Scientific societies respond to proposed WOTUS Repeal
September 21, 2017
SWS along with 11 other scientific societies submitted a letter opposing the rule to repeal WOTUS Clean Water Rule. Read the full letter. The comment period for the Repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule has been extended through September 27. Submit your letter.
CASS requests proposed WOTUS Repeal not be exempted from the Administrative Procedures Act
September 21, 2017
SWS and the other scientific societies within CASS submitted a letter requesting that the proposed Repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule not be exempted from the Administrative Procedures Act, which would exempt it from the public review process. Read the full letter.
Send comments on Rule to Replace WOTUS Clean Water Rule before Nov 28
August 31, 2017
The comment period for the Repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule has been extended through September 27. Submit your letter.
Phase two of implementing Trump's Executive Order is to develop a new Clean Water Rule consistent with Scalia SCOTUS opinion. The U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will accept written recommendations up until November 28, but will not provide formal responses. However, they are offering teleconferences and a small entities in-person meeting in Washington, D.C. for public participation. The teleconferences are opportunities to comment on Phase 2. The in-person meeting for small entities will be held on October 23. Learn more.
Past president Davies featured in new article outlining WOTUS
August 28, 2017
SWS past president Gillian Davies was recently featured in an article outlining the complexities of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Clean Water Rule; "Davies likened wetland tributaries to capillaries in the body. If you introduce a pollutant into a capillary it can reach a vein and affect organ functioning. And just like kidneys, she explained, wetlands filter toxins, and they also store excess water and release it in dry weather." Read the article.
Submit paper for consideration in a special feature of Wetlands and for a symposium in the 2018 SWS Annual Meeting
August 11, 2017
Wetlands have been at the center of human evolution and the development of this planet’s diverse cultures. Without water we would not exist. While the mission of the SWS is “to promote understanding, conservation, protection, restoration, science-based management, and sustainability of wetlands” the relationship between humans and wetlands at the most basic cultural levels has not been considered. Every culture on the planet relies on some type of wetland. A better understanding of the importance of wetlands to our diverse cultures and traditions provides a new and important dimension to the Society’s mission.
“Wetlands have special attributes as part of the cultural heritage of humanity – they are related to religious and cosmological beliefs and spiritual values, constitute a source of aesthetic and artistic inspiration, yield invaluable archaeological evidence from the remote past, provide wildlife sanctuaries, and form the basis of important local social, economic, and cultural traditions” (Ramsar, 2016). With this in mind, Wetlands is soliciting papers that are focused on the role that wetlands play and played in the emergence and development of our diverse cultures and social structures, and the various aspects of wetlands that are deemed important and define the culture. Inevitably, much of this information is likely to be a part of the culture’s oral history and Wetlands will respect and honor this traditional information. Authors are encouraged to assign primary authorship to the individuals that provided the information and follow the Principles of Professional Responsibility as adopted by the Council of the American Anthropological Association.
Some questions that could be used to help guide/shape manuscripts
- Did the wetlands shape their respective cultures? If yes, then how or in what ways?
- Did the people try to manage the resources? If so, how and to what end?
- What were early management practices like?
- Did they use on or several types of wetlands? Did they distinguish between the different wetlands on the landscape?
- Was the culture hunter gather versus agrarian (i.e., opportunistic versus predictability)?
- Do wetlands still play an important role in the lives of indigenous people?
The goal of this effort is to obtain a sufficient number of papers that could be published in a special feature of Wetlands and presented as a Symposium in the upcoming 2018 Annual SWS Meeting in Denver.
Symposium Presentation: November 21, 2017
Special Feature in Wetlands: July 1, 2018
Please contact Wetlands Editor in Chief, Dr. Marinus Otte (firstname.lastname@example.org), for more information.
CASS Writes a Letter Requesting an Extension of Public Comment Period for WOTUS Repeal
August 8, 2017
The Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS) has written a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) requesting an extension of the public comment period for the WOTUS Clean Water Rule repeal. To read the letter, click here.
U.S. Scientists Can Add Their Names to WOTUS Clean Water Rule Comment Letter Before August 28 Deadline
August 4, 2017
SWS encourages members to submit individual comment letters on the proposed repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States Clean Water Rule (see preceding news item for details), prior to the August 28th submission deadline here. In addition to sending individualized comment letters, or if you are short on time, wetlands and aquatic scientists from the United States have the opportunity to add their names to a comment letter posted on the American Rivers website here. SWS is working with our CASS partners to prepare a comment letter, and also plans on submitting an independent SWS comment letter.
Comments on Rule to Repeal WOTUS Clean Water Rule due by August 28 - CASS warns against the repeal of WOTUS
July 27, 2017
The rule to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Clean Water Rule (CWR) was filed on July 27 in the Federal Register. Comments on the proposed rule to repeal are due by August 28. The U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers first announced their intent to repeal and replace WOTUS CWR on June 27, 2017, to implement President Trump’s February Executive Order. The EPA proposed to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule in two steps, initially reverting to pre-2015 regulations, then replacing the existing and long-standing federal Clean Water Act regulation with a new Rule that would be consistent with Justice Scalia’s minority opinion in the 2006 Rapanos v. United States case, which was a 4-1-4 decision. The new EPA Economic Analysis pertaining to the Clean Water Rule is available here. Read more.
SWS and its Consortium of Aquatic Science Society (CASS) partners (American Fisheries Society, Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, North American Lake Management Society, Phycological Society of America, and Society for Freshwater Science) released a statement on July 27, opposing the repeal and replacement of the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Read the statement from CASS. SWS will also prepare comments on the proposed rule changes for submittal during the short 30-day comment period that follows publication of the proposed rule changes in the Federal Register; the public comment period will be open until August 28, 2017. SWS encourages members to send individual letters of comment during the 30-day comment period. Responses are required for each comment submitted.
