Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology

Fall Newsletter 2019

Alice C. Gibb
Nov 1 · 23 min read

Message from the President, Beth Brainerd, president@sicb.org

We’re looking forward to an exciting scientific program at the upcoming SICB Annual Meeting from January 3–7 in Austin. SICB received 1900 abstracts for presentations this year, which is more than Tampa last year and slightly fewer than San Francisco in 2017. It will be yet another science-packed SICB meeting!

Beth Brainerd SICB President

In addition to all of the scientific highlights, the SICB leadership has been working hard behind the scenes to make our upcoming meeting as welcoming, safe, and inclusive as possible for all participants. We revised the SICB Meeting Code of Conduct to include a better online system for reporting violations of the Code and will be using many channels of communication, including signboards, announcements, email, and social media, to bring attention to the Code and its critical importance to SICB. With thanks to Outgroup, other LGBTQ+ volunteers, and the SICB Broadening Participation and Public Affairs Committees, we will have several initiatives supporting and celebrating our LGBTQ+ participants in Austin. As I noted recently in a message to the whole society, the state of Texas has laws that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, and such laws are inconsistent with the values, aspirations and mission of SICB to advance the inclusion of all talent to maximize the excellence and integrity of our field. In contrast to the state’s negative efforts, the city of Austin has taken positive steps to support LGBTQ+ people, including a city ordinance against employment and housing discrimination based on “the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability.” As always, the SICB Meeting Code of Conduct specifically bars harassment or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity or expression.

A winter sunrise in Austin, Texas (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

SICB recently joined the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM (STEM + Medicine), a group of more than 120 scientific societies that was created less than one year ago. The goals of this consortium are twofold: (1) to provide practical support for scientific societies to combat sexual and gender-based harassment in their own operations, such as by providing model policy documents, and (2) to combat sexual and gender-based harassment in STEMM fields broadly by “elevating knowledge, establishing stakeholder relationships, and building communities and consensus across STEMM constituencies in the middle term, as foundations for changing climate and culture in the longer-term.” (From 2019 Societies Consortium Work Plan Strategy and Resources.)

In September, SICB Managing Director Jill Drupa and I attended the first annual meeting of the Consortium at the AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC. This one-day meeting provided valuable practical information and was also deeply inspiring. The meeting introduced us to new tools for increasing participation and inclusion of all talent, which we view as fundamental to SICB’s mission to maximize the excellence and integrity of our field. As the Consortium states, “Sexual harassment is a critical issue of ethics, equity, diversity, inclusion and excellence in STEMM research, education and practice. It is a barrier to excellence that must be eliminated.” For SICB, broadening participation is important for social justice, it is important because diverse groups solve problems better than uniform groups, and it is important to make our science as excellent as it can be by including the most talented people across all axes of diversity.

To that end, over the next year SICB will be using information provided by the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM to put in place new policies and procedures to combat sexual and intersecting bases of harassment (e.g., race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression). Stay tuned as the SICB leadership develops these policies and seeks feedback from the SICB Executive Committee and from all SICB members.

Program Officer’s Report, Susan Williams, program.officer@sicb.org

Susan Williams, SICB Program Officer

The SICB Program Committee met from October 6–7 to put together the meeting program at the JW Marriott in Austin, TX, the site of our 2020 annual meeting. Over the course of a day and a half, we built the 4-day scientific program for the January meeting. This involved organizing approximately 1125 talks into 140 oral sessions, including 11 symposia, and 775 posters into 3 poster sessions (see picture below).

