Who We Are

The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) is an organizational unit within the US National Science Foundation, Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO). DEB supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Scientific emphases range across many evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Areas of research include biodiversity, phylogenetic systematics, molecular evolution, life history evolution, natural selection, ecology, biogeography, ecosystem services, conservation biology, global change, and biogeochemical cycles. Research on origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and evolutionary history may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative experiments; synthesis activities; as well as theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or simulation modeling.

Further information about DEB, the funding programs we manage, and other opportunities relevant to our PI communities can be found on our Division homepage: http://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?org=DEB

Why a Blog?

Online forms of communication have changed dramatically in the last few years, and two-way information exchange – facilitated by freely available social media tools – is now the expected standard for a wide variety of organizations. Such mechanisms of information exchange pose new challenges for any organization, but also opportunities, as they offer new ways to directly engage and better understand the communities we serve.

The blog format is particularly well-suited to hosting discussions on a wide variety of topics and sustaining those discussions over extended periods of time. We believe this blog will be an important tool to facilitate meaningful conversations about DEB and, more broadly, provide the means to easily share DEB news, accomplishments, and ideas.

DEBrief Post and Comment Authorship

DEBrief is a collaborative effort of the Division of Environmental Biology Science Staff.  We use the display name “DEB Science Staff” to reflect this multi-contributor approach. Responsibility for creating posts, moderating comments, and posting replies is shared by a working group of DEB staff with representation from each of the four programmatic clusters and Division Executives. Individual display names would not necessarily reflect authorship and editorial contributions. While occasional posts and comments may be signed in the text by the individual authors, most will simply use the shared pen by-line.

The current working group members are:

John Adamec, Program Analyst: Author/Editor and Site Administration

Janice Bossart, Evolutionary Processes Program Officer: Author/Editor

Prosanta Chakrabarty, Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences Program Officer: Author/Editor

Lou Kaplan, Ecosystem Science Cluster Program Officer: Author/Editor

Doug Levey, Population and Community Ecology Program Officer: Author/Editor

Colette St. Mary, Evolutionary Processes Program Officer: Author/Editor

Susi Remold, Population and Community Ecology Program Officer: Author/Editor

Gregory Adams, Program Support Manager: Staff Engagement

Paula Mabee, Division Director: Contributions and Oversight

Alan Tessier, Deputy Division Director: Contributions and Oversight

Blog Lifespan

DEBrief is the first foray of an NSF Division into blogging and, as far as we have heard from our colleagues, the first two-way social media effort managed by NSF scientific program staff for the research community.  We have been afforded this opportunity from NSF and after a successful initial run, have graduated to an operational status. We look forward to continuing this engagement for the foreseeable future.

Please continue to share our blog with your research colleagues and help us make this effort a success.