SWS President's Report
Arnold van der Valk, Ames, IA
July 12, 2017
One of the major objectives of the SWS Strategic Plan 2015-2020 is to make SWS an effective international scientific society with a global reach. This plan identified a number of specific actions that should be taken to achieve this strategic objective.
Some progress has been made toward meeting this strategic objective in the last year, including travel by members of the Executive Board to international chapters (Asia, Europe), the establishment of a new chapter in China, and more cooperation with international societies and organizations (Ramsar, INTECOL, and Society for Ecological Restoration). In addition, an Internationalization Committee also was established, which I chaired, whose goal was to make specific recommendations for making SWS a truly international scientific society. There were also two discussions about internationalizing SWS at our annual meeting in June 2017 in San Juan, one at the Board of Directors meeting and another for members outside of the US. These three efforts resulted in a series of proposed action items that are very much in concert with those in our Strategic Plan. Among the more important of these were:
- Developing an Internationalization Strategy
SWS does not have the resources or manpower to try to develop new chapters simultaneously in several parts of the world. SWS should prioritize its internationalization efforts by identifying regions that seems most likely to be suitable for establishing new chapters.
- Reducing Language Barriers
SWS should translate its recruiting materials into other languages, especially Spanish, French, and Chinese. SWS should develop subtitled versions of its webinars.
- Establishing an Internationalization Fund
Internationalization will require money. The proposed internationalization fund would set aside a percent of the SWS annual budget to promote internationalization efforts. The main purposes of this fund would be to (1) provide travel funds for SWS leaders to promote SWS outside the US; (2) provide travel funds to enable wetland leaders and students from developing countries to attend SWS meetings; (3) set up a competitive small-grants program for wetland scientists in developing countries that could be used to fund any wetland related project or program, not just research; and (4) establish travel grants that SWS members could apply for to attend meetings outside the US as SWS representatives.
- Promoting Wetland Science Education/Training
SWS should promote the training of wetland scientists in the developing world through training or educational programs in conjunction with various national, regional, and international development and conservation organizations. SWS should develop standards for courses in wetland science. It should develop short, online courses dealing with a variety of wetland topics (classification, restoration, hydrology, soils, etc.). There is a strong demand for such online courses in wetland science, especially in developing countries. These could be developed in conjunction with other organizations (e.g., Association of State Wetland Managers, Ramsar) and various universities. Having accessible and affordable courses relevant to wetland ecologists and managers around the world that are sponsored by SWS would significantly improve the visibility of SWS internationally.
- Becoming More Regionally Involved
SWS needs to become more involved in regional programs and activities dealing with wetlands. It needs to establish a new committee to deal with international wetland issues. This committee would be charged with monitoring international wetland issues/disputes and maintaining the list of such issues. This list should be developed in consultation with the international chapters and sections, especially the Ramsar and Public Policy and Regulation Sections.
- Scheduling Annual and Regional Meetings
Have more SWS annual meetings outside of North America. SWS needs to develop a new method for deciding on the location of its annual meetings. Travel costs and language barriers make it difficult for wetland scientists in many countries to attend the SWS annual meeting. To promote more involvement with SWS, regional SWS meetings should be held in various parts of the world. These regional meetings, whenever possible, should be joint meetings with existing local wetland societies.
- Developing More Sections
Sections are inherently international in scope, and they attract members from different regions of the world. Expanding the number of sections and making them equal in status to chapters would make SWS more attractive to wetland scientists around the world.
During the upcoming year, my highest priority will be to implement the proposed recommendations for internationalizing SWS. To do this will require much discussion at a variety of levels, the Executive Board, Board of Directors, standing committees (e.g., Ways and Means, Bylaws), chapters, and sections (e.g., Education, Public Policy and Regulation). Some of these recommendations can be implemented fairly easily, but others will require a major reallocation of funds in our budget and even some changes in our bylaws. Ultimately, the entire membership will need to vote to approve any changes in the society’s bylaws that internationalization may require.
Because the ongoing internationalization effort will significantly affect the future of the society, I will keep you posted throughout the year on the progress that is being made. If you have any suggestions or ideas for promoting the internationalization of SWS, please let me know (email@example.com). If you are interested in participating in any of these proposed efforts to internationalize SWS, please let me know. We will need all the help that we can get to achieve our internationalization goal.
UNESCO supports SWS' concern for Lake Ohrid
June 30, 2017
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently supported the Society of Wetland Scientists' concern for Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. As the oldest lake on the European continent, this three-million-year-old lake is considered a Natural and Cultural Heritage site, and holds valuable information on evolution and rare species. Today, Lake Ohrid is threatened by infrastructure projects and urban developments. UNESCO requested that the Macedonian government halt the construction projects and instead develop alternative ecotourism programs. Read more about UNESCO's efforts. SWS first voiced its concern for Lake Ohrid back in 2015. Read the SWS Lake Ohrid letter.
2017 SWS Annual Meeting
June 21, 2017
Over 470 people attended the 2017 SWS Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, including 122 students, 95 field trip participants and 120 attendees at the closing event. With over 400 abstract submissions and a very popular silent auction, the meeting was a success thanks to all of our SWS supporters!
Congratulations to all who were inaugurated as SWS leaders for the 2017-2018 year! We are pleased to announce Arnold Van der Valk, Ph.D.; PWS, as the new SWS President, Beth Middleton, Ph.D., as President-Elect and Leandra Cleveland, PWS, as the next Secretary General. View the new Executive Board here. Congratulations to all new chapter, section and committee leaders.
