Dr. Mark A. McGinley<br />Fulbright Visiting Scholar, University of Malaya<br />Associate Professor<br />Honors College an...
Outline<br />Introduce myself<br />Quick history of ecology<br />Opportunities and challenges facing ecologists in <br /> ...
About Me<br />I have conducted research in behavioral, evolutionary, and community ecology of birds, mammals, and plants.<...
Science Education<br />MS2<br />Masters Degree to teach middle school teachers (grades 6 – 8) how to integrate math and sc...
Informal Science Education<br />Encyclopedia of Earth (EoE)<br />http://www.eoearth.org/<br />Goal is to be the largest on...
Teaching Ecology in the Field<br />
What Am I Doing Here?<br /><ul><li>Fulbright Visiting Scholar, UM
Fulbright Program
Funded by U.S. government
Encourage understanding by facilitating exchange of scholars between U.S. and abroad
Professors/professionals and students
http://www.cies.org/about_fulb.htm
I arrived in June and will remain until April
Taught “Special Topics in Ecology and Biodiversity” at UM
Malaysia Collection for EoE,  Ecology Textbook</li></li></ul><li>
History of Ecology<br />“Revolutions” in the 1960s<br />1. Use of controlled manipulative experiments in the field<br /><u...
Pioneered the use of manipulative controlled ecological experiments.</li></li></ul><li>History of Ecology“Revolutions” in ...
Something to Think About!<br /><ul><li>Looking back on my career, if I could do one thing over to make myself a better eco...
Theory
Modeling tools
Statistical analyses</li></li></ul><li>What did “Old School” ecology teach us?<br />Interactions are complex<br /><ul><li>...
Combination of direct and indirect interactions
Interactions can take a long time to express themselves
Can increase progress if we allow ecological theory to guide our investigations</li></li></ul><li>More Modern Approach1980...
Bring a variety of expertise together
Conduct Long-term studies
Synthesize what we have learned
Search for generalities</li></li></ul><li>Long Term Ecological Studies in Tropical Rainforests<br /><ul><li>Smithsonian Tr...
Field site located in Barro Colorado Island (BCI) in Gatung Lake in the Panama Canal</li></li></ul><li>BCI 50 Hectare Plot...
Flora well known
50 hectare Forest Dynamics Plot established in 1980.
Census every tree and shrub > 1 cm in diameter at breast height
1982 census -240,000 stems of 303 species of trees and shrubs
Recensused  every 5 years
Robin Foster and Steven Hubbell
http://www.ctfs.si.edu/data/pdf/CTFSbook_PDF/BCIchapt.pdf</li></li></ul><li>BCI 50 Hectare Plot<br /><ul><li>Many importan...
Often published in Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecology & Ecological Monographs</...
CLS Approach Required Some Fundamental Changes<br /><ul><li>Funding
Although ecological research is much cheaper than molecular biology, large-scale ecological studies still require signific...
Need to fund collaborations
Ifscientists are going to undertake long-term studiesthen they need to be confident that funding will be available
Funding for synthesis</li></li></ul><li>Funding For Ecological Research in the U.S.<br />Most funding for basic research c...
