The American Physiological Society Press Release

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APS Contact: Stacy Brooks


Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @APSPhysiology

#CompPhys2014 Workshops Address Unconventional Careers in Science, Teaching in the IPhone Era

San Diego (October 6, 2014)—The American Physiological Society’s  (APS) 2014 intersociety meeting “Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology” (October 5–8, 2014, in San Diego) will feature workshops addressing two challenges facing physiologists today: finding a job and teaching physiology in the age of the smartphone. The workshops are open to all meeting attendees. Presenter slides will be posted to the APS website following the meeting.

Non-Traditional Career Paths for Comparative Physiologists
Monday, October 6—5:45–7:15 PM P.T.

The academic job search has become more difficult with budget cuts at both the local, state and federal level. In addition, the dearth of tenure track jobs in academia coupled with the large number of students graduating with STEM degrees is leading many young researchers to look “outside the box” when planning a career in science. The meetings trainee workshop will feature researchers who will talk about their own unconventional careers in science and the positives and negatives of their jobs. The interactive session will include an extended Q&A panel discussion.

Chairs: Cassondra Williams, University of California, Irvine; Bernard Rees, University of New Orleans


The Soft Money Research Position: How Does it Work?
Speaker: Shawn Noren-Kramer, University of California, Santa Cruz

Science for the Public!  Careers in Science Centers and Museums
Speaker: Karen Kalumuck, San Francisco Exploratorium

Taking the Road Least Traveled: Non-Governmental Organizations
Speaker: Dorian Houser, National Marine Mammal Foundation

The Undergraduate University Path
Speaker: Scott Kirkton, Union College

The Transition to Industry
Speaker: Robert Swezey, SRI International

The Challenge of Teaching Physiology in a Changing Environment: Innovation and Resources
Tuesday, October 6—5:45–7:15 PM P.T.

Comparative physiologists often study animals that must change and adapt to survive in their environments. The same principle applies to the teaching of physiology. Today, science educators must keep up with both breakthroughs in research that change our understanding of the world around us and the new ways in which students live and learn in the era of YouTube, tablets and IPhones. New technologies permit the delivery of educational content in ways unimaginable just a decade ago. At the same time, learners are adapting to new modes of information delivery faster than educators can assess the value of teaching innovations. This workshop will provide aspiring and seasoned teachers with direction, models and resources to benefit their effectiveness and student learning outcomes.

Chairs: Tom W. Ecay, East Tennessee State University; Karen Sweazea, Arizona State University


Vision and Change Update: Progress in Implementing Report Goals in Undergraduate Biology Education 
Speaker: Cynthia Bauerle, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Teaching and Learning by Inquiry 
Speaker: Barbara Goodman, University of South Dakota

Assessing Student Learning After Converting to Inquiry 
Speaker: Douglas Luckie, Michigan State University

Constructing Concept Inventories and Assessing their Value 
Speaker: Jenny McFarland, Edmonds Community College

APS Resources for Teachers and Students 
Speaker: Miranda Byse, American Physiological Society

APS will jointly host “Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology” with the Society for Experimental Biology, Society for Integrative and Comparative BiologyAustralian and New Zealand Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, Canadian Society of Zoologists, Crustacean Society and International Society for Neuroethology. View the full program:

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To receive a full list of abstracts to be presented at the meeting or to arrange interviews with comparative researchers, please contact Stacy Brooks in the APS Office of Communications (301-634-7209;

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.



Animal Physiology: A Looking Glass into Health, Disease and Environmental Adaptation

Released September 24, 2014 - New research, featured symposia and information on plenary sessions and workshops to be presented at the 2014 Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology meeting in San Diego. View the full meeting program at

Getting the Most out of Aquaculture: Pearls of Wisdom from Farmed Oysters

Released October 6, 2014 - Australian researchers are fitting oysters with biosensors to measure how they respond to changing environmental conditions or stressors on aquaculture farms. Their results have implications for achieving and maintaining ideal conditions for targeted species in aquatic environments.

Penguins Use Their Personalities to Prepare for Climate Change

Released October 8, 2014 - Birds’ individual personalities may be among the factors that could improve its chances of successfully coping with environmental stressors. Research presented at the APS intersociety meeting “Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology.”