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Division of Animal Behavior (DAB) - Fall 2000 Newsletter

Message from the Program Officer

Peggy Hill

The Chicago meeting, January 3-7, 2001 will be here before we know it! DAB is co-sponsoring two symposia. "Vibration as a Communication Channel" on Thursday, January 4th, which I am organizing, is co-sponsored by the Division of Neurobiology. "Living Together: The Dynamics of Symbiotic Interactions", a two-day symposium organized by Mary Beth Saffo, is co-sponsored by the Division of Invertebrate Zoology and will be held Saturday and Sunday, January 6th and 7th. These are two of a dozen symposia that promise much for the Chicago meeting. Look for webpages on the SICB website (http://www.sicb.org) for more information.

If you have ever wished that you could get all your networking contacts together at the same time to discuss your "hot topic" and help stimulate each other's research, you have the seed that can grow into a symposium for 2003 or beyond! The 2002 meeting in Anaheim is currently being planned, and we have two proposals under review with joint sponsorship of DAB and DNB. Anyone interested in convening a group for meetings beyond Anaheim should contact any of the DAB officers at Chicago. Or, we all answer e-mail! Remember that the division can propose other sorts of activities, including plenary speakers or workshops, and we will be holding a reception on Thursday night in Chicago. See you there!

Message from the Secretary

Peter Smallwood

WELCOME and CONGRATULATIONS to our new Chair! Thanks to David Pfennig for agreeing to run, congratulations on your election, and welcome aboard. David is new to SICB, and we're eager for his fresh perspectives. David is an associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina. Come to the DAB business meeting in Chicago to meet the new chair.

Future symposia

Our symposia have been a major draw for people to attend our meetings. I have had several inquiries from within DAB and from non-SICB members about topics for future symposia. Several symposia ideas are quite intriguing. DAB's own program officer, Peggy Hill has organized a symposium on Vibrations as a Communication Channel. This symposium is a wonderful example of the interdisciplinary character of our symposia. The animals that use vibrations for communications range from the smallest invertebrates to the largest vertebrates. The functions of these vibrations span from signaling, to foraging; from bringing conspecifics together, to keeping them apart in territorial defense. SICB is precisely the place for such a broad, interdisciplinary exploration of a topic.

The officers of DAB encourage you to propose and organize a symposium of your own. Topics that can be approached from a variety of biological disciplines are particularly encouraged. While there is a certain amount of work to be done by the symposium organizer, we will help you with that. I have found the experience of organizing symposia rewarding, both intellectually, and in terms of my career. If you have an idea for a symposium, please contact our program officer, Peggy Hill, our chair, David Pfennig, or me (go to DAB roster).

Officers of DAB: an opening

Peggy's term as Program Officer for DAB expires this year: Thank you for your dedication!! The program officer is a great position: your responsibilities are to recruit for symposia, and provide feedback to the SICB Program officer on the organization and scheduling of presentations at our annual meetings. It's a fun job: ask Peggy! If you are interested in serving as an officer for DAB, or have questions about the offices, contact Peggy or any of us: our e-mail addresses and phone numbers are just a click away (go to DAB roster). We will recruit nominees at the meeting in Chicago, and the election will be held by mail ballot in the spring newsletter.

Opportunities for Graduate Students

  • Support for Meeting Attendance: If you are a graduate student or have graduate students attending the Chicago meetings, make sure they are aware of the Student Support Program. In past years, SICB has been able to provide a room (shared) or waive registration for almost all students requesting such aid. In return, the student serves for one half day as a room monitor, slide projectionist, or registration assistant. If you or your student did not check the box for Student Support on the abstract transmittal form, contact the SICB business office for more information and application materials.
  • Grants-in-Aid of Research: SICB has instituted a program of awards to support graduate student research. For more details and application materials, use the link 'award program' on the SICB frontpage or go to the new Grants-in-Aid of Research page at http://www.sicb.org/grants/researchgrant.php3.
  • Best Student Paper Awards! The DAB offers an award for the Best Student Poster, and two different awards for best student oral presentations: the Best Student Paper Award, and A.M. Wenner Strong Inference Award (for the paper best exemplifying the use of strong inference in their experimental design). These are actually two separate awards (each with its own cash prize), most often given to separate papers.
All graduate students are encouraged to compete for these awards at the Chicago meetings. To be eligible for the DAB student paper awards, the applicant must be a member of SICB and our division. The student must indicate their intention to compete on the abstract transmittal form. Eligible papers must be original research by a graduate student or a Ph.D. whose degree was awarded no more than one year prior to the time of the meeting.