Spring 2017 Research Committee Report

To: WBFC Board
From: Neal Woodman, Chair of the Research Committee
Subject: FY-2017 semi-annual report on activities of the Research Committee
Committee Members: Ralph Eckerlin, John Lill, Suzanne Peurach, June Wen.
General guidelines
The Research Committee accepts and reviews proposals for funding to support research on the natural history of the Mid-Atlantic Region. The committee encourages proposals that focus on the Potomac drainage, with particular emphasis on research on, or directly related to, the natural history of Plummers Island.
Individual research awards have a maximum limit of $5,000, although the committee welcomes small projects with lower funding requests. WBFC Research Awards may not be used for principal investigator salaries or publication costs. Individuals can apply directly to the WBFC Board for financial assistance with publication expenses related to research of interest to the WBFC.
Publications from WBFC Grants
We currently have documentation of WBFC support for 18 publications in an impressive array of journals that includes OecologiaAnimal WelfareMarilandicaEthology, and Evolution.
Please remember to send electronic copies of publications resulting from research funded by WBFC to the chair of the Research Committee.
2017 WBFC Research Awards
The deadline for the receipt of proposals for the 2017 WBFC Research Awards was January 15, 2017. The Research Committee was authorized by the Board at its April 2016 meeting to increase spending up to $30,000, but with the actual amount to be determined annually by the Committee Chair in consultation with the Treasurer regarding overall spending objectives of the WBFC. Based on current financial conditions, actual funding by the Research Committee remained at an upper limit of $20,000.
Response to the 2017 call for proposals was good. The committee received 16 complete proposals for a total of $61,239 in requested funds. The average request was $3,827, with a range from $900 to $4995. From these, the Research Committee voted to fund 9 proposals (56%) in part or in full for a total of $20,000.
Awards are officially made for one year, although funds are available until January 1 of the following year. After that date, any remaining funds revert back to WBFC. Hence, 2016 funds will be available to awardees through 1 January 2018; 2015 awards are available through 1 January 2017. Unspent funds from awards made in 2014 and earlier have reverted back to WBFC and the accounts closed.
An annual report for the 2016 research awards will be due January 1, 2018, unless a final report has already been submitted. See grants awarded section to view.

Dr. Al Gardner Receives Distinguished Service Award

“The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was established in 1948 and is the highest award that can be granted to a career employee within the Department of the Interior. The award recognizes employees for outstanding contributions to science; outstanding skill or ability in the performance of duty; an eminent career in the Department; an outstanding record in administration; an outstanding contribution to equal opportunity in government; an outstanding contribution to energy conservation; or any other exceptional contribution to the public service.”
Al came to NMNH in 1973, and his record of service both to the Department of the Interior and to the Smithsonian Institution have been truly remarkable in scope and impact. Please join me in congratulating Al for this honor, so richly deserved.

Member Activities

Dates have been set for the following events so that you may plan to be there:

Autumn 2017, Work Day: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Autumn 2017, Oyster Roast: Saturday, November 4, 2017 (rain date: November 5)

WBFC members are encouraged to bring their own coffee mug to Shad Bake and Oyster Roast.

Remember the Shad Bake is always the Saturday closest to May 1st and the Oyster Roast is always the Saturday closest to November 1st, unless otherwise notified.