Advancing Our Policy Declarations

Looking forward, the Policy Committee is excited to further advance our Policy Declarations, including the 2020 declaration dedicated to Advancing Ecological Connectivity Implementation in the Rocky Mountains and North America and our 2018 declaration to Support Conserving and Recovering the Monarch Butterfly. The lengthy Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad articulates a multi-faceted framework for proactively addressing climate change, including a goal of “conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.” For example, connectivity within and across conservation lands is key for protecting biodiversity and ecologically healthy landscapes. The North American SCB Policy Committee will highlight these declarations for key leaders in the new administration and identify additional ways that the North American Section can meaningfully contribute to the exciting new agenda.

Biden/Harris Executive Action Alignment with SCBNA Priorities

Given our mission to build an equitable and diverse community to advance the science and practice of conserving the Earth’s biological diversity and people’s place within it, the North American Section of the Society for Conservation Biology has renewed optimism about the opportunities emerging with the new federal leadership in the United States. As articulated in our vision, “we conceive of SCBNA as a diverse community of conservation professionals, practitioners, and stakeholders, and a leading scientific voice for the study and conservation of Earth’s biological diversity.”

Since January 20th, the Biden-Harris Administration has issued over fifty executive actions directed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic, restoring lost ground since 2016, and addressing equity, immigration and the environment. With the promise of renewed commitment to both stewardship of the environment and to do so equitably and inclusively, our Policy Committee is embarking on a new collaboration with our Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee to inventory the Biden Administration Executive Orders and Memoranda for relevance, alignment and convergence with our mission and vision. For example, the top initiatives of the Policy Committee already include climate change adaptationendangered speciesscientific integrity and environmental justice, all of which are mentioned explicitly in Executive Orders (EO’s) signed to date.

Likewise, SCBNA’s Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee works to advance these tenets in the field of conservation across all levels, including the public, students, professionals, and leaders in the field. The Biden Administration’s emphasis on environmental justicesocial justicedecolonization of conservationdiversity and inclusion, and their integration across all areas of government, has inspired SCBNA and our Committees to seek meaningful ways to work collectively on these important and timely priorities. As a first step, we have completed an initial inventory of the Presidential EO’s against the mission and vision of the North American section of SCB and created a brief checklist highlighting areas of alignment (image in left column). Several of the Executive Actions by the Biden Administration also underscore opportunities for enhanced cooperation and collaboration between the US and Canada to amplify outcomes for conservation, climate change and environmental justice, across our shared North American landscape (right column of image).

This March, to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, SCB North America is highlighting women in conservation who inspire us.

We asked Dr. Rachel Golden Kroner to share a little bit about her career, her experiences as a woman in conservation, and about women who inspire her.

I am a conservation social scientist, fundamentally motivated by concern for the state of our planet and belief in the moral imperative for action. Research and evidence-based policy are an important part of shaping a more sustainable future. I take an interdisciplinary approach to research, focus on area-based conservation systems like protected areas, and study how they change over time. At Conservation International, I lead the global PADDDtracker initiative, which studies and raises awareness of legal rollbacks to protected areas and applies insights to inform conservation policy and practice. You can learn more about my research here.

As a woman conservation, I recognize the strides we have made, but also see how far we have to go. Across fields, we have not reached parity in terms of women in leadership positions or equitable pay. All of us can and should be part of the solution. Instead of telling women to “lean in” or that they have “imposter syndrome,” everyone – especially those with more power – can work to create more just, diverse, inclusive, and equitable cultures through our personal and professional spheres of influence. Specifically for scientists, this includes: citing and nominating women; collaborating with women in proposals, publications and conference symposia; and hiring, paying equitably, promoting, and listening to women. This requires a daily practice (by men and women!), and involves checking ones biases around each decision and interaction. In the long term, I think we should aim for a world in which we celebrate the achievements of women and men on their merits every day – not just on days like International Women’s Day.

I am inspired by any woman in conservation who has persisted through challenges and holds strong – there are so many! I am especially inspired by the women on the front lines, leading their communities in securing their rights, opposing unwanted development projects, and pushing for systemic change at the grassroots level. These environmental defenders face some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable to protect their communities and environments.


Thank you so much to Dr. Golden Kroner for sharing with us. You can keep up with her work by following her on Twitter at @RachGolden and on LinkedIn.


Check out the previous women in conservation we’ve highlighted this month.