Long Term Ecological Research (LTER)<br /><ul><li>US LTER Network
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Ecology in asean nations

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Ecology in asean nations

  1. 1. Dr. Mark A. McGinley<br />Fulbright Visiting Scholar, University of Malaya<br />Associate Professor<br />Honors College and Department of Biological Sciences<br />Texas Tech University<br />Lubbock, Texas USA<br />mark.mcginley@ttu.edu<br />Ecology in ASEAN Nations: Bridging Ideas, Building Talents<br />
  2. 2. Outline<br />Introduce myself<br />Quick history of ecology<br />Opportunities and challenges facing ecologists in <br /> SE Asia<br />Building Talents<br />Bridging Ideas<br />
  3. 3. About Me<br />I have conducted research in behavioral, evolutionary, and community ecology of birds, mammals, and plants.<br />Been a faculty member at Texas Tech University since 1991<br />
  4. 4. Science Education<br />MS2<br />Masters Degree to teach middle school teachers (grades 6 – 8) how to integrate math and science in the classroom.<br />Funded by $3 million (US) grant<br />http://www.ttumssquare.org/<br />Malaysian Bat Education Adventure<br />Collaboration between colleagues in Department of Biological Sciences, and Colleges of Education and Mass Communications<br />Use biology of Malaysian bats as the focus for developing and integrated science curriculum for grades 4 – 8.<br />http://www.ttu-mbea.org/<br />
  5. 5. Informal Science Education<br />Encyclopedia of Earth (EoE)<br />http://www.eoearth.org/<br />Goal is to be the largest on-line source of information about the environment in the world.<br />All articles written by scholars, all articles undergo peer review.<br />
  6. 6. Teaching Ecology in the Field<br />
  7. 7. What Am I Doing Here?<br /><ul><li>Fulbright Visiting Scholar, UM
  8. 8. Fulbright Program
  9. 9. Funded by U.S. government
  10. 10. Encourage understanding by facilitating exchange of scholars between U.S. and abroad
  11. 11. Professors/professionals and students
  12. 12. http://www.cies.org/about_fulb.htm
  13. 13. I arrived in June and will remain until April
  14. 14. Taught “Special Topics in Ecology and Biodiversity” at UM
  15. 15. Malaysia Collection for EoE, Ecology Textbook</li></li></ul><li>
  16. 16. History of Ecology<br />“Revolutions” in the 1960s<br />1. Use of controlled manipulative experiments in the field<br /><ul><li>Joseph Connell and Robert Paine
  17. 17. Pioneered the use of manipulative controlled ecological experiments.</li></li></ul><li>History of Ecology“Revolutions” in the 1960s<br />Use of mathematics to generate ecological theory<br /> -Robert MacArthur and colleagues<br />
  18. 18. Something to Think About!<br /><ul><li>Looking back on my career, if I could do one thing over to make myself a better ecologist then I would have learned more math!!!!
  19. 19. Theory
  20. 20. Modeling tools
  21. 21. Statistical analyses</li></li></ul><li>What did “Old School” ecology teach us?<br />Interactions are complex<br /><ul><li>Abiotic and biotic factors important
  22. 22. Combination of direct and indirect interactions
  23. 23. Interactions can take a long time to express themselves
  24. 24. Can increase progress if we allow ecological theory to guide our investigations</li></li></ul><li>More Modern Approach1980s – today<br />“CLS”<br /><ul><li>Work in Collaborative teams
  25. 25. Bring a variety of expertise together
  26. 26. Conduct Long-term studies
  27. 27. Synthesize what we have learned
  28. 28. Search for generalities</li></li></ul><li>Long Term Ecological Studies in Tropical Rainforests<br /><ul><li>Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  29. 29. Field site located in Barro Colorado Island (BCI) in Gatung Lake in the Panama Canal</li></li></ul><li>BCI 50 Hectare Plot<br /><ul><li>BCI intensively studied since 1923
  30. 30. Flora well known
  31. 31. 50 hectare Forest Dynamics Plot established in 1980.
  32. 32. Census every tree and shrub > 1 cm in diameter at breast height
  33. 33. 1982 census -240,000 stems of 303 species of trees and shrubs
  34. 34. Recensused every 5 years
  35. 35. Robin Foster and Steven Hubbell
  36. 36. http://www.ctfs.si.edu/data/pdf/CTFSbook_PDF/BCIchapt.pdf</li></li></ul><li>BCI 50 Hectare Plot<br /><ul><li>Many important papers have been based on research conducted at this site.
  37. 37. Often published in Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecology & Ecological Monographs</li></li></ul><li>Center For Tropical Forest Science<br />
  38. 38. CLS Approach Required Some Fundamental Changes<br /><ul><li>Funding
  39. 39. Although ecological research is much cheaper than molecular biology, large-scale ecological studies still require significant funding
  40. 40. Need to fund collaborations
  41. 41. Ifscientists are going to undertake long-term studiesthen they need to be confident that funding will be available
  42. 42. Funding for synthesis</li></li></ul><li>Funding For Ecological Research in the U.S.<br />Most funding for basic research comes form the National Science Foundation (NSF)<br />Federal Government<br />1. Long Term Ecological Research program<br />(LTER)<br />2. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis<br />(NCEAS) <br />
  43. 43. Long Term Ecological Research (LTER)<br /><ul><li>US LTER Network
  44. 44. Funds groups of scientists to work together over long time periods.
