Scientists, educators, program directors, and students gathered Monday night to celebrate the new partnership between the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and the American Geophysical Union. The partnership aims to foster collaboration opportunities among research networks on global, continental, and regional scales.
The event, the first official joint gathering between ESA and AGU, was held at ESA’s 100th annual meeting in Baltimore, Md. It brought together representatives from several research networks—including the Critical Zone Observatories, the Long Term Ecological Research Network, and the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)—to “demonstrate the synergies among those networks and the synergies between the science of AGU and ESA,” Eric Davidson, AGU president-elect and director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science, told Eos.
“I think it was appropriate that our first cross-society joint meeting had something to do with integration of networks across research programs,” he added.
Representatives from the various research networks explained how the networks can be used for collaboration across regional and global scales.
With opportunities for scientists to work together “across the different science activities and data structures, we start becoming more and more interoperable,” said Russ Lea, the chief executive officer of NEON.
With this partnership, “we can start taking the data from one side against another side against another location and start building hypotheses,” he said.
When Jill Baron, a past president of ESA and current researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey, asked how many audience members were also AGU members, the majority of attendees raised their hands.
“These are truly societies that are joined beautifully between understanding the aboveground ecosystems and the belowground ecosystems, and that [partnership] will only grow,” Baron said in response to the raised hands.
Davidson also presented Baron with an official citation from AGU celebrating the newly formed partnership.
—JoAnna Wendel, Staff Writer
Citation: Wendel, J. (2015), Joint AGU-ESA event brings together collaborative networks, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO034191. Published on 12 August 2015.