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March for Science: Know Your Rights

We encourage anyone planning to participate in the April 22 March for Science, April 29 People’s Climate March, or other public demonstration to read and distribute the pamphlet available at the link below; more informed science advocates will result in safer, more successful marches.

For more info: March for Science: Know Your Rights – Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

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Become involved as SCBNA supports the March for Science and 500 Women Scientists!

On April 22, 2017, hundreds of thousands of scientists and supporters of science, including many members of the Society for Conservation Biology’s North America section (SCBNA), will march together in Washington, DC and 400 other locations around the world. They will be marching as advocates for open, inclusive, and accessible science, and to affirm that science is a crucial resource for developing evidence-based policy and regulations that are in the public interest. Although the March for Science is nonpartisan, it offers an opportunity to push back against recent efforts to undermine scientific integrity efforts to undermine scientific integrity and prevent scientists from speaking publicly. Marchers realize that their research as scientists must be coupled with education, communication, and ties of mutual respect between scientists and their communities. More information on the goals of the March can be found here.

The March presents a unique opportunity for public engagement by SCBNA members as a community of conservation professionals, in order to defend the importance of evidence-based decision making in safeguarding the Earth’s biological diversity. SCBNA, along with 30 other scientific organizations, was an early endorser of the North American march efforts. (The global SCB organization has not yet formally endorsed the global March but is considering doing so). SCBNA is actively networking with its members and chapters to assist them with their organizing around the March.  Many members and chapters are already moving forward with participation in the more than 200 local North American marches.

The march is a grassroots effort spearheaded by SCBNA members and others from the science community. You can find out if there is a march near you or start one here, and find a ride to the march here. We’d like to hear from you via a short survey if you  plan to participate in the DC or a local March. We will use this information to help network, publicize, and increase SCBNA involvement in the DC and local marches. If you use social media, please publicize the march using the hashtag #marchforscience.

A single day of events is only a small step towards furthering the goals of the March. The March will be followed by a week of opportunities for scientists to meet with legislators. The following Saturday, April 29, a second event, the People’s Climate March, will occur in Washington, DC. SCBNA is preparing more information to share with members on follow-up actions scientists and science advocates can do after the March. SCBNA has a long history of advocating for scientific integrity in conservation policy-making. SCBNA currently is active in the Integrity in Science Working Group (ISWG). ISWG is a coalition of scientific societies and good government, public health, environmental, and other public interest organizations working to create a movement around defending the role of science in a democracy. The Union of Concerned Scientists, a co-founder of ISWG, is hosting a scientist training on Friday, April 21, on how to have effective in-district meetings with members of Congress. Please fill out this RSVP if you would like to attend the DC training (in person or via livestream). UCS is also organizing Capitol Hill meetings for experts who want to talk with their legislators on aspects of the federal budget crucial to our ability to monitor and respond to climate change. If you are interested, please apply here.

The March involves a broad coalition of groups, with varied missions that may not entirely align with SCBNA’s priorities.  SCBNA members and other scientists have identified areas that need improvement in regards to the DC March and the way it has addressed equity, inclusion, and diversity. In endorsing the March, SCBNA has also committed to proactively engage with March organizers and participants of both the DC and local marches to improve the manner in which March activities address equity, inclusion, and diversity (see a good discussion of these issues here). SCBNA will push for a more robust engagement with these issues, which would include better articulating the mission of the march; and improved logistics of the march in DC that would support inclusion and safety for underrepresented groups. We encourage SCBNA members in other areas to communicate with and support their local organizers in ensuring that local marches are inclusive, equitable, and diverse. SCBNA is also working towards equity, inclusion, and diversity goals in other venues, such as the new national Diversity Joint Venture, a partnership with federal, state, NGO, universities, and scientific societies to increase the diversity in the conservation workforce.

SCBNA is also working with the new group 500 Women Scientists to advance diversity in the STEM fields. In the days following the US election, five women scientists with Colorado roots wrote an open letter to pledge their resolve to push for equality and continued scientific progress in the wake of rising sexist, discriminatory and anti-intellectualist sentiments. In the ensuing three months, over 18,000 women scientists from 109 countries (including SCBNA and SCB global board members) have signed their pledge and the group has coalesced into 500 Women Scientists. Their mission is to promote a diverse and inclusive scientific community that brings progressive, science-based solutions to local and global challenges. To achieve this goal, they are working to empower women to grow to their full potential in science, increase scientific literacy through public engagement, and advocate for science and equality. We encourage SCBNA members to support the 500 Women Scientists group by signing the pledge, participating in conference meet-ups, joining local/regional chapters that are organizing around science outreach, mentoring, and advocacy programs, or volunteering to serve on dedicated strike teams for specific issues.

