On Aug. 9, more than 4,300 ecologists from around the world were on hand in Portland, OR, when the Ecological Society of America (ESA) honored Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, at its annual conference. The society presented Cid with its America Diversity Award in appreciation for her 20 years of ongoing work in promoting diversity among current and future ecologists.
Cid began presenting her research at the annual Ecological Society of America conference in 1978. At that point, she was the only Hispanic ecologist and one of very few women in her area of expertise -- forest and wetland ecology. By 1991, she was appointed chair of the first ESA Women and Minorities in Ecology Committee, and coordinated the development of the first ESA strategic plan to enhance recruitment and retention of women and minorities in ecology. During her tenure, she was successful in implementing child care facilities at the annual conference for the first time, and focusing attention on the work/family balance issues experienced by women in the field of ecology.
Since then, Cid has worked on increasing recruitment of minorities in ecology, especially among Hispanic females, through educational outreach to 4th-6th graders. Her multimedia science education program, "The Urban Ecologist," was part of the award-winning women in science learning series Project Wonderwise, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, and is part of the after-school program curriculum for 4-H clubs in 28 states and Canada. Cid has continued to mentor women and minorities in ecology through professional academic leadership development programs that she helped develop for college deans and department chairs in national programs coordinated by the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), on which she serves as a member of the board of directors, and with which she has a National Science Foundation grant to help promote career development of women in the sciences.
On Aug. 25, the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC) presented Cid with a "Latina Citizen of the Year" award at its annual award ceremony in New Haven. Cid was honored for two decades of work in enhancing career development of Latinas in the sciences.