Meet DEB: Matt Olson


olson

Merry with her human, Matt Olson.

What’s your name and role here at DEB?

My name is Matt Olson and I am a rotating Program Officer with the Evolutionary Processes Cluster.

Where did you go to school?

I earned a B.S. University of Texas, Austin, M.S. Louisiana State University, and my Ph.D. at Duke University.

Where is your home institution?       

Texas Tech University.

Tell us about your research.

I am an evolutionary ecologist, which means that I study how genetic and ecological factors influence how a species will change over time. My current scientific interests aim to understand how sex chromosomes (like the male Y chromosome) evolve in plants. Sex chromosomes are found in less than 5% of all plants, and in most cases, they have evolved very recently. Because they are young, we can study the formative stages of sex chromosome evolution including how they move around the genome and how ecological factors may influence their development. My work leverages a mix of ecology, genomics, bioinformatics, and molecular biology, so it is always very exciting and integrative. I often must collaborate with colleagues in other disciplines. One of my current collaborations is with colleagues in Chengdu and Nanjing, China, which has provided some great opportunities for both scientific and cultural exchange.

Why do you want to serve with NSF? 

Since I served on my first grant review panel, I have been impressed with the efficient, transparent, and ethical character of the NSF. I am keen to learn more about how the foundation functions, so that I can apply these ideals more broadly to other aspects of my work and personal life. I also have been fortunate to have several of my proposals funded by the NSF, and I would like to give back to the organization by serving in a more administrative role. Finally, I hope to draw on my experience as a scientist and teacher to help steer the foundation as we move into the future.

What are you looking forward to in your tenure here at NSF? 

I love working and exchanging ideas with other scientists. The National Science Foundation not only helps scientists to realize their goals via funding, but also serves as a nexus for interaction during panel reviews, site visits, and outreach. I am looking forward to meeting the large number of scientists that will be coming to the NSF during my rotation here and talking with them about their research and our common scientific interests. Who knows? Maybe we will come up with a new collaborative research idea that will solve some of the worlds’ great challenges!

Meet DEB: Megan Lewis and Michelle Bonilla


lewis

Megan at the circular terraces at Moray in Peru

 

 

What is your name and role here at DEB?

I’m Megan Lewis and I’m a Program Analyst, which means I provide data analytics for the division as well as provide in-panel support.

How did you find out about NSF?

I’ve been working at NSF for over 3 years at this point, but prior to that I didn’t know much about it. I was looking for an internship with the federal government that focused on environmental biology and solving environmental issues through science rather than policy. NSF allowed me to learn what PIs were doing to understand these issues and how to solve them.

Tell us a little about what you studied in school.

I studied Biology at my undergraduate university with a minor in Environmental Studies. My focus was on ecology and biodiversity conservation. After which, I obtained my master’s in Environmental Resource Policy as well as a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems. My capstone project was an in-depth review of global shark conservation policies for a global non-profit.

Cats or dogs?

Doggos. I have a slightly neurotic mutt named Marshall whom I adopted almost 3 years ago.

Anything else you’d like us to know?

My first job at NSF was working for DEB as a Winter Student in the Arlington, VA building. Due to the limited appointment type, I transferred over to MCB (Molecular and Cellular Biosciences) as a Program Assistant and finally a Program Specialist. I’m excited to come back to DEB after some time away.

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Michelle visiting her family in Honduras.

What is your name and role here at DEB?

I’m Michelle Bonilla and I am a Program Assistant (PA) and I am learning all about the process of setting up panels, handling travel, logistics, and all the other tasks PAs are responsible for.

How did you find out about NSF?

I found out about the NSF through USAJobs.gov and I thought that this would be a great opportunity to learn and grow, professionally. Thank you, NSF, for this opportunity!

Tell us a little about what you’re studying in school.

I am currently working towards finishing my undergrad in Psychology with a minor in Forensic Psychology at Marymount University.

