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00:00:00 - Introduction

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Segment Synopsis: This is an interview with David Challinor, assistant secretary for science at the Smithsonian Institution. It takes place on June 26, 1985.

00:00:15 - ESA's advisability study of establishing TIE / Smithsonian's input

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Partial Transcript: The ESA was conducting a study on the advisability of establishing an institute of ecology.

Segment Synopsis: Challinor explains the Ecological Society of America's thoughts on developing the Institute of Ecology. Later, Challinor expresses the Smithsonian's support of publicizing ecology and the development of TIE.

Keywords: Chicago; ESA; Ecological Society of America; Field Museum of Natural History; Smithsonian Institute; TIE; The Institute of Ecology; interdisciplinary research; membership; public policy

00:04:13 - Potential competition / TIE's original objectives

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Partial Transcript: Concerns were expressed that the Institute would compete for research interests

Segment Synopsis: Challinor talks about how he believes competition between TIE and universities for research funding wasn't a problem. He also recalls TIE's original objectives.

Keywords: ESA; Ecological Society of America; Holcomb Institute; TIE; The Institute of Ecology; competition; membership; original objectives; universities

00:06:51 - Membership / Valuable network

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Partial Transcript: From the beginning the membership of TIE was envisioned as consisting of two groups

Segment Synopsis: Challinor describes the conflicts of having a split membership in TIE. He adds how the membership could benefit better if the it were united instead of divided. Challinor later comments on the advantages of using TIE's valuable network of ecologists.

Keywords: TIE; administrative apparatus; assembly; first class; founders; membership; second class; separation; unity

00:09:35 - Financial Problems / Staffing

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Partial Transcript: TIE never obtained a permanent source of funds

Segment Synopsis: Challinor discusses TIE's financial planning as its main fatal flaw. He draws on how the Institute should have required dues from its members, making it an exclusive club. Thereafter, Challinor states that the lack of ecological knowledge of the second-level staff under the director wasn't a significant matter.

Keywords: American culture; Mark Twain; Morgantown, West Virginia; Smithsonian; TIE; The Institute of Ecology; Tom Sawyer; administrative burden; club; consortium; delegate; fatal flaw; funding; membership; paying dues; whitewashing the fence

00:14:38 - Research topics / Non-ecologists on the Board

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Partial Transcript: The new institute undertook many studies in the early period.

Segment Synopsis: Challinor believes the listed research topics reflects TIE's original objectives. He also states that the presence of non-scientific environmentally active participants on the Board of Trustees didn't significantly change TIE's direction.

Keywords: Board of Trustees; TIE; The Institute of Ecology; biologists; coastal zone problems; influence; man-in-the-living-environment; non-scientific environmentally active groups; original objectives; tropical ecology; urban ecosystems

00:16:20 - IDP research programs / Mission behind TIE

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Partial Transcript: did TIE not develop stronger interdisciplinary research programs

Segment Synopsis: Challinor states that stronger interdisciplinary research programs were not developed because there wasn't a sufficient amount of incentives for busy ecologists to stray from their current research. He also discusses the negative and positive factors that were involved in TIE, and how this affected its original mission.

Keywords: IDP; TIE; The Institute of Ecology; core funding; directorship; expertise; funding; grants; interdisciplinary; leadership; misguided; salary checks; structure