Program Committee Meeting in Austin, TX in October, 2019

We also toured the venue to do the important task of selecting spaces for division events and socials. The meeting is a huge collaborative effort among the divisions, Program Officer-Elect Jake Socha, BAI staff members Lori Strong, Jennifer Rosenburg, and Ruedi Birenheide, and myself. And of course, without the hard work that occurs in labs and classrooms nationally and internationally to generate the abstracts, we would have no annual meeting. The 4-day scientific program is packed with really great science and science education and outreach presentations. And with sessions like “It’s Not the Fall That Kills You, It’s the LANDING,” “Everything Sucks,” and “Into the Interstitial Matrix,” this is a meeting that you definitely don’t want to miss! Registration is now open — register by November 6 if you are presenting, or if not, by December 4 to get the early-bird reduced registration. As usual, talks will be in sessions from the morning until early afternoon, followed by society-wide poster presentations.

At our program meeting, we also had the pleasure of selecting 12 symposia for the 2021 meeting in Washington DC. The line-up of selected symposia is stellar and really represents the diversity of science within SICB. We had what may be a record 24 symposium proposals which was no doubt due to all of the tweets and email chatter from division leaders soliciting ideas and encouraging folks to organize symposia. Great job by the divisions in drumming up interest in our symposium program! It’s such an important part of our society because it comprises a major component of the scientific programming at our annual meeting and because the publication of symposium proceedings in Integrative and Comparative Biology provides the major source of revenue for our society.

J.W. Marriott heated rooftop outdoor pool

Although we were in Austin not too long ago — 2014 to be exact — we are at a new, and in my opinion, better venue. The conference hotel is very beautiful and easy to navigate. The amenities at the hotel are impressive. It has a decked out gym, a spa for relaxation and an illuminated and heated rooftop outdoor pool (see photo at left). Please save some time to take advantage of these! Or you can just relax in one of the many open spaces to take a break or catch up with friends and colleagues.

To make the meeting more inclusive for parents, we have once again arranged for a dedicated mother’s room with lots of natural light, comfortable chairs, a refrigerator and some private space. Free childcare will be provided by Preferred Sitters as in previous years. Register early to save your spot. In continuing our efforts towards an inclusive meeting and society, we also have a number of events to celebrate member and attendee diversity as well as educate participants about the issues faced by some. We have a workshop, social and meetup for LGBTQ+ attendees as well as a movie and discussion about the experiences of underrepresented people of color in STEM fields, along with our annual Broadening Participation morning meet-and-greet and evening social/awards ceremony. A BIG thank you to the Public Affairs Committee and the Broadening Participation Committee as well as Outgroup and others for supporting our efforts of inclusion at our annual meeting and in our society.

Other program highlights include the opening Plenary Talk on Jan 3 by Dr. Sheila Patek, Professor of Biology at Duke University. She will be speaking on “Impact and discovery: extreme movement in an interdisciplinary and political world”. On subsequent evenings, the program includes the Bartholomew, Bern, AMS, and Moore Lectures keynote speakers. The daytime program will also feature Best Student Presentation poster and oral competitions for each division. Finally, our 11 full-day symposia really highlight the breadth of SICB. From the biomechanics of silent flight and limbless locomotion to comparative cognition and the biology of reproductive females, there is something for everyone in the symposium program. Our symposia intentionally bring together diverse scientists from different backgrounds, career stages and approaches to take a deep dive into forward-looking topics. Look for the proceedings of each symposium throughout 2020 in Integrative and Comparative Biology.

As usual, the lunch breaks and evenings are packed with interesting workshops sponsored by SICB committees, divisions, and general members of the society. There should be something for everyone. As mentioned earlier, the Public Affairs and Broadening Participation Committees will have workshops related to inclusion and experiences of LGBTQ+ and underrepresented people of color, respectively. The Education Council’s annual TALX workshop will be on “teaching critical thinking about science and technology,” and the Student and Postdoctoral Affairs Committee will be focusing on career transitions in their workshop. From our division and society members, we will have career development workshops on developing your mentorship team, working at a primarily undergraduate institution, and parenting in academia as well as several others.