Congratulations to all award winners and student research grant recipients! Click here to view all award and grant recipients.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Paul Keddy, Ph.D.
Fellow Award – Robert Brooks; Max Finlayson, Ph.D.; Cliff Hupp, Ph.D.
President's Service Award - Wei-Ta Fang; Jim Perry, Ph.D.; Kimberli Ponzio; Jos Verhoeven, Ph.D.
Doug Wilcox Award - Debashish Mazumber, Ph.D.
International Travel Award – Adam Ceesay; Philip Frenzel; Anne Ola
2016 Brinson Best Student Oral Presentation Award - Christine Rohal
2016 Best Student Poster Presentation Award - Julia Stuart
Wetland Ambassadors Graduate Research Fellowship - Amr Keshta
Wetland Restoration Section Poster Award – Adan Garza; Gabriela Judd
Journalism Fellow Award - William Funk
We are proud to introduce the new China Chapter! This chapter was added after the motion passed at the Annual Meeting. It will be led by Professor Xianguo Lu. Thank you to Wei-Ta Fang, Jiang Ming, Gillian Davies and all those involved for making this new chapter possible. Two new sections were approved at the Annual Meeting, as well. The Public Policy & Regulation Section will be led by John Lowenthal and the Education Section will be chaired by Derek Faust. Visit the Sections page on the SWS website to learn more about these new sections.
From left to right: SWS China Chapter Chair-Elect and General Secretary Professor Jiang Ming, SWS President-Elect Beth Middleton, SWS President Arnold Van der Valk, SWS Immediate Past President Gillian Davies and SWS Asia Chapter President Wei-Ta Fang.
To celebrate World Wetlands Day this year, SWS sponsored a youth art contest. We collected art from children all around the world, in celebration of this international wetlands day. 25 finalists were chosen in May, in celebration of American Wetlands Month. Then, in June at our Annual Meeting, we ask meeting attendees to vote for their favorites. The votes have been counted, and we are proud to announce the winners! The winners from each grade category will receive the following prizes: 1st place: $50; 2nd place: $25; 3rd place: $10. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who participated in our first youth art contest! View the winning artwork.
Grades 1 – 5:
1st place – Lauren Wood, grade 4, Arlington, VA
2nd place – Eva Jaldin Torrico, grade 3, Arlington, VA
3rd place - Peter Kress, grade 4, Arlington, VA
Grades 6 – 12:
1st place – Alayna Shepherd, grade 8, Palm Bay, FL
2nd place – Andrea Kowalski, grade 8, Chelsea, MI
You can view all of our photos from this year’s meeting on our Facebook page. Feel free to tag yourself, colleagues and friends.
Join us May 29 - June 1, 2018, in Denver, CO, USA, for the 2018 SWS Annual Meeting – Wetland Science: Integrating Research, Practice and Policy - An Exchange of Expertise. The meeting will focus on the intercommunication of the most recent developments in wetland science, practice and policy between the different sectors of SWS. It will encourage collaboration and partnerships among wetland researchers, practitioners, managers and policymakers, with the overall goal of improving wetland science.
SWS San Juan Statement on Climate Change and Wetlands
June 8, 2017
SWS issued the Society of Wetland Scientists San Juan Statement on Climate Change and Wetlands at the 2017 SWS Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on June 5 - 8, 2017. Over 200 attendees signed the statement in support. The Statement reads as follows:
“The following participants at the Society of Wetland Scientists 2017 Annual Meeting encourage policy makers in all countries to continue their collaborative efforts to develop and implement international policies, such as the Paris Climate Agreement, to mitigate global climate change and, in doing so:
- Ensure the protection of existing carbon banks in wetlands and encourage carbon sequestration;
- Maintain or restore wetlands for their biodiversity and ecosystem services, including climate resiliency;
- Request all wetland managers and scientists to share this statement and support local to global efforts to combat climate change for the betterment of humankind."
SWS wetland scientists Gail Chmura, Gillian Davies, Max Finlayson, Beth Middleton, Sue Natali, Jim Perry, Nigel Roulet, Ariana Sutton-Grier and climate scientist William Moomaw have submitted an article titled, “The Relationship Between Wetlands and a Changing Climate” to the Wetlands journal. This article reviews research on how wetlands function in the global carbon cycle, the climate resiliency and adaptation services provided by wetlands, and the particular vulnerabilities that wetlands face as our climate changes. The article identifies policies and management strategies at all scales (local to global) that foster wetland and societal climate resilience/adaptation, protect ecosystem carbon stored in wetlands, and protect the future capacity of wetlands to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
Over 200 attendees at the 2017 Annual Meeting signed the San Juan Statement on Climate Change and Wetlands, including SWS President Gillian Davies, SWS Europe Chapter President Matthew Simpson, 2017 SWS Fellow Dr. Max Finlayson and SWS members Dr. Luca Mazzari, Professor Peter Gell and Royal Gardner.
SWS supports the Herring River Restoration Project
June 6, 2017
SWS sent a letter of support for the Herring River Restoration Project at the Cape Cod National Seashore in Wellfleet and Truro, Massachusetts. Project partners and supporters include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration. This project will apply cutting edge wetland science and management to restore approximately 1,000 acres of salt marsh on one of the largest tidally-restricted estuaries in the northeastern United States. Removal of the tidal restriction will allow this estuary to resume playing an important role in the aquatic food chain of the Gulf of Maine, and has the potential to provide substantial Blue Carbon (the carbon sequestered and stored long-term in coastal wetlands) benefits, while serving as one of the first such projects at this scale, both nationally and internationally. Read the full letter here. Learn more about the project here.
The Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society joins CASS
May 31, 2017
The Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS) partnered with SWS in joining the Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS). FMCS is the seventh scientific society to join CASS. Like SWS, FMCS agreed to promote international aquatic ecosystem scientific study, education and outreach via the creation of a Consortium of Aquatic Scientific Societies (CASS), first established in 2010, with the intent to expand cooperation and action with the American Fisheries Society (AFS), the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF), the Phycological Society of America (PSA) and the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS). Learn more about our SWS partners.
SWS supports FY2018 funding for scientific research and education
May 23, 2017
SWS joined the American Institute for Biological Sciences (AIBS), and many other leading biological science organizations, in signing a letter to Congress urging strong investment in scientific research and education in fiscal year 2018, and rejecting deep cuts to federal research programs, such as those proposed by the U.S. President in his proposed budget.
Youth art contest finalists announced
May 15, 2017
To celebrate World Wetlands Day this year, SWS sponsored a youth art contest that ran from February 2 - April 2. We collected art from children all around the world, in celebration of this international wetlands day. Students in grades 1 - 5 were asked to draw their favorite wetland, while students in grades 6 - 12 were asked to submit a drawing, photograph or combination of both that reflected the theme Wetlands for Protecting and Serving People.
We are proud to announce 25 finalists, whose work will be judged in June at the 2017 Annual Meeting by meeting attendees. Visit the SWS Facebook page to view the finalists’ artwork.
The winners from each grade category will receive the following prizes:
1st place: $50
2nd place: $25
3rd place: $10
SWS and Ramsar renew Memorandum of Cooperation
May 5, 2017
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Secretary General Martha Rojas-Urrego and Society of Wetland Scientists President Gillian Davies signed and renewed the Ramsar Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands – Society of Wetland Scientists Memorandum of Cooperation at the SWS Europe Chapter Annual Meeting in Faro, Portugal, on Friday, May 5. This Memorandum creates the framework for collaboration between the two organizations during the 2017 – 2023 timeframe.
The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, and includes 169 Contracting Parties and 2,266 Ramsar Sites throughout the world. The Ramsar Convention and SWS share objectives for protecting, conserving, restoring and sustainably managing wetlands around the world, as well as providing wetlands education and outreach. As the Memorandum notes, “The Convention on Wetlands and the SWS recognize the fundamental role played by wetlands in regulating and providing water, in supporting maintenance of cultural and biological diversity, in ensuring high ecosystem integrity, in regulating climate and in providing ecosystem services and benefits for people and the planet.” Read more here.
Ramsar Convention Secretary General Martha Rojas-Urrego and SWS President Gillian Davies sign and renew the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands – Society of Wetland Scientists Memorandum of Cooperation.
From left to right: SWS Europe Chapter President-Elect Mathew Simpson, SWS Europe Chapter President Jos Verhoeven, Ramsar Convention Secretary General Martha Rojas-Urrego, SWS President Gillian Davies, SWS President-Elect Arnold Van der Valk, SWS Ramsar Section Chair Nick Davidson.
CASS supports FY18 funding for EPA, NASA and NOAA
April 26, 2017
SWS joined fellow Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS) societies in signing the letters supporting FY18 funding for NOAA, NASA, and EPA. CASS sent the letters to the relevant House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees as the "Outside Witness Testimony.” Proposed cuts to these aquatic and wetland-related programs at these federal agencies have the potential to lead to significant ecological damage. These letters support the continued funding of programs essential to the protection of wetlands and aquatic resources. Read the full letters here.
SWS endorses and partners with March for Science
April 18, 2017
The Society of Wetland Scientists endorses and is a Partner of the March for Science as part of our mission to support sound science in wetland policy and stewardship. We hope to see you in Washington D.C. on April 22, 2017 #EarthDay, or any of the satellite marches at other locations. #sciencemarch
The March for Science is very committed to remaining non-partisan. No politicians will be speaking, and March organizers encourage messages on posters to focus on being pro-science and non-partisan.
No matter where you plan to march, organizers ask that you RSVP on the March for Science website in order to track overall participation numbers. Visit the March for Science website to learn more about this worldwide event.
SWS March for Science t-shirts:
SWS has created SWS March for Science T-shirts, which you can order directly from Café Press by following either of the links below. The shirts do not specify a March location, so they are appropriate wherever you are marching. Regular shipping takes about two weeks, so order soon!
SWS Washington, D.C. March logistics:
If you are marching with SWS, we request that your signs be non-partisan and positive, such as “Wetland Scientists Marching for Science."
SWS will gather from 8:00 am - 8:30 am on the plaza in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, on Madison Drive. This meeting place is between two metro stops: you can get off at either the Smithsonian (Mall exit) or Federal Triangle metro stop. When you are on the Mall side of the National Museum of Natural History, there are steps that go up to the building. SWS will gather on the right side of the stairs (at the bottom). Look for people wearing the SWS March for Science T-shirts. Learn more about the official marching route on the March for Science website.
- 8:00 am - 8:30: Grounds open/SWS meets at our meeting spot
- 9:00 am: Teach-ins begin
- 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Speakers address the marchers
- 2:00 pm – March begins
With the day filled with events, we recommend packing lunch, snacks, water, hats and sunscreen.
New climate report reveals forest crisis
April 18, 2017
According to a new report released today on the International Day of Forests, a massive scale-up in forest protection in the United States, is critical to solving the climate crisis and providing a safety net for communities against extreme weather events. The Great American Stand: US Forests and the Climate Emergency, highlights how standing forests represent our best available technology for removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it long-term. Meanwhile, the rate and scale of logging in U.S. forests for wood, paper and fuel are among the highest in the world. Logging, past and present, has significantly degraded U.S. forests’ climate stabilizing capacity, and a new path must forward must be created in order to restore U.S. forests for their climate benefits. Download the full report here.
