Clarkson Biology Professor Tom Langen has been named chair of the Education Committee of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Langen was appointed to the committee last fall. His term lasts through 2024.
At the most recent ESA conference last week in Montreal, Langen organized and led an Inspire session called "Putting an Ecology Degree to Work" that had ten speakers present on how recent graduates in undergraduate and graduate programs can get a job that uses their skills in ecology. One presenter, Angie Ross who is an NYS DEC Endangered Species Biologist, received her Ph.D. at Clarkson. A second speaker, Lee Harper, owns a local environmental service firm (Riveredge Environmental) that has employed several Clarkson students. Langen also organized a workshop called "Thinking Outside Our Box: How to Provide Effective Career Mentorship to Ecology Students" where they workshopped best practices for faculty mentoring of undergraduates and graduate students on career options and preparation.
The ESA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to promote ecological science by improving communication among ecologists; raise the public’s level of awareness of the importance of ecological science; increase the resources available for the conduct of ecological science; and ensure the appropriate use of ecological science in environmental decision making by enhancing communication between the ecological community and policy-makers. The group has over 9000 members.
The Education Committee guides and helps to implement ESA’s efforts to promote excellence in ecology education at all levels, support the recruitment and retention of a diverse community of ecologists in a variety of career paths, and facilitate collaborations across the ESA community to amplify education, engagement, and workforce development initiatives.
Langen has been a member of the Biology and Psychology Departments at Clarkson University since 1999. He teaches courses in the areas of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation Science. He also works with various national efforts to improve university education in ecology and other areas of biology, and has done workshops for K-12 science teachers on integrated math and ecology. He enjoys field-based environmental education, and regularly teaches field courses in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Costa Rica, and Kenya. He is currently on a sabbatical leave to the University of Salamanca in Spain, where he is developing teaching materials on road ecology for environmental management in Latin America. He is also participating in research on ecosystem services in organic and conventional vineyards associated with Spain’s wine industry.