The weather will hopefully cooperate to allow you to explore downtown Austin. It’s only a 2- minute walk from the JW Marriott to the Texas Toy Museum. Not too far away is also the University of Texas Blanton Museum of Art, which has a permanent Ellsworth Kelly: Austin exhibition. Just minutes from the hotel, the boardwalk and hike-and-bike trail at Lady Bird Lake offers an opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise. For additional information about local sites visit our SICB 2020 meeting travel page.

The Program Committee includes myself, Jake Socha (Program Officer-Elect), Scott MacDougall-Shackleton (DAB), Phil Anderson (DCB), Brian Walker (DCE), Kristi Montooth (DCPB), Matthew Rockman (DEDB), Cynthia Downs (DEDE), Michele Nishiguchi (DEE), Linda Walters (DIZ), Jeff Riffell (DNNSB), Todd Oakley (DPCB), Mason Dean (DVM), Amy Moran (AMS), and John Zardus (TCS). Martha Muñoz, a member of our Public Affairs Committee, joined our Program Committee Meeting to chat with DPOs about particularly exciting abstracts that can be highlighted through press releases and social media by our student social media managers. We were also joined by Ulrike Müller. Editor-in-Chief of Integrative and Comparative Biology, and Adam Summers, Editor-in-Chief of Integrative Organismal Biology. Assembling the program take a huge team, but this group makes it fun and does a stellar job. Please thank these hard-working folks if you see them at the meeting — and thank you for contributing your research to and participating in our annual meeting program.

Treasurer’s Report, Miriam Ashley-Ross, treasurer@sicb.org

Miriam Ashley-Ross, SICB Treasurer

Final review of the Society’s finances for fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 — June 30, 2019) has not been completed yet, but it is clear that SICB remains in the black. Our assets total $2,092,188, which includes investments of $1,659,658. Those investments are made up of general and named funds, which will be discussed more below. Our biggest event of every year is, of course, the annual meeting; the 2019 Tampa meeting collected a total of $469,230 in revenue (slightly larger than our projection of $450K), while expenses were $492,606. Meeting location matters — the figures from the Tampa meeting were $50,000+ less than for the San Francisco meeting, on both the revenue and expense sides. Burk and Associates, Inc. works very hard to get SICB good deals on meeting locations and venues. Nonetheless, due to increased costs associated with the meeting, the Executive Committee had to vote to increase membership dues by a modest amount to offset these.

SICB’s fund assets are not yet large enough to cover our annual investment in student members.

Now to the funds. I want to highlight our vehicles for student support, which are (1) the Charlotte Mangum fund (used to defray the cost of student housing at the annual meeting) and (2) the Student Research Grants (Grants In Aid of Research and the Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel; these both support research efforts by graduate students). I have provided here a figure showing the current assets in the Mangum and GIAR/FGST funds (orange bars) compared to their target amounts (blue bars). We have been trying to increase the amount of support we can provide to students through the “Double Your Dues For Student Support” drive at membership renewal — all contributions made through this vehicle go to these Student Research Grants. The DYD campaign asks all members, from full members to graduate students, to contribute an amount equal to a single year’s dues over a three-year period. In essence, you’d be paying four years of membership dues over the three years. The DYD effort has been running for two years, and is about to enter its third and final year. So has it been working? Unfortunately, no. For fiscal year 2019, revenue from membership dues was $164,214. Assuming that during any given year of the DYD campaign, we should take in an additional one-third of that amount, we should have had $54,738 in DYD donations in FY2019. How much was actually contributed? A paltry $4,502 — less than 10% of our goal for this year. In FY 2018, the first year of the DYD campaign, the donations were only $4,048. C’mon SICB members, we need to do better! We pride ourselves on being the most student-friendly society out there, but we are not “walking the walk.” I have been contributing the additional one-third of my membership dues for 2018 and 2019, and I will do the same for 2020. I challenge each and every one of you to put your money where your mouth is, and contribute to DYD!

All but two of SICB’s named funds are still below their target levels.