This March, to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, SCB North America is highlighting women in conservation who inspire us.

We asked Dr. Chelsie Romulo to share a little bit about her career and her experiences as a woman in conservation.

Chelsie Romulo is a professor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Northern Colorado. Her research spans several resource management contexts, but consistently seeks to understand what works and why to explain what contextual characteristics result in impacts and outcomes. She uses mixed methods approaches to integrate quantitative and qualitative data that can be applied to many different management and policy situations and frequently make use of existing data in new contexts. A former SESYNC graduate student pursuit member and Smithsonian-Mason Doctoral Fellow in Conservation, her dissertation research focused on community-based natural resource management in the Peruvian Amazon. Another aspect of her research interests delves into evaluating enabling conditions for payments for ecosystem services programs using big data machine learning models. She is currently PI of an NSF IUSE grant using machine learning techniques as an assessment tool to understand how students learn complex sustainability topics.

Every time I’m asked about inspirational leaders, I always point out Dr. Ellie Sattler from the 1993 Jurassic Park movie. Seeing that movie as a young child was hugely influential because this was the first time I ever saw a woman on the big screen whose main character trait was being a respected scientist and expert (For older audiences, I’d also point out Ripley in the Alien movies as an earlier movie example). I don’t think it had even occurred to me before that point that I could be a scientist or what a scientist could look like. I think it’s so important for young people to be able to see themselves in future careers.  


Thank you so much to Dr. Romulo for sharing with us. You can keep up with her work by following her on Twitter @ChelsieRomulo.


Check out the previous women in conservation we’ve highlighted this month.

This March, to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, SCB North America is highlighting women in conservation who inspire us.

We would like to introduce you first to Dr. Sheila Colla. Dr. Colla is an Assistant Professor, York Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Conservation Science, and Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change at York University. We asked her to share a little about what she does, about her experience as a woman in conservation, and to name a woman who inspires her.

I am a conservation scientist researching wild bumblebees in Canada and the USA. In addition to studying their ecology and conservation status, I’ve recently moved my research program into understanding stakeholder perception and disrupting mainstream narratives. I help run the community science program BumbleBeeWatch and co-authored “The Bumblebees of North America: an identification guide” (Princeton University Press 2014). For SCBNA, I’m on the EDI and policy committees and am the North American Coordinator for the IUCN SSC Bumblebees Specialist Group. 

Being a woman, and a woman of colour, in conservation is extremely challenging, despite the many privileges I have. Despite my accomplishments, my expertise is often overlooked, especially in the field of entomology which is very much white, male-dominated. I have had grants rejected because I am “too much of an activist and not a scientist” because I call out injustices and broader oppressive systems as I see them. I have left committees where I see racism and sexism run rampant. I avoid conferences and social events which lack diversity. Now that I’ve moved into a new stage of my career, I am lucky to be able to be more selective and to surround myself with folks I trust and give my energy where I think it is valued. 

In terms of inspiration, the climate justice writer Mary Heglar wins as someone everyone should know and follow. Her piece “Home Is Always Worth It” is incredible. It serves as a reminder that despite all the struggles we face, socially and environmentally, the work we do is still important and worthy. 


Thank you so much to Dr. Colla for sharing her experiences with us. To keep up with her work, follow her here:

Lab research: www.savethebumblebees.ca

Finding Flowers Project: http://findingflowers.ca/

YorkU BeeC Research Group: bees.yorku.ca

Twitter: @savewildbees

The webinar recording for the second in the 2021 SCBNA Student Affairs Webinar Series is now available on the SCB North America YouTube Page. We sincerely thank the wonderful panelists for their time and the attendees for their excellent questions that prompted valuable discussions during the webinar.

The next webinar in the series will take place in March: Stakeholder Engagement Across Multiple Institutions in Conservation. The date and time and a link to register for the March webinar will be available on this webpage very soon.

Many thanks to the Student Affairs Subcommittee for organizing this series. Other topics coming later this year include Conservation in Practice; Equity & Inclusion in Conservation and Research; Multiple Ways of Knowing in Conservation and Ecology; and Conservation + Social Science. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in joining the subcommittee, please email the Chair, Melissa Cronin: mecronin@ucsc.edu

Make a difference in conservation and give back to your conservation community. Nominate yourself or someone else to serve on the Society for Conservation Biology North America (SCBNA) Board of Directors. 

