August 10, 2007

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
August 10, 2007 
San Jose, CA

Members Present: Alan Covich (Past-President), Norm Christensen (President), Meg Lowman (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Ann Kinzig (Member at Large), Juan Armesto (Member at Large), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large), Richard Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs), Sunny Power (President-Elect).

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Teresa Mourad (Director of Education), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), Ramona Crawford (Development), David Baldwin (Publications).

Guests: 
Kiyoko Miyanishi, Steve Chaplin

I. Roll Call, 9:01 AM

Welcome to new members, installation of Norm Christensen as President

II. Agenda items for the coming year (Christensen)

How to reduce the ESA’s environmental footprint (not just carbon). 
How to maintain Frontiers (budget management).
The new Millennium Symposium series (appoint a review committee for topics).
International outreach – how to follow on from the Merida meeting? How to make the meeting more affordable (especially housing and food) to encourage international students? 
The regionalization initiative, especially the ongoing southeast effort.
Biofuels – possibly a follow-up meeting in Brazil?

III. Welcome to ESA’s 10,000th member, Walter Heady (and his wife, #10,001)

IV. Meeting dates – November 2007 dates to be arranged by e-mail in the near future, but please reserve 15-16 May 2008.

V. Discussion/Action items

  1. Audit committee.
    We need three members for the committee, whose primary responsibility is to examine the audit and participate in a conference call with the auditors. Rich Pouyat and Ann Kinzig volunteered and Rob Jackson is volunteered.
  2. 2012 annual meeting site (Chaplin)
    The Meetings Committee has recommended Portland. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board supports the choice of Portland for the 2012 annual meeting. 
    The Meetings Committee has also recommended that the savings from getting free use of the Portland convention center be used for student travel. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board supports the idea of using cost savings from free use of the convention center in 2012 to add to the endowment for student travel. Proposals for shorter-term solutions to funding additional student travel will be presented at the November meeting. 

    Despite the growth in size of our annual meeting, we probably aren’t large enough to move to a top-tier convention center (e.g., New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C.); we’d have to double the size of our hotel block commitment. And we probably couldn’t use student volunteers in those cities (union regulations).

  3. Feedback on the meeting. 
    Sometimes there weren’t enough questions/discussion at the end of oral presentations to fill the entire 20 minutes, leading to wasted time. Some discussion of how to encourage more people to present posters rather than talks.

Meeting adjourned at 10:20 AM.

David Inouye, Secretary

August 5, 2007

Minutes of the ESA Council 
August 5, 2007 
San Jose, CA

I. Introductions of Council Members present

Brendan Bohannon (Microbical Ecology), Steve Chaplin (Meetings Committee), Scott Collins (Long-Term Studies & Publication Committee), Abe Miller-Rushing (Student), Sarah Finkelstein (Paleoecology), Ed Johnson (Bulletin Editor), Jesse Ford (Traditional Ecological Knowledge), Richard Brugam (Paleoecology), William Michener (Board of Professional Certification), Alan Townsend (Biogeosciences), Dave Schimel (EiC, Ecological Applications), Ken Klemo (Mid-Atlantic), Bob Pohlad (Education), Dan Pavuk (Agroecology), Paul Mayer (Urban Ecology), Jenny Talbot (Student), Kiyoko Miyanishi (Meetings), Kerry Woods (Meetings), Randy Balice (Statistical Ecology), Robert Manson (Mexico chapter), Nancy Johnson (Soil Ecology)

Governing Board members present: Belnap, Christensen, Covich, Grimm, Inouye, Ojima, Parton, Shaver, Lowman, Jackson

ESA Staff members present: Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Teresa Mourad (Director of Education), Ramona Crawford (Development), David Baldwin (Publications), David Gooding (Publications), Cliff Duke (Science office)