  45. 45. The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network established in 1980
  46. 46. 26LTER sites
  47. 47. 1800 scientists/students
  48. 48. http://www.lternet.edu/</li></li></ul><li>International Long Term Ecological Research Network- ILTER<br />40 members in the ILTER network<br />Pacific and Asia<br /><ul><li>Australia
  49. 49. China
  50. 50. Japan
  51. 51. Korea
  52. 52. Mongolia
  53. 53. Taiwan
  54. 54. Thailand</li></li></ul><li>Synthesis<br />The NCEAS mission is to:<br />Advance the state of ecological knowledge through the search for general patterns and principles in existing data<br />Organize and synthesize ecological information in a manner useful to researchers, resource managers, and policy makers addressing important environmental issues<br />http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/<br />
  55. 55. NCEAS<br />Form “working groups”<br />10 visiting scientists<br />Groups of scientists spend one or two weeks in Santa Barbara examining questions of interest.<br />Examples of topics of working groups-<br />Ecological response to climate change<br />Effectiveness of marine preserves<br />Temperate-tropical gradient in species richness<br />Effects of introduced species<br />
  56. 56. NCEAS<br />Since its founding in 1995<br />400 projects involving over 4000 visiting scientists<br />Over 1800 publications<br />Many in journals with the highest impact factors<br />http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/products<br />Ranked as the 22nd /38,000 environmental institutes worldwide in impact of its publications<br />
  57. 57. Importance of Ecology in <br />South East Asia<br /><ul><li>Obviously, better understanding of ecology and environmental issues is critically important to the future sustainable development of South East Asia.
  58. 58. We know a lot more about ecological interactions and the importance of biodiversity than we did when the United States was in a similar stage of economic development
  59. 59. Please don’t make the same mistakes we have!!!</li></li></ul><li>Llano Estacado Today<br />
  60. 60. Opportunities and Challenges Facing South East AsianEcologists<br /><ul><li>Much greater biodiversity in the tropics than in the temperate regions
  61. 61. True for terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems</li></li></ul><li>Opportunities and Challenges Facing ASEAN Ecologists<br /><ul><li>Opportunity
  62. 62. Interesting systems, full of cool species
  63. 63. poorly studied
  64. 64. Understanding tropics key issue in ecology
  65. 65. Challenge
  66. 66. Lots of species to know
  67. 67. difficult to be a “casual” worker in a system</li></li></ul><li>Opportunities and Challenges<br />Systematics<br />Still new species to be discovered and classified<br />Natural History<br />Still need to learn about the basic biology of most species<br />Modern ecology can not exist without building on work of taxonomists, systematists, and natural historians.<br />Who is training the next generation of taxonomists?<br />National and regional need!<br />
  68. 68. Opportunities<br />Urban Ecology<br />a subfield of ecology which deals with the interaction between organisms in an urban or urbanized community, and their interaction with that community. <br />
  69. 69. CLS Aproach in South East Asia<br /><ul><li>Collaborative, long-term efforts will be useful
  70. 70. Established LTER sites could provide background and logistical support needed to foster research
  71. 71. Synthesis could be valuable
  72. 72. Basic questions
  73. 73. Environmental issues</li></li></ul><li>Where Will Funding Come From?<br />Governments<br />Are governments really interested in supporting research that leads to a better understanding of the environment?<br />In the U.S. we have seen funding depend on politics!<br />Governments often has short-term perspective<br />Corporations<br />NGOs/Foundations<br />Universities<br />Governments, foundations, and general public will only support funding for ecological and environmental research if we make compelling arguments for why this research is valuable!<br />We need to deliver this message!!<br />
  74. 74. CLS Approach<br /><ul><li>Requires Universities and other research groups to support collaborative, long-term research efforts
  75. 75. Might require changes in organization, hiring, reward, promotion systems
  76. 76. Governments may need to help facilitate interaction among local and international scholars
  77. 77. Encourage travel and exchange
  78. 78. May require efforts beyond single governments and require a regional approach
  79. 79. Consortiums of Universities and research units
  80. 80. CU, NUS, and UM could sponsor annual synthesis meeting?
