Remembering Our Friend and Colleague, George Gilchrist


george

It is with great sadness that we relay news of the recent passing of our friend and long-time colleague, George Gilchrist. George joined NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology in 2009, and he was a stalwart and beloved member of the Evolutionary Processes cluster since that time. George made many valuable contributions to the NSF, the Biological Sciences Directorate, and the scientific community writ large.

George earned a B.S. at Arizona State University, an M.S. at Brown University and then followed his advisor, Joel Kingsolver, to the University of Washington, where he got his PhD in 1993 working on the evolution of thermal sensitivity. His most famous paper, which has been cited over 400 times, came from that dissertation (Gilchrist, G. W. 1995. Specialists and generalists in changing environments. I. Fitness landscapes of thermal sensitivity. The American Naturalist, 146(2), 252-270).

Following his post-doc at the University of Washington with Ray Huey, George took a faculty position at Clarkson University for 4 years, before moving on to the College of William & Mary for an additional 7 years. He then came to NSF. As a program officer in the Evolutionary Processes cluster, George played an important role in establishing the Dimensions of Biodiversity program with co-funding partners in Brazil, China and South Africa, as well as in managing the BEACON Science and Technology Center. George’s career reflected a keen interest in understanding the relationship between genetic mechanisms and ecological complexity as well as improvement of the teaching of Evolution. He became an elected AAAS Fellow in 2013.

George will be missed for his dedication to science and the scientific community, for his generosity and love of friends and family, and for his wit and charm that made him such a beloved member of DEB. He took a special interest in guiding early-career scientists through the process of writing proposals and managing awards. With his wife Katy, George was generous in welcoming and entertaining many members of the NSF community and introducing new program officers and staff to the DC region and to each other. He loved cooking outstanding meals, keeping a wonderful wine cellar, and preparing delicious cocktails. He also loved opera, and a wide variety of music, attending many concerts in the area. The Robert Burns night parties he organized with haggis, single malt scotch and poetry readings were the stuff of legend. His warmth as a host and close connections with local restaurants made for many memorable panel dinners and gatherings that extended beyond the workday.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Katy Gilchrist, son David Gilchrist and David’s fiancé, Brittany Moore, both from St. Paul, MN.

You may learn more about his life in his obituary in the Washington Post here.

We invite George’s many friends and colleagues to offer their thoughts and memories of him in response to this blog post in the comment section below. There will be a slight delay before your comment becomes visible.

 

Now Hiring: Permanent Program Directors in Ecosystem Science, Evolutionary Processes and Population & Community Ecology!


The Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation has initiated searches for three permanent Program Directors, one each in Ecosystem Science, Evolutionary Processes, and Population and Community Ecology, all of which close on March 5, 2020.

These are full-time positions within the Federal Government. The responsibilities of Program Directors include program planning and management; representation of the program, Division, and the Foundation within the scientific community; communication within and outside of NSF; and scientific and programmatic leadership. Additionally, these positions involve professional development, including active participation in professional activities, as well as pursuing individual research, as workload and travel funds permit.

For more details and how to apply, please visit the job announcement: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/558925200.

 

 

Upcoming Virtual Office Hour: Rules of Life Opportunities


Join us February 10th from 1pm-2pm EST for DEB’s next Virtual Office Hour. Program Officers will provide an introduction to the Rules of Life (RoL) track within our core programs solicitation (NSF 20-502) and Understanding Rules of Life (NSF 20-512 and NSF 20-513) one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. Representatives from each of the four DEB core programs will be available for questions. Questions can be on any DEB topic.

Please use the registration link below to participate. Upcoming DEB Virtual Office Hours are listed here and below, so sign up for blog notifications for reminders. Also, follow us on the NSF Biology Twitter account (@NSF_BIO) for same day alerts about the DEB Virtual Office Hours.

REGISTER HERE

If you can’t make it to this or any future office hours, don’t worry! Come back here, as we will be posting a recap and presentation slides to our blog. As always, our Virtual Office Hours will happen on the second Monday of every month from 1pm-2pm EST. Below is a list of upcoming dates and topics, so be sure to add them to your calendars!

