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AAAS Southwestern Meeting Explores Global Impact of Local Collaboration
The 2008 AAAS Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division Annual Meeting will convene in Albuquerque, N.M., on 9 April for four days of events focused on how regional scientific collaboration can address global issues.
The meeting—to be held on the campus of the University of New Mexico—will feature plenary lectures on global health and sustainability, along with symposia on nanotechnology, food safety, and alternative energy; student poster sessions; and local field trips.
David Nash, executive director of the division, said this year's meeting will explore how scientists can cross academic and institutional boundaries to address critical issues such as water management or the effects of climate change in the arid southwest.
"Many of the big issues facing society will force scientists to step outside the communities that they regularly work in and collaborate," said Nash. "This year's meeting will encourage scientists who have experience collaborating to help others understand how to do it and why it is important."
The meeting also will feature plenary lectures on collaboration from Kip Hodges, director the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University; U.S. Air Force Major General Annette L. Sobel, M.D., director of intelligence for the National Guard Bureau; and Norman Augustine, former chairman of the National Academy of Engineering.
Augustine, a 16-year member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, will deliver the 2008 John Wesley Powell Memorial Lecture on how the United States can maintain its global competitiveness by promoting innovation and supporting collaborative research and development.
Nash said that in addition to top researchers and faculty members, the meeting will attract many area high school, college, and graduate school students.
Richard Weibl, director of the AAAS Center for Careers in Science and Technology, will be leading a session at the meeting geared towards students and young scientists on the importance of collaborating with mentors.
Weibl said that many science and engineering students are curious about negotiating the daunting process of becoming a senior scientist. "Students are often see experienced scientists and cannot figure out the necessary career steps to reach that point," he said.
The four regional divisions of AAAS—Pacific, Arctic, Caribbean, and Southwest and Rocky Mountain (SWARM, for short)—serve as regional networks for scientists, organizing meetings on regional issues and promoting publications from scientists active within the division.
The SWARM division currently has more than 14,000 members from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana (east of the Continental Divide), Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming; the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Sonora; and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
All AAAS members in good standing and who reside within the specified boundaries of a regional division are automatically considered members of that regional division. In addition, a AAAS member in good standing can request to become a member of any of the four divisions by notifying the division president. Non-AAAS members may attend the regional division meetings.
Attendees can take advantage of special AAAS membership offers at the SWARM meeting.
26 March 2008