Survey about the experiences of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in the biological, ecological and environmental sciences

We invite you to participate in a survey about the experiences of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in the biological, ecological and environmental sciences.

This is a global survey that will contribute to understanding the specific challenges ECRs face in progressing through their academic careers, and balancing work and personal life. The survey will also provide insights into the unprecedented impact that COVID-19 has had on academics at the early career stage.

You can access the survey here:

 https://uniofqueensland.syd1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_elLeXK3pdv8pksR

What do you need to know?

– The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete

– It is anonymous and all questions are voluntary

– It is open to all Early Career Researchers working in the biological, ecological and environmental sciences (including related disciplines such as environmental social science)

– The survey closes at midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday, 28th August 2020.”

– For any enquiries about the research, please contact Dr Catarina SilvaDr Cecilia Villacorta-Rath or Dr Claudia Benham.

We understand that it is hard to find time in a busy work day to complete surveys, and we appreciate your time and contributions to this study.

Best wishes,

 Dr Catarina Silva, Dr Cecilia Villacorta-Rath and Dr Claudia Benham

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CSEE BIPOC Spotlight Library Microgrants

One barrier to entry of underrepresented minorities, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), into STEM is the shortage of visible models.  CSEE can help by drawing attention to BIPOC ecologists and evolutionary biologists.  This project will build a library of short videos by both emerging and established BIPOC scientists, and make that library available to university and K-12 instructors, youth groups, etc. across Canada.  By shining a spotlight on BIPOC models – who are underrepresented, but not absent – the library will create opportunities to support better representation in future.  It will also help our community diversify its teaching, its seminar series, and so on.  The program will also address another barrier to increasing BIPOC participation in science, which is financial; the library microgrants will provide direct remuneration plus no-cost membership and conference registration.

The microgrants

CSEE offers a microgrant to ecologists or evolutionary biologists who identify as BIPOC (up to the program’s budget limit).  A microgrant consists of $200 cash a free 2-year membership in the Society, and reimbursement of registration fees for one CSEE annual meeting within the 2 years following the award.

Microgrant recipients are asked to make two short videos of themselves:

  • One (2-3 min) video of them talking about who they are; what their current position is; how they got interested in E&E or their study system and (optionally) something about the path they’ve taken to their current position; and mentioning one exciting question in E&E they’d like to answer in their career.
  • The other (6-10 min) would include the same elements PLUS one question in E&E (big or small) that the recipient has answered, or is answering, in their work (not a Powerpoint, simply video of them).

The two videos constitute different resources for the community. The shorter videos will be appropriate for use at any level, and stress membership in the scientific community.  Because they are short, they will lend themselves well to being shown in combination.  The longer videos will be more appropriate for use in classes at the high school or postsecondary level, and demonstrate in addition contributions to knowledge.  It is perfectly appropriate for the content of an applicant’s shorter video to be reprised in the longer one – that is, we expect the two videos to overlap considerably.

Both videos should be pitched to a non-specialist audience – even if they are used in postsecondary ecology courses, a non-specialist pitch will make them accessible to all students. The editorial committee will supply advice on making a video like this (e.g. equipment, things to consider before/during filming, minor editing) and is happy to provide feedback or advice on proposed content, etc.  Applicants will also be connected with each other, when possible, so they can swap tips and experience.

All the videos will be shared on CSEE social media, hosted on the CSEE Youtube and made available on our web site for use in classes and presentations by professors, high-school teachers, outreach groups like Pint of Science, Let’s Talk Science, and youth groups like Scouting, etc.  CSEE will actively reach out to these organizations to publicize the video library.

Applying for a microgrant

Applicants should send a very brief proposal (no more than 200 words, describing very briefly the videos’ intended content) to the Chair of the Editorial Committee, peter.soroye@gmail.com.

Applicants should be members of CSEE, or non-members of CSEE who are Canadian or working or studying at a Canadian employer or institution.  Applicants are welcome from any career stage, but CSEE will seek to balance awardees between faculty, industry professionals, and students.  Should senior applicants wish to participate while waiving financial compensation, CSEE will use the budget room to recruit more early-career participants.

Editorial committee

CSEE Council will establish a committee of 3 Society members, at least 2 of them BIPOC, to provide guidance and insure that submissions align with the goals of the project.  It will report to the chair of the Awards Committee.  This is the same committee that will handle Resources Library submissions (see below).  BIPOC members of the editorial committee who do not serve on CSEE Council will receive a stipend for their service.

Budget

CSEE has budgeted $3000 in 2020 for this initiative (but we envision the project continuing into future years).  The cash payment portion of the microgrant is crucial, because it is unfair to ask BIPOC to do unpaid work to fix a problem that isn’t of their making. The cash amount is intended to represent fair market pay for the labour involved.

