New & Noteworthy

Archive for September, 2014

17 Sep 2014

Upcoming NAGPRA Program Trainings

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Program has announced several upcoming training programs and meetings.

The “NAGPRA Basics” training covers the background of the Act, the consultation and decision making process, notices, grants, and civil penalties. Both new and veteran NAGPRA practitioners have found this training to be helpful in their work. The training program will be held on 18 November 2014 in Washington, DC. Registration is free. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, visit

The National Museum of the American Indian will be hosting a symposium on repatriation on 19 November 2014 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm EST in Washington, DC. For more information, visit,

The 53rd meeting of the NAGPRA Review Committee will be held on 20-21 November 2014 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm EST. The meeting agenda will be posted on the National NAGPRA Program website on 20 October 2014. Click here to read the Federal Register notice:

If the Review Committee Report to Congress for 2014 is not finalized during the 20-21 November meeting, then the Review Committee will meet via teleconference on 11 December 2014 from 2 pm until approximately 4 pm EST. This meeting will be open to the public. Anyone who desires to attend the teleconference must register in advance at

12 Sep 2014

Guidance on Applying for a Digitization Grant

iDigBio has released a white paper to provide guidance to principal investigators who are interested in applying for funding from the Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The guide was compiled with guidance from NSF program officers and senior iDigBio staff. Read the guide at

12 Sep 2014

Student Award for Appreciation of Insect Pests

Applications are being accepted for an award that recognizes student appreciation for the natural history of insect pests. The winner will receive $500 for the most interesting and inspiring research paper on an insect that is usually regarded as a pest.

The award is sponsored by the Forest Entomology lab at the University of Florida and by the TREE Foundation in Sarasota, Florida.

For details, please see:

10 Sep 2014

Nominations Sought for Lawrence Memorial Award

Nominations of doctoral students who are studying systematic biology or horticulture are being sought for the Lawrence Memorial Award. The award honors the memory of Dr. George H. M. Lawrence, founding Director of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. The award provides $2,000 to support travel for doctoral dissertation research in systematic botany or horticulture, or the history of the plant sciences, including literature and exploration.

Direct applications will not be accepted. Nominations must be submitted by the student’s advisor. Students must have achieved official candidacy.

Supporting materials should describe briefly but clearly the candidate’s program of research and how it would be significantly enhanced by travel that the Award would support. Letters of nomination and supporting materials, including seconding letters, should be received by the Committee no later than 1 May 2015 and should be directed to: Dr. R. W. Kiger, Hunt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 USA.

10 Sep 2014

NSF Awards $23 Million for Biodiversity Research

Twelve research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will take multi-pronged approaches to better understanding the generation, maintenance, and loss of biodiversity. The program links functional, genetic, and phylogentic/taxanomic dimensions of biodiversity.

Many of this year’s projects focus on microbes, such as the diversity of microbes in permafrost and the relationships between ants and their gut microflora.

The Dimensions of Biodiversity Program will support $23 million in research this year. The studies are supported by NSF, the São Paulo Research Foundation, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

“This year’s portfolio of projects will accelerate our understanding of biodiversity across disciplines and across scales of time and space,” says Penny Firth, director of NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology. “Through this program, we’re witnessing a transformation in our ability to bridge scientific approaches and perspectives.”

09 Sep 2014

National Academies Report Considers Informal STEM Learning

A new report from the National Academies of Science summarizes the work of a committee of education experts on how the informal education sector could improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning.

The workshop was held in February 2014 and brought together more than 100 representatives of the formal, informal, and afterschool education sectors. “STEM Learning Is Everywhere: Engaging Schools and Empowering Teachers to Integrate Formal, Informal, and Afterschool Education to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Grades K-8,” is the summary of that meeting and explores how educators can foster more seamless learning of STEM subjects for students in elementary and middle school.

Access a free copy of the report at

02 Sep 2014

Nominations Sought for Joseph Grinnell Medal

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley is soliciting nominations for the Joseph Grinnell Medal. This award is given every five years to a senior scientist who exemplifies a commitment to natural history research and is making fundamental empirical and conceptual contributions to ecology and evolution.

The award was established in 1983 and named after Joseph Grinnell, the founding director of the UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Past recipients include George A. Bartholomew, James H. Brown, David B. Wake, Peter and Rosemary Grant, and Michael J. Ryan.

Nominations should include a CV and supporting letter and should be sent to Michael Nachman ( by 1 October 2014.