COVID-19 Update from ASLO President

COVID-19 Update from ASLO President

ASLO is an organization that crosses borders to bring together a global community of aquatic scientists. The COVID-19 epidemic is disrupting but not stopping our efforts. I write to update you on ASLO actions, and to assure you that as your professional association, we are here to support you. In that context let me start by wishing you well with hopes that you, your family, and your colleagues are remaining in good health and that all are taking the needed precautions.

Last week we made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 ASLO-SFS Meeting scheduled for June in Madison, Wisconsin. There was great excitement about this meeting and over 1600 abstracts were submitted. I thank the meeting organizers, led by co-chairs Nancy Grimm and Steve Carpenter, for all their efforts. We are exploring options for sharing information that would have been presented at the meeting but we do not have a firm plan at this time. We are optimistic that the cancellation of the meeting will not cause large financial loss to ASLO, and we are refunding registration and abstract fees to those who signed up for the meeting.

The ASLO journals are continuing to receive submissions and publish papers. We are aware that many who edit, review, and author papers are under strain. Please let ASLO Editors know about any concerns or problems you have in relation to publishing. They will accommodate the need for more time. If you cannot take on reviews simply let us know. If you are willing to review papers during this difficult time when others cannot please also make that known. As a community we support the need for some to do less and we appreciate the ability of others to do more in these difficult times.

Many are now teaching courses strictly online. ASLO members are willing to share content and advice – ask them for help. ASLO also has annotated eLectures, plenaries and award presentations (ASLO YouTube Channel), and our topical Virtual Issues. Follow @ASLO_org on Twitter where we will share new content. Meanwhile, we continue to share jobs and training opportunities at @ASLO_Opps.

Because of the cancellation of the Madison meeting, five of the 2020 ASLO awards will not be presented this year (two were given at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego). We hope to present these awards at the 2021 meeting scheduled for Palma, Spain in February. Interviews with the ASLO awardees will appear in the upcoming issue of the L&O Bulletin.

Three students participating in the Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange (LOREX) were in Australia last week as flights were canceled and postponed. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Adina Paytan who negotiated with airlines, all LOREX students returned home safely. We are working with students and host countries who are scheduled for travel in the coming summer to reschedule their experience. We will be pushing back the application period for the next round of LOREX until the capability to support international research experiences returns.

The ASLO Board will continue to work on behalf of the society. We are in communication and starting to plan a virtual board meeting for June. We will figure out a way to provide a virtual version of the annual Business Meeting for members. An ASLO election will start soon and you will receive the nominee and ballot information shortly. Please vote. I have written a brief “state of ASLO” summary in my recent Presidential message that will soon be available in the L&O Bulletin. The main point is that ASLO is sound. We have the resources and community spirit to weather the current crisis. As your society, we will continue to adjust to best support advancing our members and our science while doing our part to stem the pandemic.

Michael Pace

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