Upcoming Office Hours and Topics

February 10: Rules of Life Opportunities

March 9: RAPID/EAGER/Workshops

April 13: Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS)

May 11: CAREERs

June 8: BIO Postdoc Program

BIO Program Officers at AGU


The Divisions of Environmental Biology (DEB) and of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) will be attending the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, California next week, December 9-13.

Come and stop by the NSF exhibitor booth to chat with staff and Program Officers. Note that the booth will also have representatives from Geosciences (GEO). We are ready to talk about the latest NSF news and funding opportunities.

DEB and DBI programs will also be represented at a session on Wednesday, December 11 from 9am-12pm entitled, “Navigating the NSF System.” A short presentation will be followed by one-on-one time with Program Officers. It’s good for experienced as well as new PIs.

We hope to see you there!

Event details:

Wednesday, December 11, 9am-12pm

@ Moscone South, Lower Lobby – Room 4

https://www.agu.org/Events/FM19-Navigating-the-NSF-system

DEB and DBI representatives attending AGU:

Montona Futrell-Griggs, DBI, NEON

Matthew Kane, DEB Ecosystems & MSB-NES

Kendra McLauchlan, DEB Ecosystems & Navigating the New Arctic & LTREB

Roland Roberts, DBI, NEON

John Schade, DEB Ecosystems & LTER

 

 

Upcoming Biology Integration Institutes Webinar


Please join us for the upcoming webinar about the Biology Integration Institutes (BII) on November 18th, 2019 at 2pm EST!

During this webinar, program directors from the BIO BII Team will address questions about the recently released solicitation (NSF 20-508).

Use the registration link below to register for our November 18th webinar.

Click here to register

The BII is a new funding opportunity to strengthen the connections between biological subdisciplines and encourage a reintegration of biology. This funding opportunity is a part of BIO’s larger efforts to stimulate integrative thinking in the biological research community.

To learn more about the Biology Integration Institutes, visit the solicitation and program website.

Letters of Intent for Implementation Proposals are due December 20, 2019. The deadline for full proposals, in both the Design and Implementation tracks, is February 6, 2020.

Share Your #NSFstories


NSF is active on social media platforms and is ready to engage with you and your exciting science. But the internet is loud and simply bursting with cat videos, so what’s the quickest way to get in touch with NSF?

Tag us!

As scientists, you can appreciate the value of proper labeling and classification, and that’s what those fun hashtags are for! Use #NSFstories and/or #NSFfunded when posting online so we can see and share your discoveries or events.

Email us!

Do you want us to help promote your NSF-funded work on our platforms? Send your research updates to your Program Officer and they will forward them on to our social media team.

Check us out on:

  NSF NSF BIO
Twitter www.twitter.com/NSF http://www.twitter.com/NSF_BIO
Facebook www.facebook.com/US.NSF  
Instagram www.instagram.com/nsfgov  
Pinterest www.pinterest.com/USNSF  
YouTube www.youtube.com/user/VideosatNSF  

 

NEON Webinar


From our friends over at the DBI blog,

“The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced its intention to carry out a competition to manage the Operations and Maintenance of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). The Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 19-080) announcing this decision:

  • provides general information on NEON,
  • communicates that NSF anticipates initiating the competition,
  • provides information on provisional goals,
  • outlines a timeline for the competition, and
  • invites comments and questions from eligible organizations interested in this competition (submit via neon-bot@nsf.gov).

NSF will be hosting a webinar on September 11th at 2pm regarding the planned competition for operation and management of NEON. Individuals, teams, and organizations interested in submitting proposals should try to participate.

This webinar will discuss the timeline for executing the competition for the management of NEON Operations and Maintenance. It will highlight key decision points by NSF and identify critical dates for activities related to the competition. The webinar will also provide information on the post-award oversight requirements for awards managed through cooperative agreements (CAs). Following the presentation, there will be a question and answer period.

For further details about the competition, please consult the NEON Program webpage and DCL (NSF 19-080).

For more details about NEON, please consult the NEON Project webpage.”

Undergraduate and Graduate Opportunities at NSF


How’s your summer going? Too early to start thinking about next summer? What about winter or spring break? We don’t think so! Be sure and share these opportunities with your undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates.

Summer Scholars: undergraduate and graduate internships at NSF

NSF hosts about 20 Summer Scholars for 10 weeks during the summer. NSF Program Officers serve as mentors and create a work plan for the student. That work plan is submitted to the NSF Summer Scholars Program for approval and then those internships are advertised through 3 organizations; the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the Quality Education for Minorities Network (QEM), and the Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS). Students need to apply through one of those three associations, not to NSF.

This internship program is designed to serve under-represented students. The purpose is to give students the opportunity to see what it’s like to serve within the Federal sector as well as encourage students to pursue advanced studies in STEM.

As for compensation, summer scholarships can include housing and stipends for undergraduate and graduate students.

REU Sites: research experiences for undergraduates

If students would rather do research at a University lab than work at a Federal agency, they can apply to an REU Site. REU Sites receive funding from NSF to engage undergraduate students in research. Like the Summer Scholar Program, students don’t apply through NSF but have to contact an REU Site directly and apply with that particular site. A list of REU Sites can be found here.

REU Supplements: research experiences for undergraduates

Investigators currently receiving funding from NSF for awards can apply for REU Supplements. Supplements are designed to give undergraduates a genuine research experience similar to REU Site experiences but instead of being offered through an institution, supplements are managed by NSF-funded investigators. Students must seek out those supplement opportunities through active awards, reaching out to labs and inquiring if they have applied (or are planning to apply) for supplements, or paying attention to their local college or university job board.

Stipends for REU students vary depending on location and project but they generally range between $6,000-8,000 and last between 6-10 weeks.

Special Programs for Undergraduates

Here’s a collection of special programs that provide either direct (i.e., from NSF) or indirect (i.e., from an awardee institution) funding for students interested in training and curricula development. They vary in application processes, stipends, and objectives so read them carefully and don’t hesitate to reach out to the program contacts listed on the program webpages.

Pathways: internships and fellowships at Federal agencies

Maybe Federal service is where your heart is, after all. If that’s the case, you’ll need to apply through the USAJobs portal. Of course, you can apply for any federal government job that you qualify for, but there are specific programs that help students and recent graduates get their foot in the door.

  1. There’s the Pathways Internship Program for current students.
  2. The Recent Graduates Program for, you guessed it, recent graduates.
  3. And the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program for those with an advanced degree (Masters or PhD).

Pathways interns and PMFs earn an annual salary that varies by agency and location. Some Federal agencies may also offer internships outside of the Pathways Program but those are generally unpaid.

 

Reintegrating Biology Town Halls


Learn about this exciting new initiative and register for town hall discussions from the Office of the Assistant Director’s blog here or below.

“Biology has the goal of understanding the processes that generate and sustain life.  Despite this unifying principle, the actual practice of modern biology has become increasingly fragmented into subdisciplines due, in part, to specialized approaches required for deep study of narrowly defined problems.  BIO aims to encourage a unification of biology. Our goal is to stimulate creative integration of diverse biological disciplines using innovative experimental, theoretical, and computational approaches to discover underlying principles operating across all hierarchical levels of life, from biomolecules to organisms, species, ecosystems, and biomes.

Earlier this year we asked you, as members of the biological sciences community, for high-level ideas on the research questions and topics that would benefit from NSF investment in a truly integrated research environment. The responses from across the country offered a broad range of fundamental biological questions spanning the scales of biological organization. BIO now wants to grow and enrich the conversation with a view to priming the formation of new NSF-supported research teams around these questions.

To that end, we invite you to register for one of several Virtual Town Hall discussions, which will take place the week of September 16, 2019. These events will help identify themes for more focused, in-person discussions that will take place later in the fall – fertile soil for germination of new, foundational cross-disciplinary ideas that will unify and advance the biological sciences.

More details can be found at https://reintegratingbiology.org/.”