Please nominate colleagues to be selected as ESA fellows


This one is for the ecologists.

There are a lot of people who have made outstanding contributions to the field of ecology — in education, research, outreach, and policy.

Do you think that any of these outstanding contributions came from ecologists in teaching-focused institutions?

Are you sure? Check out the list of ESA Fellows.

Every single one of the Fellows selected last year — all quite worthy of this honor — came from research institutions. When I scroll down the list of all the Fellows, including the huge inaugural class of 2012, I recognize the vast majority. To my knowledge, nobody came from a teaching-focused institution. (If you know otherwise, please let me know, as their institutions aren’t listed on the site.) There are a some Fellows who started their careers at teaching-focused institutions (e.g., Keeley, Nadkarni), but moved to research institutions before receiving this honor.

Do you know someone who is worthy of this honor and in a teaching-focused institution? A person doesn’t need to have an stratospheric publication rate, nor have a hypothesis or process named after them. They need to “have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA.” And be 15 years post-PhD.

It’s extraordinarily easy to nominate someone. You just need three ecologists to nominate the person, write a letter, and get a copy of the person’s abbreviated CV. The deadline is 15 October 2016. Here’s how you do the nomination.

Our professional society is failing to honor its members in teaching-focused institutions. Do you want this to persist? I have faith that the decision makers are open to change, but we need to make the nominations.

When I mentioned on twitter that we should be nominating folks from teaching-focused institutions, our society’s current President reshared my remarks. As it wasn’t accompanied with a snarky comment, I’ll assume that she shares this priority with me.

Mentoring undergraduate researchers and teaching are central to our academic enterprise, and there are lots of folks that have made “outstanding” contributions in this regard. In your letter, you can make a strong case that someone has made a difference for our field, even if they aren’t as traditionally famous as some other Fellows.

Do you happen to think that you can’t make an outstanding difference in ecology while working at a teaching-focused institution? If that’s the case, then please set your closed mind down on a quiet park bench and read a newspaper or something, and we’ll go on and continue to make a difference, even if you continue to diss us year after year.

3 thoughts on “Please nominate colleagues to be selected as ESA fellows

  1. Hi Terry, Thanks for the reminder. I forwarded your post to the CLASP (Colleges of Liberal Arts Sponsored Programs) Listserv. We are a group of 215 SLACs and PUIs across the country. Hope you are well? Kendra Mingo


  2. I think you meant to say “research-focused” in this sentence (1st sentence of 6th paragraph): “Do you know someone who is worthy of this honor but isn’t in a teaching-focused institution?”

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