 

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500 Women Scientists will March for Science

Many of SCB North America’s members, including President-elect Dr. Jessa Madosky, are supporting efforts by 500 Women Scientists.

500 Women Scientists will proudly support the March for Science on April 22, 2017.

More info: 500 Women Scientists will March for Science – Medium

SCBNA Policy Update

Although the results of the recent US elections will bring major changes in US federal government policies that affect biodiversity conservation, SCBNA is committed to remaining a strong voice for promoting the application of rigorous science to conservation management and policy. We are working to strengthen our network of contacts in DC in order to join in solidarity with the larger scientific community on emerging issues, via sign-on letters (SCBNA recently signed onto a letter to the Trump administration led by AIBS) and more substantive efforts.

SCBNA will continue to constructively partner with and support government initiatives where doing so advances conservation science and practice, but will also work to inform our members and the public where we see policies that do not appropriately incorporate conservation science or negatively affect biodiversity. We will continue to focus on three priority policy areas (defense of scientific integrity in government decision-making, conservation of endangered species, and landscape planning for climate change adaptation), where we can provide value that is additive to the work of larger scientific societies and NGOs. With the likely political pressure that will be coming to bear on the US Endangered Species Act and public lands, SCBNA can play a key long-term role in important policy issues in both a reactive (defensive) and proactive manner.  Despite the current turmoil around the incoming administration, we believe that effective policy work is still a marathon and staying focused is important to long-term success.

SCBNA is represented in DC policy circles by our policy committee co-chair, Brett Hartl, who is the former SCB Senior Policy Fellow. Brett ’s involvement allows SCBNA to participate as a member of coalitions with like-minded DC-based groups, such as the new Integrity in Science Working Group co-chaired by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. ISWG is a coalition of scientific societies and good government, public health, environmental, and other public interest organizations working to create a movement around defending the role of science in a democracy. The invitation to join ISWG came out of a successful symposium on scientific integrity organized by SCBNA at the NACCB2016 meeting.

Call for nominations to the SCBNA board of directors

The Society for Conservation Biology’s North America Section (SCBNA) invites you to nominate SCBNA members to stand for election to the following offices on the SCBNA Board of Directors. Every board member attends one in-person meeting and several virtual meetings per year. Historically, most nominations have been self-nominations. Before you nominate someone other than yourself, please ask that person if she or he is willing to be considered. Please indicate the office(s) for which you seek consideration. Each nominee must be a current member of SCBNA. After reviewing nominees, the SCBNA Nominations Committee will put forward the slate of candidates for each office and announce the start of voting. The term of each elected officer will begin July 1, 2017.

The call for nominations is open now through Wednesday March 1.
The open seats are:
• President-Elect (6 year term: 2 years as President-Elect, 2 years as President, 2 years as Past-President)
• Treasurer (3 year term)
• VP for Policy and Programs (3 year term)
• VP for Education and Chapters (3 year term)
• Student representative (2 year term; must be a student in conservation biology or a closely related field and attending an accredited university or college)
• Chapters representative (2 year term; must be a member of one of SCBNA’s local chapters).
To submit a nomination, or to request additional information, please email the SCBNA President Carlos Carroll <klamathconservation@gmail.com>. Please indicate ‘SCBNA elections’ in the subject line.

Meet SCBNA’s new Administrative Director, Jamie Hogberg

SCBNA recently finalized the hiring of an Administrative Director (AD). Jamie Hogberg, the new SCBNA AD, was chair of the recent NACCB meeting in Madison. Jamie’s background is in both conservation science research and administration. Her work in human-wildlife interactions led to her to become active in SCB’s Social Science Working Group. More recently, she helped develop a successful Environmental Conservation MS Program at University of Wisconsin’s Nelson Institute. Since Jamie is SCBNA’s sole staffperson, her job entails a lot of different aspects, including administrative, finance, conference management, governance, and outreach duties. Part of her job will be to improve communication between SCBNA and members through regular newsletters and social media updates. Jamie will also be closely involved in organizing the NACCB2018 meeting. NACCB2018’s theme is Conservation Science, Policy, and Practice: Connecting the Urban to the Wild. NACCB2018 will be held at the Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from July 21-26, 2018. Planning for NACCB2018 is well under way, and we will have materials to share soon. Toronto is a diverse and exciting city which will make a great location for the 2018 meeting.

