Greetings members and colleagues,
I hope your fall semester is going well. We are certainly busy around SUNY Orange and I am sure you are too. One of the exciting extracurricular events being hosted in our department this semester is a lecture-series on climate change. Dr. Walter Jahn, one of our biology faculty members, has organized, and is participating in, weekly lectures addressing diverse ways that climate change is impacting our world. Faculty from across campus with expertise in chemistry, anthropology, political science, Latin American studies, and biology are participating. We are also having discussions on how to teach science in an age of “fake” news. The lecture series has been an excellent chance to dig deeper into many facets of this difficult problem.
Climate change is clearly a crisis in which the solutions transcend a single discipline. It is increasingly clear that complex issues demand a combination of approaches to both comprehend the problem and envision a solution. This year’s ESATYCB conference, at Jefferson County Community College in April, will consider the transdisciplinary nature of biology. This topic is timely in a world facing increasingly interconnected problems.
Another upcoming professional development opportunity is the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. This year the meeting is relatively close to home—next year it will be in California—so this will be a great year to go. The event, held November 9-12, will be filled with innovative ideas, techniques and resources. Making connections with other biology professionals from across the country is a powerful way to develop new approaches to enhance your teaching.
As influential as these opportunities can be, they wouldn’t happen without a dedicated few. I would like to thank those behind the scenes at ESATYCB who keep our organization going. Our President-Elect, Jeffery Kiggins, is planning this year’s conference—he is working hard and his efforts are much appreciated. Many thanks also go to Susan MacLeod, our diligent secretary, Olga Calderon, our knowledgeable Past-President, and Flor Trespalacios our reliable Member-at-Large. Edward (Sandy) Franklin does a great job putting together the newsletters. Robert Beutel, has nicely spruced up our website. David Pindel is our unfailing, hardworking and super-organized treasurer. A big thank you to each of them for all the work they do to maintain this organization.
Finally, I would like to extend a special welcome to our new members. Thank you for joining and I hope you will get involved. It is the energy and ideas of each of you that shapes the association. Without the participation of our new and current members, we would not be the great organization we are today. I look forward to seeing many of you at our ESATYCB conference this spring. Good luck finishing your semester!
Jennifer C. Merriam
SUNY Orange – Middletown Campus