100th Annual Meeting–Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating ESA’s Centennial
Over 4,700 ecologists gathered in Baltimore, Maryland in August to celebrate ESA’s 100th birthday and share ecological research. The 100th meeting of the ESA was a milestone moment in the history of our scientific organization. It was a moment to take stock of the future of ecology, its relevance to the future of the biosphere, and the role of humans as planetary stewards. The gathering was abuzz with thousands of presentations on a wide range of topics as researchers, students, educators, resource managers and policymakers shared research, ideas, and information.
At the beginning of the Scientific Plenary, Ecology in a Changing World debuted along with a surprise video greeting from President Barak Obama.
ECOLOGY IN A CHANGING WORLD
Awards & Giving Back
Given at the Opening Plenary, Senator Ben Cardin was the recipient of the Regional Policy Award for his advocacy for Chesapeake Bay restoration, water infrastructure improvements and addressing the multifaceted impacts of climate change. ESA donated $23,000 to offset the associated environmental impacts of the meeting to Baltimore’s Parks & People Foundation.
ESA presented nine awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology in new discoveries, teaching, sustainability, diversity, and lifelong commitment to the profession.
Eminent Ecologist Award: Eric Pianka
Eugene P. Odum Education Award: Nathaniel Wheelwright
Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award: Mary McKenna
ESA Distinguished Service Citation: Alan Covich
Whittaker Distinguished Ecologist Award: Inderjit Singh
Honorary Membership Award: Stuart Bunn
W.S. Cooper Award: Carissa D. Brown and Mark Vellend
George Mercer Award: Marcelo Ardón, Jennifer L. Morse, Ben P. Colman, and Emily S. Bernhardt
Murray F. Buell Award: Nina Lany
Centennial Lecture Series
A special series of lectures during the week brought pressing topics in the ecology sphere to receptive audiences. Ecologists serve an important societal role in the scientific understanding of a changing climate. The lecturers each provided their perspective on how and what these changes mean for us and our world. This year, we were pleased to debut the first New Phytologist Trust named lecture series.
Chris Field, New Phytologist Trust Lecturer
Climate change: Mapping the problem space and the solution space
Joshua Tewksbury, Guest Lecturer
Together or not at all: The collective power of ecology and natural History in the Anthropocene
Mercedes Pascual, R. H. MacArthur Lecturer
Untangling the population dynamic interactions between climate and infectious diseases
Social-Kicking off #ESA100
In December 2014, ESA warmed up for the centennial year of the society with a blog and social media carnival, asking ecologists to talk about the ideas and discoveries that have had the biggest influence on the field of ecology over the last century. Six ecologists took up the challenge on their blogs and the conversation continued on MetaFilter and on twitter under the centennial hashtag #ESA100.
Read more impressions of the most influential ecological ideas of the century in ESA’s collection on Storify.
This one speaks to my heart @hormiga biggest innovation shaping ecology in last century? Biol Field Station #ESA100 http://t.co/m6Eji0zUje
— AmandaLynn Buchanan (@amandy_lynn) December 3, 2014
Sharing Science and Celebrating Achievements
Conversation flowed as members exchange ideas and debated recent scientific developments. Comradery permeated the week as fellow ecologists discussed new directions in ecology. Members served as mentors during the week for young ecologists with the evening social events providing a chance to network.
News Highlights from the Centennial Meeting
- August 25
“Ecologists embrace their urban side”
Daniel Cressey, Nature
- August 25
“Minnesota bog study turns up the heat on peat”
Alexandra Witze, Nature
- August 18
“Fourteen percent of U.S. coastline is covered in concrete”
Gabriel Popkin, Science Magazine (ScienceShot)
(followed up with a full news story in Science on November 13)
- August 18
“Frogs mount speedy defence against pesticide threat”
Natasha Gilbert, Nature
- August 12
“Light pollution may disrupt firefly sex”
Susan Milius, Science News
- August 12
“Cougars may provide a net benefit to humans”
Sarah Zielinski, Science News
- August 11
“U.S. Public, Republicans Included, Seen Warmer on Climate Action”
Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg (wire story reprinted in Kansas City Star)
- August 10
“Study: Droughts, heat will kill more forests than expected”
KTVZ.com (Central Oregon TV news)
- August 6
“Rise of ‘shoreline hardening’ threatens coastal ecosystems”
Roberta Kwok, Conservation Magazine
Centennial Student Videos
In The Future of Ecology: Animating the Past ESA’s Student Section organized more than 15 scientists, artists, and friends under the leadership of graduate students Joshua Scholl and Will Ryan to bring four foundational studies to life. The collection of 3-minute animated shorts illustrates Paine’s keystone species, Huffaker’s predator-prey cycles, Simberloff and Wilson’s hypothesis of island biogeography, and Hairston, Smith, and Slobodkin’s population limitations. Produced by EcoMotion Studios with a support from an ESA Centennial Grant, the videos drew from an earlier ESA-supported project, the book Foundations of Ecology, edited by Jim Brown and Les Real.
Administration & Meetings Staff
Director, Administration & Meetings: Michelle Horton
Associate Meetings Manager: Tricia Crocker
Associate Director, Information Systems: Thet Khaing Oo
Webmaster: Toni Kulmala
Membership Manager: Tanya Pendleton
Administrative Assistant & Governance: Isabelle Jargowsky
Meetings Committee (August 2014- August 2015)
Kiyoko Miyanishi, Co-Chair and Future Meeting Chair
Carol Brewer, Co-Chair
Charles Canham, ESA Secretary (ex-officio)
Valerie Eviner, VP of Science (ex-officio)