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Tuesday, April 14

EEB 525 - Professional Development

All -- This Fall 2015 I will again be teaching the Professional Development course for graduate students; a description of the course is given below.  The course meets twice a week, Monday from 9-10 am and Wednesday from 2-4 pm.  The course is limited to 10 students, and admission preference will be given first to EEB PhD students in their second year or above.  To register, please email me (gwk@umich.edu) a very brief description of your standing in EEB and your interest in the course, and include your student ID number so that our staff can register you in the course or put you on the wait list to get in.

If you have any questions please let me know,
George Kling

EEB 525, Professional Development
Success in all professional endeavors requires clear, effective, and persuasive communication in both written and verbal forms.  This course helps students identify key components of writing and speaking in terms of proper grammar, syntax, and organization, and focuses on the application of these components in academic and specifically in science communication.  The course is designed to be practical for graduate students at the stage of developing research ideas and writing proposals or presenting seminars, and begins the term with a brief review of methods to read science literature effectively and synthesize it in support of novel research questions or hypotheses.  For the next several weeks students will develop their proposals or papers as we discuss topics of structure, argumentation, audience, and tone (different for a proposal than for a published paper).  Editing and peer-review both in and out of class will be used to build skills in recognizing logical, convincing writing.  The remainder of the course (~2/5th ) will focus on verbal communication of science in three formats:  (1) formal seminars or conference presentations, where students will present a formal talk to the class at the end of the semester, (2) informal small group discussions such as job interviews, stakeholder meetings, or oral prelim exams, and (3) outreach to the public or managers such as in lectures or media broadcasts.  Students will role-play in class on both sides of the interview process in order to better understand the nuance of answering questions yet staying on message.  The course has one 1-hr lecture period and one 2-hr discussion period per week; the text for the class is Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.  Admission preference will be given first to EEB Ph.D. students in their second year or above.

Friday, April 10

Molecular Aquatic Ecology at Wayne State - please note the change in date

I previously emailed an announcement to you about an intensive field course, Bio5180, Molecular Aquatic Ecology, that we intend to teach this summer.  Due to a conflict with the University calendar, we have had to move it forward by one week, now starting on July 21 and ending on August 6
I am therefore sending you a corrected announcement of the course, with correct dates of the course, which are July 21 – August 6
I will appreciate it if you would share the corrected announcement (below) with your colleagues and students.  Complete information about the course can be found athttp://sun.science.wayne.edu/~jram/bio5180/
Dr. Jeffrey Ram, Bio5180 Molecular Aquatic Ecology course director
540 E. Canfield St.
Detroit, MI 48201 USA
P: (313) 577-1558

Thursday, April 9

ESA Registration & Housing are now open!

ESA Connection

Registration is now open!! Take advantage of the lowest available registration fees for the 100th ESA Annual Meeting to be held in August 9-14, 2015, in Baltimore, MD. The deadline for Early Bird Registration is June 18, 2015. Any forms received after the Early Bird deadline will be processed at the higher regular rates, so submit your register today to take full advantage of the maximum discount and avoid the last minute rush.
To access Meeting Registration forms visit http://esa.org/baltimore/meeting-registration-forms/
The electronic form is also accessible by logging in to http://eservices.esa.org directly and clicking on the “Events” tab. Your login details are as follows:
Login ID: Nadelhoffer
Password: 002838
After you register, be sure to visit https://aws.passkey.com/event/13757101/owner/290/home to make reservations for lodging. Rooms will fill quickly so don’t delay.
Registration for Child day care is also open, go to http://esa.org/baltimore/child-care-at-esa-100th-annual-meeting/
Links to a wealth of other information about the 100th ESA Annual Meeting are also available on the ESA website at http://baltimore.org/esa. Visit the site to find descriptions of program activities including plenary sessions, field trips, workshops, and ticketed events. Information about the location and venue, local attractions, and meeting amenities such as child care services is available as well.
If you have any questions or encounter difficulty, please contact Tricia Crocker, ESA Registrar, at registrar@esa.org. We hope to see you soon in Baltimore!

Centennial video! Familiar faces of ESA remark on the place of the society in their careers as ESA embarks on its second century in this one minute preview of ESA’s centennial video, to debut at the Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Watch on Vimeo.
Please note: Abstract submission does NOT register you for the conference. If you have submitted an abstract, you also must register to attend! All presenting authors will receive notification of their abstract acceptance in advance of the Early Bird registration deadline.
PS: If we organized a blood drive would you consider donating? We need to know if there is enough interest so please reply to michelle@esa.org Your reply to this email does not commit you.

