Education And Diversity Programs

Growing Partnerships for Ecology Education

ESA develops strategic programs to increase diversity within ecology-related professions and to improve the quality of ecology education at all levels.

Over 100 educators, scientists, and program specialists from 22 states, Canada, and the UK attended the 2nd Life Discovery – Doing Science Biology Education Conference. It was held at San José State University from October 3-4, 2014 in partnership with the Botanical Society of America, Society for the Study of Evolution and the Society for Economic Botany.

ESA joined the Professional Societies Alliance for Life Science Education (PSALSE) in 2014  to lend its voice to the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education efforts. This resulted in collaboration with the Society for Conservation Biology and others on a new initiative to understand the changing career needs in environmental biology education.

Widening the Circle and Creating Strength


SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability)

SEEDS is ESA’s flagship award-winning education program to diversify and advance the ecology profession through hands-on opportunities for undergraduates. The SEEDS program promotes diversity within the ecology profession to ensure environmental understanding and a sustainable future.

SEEDS Partnerships for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Fellowships

The SPUR Fellowship program, with funding from the National Science Foundation and our partners, supports four students to conduct an independent ecological investigation with guidance from a mentor scientist at three field stations. As part of the Fellowship program, students participate in SEEDS Leadership Meetings and will present their research at the 2016 ESA Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.

Coral Aviles
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Kyle Reid
University of Illinois at Chicago
Roxanne Hoorn
Eckerd College
Brandon Hoenig
Duquesne University

Dr. Tom Arsuffi
Texas Tech University – Llano River Field Station
Dr. Tom Arsuffi
Texas Tech University – Llano River Field Station
Dr. Aaron Ellison
Harvard Forest
Dr. Tim Nuttle
Carnegie Museum of Natural History

SEEDS Field Trips

Ecology field trips are the cornerstone for freshman and sophomore students to learn about ecology first-hand. Students spend four to seven days at an ecologically significant site, such as a field station, research laboratory, or national park, learning about the science of ecology, exploring career options, and seeing the practical applications of ecology. Students find out more about what ecologists do through hands-on experiences with professionals, receive training in specific areas, and build networks with students and professionals.

Central Arizona/Phoenix, Regional Field Trip, November 6 –10, 2014

Fifteen students from five SEEDS Chapters participated in the SEEDS Regional field trip at the Central Arizona Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research site, managed by Arizona State University. With the help from past ESA President, ESA Past-president Nancy Grimm and Amalia Handler (PhD candidate at ASU), the participants explored the importance of water management and the ecological implications of a growing Phoenix metro area. A huge thanks to our outstanding SEEDS Alumni pursuing graduate degrees around the Sonoran Desert; Jorge Ramos and Jessica Guo at ASU and Josh Scholl at the University of Arizona. 

San Francisco Bay Area, Regional Field Trip, March 4–8, 2015


Fifteen students from four different SEEDS Chapters attended the field trip that toured the San Francisco Bay Area. Hosted at the beautiful Hidden Villa Hostel in Palo Alto, California, participants met with scientists and explored the Hopkins Marine Station, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the California Academy of Sciences and Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Many thanks to Cindy Wilber at Stanford University for helping us put this amazing opportunity together. The California field trip was supported by a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest – Blue River, Oregon, Regional Field Trip, October 1-4, 2015

Sixteen students from fifteen institutions across the US attended the 2015 SEEDS National Field Trip to H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Blue River, Oregon. Students explored old growth forests and learned about their importance, hiked to the top of Carpenter Mountain (5,500 ft.) and developed three small research projects investigating forest restoration, hydrology and stream ecology! This trip was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

SEEDS Leadership Meeting

10th  Leadership Meeting, May 6–10, 2015

Twenty-three students participated in a five-day meeting at NorthBay Adventure Camp in North East, MD themed “Pollination Science, Policy and Communication.” The students were visited scientists at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the University of Maryland. They took part of a career fair hosted by the US Forest Service, visited the ESA office in Washington, DC and even enjoyed an air show at the National Mall! Read a Leadership meeting blog post.

SEEDS at the ESA Centennial Meeting

Baltimore, Maryland, August 9-14, 2015

The SEEDS program hosted its biggest group ever during the 100th ESA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD. Through a partnership with the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Collaborative, 53 undergraduate students and ten SEEDS alumni from all over the United States attended this historic event. From the group, 32 undergraduate students presented research posters and eight SEEDS alumni delivered oral presentations. We thank all of the 53 ESA members who served as SEEDS Meeting Mentors.

Diversifying ecology: stories from SEEDS’ 2015 Alumni

Education & Diversity Programs Office Staff

Director: Teresa Mourad
Diversity Programs Coordinator: Fred Abbott

Committee for Diversity and Education
(August 2014 – Aug 2015)

Julie Reynolds – Vice President of Education and Human Resources
Joel Abraham
Jeff Corney
Ken Klemow
Frank Lake
George Middendorf
Aurora MacRae-Crerar
Charles H. Nilon
Bob Pohlad
Carolyn Thomas
Ron Trosper