New & Noteworthy

Archive for February, 2013

28 Feb 2013

Agencies Detail Impacts of Sequestration on Research and Science Education

A number of federal departments and independent agencies released revised information on the likely impacts of budget sequestration at the request of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski. Many agencies face cuts that would be especially damaging for research and development (R&D), as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Sequestration would have drastic impacts on the National Science Foundation, hurting vital investments in basic research and cutting-edge technological development, and jeopardizing STEM education. It would require a reduction of roughly 1,000 research grants, directly impacting nearly 12,000 people, including professors, graduate students, undergraduates, K-12 teachers and students, and technicians.

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14 Feb 2013

Head of NSF to Step Down

Dr. Subra Suresh, the director of the National Science Foundation, announced on 5 February 2013 that he will leave the agency at the end of March. Dr. Suresh has accepted an appointment as the ninth president of Carnegie Mellon University.

“It has been my extraordinary honor to lead the National Science Foundation, which is blessed with a marvelous cohort of highly talented and devoted staff, as well as hundreds of thousands of innovative grantees and investigators from every field of science and engineering,” said Dr. Suresh in an email to staff.  “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the country in this capacity.”

Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said, “Subra has made critical contributions to a broad range of science and technology priorities, including expanding federal investments in fundamental research, accelerating the commercialization of university research, and strengthening our scientific collaborations with partners around the world.  He also leaves a crucially important legacy of having expanded NSF’s family-friendly policies, which make it easier for young scientists to balance the challenges of furthering their careers while raising a family.”

Dr. Suresh was confirmed for a six-year term as director of NSF in September 2010.  Prior to assuming his current role, Suresh served as the dean of the School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

07 Feb 2013

Action Alert: Tell Lawmakers the Value of Science

Nearly one hundred new lawmakers were elected in November. Let them — and their returning colleagues — know the value of federal investments in science.

Please take a minute to send a letter to your members of Congress about the importance of biological research and education.

Take action at

05 Feb 2013

Registration Open for Dried Insect Digitization Workshop

iDigBio, the National Science Foundation’s national HUB for Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC), is pleased to announce the third in a series of preparation-specific workshops focusing on organizing, launching, maintaining, and/or enhancing a biological collections digitization program.  This new workshop will focus on digitization of dried insect collections (pinned or packaged), to include specimen label databasing and specimen imaging.

The target audiences for these workshops include collection managers, curators, and directors in U.S. non-federal institutions that are planning, implementing, or enhancing a digitization program, regardless of collection size.  The primary goal is to prepare participants to return to their home institutions with the necessary skills and knowledge to launch or enhance a digitization program, either individually, through collaboration with an existing Thematic Collections Network (TCN), as a Partner with an Existing Collections Network (PEN), or through direct collaboration with iDigBio.

Workshop sessions will focus on practical application and hands-on implementation.  The workshop will be held on 24-25 April 2013 at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois.  More information is available at

01 Feb 2013

Upcoming Natural History Collections Meetings

The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections have released the preliminary details for their 2013 and 2014 annual meetings.

The 28th annual meeting will be held on 17-22 June 2013 in Rapid City South Dakota.

The 29th annual meeting will be held on 22-28 June 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  The theme is “historic collections: a resource for the future.”

More information is available at