The other SICB named funds have seen increases over the past year due to gains in the stock market, and some individual donations. However, all but two of the funds (Dwight Davis and Wenner Strong Inference) are still below their targets (see figure above). For each fund, there is a “desired amount” that could be paid out each year. This amount could be sustained year to year solely by the investment gains of the fund, with no cost to the divisional or SICB operational budgets. Because most funds are below the target amount, they cannot provide the desired level of support. The Divisions should discuss goals and means for achieving them at their business meetings.

Respectfully submitted, Miriam Ashley-Ross, SICB Treasurer

Message from the Secretary, Alice Gibb, secretary@sicb.org

Alice Gibb, SICB Secretary

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Austin in January! I can personally testify that your program officers spent a LOT of time coming up with excellent sessions and social events. I was also excited to realize that the hotel is really close to the river, and there is a lovely walking/jogging loop where you can take some time off from the intense thinking and networking

As Secretary, I really have only one thing on my agenda. As in previous years, I’m looking to see great candidates nominated for society-wide and divisional offices and high participation in all SICB elections. This year, we are requesting that the divisions (and the executive committee) publish their nominating committee information. The idea behind this is that you can talk to the nominating committee before and during the meeting so you can find out if you would be a good fit for SICB leadership. The ultimate goal is to get the spring newsletters and elections rolling early in 2020, so we can use the momentum from the meeting to get people excited and eager to participate in the election process.

So please consider helping us out by indicating that you are willing to be a candidate for SICB office. If you contact me at Secretary@sicb.org I will put you in touch with the Society-wide nominating committee. We are so very appreciative of you all contributing your time and energy to the society!

A nearby jogging path will provide a way to unwind at the meeting in Austin, TX. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Austin 2020 Break-out Activity Announcement: Do you like to run in the morning? Join other SICB attendees for morning runs along Lake Travis. Runs will meet in the Lobby of the JW Marriott at 6:00 am to get you back in plenty of time for the 8 am start time for sessions. A great way to start the day and meet other SICB attendees. Michele ‘Nish’ Nishiguchi will be leading the runs.

Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Report, John Hutchinson, SPDAC@sicb.org

We don’t have extensive news compared with our Spring report; but for those that missed it or want a slight update here is the full detail.

We have exciting new ideas for SICB2020! We will host a SPDAC-attended booth once again, but with an altered approach. We have several posters as conversation-starters, but each day we will host a different “how-to” theme at the booth, plus hand out “how-to brochures” there throughout SICB to give information on these and other themes. Themes will include: science communication, research and teaching and diversity statement design for job applications, SICB symposium proposals, handling the Code of Conduct, “elevator talks” to introduce yourself, getting a postdoc (NSF etc.), and more. We welcome requests from the SICB community — contact me (your Chair, John Hutchinson) or your divisional representative. If you’d like to be one of our booth hosts on one of these themes or another, please contact us — we will want extra help from experts at any career stage.

We will also do a workshop on “Transitions in Science”: a big lunch-time (brown bag; bring your own lunch) event in which we bring together students and postdocs, SPDAC and experts (~faculty-level or otherwise) for roundtable chats on major issues confronting those shifting undergrad-grad school (and Masters-PhD), PhD-postdoc, and postdoc-academia as well as other career options. Again, here well will be reaching out to the SICB community for experts to join (lead/facilitate) the roundtable discussions, so volunteers are welcome at any time now.

Also for the first-timer orientation on day 1, we’ll have “actors” with semi-scripted role-playing interactions to go through, on what might happen at SICB that could be a difficult situation to resolve as a first-timer, and appropriate/inappropriate ways to handle it; regarding ethics and other conduct relevant to the SICB conference.

As Chair I welcome our newest representative — from our new Division of Botany! Morgan Furze has joined SPDAC.

We are here throughout the year, too, to serve the SICB community. We have remained active on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sicbspdac/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SICB_SPDAC) to share ideas and advice and promote discussion. Please join us!

