 in December, would decrease to $1.9 million.

The complete budget request for IMLS can be downloaded at

16 Mar 2011

List of Funders Grows for IMLS’ Digging into Data Challenge

On 16 March, eight international research funders jointly announced their participation in round two of the Digging into Data Challenge, a grant competition designed to spur cutting edge research in the humanities and social sciences.

The first round of the Digging into Data Challenge sparked enormous interest from the international research community and led to eight cutting-edge projects being funded.  Due to the overwhelming popularity of round one, the Digging into Data Challenge is pleased to announce that four additional funders have joined for round two, enabling this competition to have a world-wide reach into many different scholarly and scientific domains.

The eight sponsoring funding bodies include the Arts & Humanities Research Council (United Kingdom), the Economic & Social Research Council (United Kingdom), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (United States), the Joint Information Systems Committee (United Kingdom), the National Endowment for the Humanities (United States), the National Science Foundation (United States), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Netherlands), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).

Final applications will be due June 16, 2011. Further information about the competition and the application process can be found at

09 Mar 2011

NSF Dear Colleague Letter on Taxonomy and Systematics

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking proposals for taxonomic work that will describe new species while training new taxonomists and taking advantage of new technologies.  A recent “dear colleague” letter from NSF highlights the call for proposals.

Dear Colleague Letter: Advancing Revisionary Taxonomy and Systematics (ARTS)

March 8, 2011

The Cluster for Systematics and Biodiversity Science within the Division of Environmental Biology (see the program description at encourages the submission of proposals to conduct species-level taxonomic work and revisionary monographic research on particular groups of organisms, and to develop predictive classifications for those organisms. Such taxonomic work forms the fundamental basis of our understanding of planetary biodiversity and its evolutionary history. In addition, systematics and taxonomy play increasing roles in crucial studies concerning conservation, ecological assessment, sustainable ecosystem management, and the effects of climate change on organismal distributions.

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07 Mar 2011

Join Us for the 2011 NSCA/SPNCH Joint Meeting–Early Bird Registration Closes March 18

Join the NSC Alliance and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections for their fourth annual joint meeting, to be held May 23-28 2011 in San Francisco, California.  This year, the meeting will focus on “Sustainable Museums–Sustaining Collections,” and will be hosted by the California Academy of Sciences in their Platinum LEED certified museum.  The meeting website provides information on the meeting program, lodging and transportation, and travel assistance grants.

The NSC Alliance portion of the meeting is scheduled for 24-25 May 2011 and will include an NSC Alliance Board of Directors meeting, business meeting, and a plenary session (25 May) on federal policy and scientific collections.

Visit for more information.  The deadline for early bird registration is 18 March.  The deadline for submitting a presentation abstract is 1 April.

04 Mar 2011

Fall Meeting Announced for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee plans to meet on November 8-9, 2011 at the University of Nevada-Reno.  The agenda for this meeting will include the presentation, discussion, and adoption of the draft Review Committee Report to the Congress for 2011; appointment of the subcommittee to draft the Review Committee’s report to the Congress for 2012, and discussion of the scope of the report; National NAGPRA Program reports; and the selection of the date and site for the spring 2013 meeting.  In addition, the agenda may include requests to the Review Committee for a recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior regarding the disposition of Native American human remains determined to be culturally unidentifiable; presentations by Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, museums, Federal agencies, and the public; requests to the Review Committee for review and findings of fact related to the identity or cultural affiliation of human remains or other cultural items, or the return of such items; and the hearing of disputes among parties convened by the Review Committee.

The Review Committee is soliciting presentations by Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, museums, and federal agencies on the progress made, and any barriers encountered, in implementing NAGPRA.  The Review Committee also will consider other presentations by Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, museums, federal agencies, and the public. A presentation request must, at minimum, include an abstract of the presentation and contact information for the presenter(s).  Presentation requests must be received by August 23, 2011.

For more information, visit

03 Mar 2011

Report Analyzes President’s FY 2012 Budget for Biology

President Obama released a $3.7 trillion budget plan for fiscal year (FY) 2012 on 14 February 2010. The budget proposal would trim deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. To help accomplish this goal, non-security discretionary spending would be held steady for five years. Additionally, civilian government workers would be subject to a two year pay freeze.

Innovation, education, and climate change are again pervasive themes in the President’s budget. Despite the budget freeze, spending on non-defense research and development would increase by 6.5 percent. The budgets of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy Office of Science, and National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories would collectively increase by 12.2 percent. Other agencies and programs would be cut to offset proposed increases. Although most science agencies are spared top-line cuts, the Environmental Protection Agency is slated for a $1.3 billion reduction.

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education would collectively receive $3.4 billion in FY 2012 from various government agencies. Some of these funds would be used to train 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade.

The multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program would receive $2.6 billion (+20.3 percent). New funding would be used to create a new National Climate Service within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NSF’s Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability initiative would grow by 33.0 percent to advance climate and energy science and education.

Download the full analysis of the FY 2012 budget at