The Society for Conservation Biology is an international professional organization dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving the Earth’s biological diversity. SCBNA represents the North American continent north of Mexico (i.e., Canada and the United States). Although Mexico is a member of SCB’s Latin America and Caribbean Section, SCBNA members collaborate with Mexican colleagues on transboundary conservation issues. SCBNA envisions a world where people share diverse views of the value of diversity of life on Earth, and collaboratively work toward conservation among these plural understandings. We conceive of SCBNA as a diverse community of conservation professionals, practitioners, and stakeholders, and a leading scientific voice for the study and conservation of Earth’s biological diversity. SCBNA also works with other scientific societies and conservation organizations in North America to advance the application of science to conservation practice.


The Society for Conservation Biology’s North America Section invites you to nominate SCBNA members to stand for election for two open positions on the SCBNA Board of Directors. SCBNA is especially interested in increasing equity and inclusion at all levels, including on the board, and encourages nominations of individuals from historically underrepresented groups. Every board member attends one in-person meeting (financial support for travel is available) and 4-5 virtual SCBNA Board meetings per year plus performs committee work (e.g., meetings, writing). If cost of membership is a deterrent to nomination, the board will consider covering membership fees for successful nominees.


Historically, most nominations have been self-nominations which are always welcome. Before you nominate someone else, please ask if they are willing to be considered. Please indicate the office(s) for which you seek consideration. Each nominee must be a current member of SCBNA and demonstrate relevant skills and experience to the position being covered. After reviewing nominees, the SCBNA Nominations Committee will put forward the slate of candidates for each office and announce the start of the voting period. The term of each elected officer will begin July 1, 2021.


The call for nominations is open now through April 2, 2021. See the attached Board Code of Conduct and the SCBNA Bylaws for position descriptions and expectations of board members, and refer to the SCBNA website for further information on the section and activities. Please contact Karen Root, kvroot@bgsu.edu and Megan Keville, megan.keville@scbnorthamerica.org with additional questions regarding these positions.

The open seats are:

  • President-Elect (6-year term: 2 as President-Elect, 2 as President, 2 as Past-President): The President-Elect serves on the Executive Committee of the SCBNA Board, chairs the Conference Committee, and provides support for the President, including filling in as needed.  Chairing the conference committee includes playing a significant role in selecting the location for the upcoming NACCB as well as co-chairing the organizing committee for that meeting. The President provides leadership of the organization and the NA Board, as well as supervising NA staff and serving as the NA representative to the SCB Board of Governors. This includes attending both SCB Board of Governors and leading SCBNA Board meetings. The Past President provides support to the President providing institutional knowledge and support for the transition. Nominees for this position must have previously served on the SCBNA Board or another SCB Board (e.g., working group or SCB global board).
  • Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Officer (3-year term): The Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Officer serves on the Executive Committee of the SCBNA Board, chairs the standing Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee, and participates regularly in quarterly board calls and meetings. The EID Officer facilitates and carries out initiatives designed to promote equity, inclusion and diversity within SCBNA, and works to increase equity, inclusion and diversity in the field of Conservation across all levels. This includes both mainstreaming equity, inclusion, and diversity in all regular tasks and events (such as the biannual North American Congress for Conservation Biology) and carrying out special projects intended to mainstream equity, inclusion, and diversity across the field of research and practice. The position requires exposure and experience in dealing with and addressing issues of equity, inclusion, and diversity in an institutional setting. We acknowledge that no one candidate will be able to fully understand and anticipate all experiences and impacts relevant for this role, so the position requires someone willing to work broadly across the board and society at large.

To submit a nomination please fill out the nomination form linked below by Friday, April 2, 2021. Please email megan.keville@scbnorthamerica.org with any questions. Elections will open in April 2021. Terms will begin July 1, 2021.

NOMINATION FORM:
________________________ 

Nomination Form — Board of Directors, Society for Conservation Biology – North America Section 2021

Nominations are sought for:
• President-Elect (6-year term; 2 as President-Elect, 2 as President, 2 as Past-President)
• Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Officer (3-year term)


DEADLINE: April 2, 2021
ELECTIONS: April 2021

Nominees must be members in good standing with the Society for Conservation Biology as well as members of the North America Section, and must be willing to run for election before the deadline. In addition, we encourage nominations of candidates from both the US and Canada to achieve geographic diversity in our board representation. In this round of elections, we seek to fill at least one of the two open positions with a Canadian colleague.

