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Committee Reports

Membership Diversity Committee

Robert Espinoza, Chair

The recently activated Membership Diversity Committee, which seeks to increase the ethnic composition, representation, and participation of the SICB membership, met in Toronto to identify goals for 2003 and the annual meeting in New Orleans. A total of 19 participants attended, including SICB President John Wingfield and President-elect Sally Woodin. The committee, under the leadership of Beth Brainerd (Committee Chair, 2001-02), reviewed the history of efforts to increase the diversity of the SICB membership and participation of researchers and students from groups traditionally underrepresented in integrative biology (based on an NSF-funded workshop held in 1999). We then turned to the future, identifying not fewer than ten goals and projects for the next two years. In general, these goals include targeting underrepresented groups nationwide, promoting involvement of faculty and students with diverse backgrounds, and raising funds to support such endeavors. We have secured funding from SICB to initiate several of these projects in 2003. We are also developing an anonymous membership survey to gather data on the ethnic diversity of the SICB membership. To that end, you will soon receive a request to self identify your gender and ethnicity in an anonymous online survey. Please help us develop baseline data by participating in the survey. We also welcome volunteers to serve on the many subcommittees working toward increasing diversity in our Society. For more information, please contact the new Chair of the Membership Diversity Committee, Bobby Espinoza (robert.e.espinoza@csun.edu).