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AAAS Pacific Division Holds 2007 Annual Meeting in Boise
The Pacific Division of AAAS will hold its 2007 Annual Meeting at Boise State University and the Boise Center on the Grove, bringing together scientists, students, teachers, and the public for a wide range of programs and activities addressing regional and global issues.
The meeting, to be held 17-21 June, will feature a symposium on wilderness protection with Cecil Andrus, former governor of Idaho and secretary of the Interior Department under President Jimmy Carter, an evening lecture on public access to scientific knowledge by Shirley Malcom, director of AAAS Education and Human Resources, and will include student poster sessions and workshops.
"The Pacific Division Annual Meeting brings people together to talk about issues that they have been reading about and have been discussing in their communities," said Roger Christianson, executive director of the Pacific Division. "As a result of the diverse meeting agenda, participants are able to interact in small, personal settings and develop contacts for when they return to their communities."
The wilderness protection symposium, entitled "The Great Wilderness Compromise," will focus on the controversial efforts underway to protect wilderness in many Western states.
One plan, the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act, approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, would protect 318,000 acres of wilderness in the Boulder-White Clouds Mountains. In exchange, the deal provides some land to surrounding towns for economic expansion along with securing existing trails for off-road vehicles.
Moderated by Jon Christensen, a correspondent for the PBS program "NOW" and research fellow at the Center for Environmental Science and Policy at Stanford University, the symposium will also feature Lindsay Slater, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Michael Simpson (R-Idaho), and officials the U.S. Geological Survey, the Wilderness Society, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The Pacific Division also will hold a student awards ceremony recognizing outstanding research by student scientists, followed by an evening lecture from Carl Maida, president of the Pacific Division and professor of public health and community dentistry at the UCLA Schools of Dentistry and Medicine.
Held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Soil Science and co-located with the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Northwest Region of the American Chemical Society, the meeting is priced to attract participants unlikely to attend a larger annual meeting, especially young scientists and students.
The meeting agenda has several programs aimed at students including poster sessions, workshops, and awards. One award, the AAAS-Robert I. Larus Travel Award, provides for travel and other expenses for the student awardee to attend and present their research results at the 2008 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.
"We really make a strong effort to include scientists of all levels, from senior researchers to students," said Christianson. "I expect 25% or so of our attendees to be students, mostly undergraduate and graduate level but also some high school students, many of whom have given excellent presentations at past meetings."
The four regional divisions of AAAS—Pacific, Arctic, Caribbean, and Southwestern and Rocky Mountain (SWARM)—serve as regional networks for scientists, organizing meetings on regional issues and promoting publications from scientists active within the division.
The Pacific is the oldest AAAS regional division with its charter dating to 1915, followed by the Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division (1920), the Arctic Division (1951), and the Caribbean Division (1985).
The Pacific Division includes more than 30,000 AAAS members from California, Hawaii, Idaho, western Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and all other countries bordering or lying within the Pacific Basin, with the exception of mainland Mexico south to Panama.
All AAAS members in good standing, and who reside within the specified boundaries of a regional division, are automatically included as members of that regional division.
AAAS will send staff from its Washington, D.C., headquarters to the Boise meeting with special membership offers and to answer questions about membership.
16 May 2007