Public Affairs Committee Report, Thom Sanger, PAC@sicb.org

SICB’s Public Affairs Committee, The PAC, has been busy preparing for the upcoming annual meeting. We are excited to announce two upcoming initiatives. First, for the first time this fall SICB has recruited three student social media correspondents: Ioannis Tsagakis (University of Leeds), Katherine Gonzalez (Purdue University), and Noah Bressman (Wake Forest University). In the upcoming weeks these students will be becoming more integrated into our social media platforms, working to increase the scope and reach of the society. Also, please watch for the establishment of a new SICB Instagram account and further integration with the society’s journals.

The PAC is also excited to announce its workshop for the upcoming annual meeting, “Embracing Variation Among Humans: Perspectives on LGBTQ+ Experiences in Biology and Academia.” This workshop will be put on in collaboration with National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP). Our goal is to openly discuss the challenges of the LGBTQ+ community within our society, the field of organismal biology, and academia more broadly. A NOGLSTP representative will first lead an eye-opening information session about challenges facing this community at different career levels. This will be followed by a question-and-answer period where audience members can ask SICB members from the LGBTQ+ community about their experiences. We aim to represent the diversity of SICB in sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, career stage, and scientific interests on this panel. The PAC welcomes suggestions from the membership regarding this workshop over the next several months as we put the final touches on the planning of this workshop. Please email chair.pac@sicb.com with any suggestions or comments.

Broadening Participation Committee Report, Rita Mehta, BCP@sicb.org

The Broadening Participation Committee looks forward to seeing SICB members in 2020! We are most pleased to announce a somewhat different event for the 2020 meeting. BP will be hosting Dr. Kendall Moore, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and Professor in the departments of Journalism and Film Media at the University of Rhode Island. Kendall has created some powerful films centered around race and equity in a variety of contexts. SICB will be showing one of Kendall’s recent short films entitled, “Can We Talk? Difficult Conversations With Underrepresented People of Color: Sense of Belonging and Obstacles to STEM Fields.” We encourage all interested students and researchers to attend this showing. Amazingly, Kendall travels with her films. After the showing, Kendall will lead a smaller group in a discussion about the film. To attend the after film discussion, please register here: BP_Discussion2019

If we receive more interest than slots available, BP will evaluate the registration forms carefully and give priority to attendees who are currently mentoring students.

BP is also happy to support the workshop Mentorship and sponsorship: how to curate your support team and guide your successful career. This workshop is organized by Dr. Laura Mydlarz, Professor and Associate Chair of Biology at the University of Texas at Arlington. This workshop will teach participants what to give and how to gain from your mentors and sponsors to support career goals. In this workshop participants will also map their mentor and sponsor relationships and build a support team. This workshop is geared for late-stage graduate students, post-docs, and early career researchers.

In addition to these two exciting events, please consider participating in BP’s mentorship program: SICB BP Mentorship Matching Survey for the 2020 meeting. We need all interested participants to fill out the matching survey by December 8th so that we can start organizing for the meeting.

This upcoming SICB meeting BP wants to make our members aware of a lunch time mentor-mentee program for PIs and students who identify as LGBTQ+. These informal lunches are hosted by the PI. PIs and students interested in this program should contact the organizers, Dr. Ajna Rivera and Graduate Student Shayle Matsuda. The following link is just for PIs: https://forms.gle/TB1doc4wk5rf2Bc88.

The BP Committee would like to welcome our new graduate student representative, Shayle Matsuda. Shayle is a doctoral student at the University of Hawaii Mānoa and the Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology. Shayle comes to the BP committee with much enthusiasm and dedication to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity in the sciences. We look forward to working with him for the next three years.

Members of the BP committee are available to discuss any issues you may have about inclusion, ways to increase participation and engagement at all levels, mentorship, and fostering a sense of community at SICB. See you in 2020!

