Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn: -- 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 Eastern Connecticut State University, at the annual ESA 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 time, 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 childcare facilities at the annual conference for the first time, and focusing attention on the work/family balance issues experienced by professional women.
Since then, Cid has worked on increasing recruitment of minorities in ecology, especially Hispanic females, through educational outreach to 4th-6th graders. Her multimedia science education program, "The Urban Ecologist," is 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 mentoring women and minorities in ecology, through professional academic leadership development programs that she helped create through the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS). Cid serves as a member of the CCAS board of directors and has a National Science Foundation grant to help promote career development of women in the sciences.