The Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) Taxonomic Certification Program (TCP) is inherently dependent upon recognized taxonomic/systematic experts for supplying and verifying the identifications of all aquatic macroinvertebrate specimens that are used during its certification tests.
Role and Duties of Taxonomic Experts
The primary role of the taxonomic experts is the verification of test specimens for the family and genus tests for the TCP. Duties include:
- Assisting the TCP coordinator and his/her assistants in securing verified specimens from a variety of sources, including their own collections or from material supplied by the TCP.
- Collaborating with other taxonomic experts, where required, to verify the identification of all specimens submitted to the TCP coordinator.
- Providing counsel to the TCP coordinator, his/her assistants, and/or members of the Taxonomic Certification Committee (TCC) in their professional conduct and administration of the TCP; this assistance shall be provided directly to the TCP coordinator, his/her assistants, and/or current TCC members so that actual or perceived conflicts of interest are avoided.
Criteria for Taxonomic Experts
Taxonomic experts appointed by SFS are recognized as leaders in the field and must meet a set of criteria as defined by the TCC. All applicants who are chosen to serve as taxonomic/systematic experts to the TCP are encouraged to establish and maintain their membership in SFS. Once appointed as a taxonomic expert, the appointment shall remain valid for a period of five years, after which re-application will be required.
In order to be appointed as an expert an individual must meet at least four of these criteria:
- Authorship: Is an author/coauthor of two or more peer-reviewed publications in the group for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic/systematic expert, or has prepared and presented two or more papers at professional meetings focusing on the taxonomy/systematics of the group for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic expert.
- Academic Qualification: Has been presented an earned graduate degree (M.S./Ph.D.) related to the field of invertebrate taxonomy, with M.S. or Ph.D. thesis focused on the taxonomy/systematics of group for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic expert. Post-doctoral employment/experience focusing on taxonomy/systematics of group for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic expert will fulfill this criterion.
- Employment: Currently serves (or has previously served) in a professional capacity (e.g., at place of employment — institution, business, agency, department, company) as curator or manager of an invertebrate collection (one or more groups) including that for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic/systematic expert.
- Experience: Has a history of or is currently is performing taxonomic identification/verification services for individuals, businesses, agencies, companies, and/or organizations outside of primary place of employment in the group for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic/systematic expert.
- Teaching: Has organized, prepared, and successfully presented one or more taxonomic training workshops focusing on the group for which expertise is sought; the workshop or course must have been inclusive of the group for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic/systematic expert. Or, has served as an individual or as a collaborative instructor in the teaching of one or more college or university courses focusing on the taxonomy of one/several group(s) of aquatic macroinvertebrates; the course must have been inclusive of the group for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic/systematic expert.
- Influence and Recognition: Has served or is currently serving as a peer-reviewer for one or more manuscripts received from a journal editor prior to its publication in the primary literature, with focus of the manuscript(s) on the group for which taxonomic expertise is sought. Service as a guest or assistant editor for a journal publishing peer-reviewed articles focusing on taxonomic/systematic issues shall satisfy this criterion.
- Research: Has submitted (as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or collaborating researcher) one or more proposals to (currently pending at time of request for recognition as expert) or has received research funds (grant/contract/gift) from provincial, federal, state, regional, and/or private sources that support taxonomic/systematic studies in the group for which the applicant seeks recognition as a taxonomic/systematic expert.
List of Taxonomic Experts
- Charles Staines, Smithsonian Institute
- Kurt Schmude, University of Wisconsin
- Cheryl Barr, University of California – Berkeley
- John Epler, Consultant
- Len Ferrington, University of Minnesota
- John Epler, Consultant
- Broughton Caldwell, Consultant
- Peter Adler, Clemson University
- Manuel Pescador, Florida A&M University
- Steve Burian, University of Connecticut
- David Funk, Stroud Water Research Center
- Michael Meyer, Christopher Newport University
- Steven Taylor, Illinois Natural History Survey
- Kenneth Tennessen, Consultant
- Paul Brunelle, Consultant
- Ed DeWalt, Illinois Natural History Survey
- Charles Parker, USGS
- Jason Robinson, Illinois Natural History Survey
- Andrew Rasmussen, Florida A&M University
- John Morse, Clemson University
- Heather Proctor, University of Alberta
- Donald Klemm, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Mark Wetzel, Illinois Natural History Survey
- Pilar Rodriguez, Universidad del Pais Vasco
- Steve Fend, U.S. Geological Survey
- Kathryn Coates, Bermuda Zoological Society
- Kevin Cummings, Illinois Natural History Survey
- Arthur Bogan, North Carolina Museum
- Jack B. Burch, University of Michigan
- Gerry Mackie, University Guelph
- David Strayer, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies