The Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) is excited to host the following symposia and workshops at our 2017 meeting in Montgomery, AL.

ASB 2017 Symposia

  • Advancing herbaria in the age of digitization
    Organizers Wendy Zomlefer (University of Georgia) and Richard Carter (Valdosta State University)
    There is a great need for more regular professional development opportunities for new and experienced curators.  The Society of Herbarium Curators, at the national level, has made great strides in ensuring that botanists have access to presentations about herbaria, especially on topics concerning proven strategies that can be replicated beyond one institution.  We propose to continue this successful program via a symposium at ASB 2017, with presentations that provide new ideas for increasing the broader impact of herbaria, with focus on demonstrating the value of collections.  We have assembled some of the successful speakers from Botany 2016 and other venues for our ASB constituents that include curators and non-curators, as well as students and early-career botanists.  This panel of invited speakers, from a range of institution types, will share their successes and advice for proactively managing herbaria in this era of difficult internal and external support.  Attendees will hear about several ways that our natural history collections impact formal education, public outreach and service to the biological sciences.  Our hope is that these presentations will inspire others to expand their own leadership and opportunities and will share these insights at the local level.  In addition, these models will promote increased use of biodiversity collections in research and teaching.  Promoting the value of biodiversity collections to administrators and other professionals, non-scientists, and the public at large ensures collections preservation into the future.
  • Space and time in southeastern ecosystems: ESA SE Chapter new research symposium
    Organizers Julie Tuttle (UNC Chapel Hill) and Alan Wilson (Auburn University)

    From the Appalachians east to the Atlantic, south to the Gulf, and west to the Mississippi River, the southeastern U.S. includes parts of 12 ecoregions (EPA Level III), encompassing high ecosystem diversity that reflects spatial variation in geology, topography, and climate.  Disturbance patterns vary across the region as well – from periodic hurricanes that track inland from the coast; to natural and prescribed fire in forests of the coastal plain, piedmont, and inland plateau; to landslides, ice storms, and insect outbreaks in the mountains – and combine with changing land use, species invasions, and climate change to further influence ecosystem diversity and dynamics.  This symposium features new research across space and time in southeastern ecosystems, highlighting the rich array of ecological questions and approaches generated by this complex region.  Presentations will encompass a range of ecological systems and issues, including spatial patterns of biodiversity; mountain forest dynamics; long-term fire history; seed dispersal under climate warming; narratives of deforestation; land cover and stream quality; nutrient enrichment in freshwater systems; cross-scale effects in coastal systems; sea level rise and plant community disassembly; succession in metacommunities; herpetofaunal occupancy modeling; and more.
    Organizers Judy Awong-Taylor (Georgia Gwinnett College) and Chris Finelli (UNC Wilmington)
    The Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) is a national initiative developed by leaders at NSF, HHMI, and NIGMS designed to inspire whole departments to undertake the types of reforms called for in Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action. The second summer Southeast Regional PULSE (SERP) Institute was held in June, 2016 at Wofford College and was attended by a diverse spectrum of institution types. Twenty new teams participated in the three-day Institute. In addition to the new teams, seventeen of the twenty institutions that attended the first SERP Institute in 2014 attended and participated in this Institute. Participants attended a diversity of workshops and sessions and developed a plan of action to target improvements to their programs.  This morning’s session is a poster discussion session in which the teams will share the progress, challenges, and insights from their work since the June Institute.   As part of our IRB for this work, this session is by invitation only in order to collect data on the project’s progress and ensure frank and open discussion among teams. Posters from this session will also be presented during the general ASB Poster Sessions. ASB members are strongly encouraged to stop by to learn what these institutions are doing and discuss how PULSE and the SERP institutions can inspire their own departments to implement the recommendations of Vision & Change.
  • 2nd Annual Southeastern Symposium on Zebrafish Development and Genetics
    Organizer Ted Zerucha (Appalachian State University)
    Following the successful inaugural ASB Zebrafish Symposium at the 2016 ASB Annual Meeting, we will hold the 2017 ASB Zebrafish Symposium as part of the 2017 ASB Annual Meeting.  In the last 20-25 years zebrafish has emerged as a major model system to address questions related to Developmental, Cell and Molecular Biology and has also become a useful teaching tool in the classroom.  This symposium is an opportunity for zebrafish scientists in all fields of study from the south east to meet, share ideas and form potential collaborations.  The symposium will have opportunities for PI and advanced graduate students to give oral presentations and will also feature a poster session. 

ASB 2017 Workshops

  • Improving Scientific Communication: Crafting Your Message
    Thursday 8:00AM – 12:00 PM in Montgomery 6
    Organizer Bruce Kirchoff (UNC Greensboro)

    We live in a post-truth era, a time where truth is not just relative but manufactured to serve political ends. How can we as scientists, as people who believe that our knowledge has been hard-won and is closer to the truth than any other, convey this truth to others in a post-truth world? We will use traditional storytelling techniques to address this question and improve our presentations. After a brief introduction, participants will have the opportunity to work on their presentation, present an abbreviated version, and receive feedback. This is a hands-on workshop. Please bring your computer and the PowerPoint slides for your conference talk to the workshop. In addition to preparing your slides, think about what single image would convey the essence of what you want your audience to take away from your talk. Attendance limited to the first 12 attendees.
  • HHMI Biointeractive
    Thursday 2:00PM – 5:00PM in Montgomery 6
    Organizer Brenda Royal
    HHMI Biointeractive is a storehouse of resources for biology educators at all levels.  The programs of Biointeractive provide engaging, cutting edge science with activities, videos, data analysis, interactives and online labs that connect students to content in a meaningful way.  This workshop will provide biology educators with materials to teach the four Big Ideas of AP Biology: evolution, energy, information, and system interactions. Educators will also be introduced to the plethora of materials available through the HHMI Website that are free. Teachers will walk away with lessons in four major areas of biology that can be used the next day in class, including all materials necessary to make them engaging and content rich.
    A large number of students attending are transitioning from ideals of post-graduate programs to career decisions.  The role of science educators cannot be overstated in preparing biologists of the future.  This presentation is aimed at current educators, as well as those considering education, as a source of new ideas for the presentation of science to biology students at all levels.

  • Improving Scientific Communication: Adding Enthusiasm to Your Presentation
    Friday 8:00AM – 12:00PM in Montgomery 6
    Organizer Bruce Kirchoff (UNC Greensboro)
    Drawing inspiration from The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, we will use playful techniques to add enthusiasm to our scientific presentations. Adding enthusiasm is the single easiest thing you can do to improve your presentations. Participants will come away from this workshop having laughed a lot, and with increased confidence in their ability to connect with their audience. This is a hands-on workshop. No advance preparation is necessary. Attendance limited to the first 15 attendees.
  • Southeastern Regional PULSE Institutes: Inspiring department level transformation of life sciences undergraduate education
    Friday 2:00PM – 3:30PM in Alabama B
    Organizers Chris Finelli (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Karen Aguirre (Coastal Carolina University), Judy Awong-Taylor (Georgia Gwinnett College), Jung Choi (Georgia Institute of Technology), Ellen S. Goldey (Florida Atlantic University), and Mary Smith (North Carolina A&T)
    The Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) has a strong regional presence in the Southeast. In this workshop, the Southeast Regional PULSE (SERP) leadership will share insights on how the SERP Summer Institutes of 2014 and 2016 have inspired teams of faculty and administrators from diverse intuitions to re-envision and change their department’s approach to undergraduate biology education. Workshop participants will engage with the topics that have emerged as foci for change among the majority of SERP teams: 1) incorporating CUREs (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences) into the curriculum and 2) strategies for developing students’ cognitive and metacognitive skills. Facilitators will share successes and strategies for overcoming barriers to reform based on the experiences of the diverse institutions that have participated in the SERP Summer Institutes.
  • Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC)
    Saturday 8:00AM – 2:00PM in Riverview 1
    Organizer Zack Murrell (Appalachian State University)
    The SERNEC all-day workshop will have two goals.  One goal is to provide a training session for students and faculty that want an overview of herbarium curation, examining current best practices from plant collecting to digitization and georeferencing.  This will be appropriate for beginners or those seeking a primer on recent changes in best practices.  A second goal is to provide an update on current opportunities to involve students and volunteers in transcription and georeferencing projects.  This will be of particular interest to those that want to add museum informatics projects to their classrooms or to engage native plant, conservation and gardening groups in our regional herbarium efforts.  Students, faculty and professional biologists are encouraged to attend.  Coffee breaks and lunch will be provided.