Interested in Ecology Technician position - paid or volunteer


I am interested in getting information about the possibility of Research or Field Technician paid or volunteer positions. Do you know of any graduate students with funding who may need a technician to help with field research or in the lab during the upcoming 2015-2016 school year?

Thank you,
Deanna Dupuy

Wednesday, April 8

Research Opportunities for Students


My name is Anna Murray and I am an animal welfare research associate with the Detroit Zoo. We are currently recruiting volunteers to help us collect data on a post-occupancy evaluation of the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain research experience in a zoo setting. Would you be able to post the attached flyer or is there a better contact for your school or department?

Thank you,
Anna Murray | Research Associate
Detroit Zoological Society
8450 W. 10 Mile Rd.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 541-5717 | Ext. 3215

EPA STARS fellowships!

The EPA STAR fellowships are back! The deadline is May 26th:

Science Communication Training Info Session: RELATE

This summer, Rackham Graduate School and the RELATE team invite you to participate in the second RELATE communication training workshop for STEM researchers. If you are interested in improving your communication skills and engaging in scientific communication to lay-audiences, then the RELATE workshop is for you! Here are details of what you will gain during the 10 week workshop:
  • Learn effective communication techniques in order to talk with lay-audiences about your research
  • Build a polished elevator pitch and a lay-audience style talk on an area of interest in your field
  • Present your talk during a series of science cafe outreach events in late summer and fall of 2015
If you are a candidate-level PhD student and are interested in participating in RELATE, please attend one of our requiredinformation sessions:

Required Information Sessions (and registration links):
10-11am on Wednesday, April 15 (http://www.rackham.umich.edu/content/relate-lay-audience-communication-workshop-stem-graduate-students-1)
4-5pm on Friday, April 17 (http://www.rackham.umich.edu/content/relate-lay-audience-communication-workshop-stem-graduate-students-2)The information sessions will cover more details regarding the workshop itself, RELATE outreach, and the application process. If you have any questions about the workshop or the information sessions, please e-mail us at RELATE.coordinators@umich.eduWe hope to see you on April 15th or 17th!

More about RELATE:
RELATE is a science communication training and public engagement organization that facilitates conversations between researchers and local communities. During our practice-based workshop, graduate students and early career researchers develop lay-audience communication skills and create an original portfolio of digital media and oral presentations. Workshop participants then put their communication skills into action and engage with Southeastern Michigan communities both online and through our public engagement events. You can also visit us at www.learntoRELATE.org.

Monday, April 6

Experienced GSIs Needed

2015 Teaching GSI Recruitment Announcement: We need speakers for Freshman Orientation Morning of Day 2 Sessions. 

The Office of New Student Programs has several openings for graduate student speakers. Please read the information below, and apply if you are interested and available between June and August 2015 (GSIs select their desired sessions and presentations are divided between those hired).

The University of Michigan Office of New Student Programs is gearing up for our Summer Orientation program and invites experienced GSIs to help welcome our new students to the university. Each summer, freshmen and their parents who attend Orientation have the opportunity to hear from a professor and graduate student instructor about their roles in the classroom during a portion of the Academics and Michigan session that occurs on their second day. We are looking for energetic and motivated graduate student instructors (who have taught previously or who are currently teaching) that represent the many academic disciplines at the University of Michigan to present this summer.

To apply, please send a resume, a cover letter explaining your interest as a GSI speaker (include the subjects/department you currently and have previously been a GSI) and your summer availability (particularly between the dates listed below) to lmiddlet@umich.edu  by April 17, 2015 at 5pm.

Invited candidates will be asked to make a 5 minute sample presentation based on the presentation details below as part of their interview with ONSP staff.

Following a spring meeting to prepare the speakers, each selected GSI will make 5 minute presentations at approximately 5 of our 32 Academics at Michigan sessions during Summer Orientation on the Morning of Day Two (MD2), which occurs from ~8:25-10am, Mondays-Thursdays from June 9-August 6 2015. Specific GSI presentation times will be determined over the next month, as we finalize the other session features.

Your presentation may include:
·         Explaining the many roles of GSIs
·         What GSIs expect from undergraduates in the classroom
·         Your path from undergraduate to graduate student
·         Other topics as suggested by ONSP/ the MD2 planning committee
 GSIs are not able to use power point at the interview or for the actual MD2 sessions, but may read from notes (your talking points are not expected to be memorized).

This is your chance to tell freshmen what you wish YOUR students knew in the classroom. Typical group sizes are 250-300 and include BOTH students and parents, so this is a great opportunity to use and build upon your public speaking ability. GSIs are compensated $45 for each presentation, and will be expected to be available for a minimum of three presentations during the summer (June-August).
The exact dates for the sessions are below.

Help shape the newest members of our campus community! Please contact me if you have any questions.

