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ESA INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS SECTION NEWSLETTER - FEBRUARY 2005

Contents:

  1. A Global Perspective on Pastoralism: Int'l Affairs Symposium at 2004 ESA Meeting
  2. Int'l Affairs Activities planned for 2005 ESA Meeting
    1. Symposium: From the Gulf of Mexico to the Caspian Sea.
    2. Workshop: Habla usted espanol?
    3. Business Meeting / Mixer: Lots of geographical sections in one room.
    4. Evening Session: Int'l Section goes interplanetary!!!
  3. Symposium for 2006 ESA Meeting: African Lakes Ecology and alternate proposals
  4. Who are we? Int'l Affairs Membership List
  5. The Fine Print: Int'l Affairs Section By-Laws

1) A Global Perspective on Pastoralism: Int'l Affairs Symposium at 2004 ESA Meeting

Last year's International Affairs Symposium brought together ecologists and social scientists working on 5 different continents to discuss the greatest challenges to achieving ecological sustainability in pastoralist societies. Many of the symposium contributors were not regular attendees of ESA meetings, and were impressed that such an applied and interdisciplinary symposium topic was being addressed. Presentations ranged from a tour of rangeland restoration projects around the world, to innovative analyses of pastoralist/wildlife conflicts in East Africa, to the consequences of Soviet and post-Soviet government policy on steppe ecosystems in Kazakhstan. A synthesis talk brought together the salient recommendations of the panel of participants, and is now being developed into a manuscript for publication. If you would like more information, contact Lizzie King (egking@ucdavis.edu).

2) Int'l Affairs Activities planned for 2005 ESA Meeting (AUGUST 7-12, MONTREAL, CANADA)

Since this year's ESA meeting is being held jointly with the International Congress of Ecology (INTECOL), our members can expect a plethora of international talks and activities, including several that are sponsored by our Section. If you attend the 2005 ESA meeting, PLEASE come to the Int'l Affairs Section mixer and business meeting, at the very least.
The section cannot run by itself, your input is essential, it'll be quite a melting pot this year, and of course Jacoby always organizes fantastic food!

2 (a). Symposium: From the Gulf of Mexico to the Caspian Sea.
This exciting symposium is being organized by Sandy Tartowski, and should have great broad appeal among ESA and INTECOL members alike. Here's the description:

Linking Ecological Processes and Environmental Impacts across
Scales:

Coastal Ecology and Energy Development in the Caspian Sea and Gulf of Mexico Coastal regions, such as the Caspian Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, face a multitude of serious environmental challenges, including energy development, overfishing and invasive species. The largest oil discovery in the past 30 years was found in the North Caspian Sea, home to the endemic Caspian Seal and source of more than 90% of the world's caviar. Coastal ecology is organized by the cross-scale interactions of climate and geology, fluctuating population dynamics and local to global anthropogenic impacts, but there is considerable disagreement concerning the relative importance of local and global controls on ecological processes. This symposium will bring together leading scientists from the Former Soviet Union, Iran, Europe and North America to compare hotly debated aspects of coastal ecology relevant to energy development in the Caspian Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, including changing freshwater, nutrient and pollutant inputs, status of sturgeon and seals, and impacts of Mnemiopsis leidyi (an introduced comb jelly associated with fishery crashes).

2 (b). Workshop: Command Spanish®: Survival Spanish for the NON-native researcher.
The workshop is based on the same program used to train police, EMT workers and others that need Spanish to do their job but don't have time to take a full blown Spanish class. The focus will be on the Spanish one would need to travel to, survive in, and get across a few important concepts about your work. The workshop will be on Saturday and Sunday and is number 5 on the list.

2 (c) Business Meeting / Mixer:
This year's mixer will be held together with the Canadian Chapter, the Mexican Chapter, and the Asian Ecology Section, which should make for a GREAT PARTY! Come enjoy the international flair, help welcome our symposium speakers, and make your valuable contribution to our Business Meeting!

The business meeting will be held during the mixer, by gathering in one part of the room for a little while. We will have ELECTIONS for Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary at the Business Meeting. Bring your nominations, and cast your votes. For the section to be effective, we need your involvement!!!

2 (d). Evening Session: An Ecologist's Guide to the Galaxy
Once everyone is loosened up after the mixer, we'll take on an unusual but very fun topic in an evening session: Life beyond Earth!!!

While the field of exobiology has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, its focus has been on two questions: (1) if life exists on other planets and (2) if it does, what would it be like. This evening session will move beyond the idle speculation about the existence of life to the more profoundly idle question, 'given that life exists on other planets, what kinds of ecological communities would be needed to sustain life?' I can't wait to see the crew that turns up for this evening session and hear the ensuing idea exchange

3) Symposium for 2006 ESA Meeting: African Lakes Ecology and alternate proposals

It's not too early to start thinking about symposium topics for the 2006 meeting! If you have an idea for a symposium, you can either bring it to the Int'l Affairs Business Meeting in Montreal OR email it to Jacoby Carter (jacoby_carter@usgs.gov) at least 3 weeks before the meeting, so that he can present the idea for you at the meeting.

The proposal should include a title for the symposium, an abstract, and a proposed list of speakers, talk titles and an indication of whether the speakers have already agreed to participate. Proposals must be submitted to ESA by mid-September, so it's important to have proposals as developed as possible by the time of the meeting.

We have one symposium proposal idea already: African Lakes Ecology. This symposium will explore issues of tropical and wetlands ecology, invasive species (e.g., water hyacinth), biodiversity conservation (cichlid fish, etc) and transnational natural resource management in the context of the Lake Victoria basin, and possibly other African lakes. If you would like more information, if you are interested in helping develop or participating in this symposium, or if you would like to recommend speakers, please contact Onensimus Otiento ( ootieno@oakwood.edu).

4) Who are we? Int'l Affairs Membership List

If you are interested in seeing who makes up this wonderful Section, or are looking for contacts in a particular state, country, or university, please make use of the attached a Microsoft Excel files. One is a directory of International Affairs Section members based in the USA, and the other has names and email addresses of all International Affairs Section members.

5) The Fine Print: Int'l Affairs Section By-Laws
Please find attached a Microsoft Word file containing the Int'l Affairs Section by-laws, explaining our purpose; our officers, their duties and election; and our fiscal, meeting and newsletter policies.

HOPE TO SEE YOU IN MONTREAL!!!

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