Thanks to the contributions of many members and its leadership, ESA has been at the forefront of improving ecological literacy and promoting increased gender and ethnic diversity, especially in the last 25 years. As part of ESA’s centennial celebration, members of the ESA’s Committee for Diversity and Education have constructed a timeline to capture the historical milestones of education and diversity efforts undertaken by the ESA. Similar to the ESA’s other timelines, the Education and Diversity timeline has been placed on Tiki-Toki software, and is linkable through the ESA’s webpage. Work on collecting background information for the timeline was initiated in January 2015, and the timeline itself became active and accessible three weeks before the Centennial ESA conference in August 2015. The timeline remains open, and is accepting additions and edits.
The Education and Diversity timeline captures important ESA initiatives and profiles leaders fostering ecological literacy and enhancing human diversity among ecologists. For ecological literacy, the timeline captures the history and efforts of the evolving standing committees relating to education, the Office of Education & Diversity Programs, and the Education Section. It also outlines initiatives such as Schoolyard Ecology, EcoEdDL, Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology (TIEE), and Ecology 101, as well as key publications on ecological literacy. Accomplishments to promote diversity among ecologists include the development of the widely acclaimed SEEDS program, the Women and Minorities in Ecology (WAMIE) reports, the Profiles of Ecologists Report, the development of diversity-related committees, the Environmental Justice and Traditional Ecological Knowledge sections, faith-based initiatives, and support for LGBTQ and early-career ecologists. The timeline recognizes and profiles those having a special impact on enhancing ecological literacy and human diversity among ecologists, including recipients of the Odum and Diversity Awards. Visitors to the timeline can trace the evolution of ESA’s efforts in education and human diversity, and appreciate how early initiatives spawned later efforts (e.g, the first WAMIE report inspired the development of SEEDS and ESA’s Office of Education and Diversity Programs).