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CSEE BIPOC Resources Library Microgrants

One barrier to inclusivity for underrepresented minorities, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), in STEM is that most course materials lack representation of contributions from BIPOC. Similarly, most resources available for early-career researchers (or those mentoring them) do not reflect the experiences and additional challenges that BIPOC might face in STEM.  CSEE will commission the creation of two kinds of written materials: (1) articles highlighting research contributions of BIPOC researchers (worldwide, past or present) to E&E, that can be used as examples in undergraduate and/or K-12 curricula, and (2) articles written to help BIPOC navigate experiences in undergraduate or graduate school or in the field. Via our website and via direct outreach, CSEE will make these resources available to instructors, researchers, and departments of biology and cognate fields across Canada. The program will also address another barrier to increasing BIPOC participation in science, which is financial; the library microgrants will provide direct remuneration plus no-cost membership and conference registration.

The commissions

CSEE will commission the creation of (1) “Foundational research” articles and (2) “Navigating” articles.  While we suggest topics of interest below, CSEE is open to all proposals.

  1. “Foundational research” articles.
    • These will highlight foundational contributions by BIPOC researchers in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. An applicant might write about any BIPOC researcher, worldwide, past or present.
    • Articles should include appropriately licensed photos or other illustrations, and should be relevant to commonly covered topics in introductory biology, ecology, evolution, or conservation courses. Photos of living human subjects must have photo releases.
    • An article could emphasize a particular piece of research or a researcher’s career contributions.
    • We encourage contributions from non-BIPOC authors, but these will be on a volunteer basis (non-remunerated). We encourage all career stages to get involved.
  2. “Navigating” articles. These will provide guidance for BIPOC navigating common situations in ecology and evolution, whether in learning or research.
  • Articles could address navigating situations in field work as a BIPOC; navigating situations in undergraduate study as a BIPOC; or navigating situations in grad school as a BIPOC.
  • “Navigational” articles are authored by, and share the views of, BIPOC members. We encourage all career stages to get involved.

 “Foundational Research” essays should be 500-1000 words, and BIPOC contributors will be paid $200 per essay.  “Navigating” essays can be longer upon agreement of the editorial committee, and will be paid at the rate of $200 per 1,000 words.  These rates are competitive with open-market freelance writing rates.

Applying for a microgrant

Applicants should send a very brief proposal (no more than 200 words, describing the article’s intended content/message) to the Chair of the Editorial Committee, peter.soroye@gmail.com.

Applicants should be members of CSEE, or non-members of CSEE who are Canadian or working or studying at a Canadian employer or institution.  Applicants are welcome from any career stage, but CSEE will seek to balance awardees between faculty, industry professionals, and students.  Should senior applicants wish to participate while waiving financial compensation, CSEE will use the budget room to recruit more early-career participants.

Editorial committee

CSEE Council will establish a committee of 3 Society members, at least 2 of them BIPOC, to provide guidance and insure that submissions align with the goals of the project.  It will report to the chair of the Awards Committee.  This is the same committee that will handle Spotlight Library submissions (see above).  BIPOC members of the editorial committee who do not serve on CSEE Council will receive a stipend for their service.

Posting and promotion

Materials will be made available online as they are approved, with promotion on social media etc. Links will be periodically sent to CSEE membership, and created materials will be promoted during the CSEE annual meeting. Applications will be accepted year- round (until all budgeted grants are awarded).

“Navigating” essays will have a two-week public comment period, after which the author would be asked to make any appropriate revisions. Public comment will help each article reflect multiple voices and lived experiences, without diminishing the experiences of the main author.

Budget

CSEE has budgeted $3000 in 2020 for this initiative (but we envision the project continuing into future years).  The cash payment portion of the microgrant is crucial, because it is unfair to ask BIPOC to do unpaid work to fix a problem that isn’t of their making. The cash amount is intended to represent fair market pay for the labour involved.

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CALL FOR PAPERS – SPECIAL ISSUE

Taking learning online in ecology and evolution

Guest Editors: Christopher Lortie, Sehoya Cotner, Marcus Lashley

Purpose

To provide a rapid outlet to share timely innovations and discoveries for online teaching and learning in ecology and evolution.

Overview

Dear Colleagues,

These are challenging times. Uncertainty and adaptation is key in ecology and evolution, including how we teach, communicate, and do research. The current global crisis, sparked by COVID-19, has highlighted this uncertainty and demanded we adapt. At Ecology and Evolution, we want to provide the community with an opportunity to discuss and capture the challenges, but also celebrate the successes of online teaching, communication, and collaboration in our discipline.

We welcome submission for a Special Issue entitled ‘Taking learning online in ecology and evolution’. We envision articles that describe tools, techniques, strategies, engagement plans, technology development and use, challenges, and successes. We are particularly interested in contributions that address mechanisms to promote equity, diversity and inclusion through online teaching and distributed learning, and examples of technology and distributed approaches that promote engagement within one another and natural systems. Papers can include research articles, case studies, and perspectives that address these contemporary challenges and solutions. Short and concise contributions are welcome and encouraged.

