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Eastern’s Carmen Cid elected a vice president of Ecological Society of America

Published on November 30, 2020

Eastern’s Carmen Cid elected a vice president of Ecological Society of America

headshotCarmen Cid, professor of biology and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been working to improve the career success of women and minorities in science for the past three decades. This November, the national Ecological Society of America (ESA) named Cid as its vice president for education and human resources. The term runs through 2024.

ESA President Kathleen Weathers described Cid as an “exceptional addition to ESA’s governing board who brings valuable insight and experience that will help ESA continue to evolve in its mission in service of ecology and the ecological community.” 

Since the early ’90s, Cid has focused on elevating the human dimension in the teaching of ecology, engaging educators and diverse communities in promoting appreciation of nature through the development of multimedia and bilingual environmental education resources. In 2017, Cid was elected as an ESA Fellow and is the recipient of the Connecticut Science Center’s 2020 STEM Achievement Award. As vice president for education and human resources, Cid will advance ESA’s strategic plan’s goals to link education, communication and diversity efforts in expanding the ESA membership. 

“This is a huge honor for me and I am very excited,” said Cid. “This has been my life’s work. This society represents 9,000 ecologists, the largest such society in the world. In 1991, I was appointed the founding chair of the ESA Women and Minorities Committee and helped to develop the first strategic plan to deal with issues of diversity and ecology education for all audiences.”

WetlandsCid said that the timing for ESA to recruit and train a diverse, environmental workforce is critical, as climate change and climate justice are pressing environment and ecological issues that need to be addressed. She believes, as vice president, she has the opportunity to advance the ESA’s agenda on these matters. She also wants to ensure that students of color have a safer environment to do field work as ecologists.

“Nationally, the issues of promoting safety and access for students of color are particularly true in field sciences such as ecology, so it is important now to be part of promoting diversity initiatives and education initiatives in ecology. COVID-19 issues are ecological issues that negatively impact people of color. The spread of diseases is an environmental issue that does the same, so in this time of Black Lives Matter and rapid climate change, we need to teach and do more research on elevating the human dimension of ecology. It is critical that the ESA promote and implement best practices in ecology teaching and research. We must engage diverse learners in becoming ecologically literate and working collaboratively to improve career access for all.”

In addition to her administrative duties at Eastern, Cid has been busy co-authoring articles, presenting lectures on diversity in ecology and integrating environmental justice into ecological research and teaching. Being cognizant of Native Americans’ connections with nature and the environment, Cid recently finished discussions with Native American climate and energy experts, education experts and students to finalize another article on diversity. “My ecological DNA has always been to elevate the human dimension in the teaching and research of ecology.”

To learn more about Cid’s work on environmental justice, visit:

Written by Dwight Bachman