II. Report from President Covich about recent Governing Board discussions and ESA activities and initiatives

  1. We would like to find ways to increase travel support for graduate student travel, to supplement the approximately 40 awards already made.
  2. We’d like to find ways to involve/reinvigorate regional activities. The Southeast Regional Knowledge Partnership is underway, and similar activities will be expanded to other regions in the future, including regional Rapid Response Teams.
  3. The Board has approved a new ESA-sponsored conference series, the Millennium Conference Series. One per year, 60-100 people, supported in part by the Society’s Millennium Fund. Topics will be high-profile and lead to publications in the Society journals. See the announcement on the inside cover of the program supplement for this meeting.
  4. ESA co-sponsored the EcoSummit held in Beijing this spring, and Alan Covich, Katherine McCarter, and Sue Silver represented ESA. The meeting was very successful and may be repeated.
  5. Outreach to Federation of the America and the International Association for Ecology (INTECOL) has been ongoing.
  6. Planning for the 100th anniversary meeting has begun. Some new kinds of activities, such as a film festival, may be included (and tested at some of the next few annual meetings).
  7. ESA member Dave Schimel is the chief executive of the NEON program, and there are many opportunities for ESA involvement. He highlighted two of them:
  1. Concept of a new major facility with NSF sponsorship is new to the ecological community so there is no legacy of methods for how to coordinate activities between large groups of researchers and facilities. How can the research community take advantage of the facility.
  2. Education integrated with research will be a hallmark of NEON activities, particularly in undergraduate education at 4-year institutions.

III. Review of ESA financial status, presentation of the budget proposal (Parton)

In short, we’ve had another good financial year. We have $1.2 million in endowment funds, which have brought in 10% interest/yr for the past two years. We have an unrestricted reserve fund of $1.6 million, with a goal of $5 million.

Assumptions made in planning the 2007-08 budget were reviewed. The proposed budget includes revenue of $6,369,433 (up from $6,025,838 in the previous year) and expenses of $6,369,307 (up from $6,023,652 last year). Last year revenue minus expenses were budgeted at $2,186, but un-audited actual was $262,444. The Governing Board has proposed establishing a routine increase in annual dues of approximately 2% beginning in 2008, with a 2% increase for student and developing member categories every other year (beginning in 2009).

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Council approves the proposed 2007-2008 budget, including the proposed yearly dues increase.

IV. Approval of a new section

The Governing Board has recommended approval of a new ESA Researchers at Undergraduate Institutions section. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Council approves the proposed new section, for ESA Researchers at Undergraduate Institutions.

A proposal for another new section (Environmental Justice section) will be sent to the Council by mail soon (it was just reviewed by the Board).

V. Reports from recipients of long-range planning grants

  1. Student section: 12 travel awards (registration and a little travel funding) were made to 7 domestic and 5 international students. The Real-Brown travel fund allowed funding of five more awards. There were nearly 80 applicants for travel awards. There will also be posters up at this meeting with information for students in particular.
  2. Agroecology section: developed a Web page, which should be up and running by the end of September.
  3. Education and Human Resources Committee and the Education section
    Partnered with Women Evolving Biological Sciences (WEBS) to fund two students to come to the meeting. The Education Committee initiative was to foster ecological education in many walks of life, and is funding an intern to do a national assessment of groups involved in environmental education. Funding to support travel by Richard Louv, who will be speaking on Tuesday morning in the No Child Left Indoors symposium.
  4. Public Affairs committee: Richard Pouyat, Chair of the committee, is (at this time) helping with a presentation supported by an award to that Committee.

VI. Carbon Offset program. 
The Governing Board would like to establish a committee (your suggestions are welcome) to develop an analysis of carbon offset programs in general and of particular programs in specific. A suggestion is made that the Society should find ways to facilitate off-site participation in the annual meetings, as a way of helping to reduce air travel. This could also help us to maximize use of information presented at the meeting by making it available to a broad audience.

VII. Information exchange among Council members; topics of discussion included:
How best to advertise meeting activities to local communities
Encouragement for members to read and use the Bulletin of the ESA
Changes in ESA publications to make them available more quickly online.

VIII. Recognition of Governing Board members leaving the Board
Nancy Grimm, Past President
Gus Shaver, Vice President for Science
Dennis Ojima, Member at Large

IX. Introduction of new Governing Board members
Norm Christensen, President Elect

Meeting adjourned at 3:45 PM

David Inouye, Secretary 

August 4, 2007

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
August 4-5, 2007 
San Jose, CA

Members Present: Alan Covich (President), Nancy Grimm (Past-President), Norm Christensen (President-Elect), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), Meg Lowman (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Dennis Ojima (Member at Large), Juan Armesto (Member at Large), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large), Rob Jackson (incoming VP for Science). Richard Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs) arrived mid-morning Saturday.

Staff Present:

Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Teresa Mourad (Director of Education), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), Ramona Crawford (Development), David Baldwin (Publications), David Gooding (Publications)

I. Roll Call, 9:00 AM

A.  The Governing Board unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.

B.  Minutes from the May, 2007 Governing Board meeting were ratified with three minor corrections.

II. Reports

A.  Report of the President (Covich)

Society is on track and making good progress on a number of fronts. NEON and ESA's collaborations with it are proceeding well. There is excitement among the membership about the upcoming 100 th anniversary in 2015; we still need to decide on a venue for that meeting.

