Meet DEB: Olivia (Kirby) Dzurny, Admin. Support Assistant


Name: Ms. (for now- I’m newly engaged!) Olivia (Kirby) Dzurny

Tell Us About Yourself. I’m from St. Louis, Missouri and a student at George Washington University.o2

What do you do here at DEB? I’m a Program Assistant with the responsibilities of an Administrative Support Assistant.  This means I help organize and set-up panels and help coordinate travel for visiting panelists.

What are you studying in school? Creative writing and international affairs – however, most of what I have learned while in college has come from experiences outside the classroom, such as my positions with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the National Zoo.

How did you find out about NSF? I looked for science-based organizations that needed management help!

Cake or pie? Pie – unless it is cheesecake…or unless the cake is actually ice cream.

What do you like about working here? I truly love being surrounded by people who are experts in their field. I love to learn! Having the ability to sit in on panel discussions or lectures is a huge benefit to my position. The people are nice, too.

Where do you want to travel one day? I want to live in New Zealand – partly because of the Lord of the Rings, but mostly because it is gorgeous.

Anything else??? I am interested in studying animals and hope to find a career in helping support museums, zoos, and aquariums around the country. More than anything, I’m an explorer at heart. Traveling and writing are my two biggest passions in life.

 

Thanks for Your Feedback!


Thanks to everyone who participated in our poll! We tallied the results and wanted to share the feedback we received as of March 10th. Thanks for giving us a clearer understanding of the types of content you enjoy and what roles you hold within the DEB community.  We look forward to continuing to serve the DEB community and posting content that is informative and helpful.

contentvisitors

What do you want to see in 2017?


We want to make sure this blog is serving the needs of the DEB community so please take a minute and tell us what you’d like to see more of in the coming year.

A Reorganization in the Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences Cluster


Systematics is a rapidly changing field and DEB strives to serve our community while incorporating an ever-changing understanding of the natural world. As the amount of information and data the systematics and biodiversity community gathers grows in quantity and breadth, researchers are looking for ways to incorporate new and existing data layers into the framework of the Tree of Life. Even with advances in next-generation sequencing, MRI/CT imaging, and other methods, there is still a tremendous amount of undiscovered, overlooked, or understudied biodiversity. In response to progress in the field of systematics and biodiversity and based on the number of recent submissions to different DEB solicitations, the Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences (SBS) cluster has decided to reorganize its program structure and offerings. These changes will not affect the kind of grants you can submit in terms of funds, scope, or topic.

A visual representation of the changes described in the text.
Starting in the next fiscal year (October 2017), the SBS cluster will manage a single core program called Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences. The simplification reflects the consolidation of the former Genealogy of Life (GoLife), Phylogenetic Systematics (PS), and Biodiversity: Discovery and Analysis (BDA) programs into a single core program. The major changes are:

  • the initiatives of the former GoLife program will now be part of the core rather than supported through a separate solicitation for proposals; and
  • a new category of proposals aimed at advancing biodiversity discovery and description in poorly known areas of the Tree of Life has been added and is called ‘PurSUiT (Poorly Sampled and Unknown Taxa).’

As in the past, ‘ARTS: Advancing Revisionary Taxonomy and Systematics’ proposals, for taxonomic revisionary and monographic research, will continue to be accepted in SBS.

What does this mean for you? If you have a taxonomic revision or monographic research project, you can submit to the core program using the prefix “ARTS” in your title (e.g., “ARTS: a monograph of unicorns”). If you are studying very poorly known parts of the Tree of Life you can submit to the core program and use the prefix PurSUiT (e.g., “PurSUiT: Discovery and description of new lineages of poorly studied laser cats”). You will still be able to submit grants with the other more widely used prefixes (e.g. SG, RUI, CAREER, and OPUS).

These new programmatic changes won’t be in effect until the start of the next fiscal year (October 2017).

SBS is always looking for the best research in systematics and biodiversity and our capacity to fund exceptional work in our field has not changed. These programmatic changes are in response to progress in the field and submissions to different solicitations; it does not reflect any decreased interest in systematics and biodiversity research within NSF. We hope this simplification and refocusing will help further improve our understanding of life on Earth, the training of future systematists and field biologists and our ability to review and fund the best phylogenetic, taxonomic, and biodiversity research.

Details about the programmatic changes in SBS can be found in a Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 17-052) and FAQ document (NSF 17-054). If you have additional questions, please reach out to a DEB Program Officer.

Share Your Ideas on Cyberinfrastructure


A new NSF Dear Colleague Letter (DCL; NSF 17-031) has been posted: Request for Information on Future Needs for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure to Support Science and Engineering Research (NSF CI 2030).

From the DCL:

“NSF Directorates and Offices are jointly requesting input from the research community on science challenges and associated cyberinfrastructure needs over the next decade and beyond. Contributions to this Request for Information will be used during the coming year to inform the Foundation’s strategy and plans for advanced cyberinfrastructure investments. We invite bold, forward-looking ideas that will provide opportunities to advance the frontiers of science and engineering well into the future.”

We encourage DEB to weigh in- what do you see as the cyberinfrastructure that will be needed to advance ecology, evolution, and systematics?

The DCL points to an external submission website (http://www.nsfci2030.org). Please note that the deadline for submissions is April 5, 2017 5:00 PM ET.  Questions about this effort and the submission process should be sent to Dr. William Miller, Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, at this email address: nsfci2030rfi@nsf.gov.

Reminder: Preliminary Proposals Due January 23


DEB Core Programs and LTREB

Preliminary proposal submissions for DEB Core Programs and Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) are due by 5:00PM (submitter’s local time) this January 23rd, 2017.

Please see our past post for updates to the DEB Core Programs and Long Term Research in Environmental Biology solicitations.

IOS

The deadline for preliminary proposal submissions for the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) is different from DEB Core Programs and LTREB.  The IOS deadline for preliminary proposals is January 19th, 2017. Be sure and check out their blog for any updates.

DEB Numbers: FY 2016 Wrap-Up

DEB Numbers: FY 2016 Wrap-Up


Fiscal year 2016 officially closed out on September 30. Now that we are past our panels in October and early November, we have a chance to look back and report on the DEB Core Program merit review and funding outcomes for FY 2016.

This post follows the format we’ve used in previous years. For a refresher, and lengthier discussions of the hows and whys of the metrics, you can visit the 2015,  2014, and 2013 numbers.

Read on to see how 2016 compares. Continue reading