New & Noteworthy

Archive for June, 2013

24 Jun 2013

Deadline Approaching for Proposals for Collections in Support of Biological Research

Proposals for the National Science Foundation’s Collections in Support of Biological Research program are due 16 July 2013.

The Collections in Support of Biological Research program provides funds: 1) for improvements to secure, improve, and organize collections that are significant to the NSF BIO-funded research community; 2) to secure collections-related data for sustained, accurate, and efficient accessibility of the collection to the biological research community; and 3) to transfer collection ownership responsibilities.

Read the solicitation at

17 Jun 2013

NSF Seeks Proposals for Digitization Program

The National Science Foundation is accepting proposals for the Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program.  This initiative seeks to enhance and expand digital data documenting existing vouchered biological and paleontological collections.  The deadline for full proposals is 18 October 2013.  More information is available at

07 Jun 2013

Survey Request: State of Taxonomy, Systematics Education

The NSC Alliance has been asked to circulate the following survey to our members.  I hope you will take a few moments to complete this survey.


Larry Page

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to invite you to participate in a survey on the state of teaching in taxonomy and systematic biology.  If your area of expertise and interest lies outside of this discipline, you may simply ignore this invitation or perhaps forward it to an appropriate colleague.

We are conducting the survey as independent scholars and are not representing any institution or organization.  An article by Costello et al. earlier this year (”Can we name earth’s species before they go extinct?”, Science 339: 413) painted an optimistic picture that seems at odds with many papers over the past decade claiming a decline in taxonomy and systematic biology.  We were unable to find recent data supporting either claim and decided that it would be of value to the community to gather some basic data.  Our intent is to summarize and make the data available to the community in a brief publication.

Our examination of the state of teaching is obviously only one facet of a complex issue, but having the results of this survey will, we hope, help.  We have asked you to identify your institution so that we can detect multiple responses from any single source.  We will not identify you or your institution in our published results.

The survey instrument may be found at:

Thank you in advance for your participation in the survey.

Andrew Brower
Quentin Wheeler
Elizabeth Yockey

07 Jun 2013

USDA Proposes New Rule for Preservation of Paleontological Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to implement regulations to provide for the preservation, management, and protection of paleontological resources on federal lands. The rule would address the management, collection, and curation of paleontological resources from federal lands including management using scientific principles and expertise, collecting of resources with and without a permit, curation in an approved repository, maintaining confidentiality of specific locality data, and authorizing penalties for illegal collecting, sale, damaging, or otherwise altering or defacing paleontological resources.

Public comments must be received by 22 July 2013. More information is available at

07 Jun 2013

Call for Session Proposals: 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference

The 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference is soliciting proposals from the community for sessions to address the conference themes and integrative topics. For guidelines and submission instructions, please visit

The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2013.

03 Jun 2013

Sign Up to Showcase Science to Policymakers This August

The Natural Science Collections Alliance is proud to announce that it joining with the American Institute of Biological Sciences and Entomological Society of America to sponsor the 5th Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event.

This national initiative is an opportunity for biologists 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.

The 5th Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event will be held throughout the month of August 2013.  This event is an opportunity for scientists, graduate students, representatives of research facilities, and people affiliated with scientific collections to meet with their elected officials without traveling to Washington, DC.  Participants may either invite their elected officials to visit their research facility or can meet at the policymaker’s local office.

Participants will be prepared for their meeting with a lawmaker through an interactive training webinar.  Individuals participating in this event will receive information about improving their communication skills, tips for conducting a successful meeting with an elected official, and information about federal funding for biological research.

Participation is free for NSC Alliance members, but registration will close on July 15, 2013.  For more information and to register, visit