New & Noteworthy

Archive for May, 2011

20 May 2011

Nominations Sought for National Genetic Resources Advisory Council

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations to serve on the newly reestablished National Genetic Resources Advisory Council.  The purpose of the Council is to formulate recommendations on actions and policies for the collection, maintenance, and utilization of genetic resources; to make recommendations for coordination of genetic resources plans of domestic and international organizations; and to advise the Secretary of Agriculture of new and innovative approaches to genetic resources conservation.  Nominations are due by 30 June.  For more information, visit

19 May 2011

IMLS FY 2012 Guide to Programs and Opportunities

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has released its fiscal year 2012 Guide to Programs and Opportunities.  The booklet provides a succinct overview of IMLS grant and award programs, initiatives, and research for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2011.  The guide also includes useful tips and tools you can use to develop competitive grant applications and staff contact information for each grant program.  Download the guide at

02 May 2011

Head of National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Step Down

Dr. Roger Beachy, the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), plans to leave his position on 20 May 2011.  In his two years as director, Beachy led the reorganization of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service into NIFA.  He was also responsible for major changes in the program’s competitive research grants, including targeting half of the competitive research funding for grand challenges like climate change.

According to an email from Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, the agency is “initiating an aggressive search to identify and bring on board a distinguished scientist as NIFA’s next director.”  In the interim, Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young will serve as acting director of NIFA.  Jacobs-Young currently serves as Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist at USDA.

02 May 2011

Register for the 3rd Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits Event

Would you like to help inform the nation’s science policy without trekking to Washington, DC?  Do you want to meet with your members of Congress to discuss the importance of federal investments in science?

Register now to participate in the 3rd Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event.  This national initiative is an opportunity for biologists across the country to meet with their members of Congress to showcase the people, facilities, and equipment that are required to support and conduct scientific research.

The 3rd Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event will be held throughout the month of August 2011, when Representatives and Senators spend time in their Congressional districts and home states.  This event is an opportunity for scientists, graduate students, representatives of research facilities, and people affiliated with scientific collections to meet with their members of Congress to demonstrate how science is conducted and why a sustained investment in research and education programs must be a national priority.  Participating scientists may invite their elected officials to visit their facility or can meet with them at a congressional district office.

Participants will be prepared for their congressional meetings through an interactive training webinar.  Individuals participating in this event will receive information about federal appropriations for biological research, tips for scheduling and conducting a successful meeting with an elected official, and resources to craft and communicate an effective message.

This event is organized by the American Institute of Biological Sciences with the generous support of Event Sponsors Botanical Society of America, Museum of Comparative Zoology–Harvard University, Natural Science Collections Alliance, and Organization of Biological Field Stations, and Event Supporters National Ecological Observatory Network, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, and Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.

Participation is free, but registration is required and space is limited.  For more information and to register, visit