Warm regards,

Drs Chris Lortie, Sehoya Cotner and Marcus Lashley

Contribution Ideas

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Meetings in the COVID era. How can conferences in ecology and evolution change and adapt to balance the needs of early-career researchers to connect, present, and develop their careers but also mitigate the risks and ecological costs of travel?
  2. Online scientific products. How can online and distributed teaching and learning promote a reset in how we value online contributions to learning?
  3. Open science. How can online and distributed teaching promote open science?
  4. Changes in pedagogy. New teaching and learning strategies that work/do not work.
  5. Tips, tools, and tricks. Github, Moodle, Blackboard, Google, etc. What works? How can educators best leverage these tools? For these articles, please provide resources for speedy adoption–links, worksheets, grading rubrics, etc.
  6. Equity. How best to deliver online teaching to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  7. Strategies for adapting field courses or field exercises for online instruction. Using virtual field spaces, databases, etc.
  8. Backyard ecology and citizen science. Please ensure suggested strategies allow for appropriate social distancing.
  9. Other tools and strategies. Tools and strategies that can be used to promote online science communication to general audiences.
Questions? Please contact:

Dr. Gareth Jenkins (gjenkins@wiley.com) or Dr. Chris Foote (cfoote@wiley.com)

Follow this link for manuscript submission, and please specify in your cover letter that you are submitting to this Special IssueThe deadline for submissions is 30th June.

We look forward to reading your contributions!

Ecology and Evolution

Ecology and Evolution is a journal with a difference. Our overriding philosophy is to be “author friendly” and our editing practice is to “looks for reasons to publish”. Ecology and Evolution is one of the fastest growing journals in ecology and evolution, publishing a diverse-range of articles in these broad disciplines of biology, as well as a special and highly popular category established in 2017 called Academic Practice. Academic Practice articles relate to the application of scholarly approaches to the myriad roles we undertake in our professions as ecologists and evolutionary biologists – including taking learning online.

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The inaugural winner of The President’s Award for Excellence in Societal Engagement!!

Here’s happy news for a change…

The CSEE is delighted to announce that the inaugural winner of The President’s Award for Excellence in Societal Engagement is …. drum roll please….

Dr Justina Ray!!!!

Dr. Ray is the co-founderay_headshot2018r, president, and senior scientist of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Canada. She is an indefatigable advocate for caribou. She has played key roles in strengthening federal impact assessment and in the conceptual development and identification of Key Biodiversity Areas in Canada. She is also an exceptional mentor who is helping to train the next generation of Canadian conservation scientists.

Congratulations Dr Ray!

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TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Do you want to advance the profile of ecology, evolution, and conservation in Canada? Do you want to get things done on behalf of the broader community? Do have ideas, energy and a little bit of time?  Then run for CSEE Council!

We are now seeking nominations for the positions of: Vice President (President-Elect), Regular Councillor (2 positions) and Graduate Student/Post-doctoral Councillor.  You can read about what the jobs entail in our Standing Rules, which you can find here: https://csee-scee.ca/constitution-2/

To nominate yourself, email a short bio (7-10 lines) about you, what you will bring to the CSEE, and what you hope to accomplish, and a headshot to the CSEE Vice-President (Steve Heard, sheard@unb.ca). You can nominate someone else (if they agree).

Nominations are accepted until April 30, 2020.  Elections will take place in May.

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CANCELLATION OF CSEE-SCEE 2020

The local organizing committee and the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution council executive regret to announce that we have decided to cancel the 15th Annual Meeting of the CSEE scheduled for May 28-31 in Edmonton, AB. While the risk in most parts of Canada, including Alberta, is currently low, we feel that the COVID-19 situation is changing so rapidly that the risks to the society membership and the broader community dictate that we cancel the meeting sooner rather than later. This step is aligned with many of the restrictions our institutions and local health authorities are placing on travel, hosting and participation in public events.

  • Full reimbursement of registration fees will be handled by the University of Alberta’s Conference Services. Reimbursement will include any conference registrations and optional items paid for through the CSEE-SCEE 2020 on-line registration site.
  • Membership fees – Memberships cover CSEE activities for the year and are not required to attend the conference. Membership fees will not be reimbursed.
  • Travel & accommodation costs – Lister Residences accepts cancellations without charge up to 48 hours before your planned arrival date.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot cover other travel and accommodation costs associated with disrupted travel plans by regular participants. However, the tri-council agencies have confirmed that the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees from agency funds is acceptable considering the impacts of COVID-19.
  • If you have an agreement for travel costs to be covered by the CSEE, non-recoverable travel costs may be reimbursed on a case-by-case basis. These reimbursements will be dealt with by the Treasurer of the CSEE (Yolanda Morbey, ymorbey@uwo.ca).
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President’s Award for Excellence in Societal Engagement

Nominate someone for our newest award: the President’s Award for Excellence in Societal Engagement. This new award recognizes outstanding contributions to public and/or policy engagement related to ecology or evolutionary biology in Canada.

To nominate yourself or someone else, please justify the nomination in a letter not exceeding 1000 words, supported by one additional CSEE member in good standing. Nominations should submitted to the CSEE Secretary (cseesecretary1@gmail.com) by 31 January 2020.

The winner gets a plaque, a monetary award, and a paid trip to the next CSEE conference to deliver a plenary.

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