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Committee Reports

American Zoologist

John S. Edwards, Editor

   None of us has been happy with the long delay that can separate presentation of SICB symposia from their eventual appearance in print. Two years' delay is too long a wait, especially for younger symposium participants. With support from the Executive Committee to allow for extra hours for our Assistant Editor Jenn Tousley, and Production Editor Claudia deGruy we are now in the process of speeding up the processing of symposia through review and revision to publication. We believe that it should be possible within a year, for the first symposium/a to be published in June of the same year, provided that papers are turned in at the meeting, and that reviewers and revisers cooperate promptly. This then is an early admonition to potential symposium organisers: be prepared to do what it takes to round up a full set of papers at or very soon after the meeting.

   Here is the status of forthcoming symposia (titles are abbreviated):
  • Animal Consciousness: In press

  • Antarctic Marine Biology: March-April 2001

  • Intermittent locomotion/Nitric Oxide: early May

  • Hox/Phylogenies/Fingerman: June

  • Swimming/Osmoregulation/Plant-Animal Interactions: September.

   We expect that the first of the 2001 symposia will be published in Nov 2001.

   John S. Edwards, Editor, for the Editorial Consortium

Educational Council

Wendy Ryan, Chair

At the annual meeting in Chicago the Education Council made progress towards a change in structure that should make it easier for us to pursue our mission. The Council established five subcommittees to help focus our efforts and address the goals for the Education Council established by the recent SICB Strategic Plan. The five subcommittees are: Programs, Electronic Resources, Outreach, Mentoring and Faculty Development, and Educational Policy. The members of the Educational Council are ready to begin implementation of various ideas that fall within the purview of each of these subcommittees and you should begin to see results by the end of this year. Members of the Education Council may also contact you via email over the next six months asking if you wish to be involved in any of our planned outreach and mentoring programs. The Education Council also encourages suggestions from the general membership for activities and/or programs that we could be involved in to better meet the needs of particular constituents within SICB.

On behalf of the Education Council, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the previous chair, John Pilger, who spearheaded the participation of the Education Council in the Strategic Planning process and who left us with well-defined goals to pursue. In addition, the service of former Education Council members David Towle and Linda Mantel is appreciated. The current Education Council membership will be updated on the SICB web site soon, but if you wish to get in contact with someone about a great idea or suggestion, the current members are: Sandra Gilchrist, John Hranitz, Linda Mantel, John Temple. Robert "Swifty" Stevenson, and Wendy Ryan (chair).

Program Advisory Committee

Robert Dores, Chair (rdores@du.edu)

Program Innovation Fund 2001

The Program Advisory Committee (PAC) is preparing to evaluate proposals for the Program Innovation Fund that are being submitted for the April 1, 2001 deadline.

The types of proposals that will be considered include, by are not limited to:
symposia that identify new "growth" areas for the society
distinguished lecturer series within a division
workshops that emphasis integration between divisions
program formats that have an international emphasis

Proposal Format
Abstract: summary of the salient features of the proposal (500 words)
Introduction and Rationale: 2 pages (single-spaced)
Proposal plan: no more than 4 pages (single-spaced); tables may be included
Budget page: itemized description of proposed expenses with justifications

Deadlines for Submitting Proposals for the 2003 Annual Meeting

- October 1, 2001: letter of intent
- November 1, 2001: complete proposal
- announcement of awards: 2002 meeting

Student Support Committee (SSC)

David W. Borst, Chair

Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR):

Graduate students in the Society submitted 67 applications for Grants-in-Aid of Research this year. The SSC met at the annual meeting in Chicago and made 17 awards (total awards = $11,900 with an average award of $700) to students from 8 divisions of the SICB. As in past years, the committee was impressed with the overall excellence of these proposals, which made the selection process difficult. If funds had been available, the committee would have felt justified in funding many more. We hope that those students who were unsuccessful this year will apply again this fall.

A major change made to the GIAR program last year was the electronic submission of proposals and letters of reference. This speeded up the submission process and also allowed members of the SCC to access the proposals electronically. The SSC thanks Ruediger Birenheide for designing the GIAR website. We estimate that the change to electronic submission saved the Society over $4000 in office costs, and got the proposals to the reviewers more quickly. The SCC is pleased with this change, and plans to make some additional changes prior to the GIAR competition next fall. A list of the GIAR awardees can be found at www.sicb.org/grants/giarawards2001.php3.

Travel Awards:

Each year the Society provides significant travel support to students attending the national meeting by either paying for housing or registration fees. Students who receive these awards do small tasks for the Society at the meeting. Once again, the Society was able to support nearly every eligible applicant. Approximately 150 students received rooms and 25 students received free registration, for a total cost of about $32,000. A large portion of this is provided by the generous bequest of Charlotte Magnum. The SCC thanks Micah Sauntry of Burke Associates for the excellent attention he gave to the administration of these awards.

Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC)

Kevin M. Kelley, Chair

The Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) hosted a very successful "Grad/Postdoctoral Workshop" at the Chicago meeting this past January, which was attended by several hundred postdoctoral and student members of the SICB. The workshop, After the Ph.D.: Issues and Options. Planning the Most Effective Professional Transition, addressed one of the most important periods during one's professional development, the "postdoc". Four speakers presented the following discussions, drawing on their professional as well as personal experiences:
  • Report on the National Academy of Sciences' study, "Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers". Status of Postdocs and Their Choices, by Dr. Kevin M. Kelley, Chair SPDAC, Assoc. Prof., Calif. St. Univ. Long Beach.
  • Discussion on Postdoctoral and Job Planning. I. The "Med-School" Postdoc and International Experiences: Strategies for Succeeding in Integrative and Comparative Biology Positions in the United States, by Dr. Cunming Duan, Assist. Prof., Univ. Michigan
  • Discussion on Postdoctoral and Job Planning. II. Choosing an Appropriate Path as a Strategy Toward Your Career Goals in Integrative and Comparative Biology, by Dr. Adam Summers, SPDAC Member, Asst. Prof., Univ. Calif. Irvine.
  • Funding in Integrative and Comparative Biology at the National Science Foundation: Postdocs and Beyond, by Dr. William Zamer, Program Director, Division of Integrative Biology and Neuroscience, NSF, Professor, Lake ForestCollege, Lake Forest, IL.
The success of this workshop derived from the highly valuable comments and suggestions from each of the speakers. The SPDAC gives a special thanks to Dr. Bill Zamer, who came to address the student and postdoctoral SICB members, despite having a great many demands on his time at the NSF and while at the SICB meeting. In addition, Dr. Shea Tuberty (SPDAC Member from DIZ) went out of his way to make this and other SPDAC events successful: thanks!

There is a wealth of information at this site!

For next year's meeting in Anaheim, CA, the SPDAC is currently soliciting input for activities and workshop topics. Contact the Chair, Kevin M. Kelley, at the following address: kmkelley@csulb.edu