A New DEB Blog

Welcome everyone to the first blog in the history of the National Science Foundation!  Those of us in the Division of Environmental Biology are grateful to NSF for the opportunity to take the agency another step forward in its social media presence, and most importantly, for the chance to engage with the DEB community in a new way.  We hope you find this site useful, and welcome your comments in response to any post.  Please do be aware that this blog represents a federal agency, thus there are rules we must follow in both the review of and responses to comments.

In the coming weeks to months, you will find a variety of information on this site.  In part, we launched this blog because DEB has undergone significant changes in recent times, perhaps most notably to the proposal review system in our core programs.  As announced in a prior letter to the environmental biology community, we are now engaged in a broad evaluation of that new approach, one that includes multiple forms of dialogue with all stakeholders.  We view this site as one important part of that approach, thus data and other information on the new review system will be shared here in the near future.

That said, this site will not only address the new review procedures.  We plan to share a wide range of information here, including news on compelling science done by the DEB community, introductions to DEB staff members, and information on other programs and developments at NSF that may be of interest to readers of this blog.  In the end, we hope it represents a way for us to get useful information to you in a timely and accessible fashion, and for you to share your thoughts with us.  Like any good blog, we hope it evolves with time in response to both our ideas and yours. (As described in more detail on the About page, bear in mind that this blog is a 6-month pilot for now.)

Finally, some thanks are due.  Those in the leadership of the BIO directorate, and of the NSF legal, policy and public affairs offices have all been very supportive of this new venture.  Likewise, program officers and other staff members throughout DEB have helped enormously in getting this site off the ground, and have happily agreed to take on the new responsibilities it will bring.  I especially want to thank DEB-ers John Adamec and Greg Adams for all of their considerable efforts to date.

More to come soon! In the meantime, I encourage you to let others know about this blog.  The more people that see it, the more useful it’s likely to become to all of us.


Alan Townsend

Director, Division of Environmental Biology

18 thoughts on “A New DEB Blog

  1. Alan, thanks for making this happen. I appreciate NSF’s efforts to involve the community in these significant changes that are happening in DEB.

      • Tim, Thanks for the update. I’m sure other readers will find that helpful as well. We will see what we can do on this end. A button for the RSS feed option should now appear in the right-hand column of widgets.

  2. Glad to see this go live! Hopefully it will evolve into a useful tool for two-way communication between DEB and the community it serves. The blog is the just the latest in a long string of innovations within NSF that have been championed by DEB folks . Way to keep pushing the envelope!

  3. Great to see this – I just led a wordpress.com website/blog development workshop for fellow graduate students at Cornell, so it’s fun to see NSF’s DEB using the wordpress platform!

  4. Great. Next Step:

    Open a Google Plus account.
    Post your blog articles there

    Create +Pages for any hard topics/ departments/

    Get your G+ account published in.+Frasier Cains Science on Google+ list

    Establish Monthly Science “Hangouts” to reach out to the public. the President did one today,its Mainstream…
    +Adam Black

  5. Is there a source where we can find how many liberal arts institutions and community colleges have received funding every year from DEB?

    • Thanks for the question. There is not currently anything from NSF that nicely summarizes what you are looking for. However, we are planning a future post that will look at primarily undergraduate institutions under the DEB preliminary proposal system and may address your question.

      In the mean time, information about all awards made by NSF can be searched here and can be downloaded for analysis. However, the data available there do not classify institution types.

  6. Pingback: Preliminary Proposal Survey: Respond by May 1, 2013 | DEBrief

  7. Pingback: Our Half-Blogoversary | DEBrief

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