Cats or dogs?

Both! They both have different traits that make them unique and special.

Which member of the Scooby-Doo gang do you most identify with?

Daphne! I love fashion and anything that involves solving a crime or case. Who says you can’t be fashion forward and solve mysteries at the same time?

 

New Functions in Research.gov


New Features

  • You can now submit full, research collaborative proposals with subawards in Research.gov
  • Sponsored Project Office (SPO)/Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) can now receive email notifications when PIs enable proposal access to SPOs/AORs

While proposers can still prepare and submit collaborative proposals with subawards as well as full, research non-collaborative proposals in FastLane, NSF encourages the research community to use the new Research.gov proposal system because as NSF continues to enhance the new system incrementally, your vital feedback is being incorporated during the development process.

For example, Research.gov has real-time compliance checks and feedback for each section, specific checks on the budget screens and for Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) uploads, and embedded relevant sections of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and video job aids, so you don’t have to go to multiple sites to look up guidance.

Initiating a Proposal in Research.gov

If you have not done so already, we invite you to initiate a proposal in Research.gov by following the steps outlined below:

  • Open Research.gov and click “Sign In” located at the top right of the screen;
  • Enter your NSF ID and password and click “Sign In;”
  • From the Research.gov “My Desktop” page, click “New! Prepare Proposals (Limited proposal types)” in the “Prepare & Submit Proposals tile” or go to this option from the top navigation bar by selecting the “Prepare & Submit Proposals” tab and clicking on “New! Prepare Proposals (Limited proposal types);”
  • Select the “Prepare Proposal” option in the “Prepare New Proposal” tile on the left side of the Proposal Preparation page; and
  • Follow the five-step proposal wizard to set up the proposal.  

Submitting Feedback

NSF wants to hear from you! To submit feedback about the new Research.gov Proposal Preparation and Submission Site:

  • Go to the Research.gov Feedback page;
  • Choose “Other” under the Site Area dropdown menu;
  • Include your feedback in the Comments or Suggestions field; and
  • Click Submit when you are ready to send your feedback to NSF.

Training Resources and Additional Information

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. If you have IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or rgov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

 

 

Now Hiring: Deputy Division Director!


The Directorate for Biological Sciences at the National Science Foundation is seeking a Deputy Division Director for the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB). This is a Senior Executive Service (SES) position within the Federal government, which can be filled as either a Federal employee, or as a rotator (Intergovernmental Personnel Act, 1-3 years), as described here:  https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/536933400

The Deputy Division Director plays a key role in the Division’s senior management, contributing to science planning, management, and program budget allocation and commitment for the Division. The Deputy Division Director advises and aids the Division Director, and is a member of the broader senior management team in the Directorate for Biological Sciences.

The Division of Environmental Biology supports research and training on evolutionary and ecological processes acting at the level of populations, species, communities, and ecosystems.

You can read more about DEB’s structure and mission here: https://www.nsf.gov/bio/deb/about.jsp

For details on how to apply, please visit the job announcement. You may email the Division Director Stephanie Hampton (shampton@nsf.gov) with any additional questions.

NEON Science Summit


Earth Lab, at the University of Colorado Boulder, is hosting a NEON Science Summit from October 15-17, 2019 to build a network of NEON data users and drive questions in ecology and environmental science. Applications to attend are due 7/22/2019.

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) representing 81 sites across the United States, is designed to understand how ecological properties are changing in response to a changing climate, land use, invasive species and other drivers at large spatial scales. This network “will enable a large and diverse user community to tackle new questions at scales not accessible to previous generations of ecologists.” NEON collects an incredible breadth of data on soil, water, organisms, and the atmosphere, ranging from field samples of beetle populations to airborne-based LiDAR data. NEON has 179 data products available that you can download for free!

If you want to connect with some of the 1000-1500 researchers downloading NEON data each month and are interested in collectively working through common challenges of NEON data use, we encourage you to attend the Summit!

