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Division of Ecology & Evolution (DEE): 2007 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter: Message from the Chair

George Bakken

As some of you may be aware, the DEE board has undergone several unexpected mid-year changes. First, Secretary Tony Steyermark encountered serious health problems soon after the 2007 meeting. Mike Finkler (Indiana University - Kokomo) was gracious enough to stand for election in the spring and he was elected as our divisional secretary through January 2011. Then, Program Officer Jennifer Elwood also had to resign for health reasons. Mike O'Connor (Drexel University) has agreed to step in as a DEE board appointee. We all wish Tony and Jen the best for a speedy recovery, along with 2008 DEE secretary candidate Aaron Krochmal, who also suffered a serious health setback this fall.

Needless to say, the DEE board is a bit shell-shocked. We appreciate the assistance we received from the SICB board, particularly Lou Burnett, as well as the DEE members who agreed to step in when needed.

It is quite possible that some agenda items have fallen in the cracks as a result of these upheavals. If you have made a request or proposal that seems to have vanished into a black hole, e.g. for a symposium at the 2009 meeting or regarding arrangements for the 2008 meeting, please call it to the attention of the current officers. We need all the help we can get.

The board is in the process of revising the DEE bylaws as part of a Society-wide effort to get all the sections aligned with the SICB bylaws. You will hear more about this in the coming months.

We hope to see you all at the San Antonio meeting!

Message from the Program Officer

Michael O'Connor

One important way for the division to participate in the society, to increase the visibility of DEE in the society and indeed to contribute to our science is to develop and present symposia at the January meeting each year. Symposia for the 2009 meeting in Boston are already in preparation, but symposia for the 2010 need to be submitted next summer. The idea is not only to present syntheses in an organized way, but to encourage interactions and new ideas from both established and new researchers in important fields. Of the eight regular symposia at the January 2008 meeting, four have obtained NSF funding, so perhaps the tide is turning on funding. I'm new at the program officer game, but am willing to work with folks to help develop proposals. If you have an idea for a symposium, by all means take the plunge.

Message from the Secretary

Michael Finkler

As mentioned in the message from the chair, the previous secretary of DEE fell seriously ill soon after the meeting. This set in motion a chain of events that caused the loss of all the DEE judging records for the 2007 "Best Paper" and "Best Poster" awards. Subsequently, the other officers of DEE and I regret to announce that there will be no awards for the 2007 Phoenix meeting.

We are taking steps to ensure that this is never repeated, but we realize that this does not make the current situation any less disappointing for our divisional members and, particularly, for the students who participated in the competition who invested so much effort into producing first-rate presentations. We deeply regret this unfortunate situation, and most humbly apologize. We hope that the judging process was nevertheless a positive experience that will help you give better presentations in the future.

The other officers and I strongly encourage students to continue participating in the "Best Paper" and "Best Poster" award competition for the 2008 San Antonio meeting and subsequent meetings. Moreover, I ask that DEE members consider volunteering to serve as judges for the award competitions. Our division has had excellent participation from the membership in judging the student competitions, which greatly reduces the work load of any single judge. I will send out a formal call for volunteers when we get closer to the meeting.

Link to officer list on DEE page