2020 Annual Meeting location announced
March 14, 2017
SWS is excited to announce that our 2020 Annual Meeting will be held in Québec City, Québec, Canada, and will be a joint meeting with the Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA) and Society of Ecological Restoration (SER). The conference is expected to attract 1,500 participants.
SWS President Gillian Davies and Managing Director Michelle Czosek were recently featured the Québec City Convention Centre Magazine from their visit there in February. Read more here.
SWS President Gillian Davies (far left) and SWS Managing Director Michelle Czosek (far right) at the Québec City Winter Carnival.
New EPM master’s program offered
March 14, 2017
The University of California Davis recently launched a new Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management (EPM) degree program at the John Muir Institute of the Environment. The program is an accelerated one-year program, meant for environmental professionals who are looking to build skills in policy and management. Applications for Fall 2017 are due April 15, 2017. Learn more at https://epm.ucdavis.edu/apply.
Chronicles of a Wetland Scientist lecture
March 14, 2017
SWS Past President (2008 – 2009) Chris Craft, the Janet Duey Professor of Rural Land Policy in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, will present his lecture Living on the Edge: Chronicles of a Wetland Scientist on April 6, 2017, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
This will be the second Paul W. Kirk, Jr. Memorial Wetland Ecology Lecture, which honors the memory of Dr. Paul Kirk, former ODU Biology Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Sciences. These lectures are meant to encourage open discussion and the dissemination of science-based information on the environment. Learn more here. Register for this event here.
Scientists as advocates: a new study
March 14, 2017
A study from Environmental Communication challenges the assumption that advocacy harms the reputations of scientists. According to John Kotcher, the study's lead author and a researcher at George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication, the study revealed that "the long-standing question of whether scientists should engage in any form of advocacy is less important than for what, specifically, the scientists are advocating." Read more here.
SWS and partners send letters in support of WOTUS & Amici Curiae Brief
March 1, 2017
Representing over 200,000 members and 130+ professional societies and research organizations, the Society of Wetland Scientists, along with the American Fisheries Society, American Institute for Biological Sciences, Ecological Society of America, Phycological Society of America, Society for Ecological Restoration and Society for Freshwater Science sent letters supporting the Waters of the United States Clean Water Rule and associated Amicus Brief to Congress and President Trump, in response to President Trump’s February 28, 2017 Executive Order directing agencies to start reviewing and evaluating the Clean Water Rule. Read the full letter here.
The letter has since been picked up by multiple, international news sources:
Similarly, our partner, the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM), sent a paper describing the Priorities for State Wetland Programs in the New Administration to U.S Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Scott Pruitt. The paper outlines six areas of importance to state wetland managers. Read the letter here.
If you would like to reach out to your representatives and encourage them to support the Clean Water Rule, you can search for your U.S. House of Representatives by entering your zip code here and your U.S. Senators by selecting your state from the dropdown menu here.
Similarly, our partner, the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM), sent a paper, Priorities for State Wetland Programs in the New Administration, to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Scott Pruitt. The paper outlines six areas of importance to state wetland managers. Read the letter to the EPA Administrator. Learn more about ASWM.
Wetland Ambassadors application, deadline extended
February 3, 2017
Due to several requests from wetland science students and wetland research mentors around the globe, we have extended our deadline to apply for the new Wetland Ambassadors Research Fellowship Program! As a reminder, these fellowships will provide the opportunity for graduate students to travel to another country and conduct groundbreaking research with some of the world’s top wetland scientists.
In order to be considered for a fellowship, the applicant must be currently enrolled in an M.S. or Ph.D. program at one of our partner institutions. Click here for more information on eligibility, applications instructions and guidelines. Click here to learn more about the research mentors that you can work with for this year’s program.
All applications are now due by the extended deadline of Monday, February 20th at 11:59pm EST. Please contact Dr. Bianca Wentzell at Bianca.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the program, or Ms. Kara Miller at email@example.com if you have any specific questions about the application site. We hope that you will take this extended opportunity to apply and join us this coming year!
SWS Executive Board endorses March for Science
February 1, 2017
SWS Executive Board members, Gillian Davies, Kim Ponzio, Julila Cherry and Loretta Battaglia, support the use of sound science in wetland policy and stewardship. We hope to see you at the March for Science in Washington D.C., or any of the satellite marches at other locations, on Earth Day 2017 (April 22). Please view the March for Science website for more information, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.
NYT highlights former WiW chair's research
January 23, 2017
The New York Times recently interviewed former SWS Women in Wetlands Section chair, Ellen Hartig, about her work on chronicling sea levels, over a 1,500-year stretch, on a New York marsh. Hartig's study confirmed that sea levels are rising faster than at any other time in 15 centuries. As a consequence, more than $25 billion worth of infrastructure will be under direct threat from flooding in the coming decades, including seven hospitals, 183 hazardous waste sites and the homes of nearly 100,000 people. Read the full article here.