The Summit will be an ‘unconference’ which emphasizes opportunities for learning, sharing, and engaging. This format allows participants to choose the topics that are most important to them and drive meeting themes based on their interests. Example themes for the NEON Science Summit include forest nutrient cycling, patterns of biodiversity, climate change and stream hydrology, or cutting-edge research approaches. We expect that working groups will coalesce around research topics of interest and will continue working together after the meeting.

The Summit will be held at the University of Colorado Boulder. Limited funds are available to support travel costs. Remote participation is an option if you are unable to attend in person. We aim to attract a diverse group of attendees from various career stages, institution types, disciplines, and backgrounds. Early careerists are encouraged to attend!

Please visit the NEON Science Summit website for more information: https://www.colorado.edu/earthlab/2019/06/13/neon-science-summit

Applications are due 7/22/2019! To attend, fill out an application here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdKEUW9gMrwes29rnSlBULbF-yJeIaL0BZUduq8w0QtWmAmQA/viewform?usp=sf_link

For questions about the Summit, email Chelsea Nagy: chelsea.nagy@colorado.edu.

 

2026 Idea Machine: Entries are in!


big idea

The National Science Foundation (NSF) received more than 800 idea submissions for the NSF 2026 Idea Machine competition. Entries were judged and 33 are still in the running for the grand prize. Now, we need YOU to help NSF determine which entries will advance to the next stage by watching entrants’ video pitches and commenting on the importance and potential impact of their Big Ideas, as well as providing suggestions on how their ideas can be improved.

Watch the video pitches and review entries from 05/31/2019 – 06/26/2019 at nsf2026imgallery.skild.com.

2019 Summer Meeting Schedule


DEB representatives will be attending the Evolution conference in Providence June 21-25 and the Ecological Society of America (ESA) conference in Louisville August 11-16. We will also be sending representatives to the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (JMIH) July 24-28 and to the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) meeting June 10-13 as well as several other meetings throughout the summer.

Come and stop by the NSF exhibitor booth at both Evolution and ESA to chat with staff and Program Officers. We’re ready to talk about the latest NSF news and funding opportunities. Be sure to scoop up your Famous Biologist Trading Cards before they’re all gone and remember to visit our colleagues at the NEON booth.

Q&A Sessions

  • We’ll also be hosting a session at ESA on Tuesday, August 13 from 11:30-1:15 entitled, “Conversations with NSF: Research and Training Opportunities.”
  • The Evolution session will be Sunday, June 23 from 1:15-2:15 in room 554.
  • The JMIH session will be July 26 from 12:05-12:35.

We hope to see you there!

The table below shows which Program Officers and Senior Managers will be attending meetings.

Program Officers and Senior Managers          

Cluster

Digital Data in Biodiversity Research, New Haven, CT

June 10-12

Andrea Weeks SBS

EEID, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

June 10-13

Katharina Dittmar SBS
Sam Scheiner EP

Evolution, Providence, RI

June 21-25

David Cannatella SBS
George Gilchrist EP
Stephanie Hampton Division Director
Simon Malcomber SBS
Paco Moore EP
Leslie Rissler Acting Deputy Division Director
Sam Scheiner EP
Chris Schneider SBS

Microbial Population Biology Gordon Conference, Andover, NH

July 7-12

Susi Remold EP

Animal Behavior Society, Chicago, IL

July 22-27

Colette St. Mary EP

Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Snowbird, UT

July 24-28

David Cannatella SBS
Leslie Rissler Acting Deputy Division Director
Chris Schneider SBS

Botany 2019, Tucson, AZ

July 27-31

Andrea Weeks SBS

ESA, Louisville, KY

August 11-16

Elizabeth Blood ES
Lynn Christenson ES
Dan Gruner PCE
Stephanie Hampton Division Director
Matt Kane ES
Doug Levey PCE
Kendra McLauchlan ES
Betsy von Holle PCE