A history of KABT’s web presence or why we needed to try something else

Small professional organizations like the Kansas Association of Biology Teachers (50-500 members) face a number of distinct challenges communicating with their membership. As an example, KABT members are spread across a large geographical area, our president and immediate past-president teach about 350 miles from each other. Try getting together for the week-end to coordinate organizational programs with that kind of distance. Our membership includes folks from large urban and suburban to very small school districts that are a couple of hours or Continue reading “A history of KABT’s web presence or why we needed to try something else”

KABT Bioblog: The beginning

The leadership of Kansas Association of Biology Teachers (KABT) meets each winter at my father’s cabin at Kanopolis Lake. It’s quiet, often snowy and centrally located. I tag along as host—feeding the birds, deer and KABTer’s and making sure that the facilities are in working order. We sit around the woodstove out on our enclosed porch and have a good time talking biology—sometimes we even do some business.
Continue reading “KABT Bioblog: The beginning”



Wednesday at NABT’s national conventions are usually reserved for workshops and field trips. This year a late entry to the workshop program caught my eye and sparked my interest. Dr. Rob Pennock scheduled a workshop to introduce a student resource for exploring evolution concepts in a sophisticated artificial life environment while learning to actually do biology–Avida-ED. He had told me about this work two years before and I was really looking forward to its unveiling. Due to the late announcement of the workshop there were only a few attendees but I guarantee all were impressed. I was able to recruit several NABTer’s and they were not disappointed. Our own Eric Kessler was one and he has promised that he will be adding a post here, as he explores Avida and tries it out with his students. In the meantime, you can try it out yourself–check it out.


Back from NABT

Congrats to the staff and board of NABT—they put on a very informative and enjoyable meeting at Atlanta. Not that I talk to all that many members (yea right) but I can say that I did not hear a single negative comment the entire time. I’m convinced that almost everyone attending found the meeting to be very rewarding and productive. Oh, and by the way–KABT’s own Todd Carter was in the middle of it all and of course officially begins his presidential duties after the first of the year.

KABT members from KS (besides Todd) I saw in attendance include: Paula Donham, Sandy Collins, Randy Dix, Eric Kessler, Pat Wakeman, Terry Callendar, Harry McDonald and Sondra Dubowsky. I apologize to those I left out, memory isn’t what it used to be. (Make sure you comment to the post and we’ll get you in.) You’ll notice that the presenters at the KABT Share-a-thon (Sandy, Randy, Paula and guess who) have provided handouts or resources here on the KABT BioBlog. The session was well attended and we had a number of comments on how folks really like the format and atmosphere. If you haven’t attended or presented, we divided the room in to four regions and rotated the group every 10-15 minutes so that every one had a chance to interact with the presenters. Pat W. was there taking beaucoup de picts that I hope will be appearing here on the BioBlog one of these days. I’m sure they will be evident in the newsletter.

One final NABT thing: This year is one of the most important transitional years our organization has faced. The board and staff have truly worked very well together to meet this extraordinary challenge–my hat’s off to them for a job well done. We have a new staff member at NABT who, I think, is a great addition to an already great staff–Jaclyn Reeves-Pepin. Her official title is Director of Development. Based on how much she’s accomplished already, I can’t wait to see what plays out over the next year.

If you are not a member of NABT, think about it. If you have any inkling at all that you think NABT membership is something you want to consider, do it right now. Click on the link in the upper right-hand corner, or here and join.