Contributed by Mary Stockdale and Miguel Alexiades, Darrell Posey Fellowship Program Co-Chairs

In May 2012, Miguel Alexiades was appointed by the ISE Board to replace Sarah Laird as a Co-Chair of the ISE Darrell Posey Fellowship Program. This followed the 2011 appointment of Mary Stockdale to serve as a Co-Chair with Sarah Laird. Sarah will continue to be involved in the fellowship as a member of the Selection Committee and to assist, as needed, with the transition to new Co-Chairs over the coming year.

Following on the practice established at the 2010 ISE Congress, travel funds were included in the Fellowship awards, which allowed the Field Fellowship, Small Grants, and PhD and Masters Fellowship recipients to participate in the 2012 ISE Congress in Montpellier, France.

In addition to presenting on their work supported by the ISE Fellowship program at various points in the Congress, including a special session at the Indigenous Forum, the award recipients brought materials and were available to talk with interested persons throughout the Darrell Posey Fellowship Program poster session. Participation in congresses provides important networking opportunities for the award recipients and the contributions of these groups and individuals enriches the congresses.

Three of the four recipients of the PhD and Masters awards were also able to participate in the Pre-Congress Workshop for Emerging Ethnobiologists, and during the course of the Congress built a sense of camaraderie and collaboration.

One of the more rewarding and unexpected results from the recipients’ attendance of the Congress was the way all Fellowship Program recipients began to identify with each other and form a supportive community.

Additionally, we held a Fellowship Selection Committee meeting during the 2012 ISE Congress, which brought together the Fellowship Chairs, ISE Managing Director, and Fellowship Selection Committee Members. Congress Selection Committee meetings have proven invaluable for the Program, providing a space within which we can review program activities, share views and lessons learned, and identify ways to strengthen the fellowship program. Because it is a diverse program, seeking to address complex issues, and because we hope to evolve and improve in response to ever changing circumstances, direct communication as a group is extremely important. At the 2012 meeting, the group discussed the review process; selection criteria; selection committee functioning and composition; and overall program approach and plans for the future.

The call for nominations and applications for the 2013 awards will be announced in Spring 2013.