International activities.

Co-sponsorship of the EcoSummit in Beijing went very well in May, with 1400 representatives from 70 countries; the decision to co-sponsor was based on an invitation from Larry Li (UC Riverside), the US co-organizer. Covich gave a plenary talk as ESA President, Jim Collins gave a plenary talk on NSF's interests in global ecology and NEON. A declaration issued by the attendees is posted on the ESA website. There was enthusiasm for holding a fourth Ecosummit perhaps in 2010 or 2011 in Africa. A proposal was approved to rotate meetings of INTECOL with those of future EcoSummits to provide more frequent opportunities for international exchanges among ecologists. ESA will continue to plan ways to participate in these international programs. The next INTECOL meeting is planned for August 16 to 21, 2009 in Brisbane, Australia on the theme “Ecology in a Changing Climate: Two Hemispheres- One Globe.” ESA is invited to serve on the Scientific Planning Committee to help develop the program. ESA's assistance will continue in developing the Federation of the Americas, which was initiated at the annual meeting in Savannah in 2004. The Federation was further discussed at the Merida, Yucatan meeting in 2006 with presidents of ecological societies from Latin America. The new Ecological Society of Mexico was formed in 2006 and includes a group of ESA members. More discussion is needed to help keep this initiative moving ahead and to provide assistance to ecological societies throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. We've been invited to contribute to the British Ecological Society's centennial in 2013 to be held in London. We will propose co-sponsoring some symposia as the planning develops with BES.

National Activities

ESA participated in several NEON-related plans. We will continue to seek opportunities for additional webcasts, surveys and workshops to assist NSF and NEON, Inc. in creating this continental scale research program. ESA will emphasize ecological education, data-archiving methodology and outreach to help prepare researchers for use of the technology and modeling that is being developed. A special session on NEON progress is scheduled for Monday morning and a meeting with students on Tuesday morning (Bagels with the Board).

ESA followed up with a letter of support to NSF for the Integrative Science for Society and environment: A strategic Research Plan (ISSE) that was discussed at previous meetings of the Governing Board. That effort seeks support for research related to integrating social and natural sciences in ecological studies across multiple scales.

Impacts of ESA publications continue to be a major concern as we track library subscriptions, impact factors and experiments with partial open access to journal articles. Development of workshops on biofuels and their associated environmental impacts is a high priority. Environmental footprints of ESA meetings are another topic of on-going discussion as more members become actively involved in the “low-carbon economy” and as ESA continues to seek ways to “green” our annual meetings and other activities.

The recently approved Millennium Conference Series will be a self-supporting operation, with about 100 participants each year as suggested by Past President Nancy Grimm. ESA will seek co-sponsors (other societies, institutions, foundations, etc.). A conference organizing committee will develop the agenda, identify speakers, review abstracts, and oversee production of publications resulting from the conference. Millennium Funds will be used to plan an initial conference. ESA will issue a call in September for proposals for conference topics and will pick the initial topic. The new Millennium Conference Series provides ESA members the opportunity to organize special conferences highlighting emerging ideas in ecology.

Regional Activities

Plans for ESA's Southeast Knowledge Partnerships, initiated by Past President Jerry Mellilo, continue to develop with assistance from ESA staff and a Steering Committee. A strong effort is now underway to seek funding from several regional foundations. Regional Rapid Response Teams would be developed to assist in transfer of ecological information to a broad array of stakeholders. A discussion of topics for inclusion in this series of workshops and related activities will include the Southeast Chapter during their business meeting at noon on Wednesday and other meeting is scheduled for Wednesday evening. The April meeting of the Southeastern Biologists in South Carolina will include some additional discussion of topics for regional rapid response teams. The focus for these meetings will emphasize the linkages among ecological changes in landuse and water resources that relate to several ecological issues of concern in the southeast such as drought and fire ecology. A planning workshop is anticipated for 2008 in Atlanta.

President Covich has enjoyed learning about all of the Society's many activities during his tenure this year.

B. Report of the Executive Director (McCarter) and staff

The new website and blog are going smoothly. ESA joined Portico, a service that provides a permanent archive of electronic scholarly journals, and OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment), a way to provide access to underdeveloped countries for our journals. Membership is strong, may reach 10,000 at this meeting or this year; this could be the largest annual meeting so far. Katherine is an officer (on track to become President) in the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives.