SCBNA members: your vote needed on bylaws revisions!

The bylaws of the SCB North America Section have been updated and approved by the SCBNA Board of Directors in March. In order for these changes to take effect, they must be voted on by the membership. To do so, please visit the SCB website (www.conbio.org) and log in to your member homepage. In the blue box on top of the page you will see a link to the voting page. The voting page will have more information of the proposed changes and rationale. Please cast your vote before 1 August 2016.

Why do SCBNA’s bylaws need to be amended?

Bylaws are the legally binding rules that outline how the board of a nonprofit will operate. Carefully crafted bylaws and adherence to them can help ensure the fairness of board decisions. They can protect the organization from potential problems by clearly outlining rules around procedures, rights, and powers. SCBNA creates bylaws at the time the organization was established in 2002. The board of a non-profit should regularly review the bylaws to ensure that they accurately reflect how the organization works. The board periodically amends the bylaws to ensure that they remain relevant. When amending its bylaws, SCBNA follows a two-stage process: the board first approves any amendments to the bylaws, and then the amendments must be approved by the membership.

SCBNA’s bylaws have not been revised since 2004, shortly after SCBNA was first established (see attached copy of 2004 bylaws). In March 2016, the SCBNA board voted unanimously to approve changes to the bylaws and place these changes before the membership for a vote. These changes were necessary due to several factors. Firstly, several aspects of how SCBNA currently operates (such as the existence of a Chapters Representative and a Policy Committee) are not reflected in the 2004 bylaws. Additionally, recent revisions of the SCB-Global bylaws in conjunction with a governance reform process have suggested bylaws revisions that may be beneficial for SCBNA as well, in that they would strengthen the capacity of SCBNA’s board to achieve its mission. This includes changes such as establishment of vice-president positions to manage specific committees. Lastly, SCB-global now allows regional sections to incorporate as SCB affiliates (with their own non-profit status) in order to increase their ability to manage staff, finances, and long-term strategic planning. SCB-Oceania and SCBNA are the first 2 sections to incorporate under the new affiliation policy. The IRS requires organizations seeking non-profit status to include certain standard clauses in their bylaws.

A few news items from SCBNA

News from the North America Section of SCB

  • North America Section to Sponsor Conference on Science and Management
    The North America Section is proud to sponsor the 13th Biennial Conference of Science & Management on the Colorado Plateau & Southwest Region. The meeting theme is Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Assess and Respond to Climatic, Social and Technological Changes. The meeting runs from October 5-8. Click here to register and to learn more about the meeting.
  • Bring NACCB 2018 to Your Area
    Interested in bringing the next North America Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB) to your neck of the woods? Contact us to learn how to prepare a bid. NACCBs require a venue that can hold 1,200 attendees. We prioritize meetings in cities that have active SCB Chapters or who are interested in forming a Chapter. Hosting a meeting is a great way to further development of the science and practice of conservation biology in your region.
  • Strength in Numbers: Join SCB NA
    Did you know that all members of SCB can join up to two Sections for free? If you’re not already in the North America Section, please join us. It’s easy to do. You’ll get access to our newsletter and opportunities available to Section members and elevate the voice of conservation science in North America. Join today!
  • SCB NA Board Welcomes New Board Members 
    As of the 2015 Section election, SCB NA has added a greater variety of expertise to our board as well as more representation from Canadian members. See who is on the board here.
  • SCB NA Wants your input on the Section’s Strategic Plan
    SCB NA is preparing it’s first-ever Section strategic plan to guide its work through 2020. Section leaders are seeking comments from SCB NA membership on the draft plan. View the plan here. Submit your feedback via the email forumon the NA Section Blog.

SCB and ESA receive NSF Award to seed new Network for Next Generation Careers

The Ecological Society of America, in partnership with the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), will create a new network of prospective employers, faculty and professional societies over the next eighteen months with a $48,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The Next Generation Careers – Innovation in Environmental Biology Education (NGC) incubator project will explore undergraduate college career progression into environmental biology, including fields such as ecology, evolution, conservation, and natural resource management. Source: ESA receives NSF Award to seed new Network for Next Generation Careers | Ecological Society of America