By agreeing to stand for election, nominees indicate their willingness to serve the SCB North America Section by attending Board of Directors meetings during their term of office. In-person meetings occur yearly (coincident with NACCB during Congress years) with multiple virtual meetings throughout the year. In addition, Board members are expected to be actively engaged in directing the SCB North America Section through committee work and active engagement in the work of the section. Board members are also expected to adhere to the code of conduct in all aspects of their representation of SCBNA.

SCB North America is thrilled to welcome Alexis Canney, our new – and first – communications intern!

Alexis is a master’s student in conservation and restoration science at the University of California, Irvine. She has a background in nonprofit fundraising and environmental education. She received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Vassar College, NY and is from Brooklyn, NY.

We look forward to working with Alexis to increase SCBNA’s capacity to communicate and interact with members and potential members. You’ll be hearing from Alexis soon across SCB North America’s social media accounts (@scbnorthamerica) and via our newsletter and other communications. Welcome, Alexis!

2021 Student Affairs Webinar Series
SCB North America’s Student Affairs Committee is hosting a 2021 webinar series on topics of interest to conservation students, early-career professionals, and others!

The second webinar in the monthly series is:

Careers Outside of Academia: Agencies & Consulting Firms

Tuesday, February 16

12-1pm PT | 3-4pm ET

Join the SCBNA Student Affairs Subcommittee to learn from accomplished professionals with experience in agency and consulting academic positions related to conservation biology.

This will be an interactive panel with questions from the audience. Panelists include Dr. Rebecca McCaffery, Wildlife Biologist at the U.S. Geological Service Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Dr. Alysha Cypher, postdoctoral researcher at the Prince William Sound Science Center, and Lauren Jonaitis, M.S., Environmental/Coastal Scientist at Moffatt & Nichol.

Registration is required, please register at this link: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/…

Webinars are available to both SCB members and non-members. Webinars will be recorded and posted to the SCBNA YouTube Page – subscribe so you are notified when new recordings are posted! The first webinar recording is now available: Non-Traditional Careers in Academia.


This is the second in our series of monthly webinars; stay tuned for more!

Please contact megan.keville@scbnorthamerica.org with any questions related to the webinar series.

The webinar recording for the first in the 2021 SCBNA Student Affairs Webinar Series is now available on the SCB North America YouTube Page. We sincerely thank the wonderful panelists for their time and the attendees for their excellent questions that prompted valuable discussions during the webinar.

The next webinar in the series is on February 16 at 12pm PT / 3pm ET: Careers Outside Academia: Agency and Consulting Firms. More information and a link to register will be available on this webpage very soon.

Many thanks to the Student Affairs Subcommittee for organizing this series. Other topics coming later this year include Conservation in Practice; Equity & Inclusion in Conservation and Research; and Conservation + Social Science. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in joining the subcommittee, please email the Chair, Melissa Cronin: mecronin@ucsc.edu

The North America Society for Conservation Biology is appalled by the invasion of the Capitol building by white nationalists. We are equally appalled by the clear difference in police response in which white supremacists violently breaking into federal buildings are met with very little resistance and people of color protesting peacefully or simply walking in a national park are met with militarized police violence and brutality, in many cases resulting in their death.  We recognize that many of our members know all too well these harsh realities of institutionalized racism in their professional and personal lives and that all of us live within human and natural communities that are negatively impacted by how marginalized peoples are systemically oppressed.  We also recognize that these vital issues are inseparable from who we are, how we do our work, and the fate of biodiversity.  

The board of SCBNA reaffirms our commitment to continuing to work to address systemic racism and biased power structures in our own organization and within conservation biology, be it in our academic institutions, organizations, research projects, foundations or communities we work within.  We also commit to using our unique voice to call on the new administration to make addressing institutionalized racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination an immediate priority.

*Statement authored by SCBNA Board Member Dr. Jessa Madosky, Past-President

Signed,

The Board of Directors of the Society for Conservation Biology North America

Karen Root, President
Rebecca McCaffery, President-Elect
Jessa Madosky, Past-President
Gerald Singh, Equity, Inclusion & Diversity Officer
Rebecca Hufft, Treasurer
Alysha Cypher, Secretary & Chapters Representative
Jessica Pratt, Vice President for Education & Chapters
Erin Sexton, Vice President for Policy & Programs
Melissa Cronin, Student Representative
Lauren Jonaitis, Member at Large
Paige Olmsted, Member at Large