2017 SWS Europe Chapter Meeting in Faro, Portugal
January 20, 2017
The SWS Europe Chapter will hold its 2017 annual chapter meeting on May 4 - 6, 2017, in Faro, Portugal. It will kick off the meeting on May 4 by joining the European Pond Conservation Network (EPCN)'s 7th European Pond Conservation Network Workshop + LIFE CHARCOS Seminar: Ponds in a Changing World for field trips and a conference dinner. The EPCN conference will also be held in Faro, Portugal, May 1 - 4, 2017. The Europe Chapter strongly encourages attending both meetings, the entire week of May 1 - 6, 2017. By joining with EPCN, they hope to enhance collaboration in wetland restoration, conservation and other land-use science, as well as find solutions for reoccurring problems. They want to encourage the discussion of new wetland conservation, restoration and management research. To learn more about EPCN's Ponds in a Changing World workshop, please visit the 7th EPCN+LIFE CHARCOS Seminar website. If interested in registering for both the SWS Europe Chapter Meeting and the 7th European Pond Conservation Network Workshop + LIFE CHARCOS Seminar, please register on the EPCN registration site.
The SWS Europe Chapter meeting, Sustainable Management of Wetlands, will explore the novel approaches for water management, biodiversity conservation, restoration, pollution control and climate change. Sessions will include themes on wetlands in a water-wise eco (bio)-based industry, the ecological quality of lakes and reservoirs, river conservation in regards to facing agriculture intensification and climate and conservation and conflicting interests in coastal lagoons. All are welcome and invited. If interested in attending just the SWS Europe Chapter Meeting, please register here. For more information, please visit the SWS Europe Chapter webpage.
Call for Abstracts
A sample abstract form has been prepared for authors to reference when preparing their abstract. It has been prepared with the specified page layout, general formatting and styles that should be used for papers submitted. Please submit your abstract as a PDF to Matthew Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 28, 2017.
International Conference on Environmental History
January 20, 2017
The Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World (DiSSGeA) at the University of Padova will host the International Conference on Environmental History on May 17 - 19, 2017, in Padova, Italy. For more information on the conference, check out this promotional flyer.
Call for papers:
Proposals will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee, taking into account their relevance to the conference themes, the originality of the thesis and their interdisciplinary approach. Oral presentations should be in English or French, and should not exceed twenty minutes. Proposals for participation should be submitted to email@example.com in the form of a paper (maximum 2000 characters) in English or French no later than February 28, 2017.
World Wetlands Day youth art contest
January 16, 2017
Thursday, February 2, 2017, is World Wetlands Day! The Society of Wetland Scientists will celebrate this important day by offering a youth art contest, open February 2 - April 2, 2017. Finalists will be announced in May for American Wetlands Month, and will be judged at the SWS Annual Meeting in June.
For grades 1 - 5, the drawing should be an image of their favorite wetland. Grades 6 - 12 can submit a drawing, photograph or combination of both that reflects the theme, "wetlands for protecting and serving people." Please include your name, grade level, city, state, country and parent's email address on the back of the drawing. Send original artwork to the following address:
SWS Wetland Promotions Subcommittee
22 N. Carroll St., Ste. 300
Madison, WI, USA 53703
Please note that all submissions will become the property of SWS for promotional and educational purposes. Submissions will not be mailed back. Artwork must be received by April 2, 2017, to qualify. Only one submission per person. For more information, check out this promotional flyer.
WETPOL calls for abstracts
December 13, 2016
The 7th International Symposium for Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control (WETPOL) will be held August 22 - 26, 2017, at the Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana, USA. WETPOL is the preeminent global conference that brings together scientists, engineers and practitioners, working on the use of wetlands for water quality improvement. For the first time in the U.S., this conference will create unique opportunities for collaborative exchange, so new participants are encouraged to attend. A full program is planned, focused on domestic wastewater treatment wetlands, urban stormwater wetlands and bio-swales, riparian wetland restoration, wetlands in agricultural settings and wetland biogeochemistry. The conference will include one day of field trips to explore examples of constructed, restored and unique natural wetlands and riparian areas in the region. Learn more at wetpol.org, or check out this informational flyer.
The WETPOL planning committee is now accepting abstracts for the 2017 meeting. Learn more here. Deadline to submit an abstract is January 31, 2017.
CASS writes letter to President-Elect Trump
December 1, 2016
In late November, the Consortiuim of Aquatic Sciences Socieities (CASS) wrote a Letter of Comment to President-Elect Trump about its concern for the future of the nation's aquatic resources. SWS President Gillian Davies signed the letter in support. Read the full letter here.
Wonders of Wetlands inspires students
October 27, 2016
In October, the SWS Western Chapter sponsored an event, Wonders of Wetlands, in Bay Point, California, that included hands-on, wetland-related educational activities for Riverview Middle School students. Exhibits included mallard taxidermy and a make-your-own-wetland activity. Click here to learn more.
Riverview Middle School students, Lesley Barajas and Alana Le, make their own wetland.
CA law recognizes watersheds as infrastructure
October 21, 2016
In September, the California governor signed a law that recognizes the state's source watersheds as part of its water infrastructure, and their increasing importance as our climate changes. By doing so, the law allows the use of modern financing approaches to protect and restore source watersheds, including stream channel restoration, wet and dry meadow restoration, conservation of private forests, upland vegetation management to restore watershed productivity and resiliency, other projects that would increase conditions for water and snow attraction, retention and release under changing climate conditions, and road removal and repair. The new law is ground-breaking in that it fundamentally shifts the regulatory relationship to ecosystems and their services, and puts ecosystems on the same footing as grey infrastructure, relative to funding projects. Click here to read the bill.
SWS signs MOC with SER
October 20, 2016
On Monday, October 17, 2016, the Society of Wetland Scientists signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Society for Ecological Restoration. In keeping with the mission of the two Societies, the President of SWS, Gillian Davies, and the Executive Director of SER, Bethanie Walder, signed the Memorandum while visiting a cranberry bog wetland restoration project at Tidmarsh Farms in Plymouth, MA, where they had the opportunity to tour the largest freshwater wetland restoration site (pictured below) in New England. Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration Director Tim Purinton and restoration site owners and project initiators Glorianna Davenport (M.I.T. Media Lab) and Evan Schulman generously hosted SWS and SER. Tidmarsh Farms is currently the site of a diverse set of research initiatives, including The Living Observatory. Click here to read more about Tidmarsh Farms.