  81. 81. ASEAN?</li></li></ul><li>BuildingTalents of South East Asian Ecologists <br /><ul><li>Characteristics
  82. 82. Generalist
  83. 83. Systematics, natural history, and ecology (including ecological theory and statistics)
  84. 84. Comfortable using tools from related fields
  85. 85. Specialist
  86. 86. Might need to specialize on a limited taxonomic group or specific region</li></li></ul><li>Building Talents<br /><ul><li>You will need to be “better” than scientists in the previous generation and your peers in the West!
  87. 87. Work harder, work smarter!
  88. 88. Find your niche
  89. 89. Typically are best at what you enjoy the most
  90. 90. Always present your work in context of relevant theory
  91. 91. READ!!!
  92. 92. Have to be familiar with the best scientific literature to conduct the best scientific research
  93. 93. PRESENT and PUBLISH!!!
  94. 94. “publish and prosper”
  95. 95. Aim for the broadest audience that you can</li></li></ul><li>Building TalentsPossible Career Path<br />HI*<br />Publish major <br />“synthetic”papers<br />Become “mature expert”<br /> /Expertise<br />HI*<br />Publish results in <br />new areas<br />Time<br />Secure funding<br />Search for opportunities<br />HI*<br />Publish results that<br />Inform ecological <br />theory<br />Attract collaborators<br />Secure funding<br />Search for opportunities<br />Publish systematics<br />Gain “expertise” in your system<br />Publish natural history<br />Publish species lists<br />HI - High Impact<br />
  96. 96. Bridging Ideas<br /><ul><li>Collaboration with other scientists is critical
  97. 97. Localand international scientists
  98. 98. Probably great potential future collaborators sitting in this room!
  99. 99. Must be able to bridge basic and applied research
  100. 100. Embrace new technology, but use it appropriately</li></li></ul><li>Bridging Ideas<br /><ul><li>Form bridges with policy makers and the general public.
  101. 101. Advocates for the environment
  102. 102. Be a reliable and trustworthy source of accurate information about the environment for citizens and perhaps more importantly, for policy makers.
  103. 103. Ecologists in the US are often marginalized as “tree huggers”
  104. 104. We have not done a good job of educating the US public
  105. 105. Science
  106. 106. Environment</li></li></ul><li>Bridging Ideas<br />Knowledge from other fields of scienc<br />Knowledge from other fields<br />You<br />Knowledge of your<br />ecological system<br />Knowledge of environmental<br />issues<br />Knowledge of <br />your system<br />General public and<br />policy makers<br />Knowledge of<br />general ecological <br />theory<br />
  107. 107. Bridging Ideas, Building Talents<br />HI*<br />Publish major <br />“synthetic”papers<br />Become “mature expert”<br /> /Expertise<br />HI*<br />Publish results in <br />new areas<br />Time<br />Secure funding<br />Search for opportunities<br />Inform General Public?<br />HI*<br />Publish results that<br />Inform ecological <br />theory<br />Attract collaborators<br />Secure funding<br />Search for opportunities<br />Publish systematics<br />Gain “expertise” in your system<br />Publish natural history<br />Publish species lists<br />HI - High Impact<br />
  108. 108. Bridging Ideas<br />support<br />You<br />Knowledge of your<br />ecological system<br />Knowledge of environmental<br />issues<br />Knowledge of <br />your system<br />General public and<br />policy makers<br />Knowledge of<br />general ecological <br />theory<br />Good <br />decisions<br />
  109. 109. Charles Darwin<br />“I trust and believe that the time spent in this voyage … will produce its full worth in Natural History; and it appears to me the doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelihood pursue.”<br />
  110. 110. Thanks<br />Texas Tech University<br />U.S. Department of State<br />Institute of Biological Sciences at University of Malaya<br />Conference organizing committee<br />

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