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AAAS Pacific Division to Convene in San Diego 14-17 June to Celebrate Centennial

With a particular focus on scientific engagement, the AAAS Pacific Division will celebrate the centennial of its first independent meeting at its annual meeting at the University of San Diego 14-17 June.

More than 425 scientists, educators, and students from the western United States are expected to attend the meeting. It is open to the public, but registration is required for most events.

The 2016 meeting, the division’s 97th during its 100-year history, will include several new features.

The division will host its first-ever Scientific Maker Exhibit on 16 June to showcase lab equipment created with technologies such as 3D printers and Arduino sensors. The exhibit will be accompanied by a symposium highlighting success stories in DIY instrumentation and exploring the issues that emerge when science is performed outside traditional settings using such equipment.

The division will also host a series of public lectures on 17 June. Seven speakers will cover subjects including the role of thermodynamics in our lives, the process of discovering new drugs, and the integration of humanities with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

This year’s symposia are just as diverse. Speakers at more than 20 symposia will highlight new research on forensic psychological science, climate change communication, mathematics, pharmacology, physics, and more. Several symposia have a local focus, including sessions on ecology and education in San Diego’s Mission Bay Park and the causes and effects of aerosol particles in San Diego’s atmosphere.

Paper and poster sessions organized by subject area will also take place 15-16 June. Student posters will be judged for Awards of Excellence, which will be presented at the division banquet the evening of 16 June.

Frank Jacobitz, president of the Pacific Division, will deliver the meeting’s 14 June plenary lecture on the vital role of scientific engagement in student learning. Jacobitz is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of San Diego’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. His lecture will be followed by a reception sponsored by the university’s president, Dr. James T. Harris III. Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS and publisher of the Science family of journals, will host a 15 June town hall on the history and future of AAAS, followed by a reception.

Also available to meeting participants are professional development opportunities, including a workshop on grant writing and a session highlighting the resources of AAAS’ new Professional Development and Career Services team.

While in San Diego, meeting attendees can also explore the area’s wineries and microbreweries by registering in advance for two field trips.

AAAS's three regional divisions — Pacific, Arctic, and Caribbean — serve as regional networks for scientists, organizing meetings on regional issues and promoting publications from scientists active within the division.

The Pacific Division includes more than 30,000 AAAS members in 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 or work within the specified boundaries of a regional division, are automatically included as members of that regional division.

[Associated image by John Farrell McDonald licensed by and modified under CC BY-SA 2.]