Education Council Report, Chair Bram Lutton, chair.edcouncil@sicb.org

Education Council Chair Bram Lutton

The Education Council is looking forward to the 2020 meeting, and there are several exciting events we hope SICB members will consider attending while in Austin! These include the annual Teaching and Learning Workshop, the John A. Moore Lecture, and the M. Patricia Morse Award for Excellence and Innovation in Science Education.

This year the Teaching and Learning Workshop will be “Teaching critical thinking about science and technology: GMOs as a case study”. The workshop will be a two-hour round table format with drinks and desserts, from 7–9pm on Sunday, January 5th.

Steven Druker, winner of the Luxembourg Peace Prize (Photo credit: Schengen Peace Foundation)

This year the workshop is being organized by Bram Lutton, Chair of the Education Council, who has taught ethics in science and technology for the past ten years at Endicott college and the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. Dr. Lutton will introduce Steven Druker, Executive Director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity and winner of the Luxembourg Peace Prize for his efforts to protect human and environmental health, as well as the international reliability of science. It will be a wonderful opportunity for members of SICB interested in science education and/or bioethics to learn active critical thinking methods in the classroom using case studies.

Emily Graslie will give the John A. Moore Lecture this year at SICB

The aim of the John A. Moore Lecture series is to invite a nationally-recognized speaker who can provide our members with a new perspective on science education and communication. The Education Council is very excited that Emily Graslie has accepted our invitation to provide the highly esteemed, society-wide Moore Lecture this year! Ms. Graslie is the Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum in Chicago, where she has been hosting an extremely popular YouTube channel called Brain Scoop. She will demonstrate, in a way that few people can, what the world of science education and communication has to offer in the modern era! The Moore Lecture will be held on the final day of the conference, and for more information about the Moore Lecture series, we invite you to visit the SICB website.

Dr. David Epel of the Hopkins Marine Station and the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University will receive the M. Patricia Morse Award at SICB

And finally, the Education council is so pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 M. Patricia Morse Award for Excellence and Innovation in Science Education, Dr. David Epel, of the Hopkins Marine Station and the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. It is difficult to select SICB members for this prestigious award, as each year we have a number of outstanding nominees. Dr. Epel received a large number of heart-felt recommendations from society members, and is a beloved long-term member of SICB; it will be an honor to present Dr. Epel with his award before the Moore Lecture on January 7th in Austin! The Morse award is an annual honor given to a SICB member at any career stage for significant achievement in science education. It was created to honor past-President of SICB, Dr. Trish Morse, for her extraordinary achievements and contributions to the society’s mission of education. For more information, please visit the SICB website.

For any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Education Council Chair directly (chair.edcouncil@sicb.org).

Integrative and Comparative Biology (ICB) Journal Report, Ulrike Müller, Editor, Integrative and Comparative Biology, editor.icb@sicb.org

In 2019, Integrative and Comparative Biology has seen changes and new records. ICB reached it highest impact factor (3.1) and highest number of articles published (130 symposium articles, plus 15 invited articles), an increase by more than 25%, and we anticipate a similar number of articles in 2020. Accordingly, our editorial board grew to five associate and 23 assistant editors. The board not only grew in size by 25%, but now also more closely resembles the diversity within the SICB membership and for the first time in ICB’s history more than half the editors are women. Furthermore, we have broadened our social media participation by opening an Instagram account along with our Twitter and our blog; in 2020 we will continue on this track by posting interview clips with one scientist per symposium on our ICB Instagram Insta TV.

Ulrike Müller, Editor Integrative and Comparative Biology

Call to Action for Transparency and Equity: As part of its aim to grow and renew, ICB is launching two initiatives to increase equity and transparency at the journal. First, we are exploring ways to organize virtual symposia. Second, we are forming a task force to increase transparency and equity in scientific publishing, particularly data transparency and equity of the review process. Equity and transparency matter for our journal’s future. We therefore encourage early-career scientists to join us in these two initiatives. We offer you the opportunity to gain leadership experience; in return we hope to gain from your insights and energy.

