Ecological Society of America
The Ecological Society of America is a professional organization of ecological scientists. Based in the United States and founded in 1915, ESA publications include peer-reviewed journals, fact sheets, teaching resources, it holds an annual meeting at different locations in the Canada. In addition to its publications and annual meeting, ESA is engaged in public policy, science and diversity issues. ESA's 10,000 members are researchers, natural resource managers, students in over 90 countries. Members work on a wide range of topics, from agroecology to marine diversity and explore the relationships between organisms and their past and future environments; the Society has seven regional chapters. The first discussions on the formation of the Society took place in 1914 in the lobby of the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at a meeting of animal and plant ecologists organized by Henry Chandler Cowles. On December 28, 1915, in Columbus, Ohio, at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a group of about 50 people voted to form the Ecological Society of America, adopted a constitution, set the next meeting.
Dr. Victor E. Shelford of the University of Illinois served as the first president; the Society was founded to unify the science of ecology, stimulate research in all aspects of the discipline, encourage communication among ecologists, promote the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. The Society has grown to 10,000 members worldwide. In the 1940s, the Society decided that it should focus on research and not pursue an activist or political focus on ecological preservation, leading Shelford to found what became The Nature Conservancy; the Public Affairs Office works to engage in environmental and science policy, share ecological science with the media and the public, to inform the ecological community about opportunities to participate in public policy or media interactions. ESA’s Rapid Response Team experts play a key role in these activities, serving as a resource for ESA, the media; the Science Programs Office promotes the continued development of ecological science and its integration into decision-making and education, linking the ecological research and management communities.
The Education and Diversity Programs Office works to increase diversity within ecology-related professions, to engage the public in a dialogue on ecological research and issues, to improve the quality of ecology education at all levels. ESA Journals - The Society publishes the scientific, peer-reviewed journals of Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Applications, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, most added, Ecosphere, a rapid publication, online-only, open access journal featuring all sub-disciplines of ecology; the quarterly Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America is non peer-reviewed. Research featured in ESA’s journals has included articles on white-nose syndrome in bats, marine protected areas, migration systems of New World birds, the indirect ecological effects between parasitoid wasps and rhizobacteria, the range expansion of cougars. EcoTone is a blog produced by the Ecological Society of America; the blog showcases ecology and ecologists, focusing on ecological science in the news and its use in policy and education.
EcoTone welcomes guest submissions and suggestions of timely, relevant news of importance to the broad ecological community. Beyond the Frontier - features interviews with the authors of selected articles appearing in recent print issues of the ESA journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Beyond the Frontier aspires to make the subject matter accessible and interesting to listeners from a variety of scientific disciplines, to non-specialists as well. Listeners are encouraged to continue the discussion online, using the “add comment” functionality underneath each podcast to post their own thoughts and ideas; the Ecologist Goes to Washington - features the stories and reflections of scientists who have engaged their local, state, or federal governments in addressing the broader implications of their research. Field Talk - features the field experiences of ecologists including interviews exploring the work of those who have published in the Society’s journals. Membership of this Society consists of persons and institutions interested in ecology and in the promotion of ecological research.
The following classes of members are recognized: Regular members, Student members, Life members, Emeritus members, Institutional members. The officers are the President, the Vice President for Science, the Vice President for Public Affairs, the Vice President for Finance, the Vice President for Education and Human Resources, the Secretary; the President serves consecutive one-year terms as President-elect and Past President. A member may hold the office of President for only one term, in addition to such time as may be served filling the office following the death or resignation of a President; the Vice Presidents and the Secretary serve three-year terms and are eligible for reelection for up to one additional term. The terms of the Vice Presidents and the Secretary shall be overlapping so that no more than two of these officers shall be elected in any given year; the officers and other positions filled by Society elections are selected by electronic ballot. The official terms of the officers commence with the close of the Annual Meeting and continue until their successors assume office.
Only Regular and Life members are eligible to hold office in the Society. No employee or member of the immediate family of an employee of the Society may be nominated for or hold elected office within
Metadata is "data that provides information about other data". Many distinct types of metadata exist, among these descriptive metadata, structural metadata, administrative metadata, reference metadata and statistical metadata. Descriptive metadata describes a resource for purposes such as identification, it can include elements such as title, abstract and keywords. Structural metadata is metadata about containers of data and indicates how compound objects are put together, for example, how pages are ordered to form chapters, it describes the types, versions and other characteristics of digital materials. Administrative metadata provides information to help manage a resource, such as when and how it was created, file type and other technical information, who can access it. Reference metadata describes the contents and quality of statistical data Statistical metadata may describe processes that collect, process, or produce statistical data. Metadata was traditionally used in the card catalogs of libraries until the 1980s, when libraries converted their catalog data to digital databases.
In the 2000s, as digital formats were becoming the prevalent way of storing data and information, metadata was used to describe digital data using metadata standards. The first description of "meta data" for computer systems is purportedly noted by MIT's Center for International Studies experts David Griffel and Stuart McIntosh in 1967: "In summary we have statements in an object language about subject descriptions of data and token codes for the data. We have statements in a meta language describing the data relationships and transformations, ought/is relations between norm and data."There are different metadata standards for each different discipline. Describing the contents and context of data or data files increases its usefulness. For example, a web page may include metadata specifying what software language the page is written in, what tools were used to create it, what subjects the page is about, where to find more information about the subject; this metadata can automatically improve the reader's experience and make it easier for users to find the web page online.
A CD may include metadata providing information about the musicians and songwriters whose work appears on the disc. A principal purpose of metadata is to help users discover resources. Metadata helps to organize electronic resources, provide digital identification, support the archiving and preservation of resources. Metadata assists users in resource discovery by "allowing resources to be found by relevant criteria, identifying resources, bringing similar resources together, distinguishing dissimilar resources, giving location information." Metadata of telecommunication activities including Internet traffic is widely collected by various national governmental organizations. This data can be used for mass surveillance. In many countries, the metadata relating to emails, telephone calls, web pages, video traffic, IP connections and cell phone locations are stored by government organizations. Metadata means "data about data". Although the "meta" prefix means "after" or "beyond", it is used to mean "about" in epistemology.
Metadata is defined as the data providing information about one or more aspects of the data. Some examples include:Means of creation of the data Purpose of the data Time and date of creation Creator or author of the data Location on a computer network where the data was created Standards used File size Data quality Source of the data Process used to create the dataFor example, a digital image may include metadata that describes how large the picture is, the color depth, the image resolution, when the image was created, the shutter speed, other data. A text document's metadata may contain information about how long the document is, who the author is, when the document was written, a short summary of the document. Metadata within web pages can contain descriptions of page content, as well as key words linked to the content; these links are called "Metatags", which were used as the primary factor in determining order for a web search until the late 1990s. The reliance of metatags in web searches was decreased in the late 1990s because of "keyword stuffing".
Metatags were being misused to trick search engines into thinking some websites had more relevance in the search than they did. Metadata can be stored and managed in a database called a metadata registry or metadata repository. However, without context and a point of reference, it might be impossible to identify metadata just by looking at it. For example: by itself, a database containing several numbers, all 13 digits long could be the results of calculations or a list of numbers to plug into an equation - without any other context, the numbers themselves can be perceived as the data, but if given the context that this database is a log of a book collection, those 13-digit numbers may now be identified as ISBNs - information that refers to the book, but is not itself the information within the book. The term "metadata" was coined in 1968 by Philip Bagley, in his book "Extension of Programming Language Concepts" where it is clear that he uses the term in the ISO 11179 "traditional" sense, "structural metadata" i.e. "data about the containers of data".
Ecology is the branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Objects of study include interactions of organisms that include biotic and abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, nutrient cycling, niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment; these processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits. Biodiversity means the varieties of species and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services. Ecology is not synonymous with natural history, or environmental science, it overlaps with the related sciences of evolutionary biology and ethology. An important focus for ecologists is to improve the understanding of how biodiversity affects ecological function.
Ecologists seek to explain: Life processes and adaptations The movement of materials and energy through living communities The successional development of ecosystems The abundance and distribution of organisms and biodiversity in the context of the environment. Ecology has practical applications in conservation biology, wetland management, natural resource management, city planning, community health, economics and applied science, human social interaction. For example, the Circles of Sustainability approach treats ecology as more than the environment'out there', it is not treated as separate from humans. Organisms and resources compose ecosystems which, in turn, maintain biophysical feedback mechanisms that moderate processes acting on living and non-living components of the planet. Ecosystems sustain life-supporting functions and produce natural capital like biomass production, the regulation of climate, global biogeochemical cycles, water filtration, soil formation, erosion control, flood protection, many other natural features of scientific, economic, or intrinsic value.
The word "ecology" was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel. Ecological thought is derivative of established currents in philosophy from ethics and politics. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates and Aristotle laid the foundations of ecology in their studies on natural history. Modern ecology became a much more rigorous science in the late 19th century. Evolutionary concepts relating to adaptation and natural selection became the cornerstones of modern ecological theory; the scope of ecology contains a wide array of interacting levels of organization spanning micro-level to a planetary scale phenomena. Ecosystems, for example, contain interacting life forms. Ecosystems are dynamic, they do not always follow a linear successional path, but they are always changing and sometimes so that it can take thousands of years for ecological processes to bring about certain successional stages of a forest. An ecosystem's area can vary from tiny to vast. A single tree is of little consequence to the classification of a forest ecosystem, but critically relevant to organisms living in and on it.
Several generations of an aphid population can exist over the lifespan of a single leaf. Each of those aphids, in turn, support diverse bacterial communities; the nature of connections in ecological communities cannot be explained by knowing the details of each species in isolation, because the emergent pattern is neither revealed nor predicted until the ecosystem is studied as an integrated whole. Some ecological principles, however, do exhibit collective properties where the sum of the components explain the properties of the whole, such as birth rates of a population being equal to the sum of individual births over a designated time frame; the main subdisciplines of ecology, population ecology and ecosystem ecology, exhibit a difference not only of scale, but of two contrasting paradigms in the field. The former focus on organisms distribution and abundance, while the focus on materials and energy fluxes; the scale of ecological dynamics can operate like a closed system, such as aphids migrating on a single tree, while at the same time remain open with regard to broader scale influences, such as atmosphere or climate.
Hence, ecologists classify ecosystems hierarchically by analyzing data collected from finer scale units, such as vegetation associations and soil types, integrate this information to identify emergent patterns of uniform organization and processes that operate on local to regional and chronological scales. To structure the study of ecology into a conceptually manageable framework, the biological world is organized into a nested hierarchy, ranging in scale from genes, to cells, to tissues, to organs, to organisms, to species, to populations, to communities, to ecosystems, to biomes, up to the level of the biosphere; this framework exhibits non-linear behaviors.