AAAS offers 24 sections, covering the spectrum of scientific disciplines, so members can promote issues in a particular field.
AAAS members may participate in association activities through four geographic divisions: Arctic, Caribbean, Pacific, and Southwestern and Rocky Mountain. Through annual meetings and other activities, members address science issues that are significant to their region.
The 51st annual AAAS Arctic Science Conference was held in 2000 with the theme Crossing Borders: Science and Community. Held September 21-24 in Whitehorse, Yukon, the conference was attended by more than 275 researchers, managers, communicators, and educators from the diverse communities of Alaska and northern Canada. The conference attracted people from rural and urban centers across the western part of the North American Arctic. Of the 212 participants from Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, 59 came from 20 communities other than the major center of Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Whitehorse, and Yellowknife.
The conference provided a forum for such topics as climate change, wildlife and fisheries, aquatic and atmospheric science, paleoecology, environmental protection, and science policy. A number of associated events were also held, including the Yukon North Slope Conference (part of the implementation of Canadas Western Arctic land claim settlement), a workshop sponsored by the Northern Climate ExChange, and meetings of the Canadian Polar Commission and the Northern Sciences Network (a United Nations Program). The conference was hosted by the Yukon Science Institute.
Over the years, the Caribbean Division has sponsored a number of meetings and symposiums for its members. Each year, the division cosponsors the AAAS-Puerto Rico Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research meeting, which offers a numbers of scientific presentations and draws participants from Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean. The division has also sponsored the Annual High School Student Congress, which serves as a meeting for the finalists of the Puerto Rico Science Competition Program, and the Annual Symposium on Island Ecology, which draws researchers, government officials, industry representatives, and high school and undergraduate students. Other meetings have included the Latin American Chemistry Congress and the Puerto Rico Science Teachers Association Meeting.
The 81st Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division was held June 11-14 at South Oregon University in Ashland, with 245 people in attendance. A special lecture was delivered by Andrew Kuzmitz, whose work on the dinosaur heart was published in Science. John Erlandson delivered a lecture on Anatomically Modern Humans: Seafaring and the Peopling of the New World; Ken Goddard addressed the expansion of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife National and Forensic Laboratory; and Frank Long gave a talk on rare plants of serpentine soils. The meeting also organized 11 symposia, covering such topics as the fire history in Pacific Northwest, active learning strategies in college biology class, earthquake potential and response in the Pacific Northwest, and climatic and oceanographic variability and change in the Pacific Basin.
The meeting offered several field trips, including a visit to the coast and the redwoods, wine tasting in southern Oregon, and an Ashland watershed tour. Other field trips covered such topics as the rare plants of serpentine soils, volcanics of southern Oregon, climate, and soils. And at the Divisional Awards Dinner, representatives of the affiliated societies and divisional sections presented students with awards of excellence and awards for the best student papers and posters of the 2000 meeting.