(Left) SWS President Gillian Davies signs MOC with SER Executive Director, Bethanie Walder.
(Right) Restoration site owner, Glorianna Davenport and MA DER Director, Tim Purinton with SWS and SER leaders at Tidmarsh Farm.
Ghosh receives Luc Hoffmann Award
October 20, 2016
SWS member Dhrubajyoti Ghosh received the Luc Hoffmann Award this September at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii. This prestigious award is given to those who set exceptional examples of conservation and ecosystem management. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) awarded Ghosh for his work on the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) and its success in treating the city's wastewater. The EKW gained recognition when it was named a Ramsar site, a Wetland of International Importance. Read more here.
Read The Guardian's article on Ghosh, The miracle of Kolkata's wetlands - and one man's struggle to save them.
SWS expresses concern for Taiwan's Jiading Wetland
October 10, 2016
SWS leaders wrote a Letter of Comment to Mayor Chu Chen of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan about their concern for the Jiading Wetland area. The local government recently approved construction plans for Road 1-4 that will disturb the wetlands. Read the full letter here.
SWS discusses blue carbon policy
October 7, 2016
SWS Members gather to discuss blue carbon policy.
On October 4 - 6, 2016, SWS members participated in and presented at the North American Blue Carbon Experts and Partners Meeting: Science for Policy, sponsored by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. This tri-national (Mexico, Canada, and U.S.A.) meeting of blue carbon scientists and policymakers discussed the state of the science for blue carbon, and policy opportunities and initiatives across North America, and worked to identify research needs and next steps in developing meaningful blue carbon policy at the international, national, provincial/state, and local levels. In addition to work sessions, the group was privileged to visit the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, where they observed the “Bringing Wetlands to Market” project research site and the Herring River restoration project site at the Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet, MA.
SWS travels to 10th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference
October 3, 2016
SWS was represented strongly at the 10th INTECOL (International Association of Ecology) International Wetlands Conference, held in Changshu, China, from September 19 – 24, 2016. SWS takes great pride in the many and substantial contributions of our members, who helped to make the conference in Changshu such a success. Click here to read more about the Society's involvement in the conference.
Visit our SWS Facebook page to see the full conference photo album.
An outcome of the conference was the signing and passing of The Changshu Declaration on Wetlands. More than 800 participants from over 72 countries came together to sign this historic declaration; read the Changshu Declaration here. Watch the signing of the Changshu Declaration on the Society of Wetland Scientists' YouTube channel.
SWS member Ben LePage signs the Changshu Declaration.
The conference brought together wetland scientists from around the globe, and offered all attendees the opportunity to observe the significant progress that China has made in protecting and restoring wetlands. The conference would not have been possible without the support and generosity of conference organizers, Nanjing University Ecological Research Institute of Changshu and the People’s Government of Changshu, as well as the hosts: Nanjing University, China Compliance Office for International Wetland Convention, International Association for Ecology, Ecological Society of China and Wetlands International, along with numerous supporters, including SWS. Read the Thank You letter to SWS, from Shuqing An of Nanjing University.
The Chinese press followed the convention avidly, and interviewed many speakers, including SWS members, Gillian Davies, Kim Ponzio, Jos Verhoeven, Jenny Davis, Chris Craft and William Mitsch.
News clips from the conference:
Plenary Speech from William Mitsch
Outstanding Wetland Scientist Awards
Wetland Cities Session
Jenny Davis Interview
Rural Wetland Session
Closing CeremonyINTECOL Field Trip
Overview of INTECOL Conference
SWS awarded in Taiwan
October 3, 2016
The SWS Asia Chapter joined the 2016 International Wetland Convention in Taipei, Taiwan, on September 13 - 14 for its 2016 Annual Meeting. The meeting celebrated its theme, Wetlands: Our Common Wealth. SWS president, Gillian Davies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taiwan Construction and Planning Agency (CPA). SWS’s Gillian Davies, Kimberli Ponzio, James Perry, Marinus Otte, Ben LePage and Jos Verhoeven received Taiwan’s Wetland Conservation Honorable Advisors Award for exemplary achievements in wetlands fields from Lin Tsyr-Ling, Deputy Minister of the Interior. Gillian Davies gave opening remarks and James Perry and Marinus Otte presented keynote speeches.
Check out the photo album from the conference on our Facebook page.
New graduate research challenge on wetlands
September 15, 2016
This new challenge for graduate-level students is an opportunity to use data from the National Wetland Condition Assessment to conduct scientific research and analysis. The Campus Research Challenge encourages participants to use the NWCA dataset on sources of stress to wetlands, and explore effective ways to reduce such stress to protect, sustain and restore the ecological health of the Nation’s wetlands. EPA encourages student applicants to work with their advisors and other faculty; and to consider how this work may also be incorporated into a thesis, a standalone project, journal articles, and/or presentations or posters at conferences.
EPA will award up to a total of $30,000, including a Grand Prize of $5,000 along with additional merit awards. Projects due by January 13, 2017. Learn more here.
Luc Hoffmann, a life dedicated to nature conservation
September 8, 2016
Luc Hoffmann, who passed away at age 93, was one of the last surviving greats in 20th-century nature conservation. As co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund, he helped turn conservation from a parochial, insular pursuit into a truly international movement. He was instrumental in developing the Ramsar Convention, which for the first time provided cross-border protection for wetlands. In 2004, Hoffmann received the INTECOL International Award for Wetland Conservation. Read more here.