Second Editor’s Challenge and Virtual Symposia: ICB will launch the Second Editor’s Challenge in spring 2020. We aim to organize a virtual workshop and symposium and we are currently looking for ideas on suitable topics. The first Editor’s Challenge was “define stress”. If you have an idea for a topic or if you would like to bring together a group of people around a cutting-edge challenge, please reach out to ICB. We offer you ICB’s resources to organize a virtual workshop and the opportunity to publish in ICB.

Increasing Transparency in Science and Publishing: ICB will launch a task force to increase transparency and equity at ICB. If you care about how ICB conducts peer reviews and how ICB can improve transparency, please reach out to ICB. We are looking for scientists to help us develop innovative practices that increase transparency and equity in scientific publishing.

“Students, read this to see how much SICB loves you!” Development Committee Report, Lou Burnett, Development Committee Chair and Past President, past.president@sicb.org

SICB investments and donations support our programs, especially student-oriented programs. Here is how this works. The SICB investments make up what I will call an endowment and the endowment receives donations and provides income from the investments. When you donate to a particular fund in SICB, this is where it goes. There are twelve separate funds that we track within our investments/donations portfolio, including a general fund. We are currently using 3.5% of the five-year trailing average from each fund to do the work designated by the fund. This is normally done with endowments to balance the good years with the not-so-good years.

For example, the Student Research Fund (Grants-in-Aid of Research and Fellowship for Graduate Student Travel) supports GIAR and FGST awards that are announced each year at our business meeting. SICB awards $40,000 in student research support each year. The Student Research Fund of our endowment supported $8,421 of the $40,000 and the rest came from the SICB operating budget. As the endowment grows through investments and donations, more of this $40,000 will come the SICB endowment freeing up operating funds for other things. All of the SICB funds work this way. So to fully fund our GIAR and FGST Student Research programs, the Student Research Fund of our endowment needs to be $1,143,000! This fund currently sits at about $300,000, so we have a long way to go but our target amount is clear.

One way we have promoted the growth of this particular Student Research Fund is to allow the naming of the student research awards. This is important. We currently have three named student research awards: the Steven Vogel Award, the Toby Gaunt Award, and the Rosemary Knapp Award.

This past year we were saddened by the passing of longtime SICB member Rosemary Knapp. Donations to the Student Research Fund in the name of Rosemary raised over $5,000. This is enough to make one Rosemary Knapp Award each year for the next five years. (Please email the chair of the SICB Development Committee for details on how this works — Chair.Development@sicb.org).

SICB also has a Double Your Dues (DYD) campaign that is asking each member (including and especially students) to contribute the equivalent of one year of dues money to support student-oriented initiatives. So far more than 140 SICB members have donated over $9,000 to the Student Research Fund through DYD. You can find a link to the DYD on the SICB home page.

The Development Committee wants to acknowledge and thank the Gans Collections and Charitable Fund, Inc. for a special donation to the ongoing Broadening Participation Travel Award program. The generous donation stimulated broadening participation in our annual meeting far beyond what was originally planned.

Here are some other ways to support SICB:

1. Buy SICB apparel. See the far right tab on the SICB home page or go to https://sicbstore.qbstores.com/. 15% of proceeds from purchases of SICB apparel support student-oriented programs.

2. Register with Amazon Smile for SICB. If you purchase items from Amazon.com you can register with Amazon Smile (https://smile.amazon.com/) and a portion of your purchase comes to SICB.

Make a donation, wear a ribbon: If you attended the annual meeting in the past few years, you have seen SICB donors recognized by ribbons attached to their badges; the colors of the ribbons correspond to various tiers of giving. Show others how you support SICB. There are five donor levels:

Make a donation and wear a ribbon!
  • Bronze — up to $50
  • Silver — $51–100
  • Gold — $101–250
  • Platinum — $251–500
  • Diamond — $501 and up

Thank you in advance for your support of SICB.

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