Publishers and readers are invited to send material for this column to Flora Shrode, Environmental Resources Editor, Electronic Green Journal, Hodges Library, Reference Services, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996- 1000, USA. TEL: 1-865-974-4415, FAX: 1-865-974-9242.
BUDGET NOTES - items about the proposed federal FY '02 budget
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News and Views from the American Library Association's Task Force on the Environment compiled and edited by Fred Stoss, email@example.com, Science and Engineering Library University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
President George W. Bush released his first federal budget, for FY '02. Many environmental, conservation, and ecology-oriented programs were significantly reduced or eliminated. The following is a sample of some of the proposed budget cuts with hints for librarians and libraries to take action.
Planned Closure Of The Conservation & Research Center (CRC)
In a stunning move, the director of the National Zoo (NZP), Lucy Spelman, firstname.lastname@example.org, announced the planned closure of the Conservation & Research Center (CRC), effective December 31, 2001. The "official" reason given was that "resources were simply not available to maintain the CRC as a world class facility and as a center for scientific excellence." (See Washington Post Style section article on this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46701-2001Apr5.html)
Smithsonian Institution (SI) Secretary, Lawrence Small, email@example.com, plans to publish his proposed FY2002 federal budget on Monday April 9, in which he proposes to redirect funds to support "public services" at the SI. This is part of Mr. Small's plan to consolidate and reorganize SI science into a "single digit number of disciplines." The science reorganization is being lead by the Undersecretary for Science, Dr. Dennis O'Connor, firstname.lastname@example.org. Although CRC received ringing endorsements from three external peer reviews conducted during the past 10 years, no such review was conducted before this announcement, and no information was provided on the scientific criteria used to evaluate CRC's conservation and science programs. In late 1999, an internal reorganization consolidated virtually all NZP science under the direction of the Associate Director for Conservation, Dr. Chris Wemmer; this included scientists and affiliated staff from the Department of Zoological Research (now known as the Department of Conservation Biology). THUS, THE CLOSURE OF CRC WILL VIRTUALLY WIPE OUT ALL SCIENCE AT NZP. In one brutal and ill-advised action, NZP science has been reduced from the world's pre-eminent zoo-based conservation organization to just another small zoo, with a handful of Ph.D. scientists (almost all in reproductive physiology). Gone will be programs in marine mammal biology, molecular genetics, small population genetic management, migratory birds (including the Migratory Bird Center), field ecology, GIS and remote sensing, animal behavior, monitoring and assessment of biodiversity programs (MAB), and most importantly, conservation biology (including long-term ecological field studies in the US and abroad). The new Smithsonian leadership apparently fails to recognize the eminent achievements of this unique center. Some relevant facts and milestones:
* 2,000 publications in peer-reviewed literature, including Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
* $20 million raised in extramural funding; $2 million from intramural competitive awards
* Scientists participate on 75 advisory groups ranging from …