Luc (Hans Lukas) Hoffmann: ecologist, conservationist, born 23 January 1923; died 21 July 2016.
CSC Review Team Extends Deadline for New Members
The American Fisheries Society and the Human Dimensions Research Unit of Cornell University have been engaged by the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) to conduct 5-year reviews of the eight DOI Climate Science Centers (CSC). Information on the NCCWSC and CSC’s can be found at https://nccwsc.usgs.gov/. The deadline for potential members to conduct reviews for the Southwest CSC in Tucson, Arizona and the North Central CSC located in Fort Collins, Colorado has been extended until the end of September. Click here for the updated member solicitation.
2016 ACES Conference in Jacksonville, FL
Check out the ACES conference this December 5-9 in Jacksonville! Register by October 14 to receive the Early Bird registration rate. Students can receive free registration and lodging when particiapting as a student volunteer. For more information, click here.
Royal Gardner Receives 2016 Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy Award
Long-time SWS Member and Ramsar STRP Chair, Royal Gardner, and his institution, Stetson University, were awarded the American Bar Association’s 2016 Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy Award for their contributions to wetland, wildlife conservation and environmental issues around the world. Read more here.
A New Article from Rebecca Heisman, the 2016 SWS Journalism Fellow
2016 Meeting of the AIBS Council of Member Societies and Organizations
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) Council of Member Societies and Organizations will be held on December 6, 2016 in Washington, D.C. To learn more, click here.
Former SWS President, Frank Day, wins national award
Former SWS President and Chair of the Human Diversity Committee, Dr. Frank Day, will be awarded the Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award by the Ecological Society of America this summer. Here is the link to the official announcement from the ESA.
SWS Europe endorses Lake Ohrid Day (21 June)
June 17, 2016 — Lake Ohrid is the most ancient lake of Europe, located in Macedonia along the border of Albania. Since major disturbances to the lake have been minimal, it still exhibits excellent water quality and high biodiversity, including the presence of numerous endemic plants and animals. However, the Studenchishte Marsh, on the shores of Lake Ohrid is only a small remnant of the vast wetlands that once bordered the lake. This precious wetland is now threatened by plans to convert it into a tourist destination by building large tourism infrastructure. The characteristic status and important ecosystem services of this wetland were presented as a highlight during the annual meeting of SWS Europe in Potsdam, Germany in May 2016 by Dr. Nadezda Apostolova from Macedonia. She was the lead author on an article in SWS’s Wetland Science and Practice about this subject. SWS has also officially expressed its concern in letters to the responsible authorities at a regional and national level. In fact, these actions have received attention in the major national Newspaper Dnevnik and on Macedonian public radio. We endorse Lake Ohrid Day and pay tribute to Studenchishte Marsh today! Find out more about Lake Ohrid at: https://ohridsos.wordpress.com/
2016 SWS Annual Meeting Award winners announced
See the news release about some of our most distingued SWS scientists honored in Corpus Christi.
Final 2016 National Wetland Plant List issued
Find the U.S Army Corps of Engineers updated 2016 National Wetland Plant List by clicking this link.
Final National Wetland Condition Assessment report released
Read the final report of the 2011 National Wetland Condition Assessment on the state of wetlands in the United States here.
Rebecca Heisman 2016 SWS Journalism Fellow's latest article
Learn more about Rebecca here. And click here to read Heisman's new article about the 2015 Indonesian fires.
Clean Water Act Updates
K. Ramesh Reddy
Congratulations SWS member, K. Ramesh Reddy at the University of Florida, on receiving the 2016 National Wetlands Award for Science Research. For more than 40 years, he has led ground-breaking research on the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients in natural and managed wetland and aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the Florida Everglades. Click here for more information.
Congratulations Dr. Wei- Ta Fang
Dr. Wei-Ta Fang, SWS Asia Chapter President, was awarded the designation of Visiting Research Fellow from the Director, Dr. Xingyuan He at the Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Changchun, China in March 2016.
SWS Signs a Letter Related to the U.S. Senate Amendment on Forest Biofuels For Energy
SWS was presented with a short turn-around opportunity from Dr. Bill Moomaw (IPCC author, a plenary speaker in Providence and a recent SWS webinar presenter on climate change and wetlands) to join other scientists and societies by signing onto a letter related to a U.S. Senate amendment concerning use of forest biofuels for energy. After review by the Executive Board, some fact checking and the addition of specific reference to wetlands, the letter was signed on behalf of SWS as well as individually by the EB members. We also invited our partners at CASS and ASWM to participate (3 organizations did so). A copy of the letter is attached and will be posted on the SWS website. One of the co-signers, Dr. Mary Booth from the Partnership for Policy Integrity, passed along an article which provides a good overview of the issue. We will continue to keep you updated as this issue progresses. In addition, we hope to have a few experts, some of whom are SWS members, draft a short white paper on this topic. Read the complete letter here.
If you are a U.S. resident, and feel like you’d like to weigh in on this issue, please feel free to use the attached letter template.
Court to Hear Case against Obama's Water Rule
A Cincinnati-based federal appeals court ruled Monday that it has the jurisdiction to hear numerous consolidated challenges to the Obama administration’s contentious water pollution rule. Read more.
EPA's ruling on the waters of the United States
On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, President Obama rejected an attempt by congressional Republicans to overturn his landmark regulation asserting federal power over small bodies of water. The EPA's rule, dubbed the Clean Water Rule would ensure that water used for drinking, recreation, economic development and other purposes is kept safe. Read more.