Day 2 Session Date
TuesdayJune 9
WednesdayJune 10
ThursdayJune 11
MondayJune 15
TuesdayJune 16
WednesdayJune 17
ThursdayJune 18
MondayJune 22
TuesdayJune 23
WednesdayJune 24
ThursdayJune 25
Monday, June 29
TuesdayJune 30
WednesdayJuly 1
MondayJuly 6
TuesdayJuly 7
WednesdayJuly 8
ThursdayJuly 9
MondayJuly 13
TuesdayJuly 14
WednesdayJuly 15
Thursday, July 16
MondayJuly 20
TuesdayJuly 21
WednesdayJuly 22
ThursdayJuly 23
MondayJuly 27
TuesdayJuly 28
WednesdayJuly 29
ThursdayJuly 30
MondayAug 3
TuesdayAug 4
Wednesday, Aug 5
Thursday, Aug 6
Summer Half        ** Art Fair    ***This session is scheduled but not publicized to students until we verify need.

Thursday, April 2

Complex Systems early registration deadline April 13th

June 8-19, 2015

NECSI Summer School

Early Registration Deadline in 2 weeks

Register by April 13th to take advantage of early registration discounts! 

June 8-12: Complex Physical, Biological & Social Systems
June 14: Computer Programming and Complex Systems 
June 15-19: Complex Systems Modeling and Networks
Location: MIT, Cambridge, MA

These courses are intended for faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, professionals and others who would like to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of complex systems for application to research in their respective fields, or as a basis for pursuing complex systems research.
The summer school offers two intensive week-long courses. The courses consist of lectures, discussions, and supervised group projects. Though the second week builds on material covered in the previous week, one is not a prerequisite for the other. You may register for either or both weeks. If desired, arrangements for credit at a home institution may be made in advance.
See course descriptions below or online at:

WEEK ONE CX201: Complex Physical, Biological and Social Systems
Dates: June 8-12, 2015
This course offers an introduction to the essential concepts of complex systems and related mathematical methods and simulation strategies with application to physical, biological and social systems. The course will particularly focus on the use of multiscale representations as a unifying approach to complex systems concepts, methods and applications.
Concepts to be discussed include: emergence, complexity, networks, self-organization, pattern formation, evolution, adaptation, fractals, chaos, cooperation, competition, attractors, interdependence, scaling, dynamic response, information, and function.
Methods to be discussed include: statistical methods, cellular automata, agent-based modeling, pattern recognition, system representation and informatics.

LAB CX102: Computer Programming and Complex
Systems Date: June 14, 2015
This course introduces computer programming in the Python language for those with little or no computer programming experience. It is designed as a precursor to CX202.
The course will present programming concepts and hands-on exercises. Topics to be covered include: data structures, algorithms, variables and assignments, numerical and logical operations, lists and dictionaries, user-defined functions, flow control, loops, and visualization.

WEEK TWO CX202: Complex Systems Modeling and Networks
Dates: June 15-19, 2015
This course provides (a) an introduction to building models of complex systems (physical, biological, social and engineered), and (b) the study of networks, including topologies and dynamics of real world networks.
The course will cover the basic construction and analysis of models including identifying what is to be modeled, constructing a mathematical representation, analysis
tools and implementing and simulating the model in a computer program. Particular attention will be paid to choosing the right level of detail for the model, testing its robustness, and discussing which questions a given model can or cannot answer.
The study of networks will introduce the use of network topologies and the characterization of networks describing complex systems, including such concepts as small worlds, degree distribution, diameter, clustering coefficient, modules, and motifs. Different types of network topologies and network behaviors that model aspects of real complex systems will be described including: modular, sparse, random, scale-free, influence, transport, transformation, and structure.
NOTE: Students without a background in programming are strongly recommended to attend CX102: Computer Programming and Complex Systems in conjunction with CX202.

Comments from previous students:
Excellent course...useful thematic overview... applications in diverse contexts were exciting. Particularly appreciated the group project - excellent experiential pedagogy.
The course was an eye-opening framework to analyze my work through a different lens.
Presentations were extremely useful for me in understanding how to begin modeling complex systems and assessing them. Helped me understand a lot of things I have been doing so far without clearly understanding the principles.
This class very much stretched my mind to apply the ideas of complexity to the world... I believe I learned more on a grander scale... will help enrich my vocabulary and the way of thinking in the world with respect to complexity.
Excellent class. I hope to take a more active role in the community.
This course contained more insight than any other 'complexity' themed course that I have taken.

For more information and registration, visit: http://necsi.edu/education/school.html
New England Complex Systems Institute
New England Complex Systems Institute
210 Broadway Suite 101
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-547-4100
Fax: 617-661-7711