David Baldwin – all features for the journals website that were demonstrated in May are now implemented. Access to articles is now being purchased by individuals both through the publications website and JSTOR.

Liz Biggs: There are currently 3,700 registrants for the meeting, and there will probably be a few hundred walk-ins.

Sue Silver: August issue of Frontiers has an editorial about the potential future of Ecosummit. She and two others led two workshops after the EcoSummit about how to get published in international journals, with very receptive audiences. They've been invited to go back for more presentations (probably next year). Submissions to Frontiers have been increasing, and there is now a 6-month lag between acceptance and publication. As of next Monday the new pre-publication e-view site will go live.

Nadine Lymn: attendance by registered press may hit a record high (about 20 so far, including Nature, Science, Irish Times, San Jose Mercury News, Wired, etc.). Harold Upton (senior analyst for Congressional Research Service), a senior policy person, has been invited to the meeting. Rapid Response Team luncheon will feature Nancy Baron (SeaWeb) and Chad English to talk about pushback and how to cope with it, and regional policy efforts. A recent NY Times article about biological invasions linked to the recent ESA paper about this topic.

Ramona Crawford: continuing work on last year's development plan, working on the Southeast Regional Knowledge Partnership, and developing corporate opportunities (which may be quicker to respond than foundations).

Teresa Mourad: has been on staff for a month now (has a degree in environmental education, came from North American Association for Environmental Education). Four SEEDS fellowships have been awarded (a fifth is deferring for now). There are now 42 chapters. 31 SEEDS students are attending this annual meeting. Volume 5 of TIEE has been published and CDs will be available soon. The new EcoEdNet site was launched last week.

Cliff Duke: Aleta Wiley (recent graduate of the program in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology that David Inouye directs at the University of Maryland ) is a new staff member as of two weeks ago, while Devon is remaining part-time. There will be a meeting here for editors of scientific journals. Some SEEDS students will be blogging about this meeting. There is an announcement in the program about the ESA Millennium Conference Series.

C. Report of the Vice President for Finance (Parton/McCarter)

The quarterly (unaudited) statement of revenue and expenses was presented and the budget is in good shape, with a significant contribution to the goal of $5 million of unrestricted reserves (now about $1.6 million).

Parton: we're at about $1.1 or $1.2 million in the managed fund, getting about 10%/year return. About 40% in bonds, balance in stocks (mutual funds), being managed conservatively.

III. Discussion/Action Items

A.  Fiscal Year 2007-2008 ESA Budget (McCarter)

  1. Approval of Proposed Budget: Approved unanimously for presentation to the Council.
  2. Long Range Planning Grants: we need a Board sub-committee to review proposals; Members-at-Large have usually constituted that sub-committee and are asked to do so again. The quality of proposals was a problem last year, and it is suggested that we let the Council know that there are guidelines on the ESA website.
  3. Committee funds: traditionally, education, public affairs, and science committees have been allocated funds, with funds for one other committee that needs to meet The Board agreed to fund a meeting of the Publications Committee as the fourth committee. We may need to increase the travel funds for these activities, and use Board initiative funds for the fifth committee.
  4. Board initiative funds:. The Board agreed to use these funds to support a survey by the Ad Hoc Publications Subcommittee ($2000), a third meeting of the Ad Hoc Publications Subcommittee ($5600), an extra funded meeting of EHRC on site at the 2008 annual meeting ($5600), to hire an intern for a 2010 summit on environmental education ($6,000) and to support a sabbatical position for an ESA member to work on policy by paying for the AAAS orientation ($2500-3000).
  5. Discussion of council presentation – the context for the proposed budget.

B. Biofuels conference and workshop (Parton, Pouyat, Ojima, Duke)
This has become a bigger issue in recent years, and has the potential for massive changes in land use; what will be the ecological consequences? Biofuels are also increasingly an international issue. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board supports the idea of sponsoring a conference and workshop on biofuels in early 2008 in the Washington D.C. area, as proposed by the committee

C. Southeast Knowledge Partnership (Covich, Crawford, Lymn)
There will be two meetings about this on Wednesday. Work is proceeding on a case statement for presentation to potential funders. We hope this regional model will be extended to other regions, by using chapters in particular as building blocks (some of these need to be expanded or reinvigorated).

D. Proposed economic growth policy statement
The proposed statement does not relate to SBI, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, or some other activities that ESA has already endorsed. It's a pedagogical statement, and not very policy oriented. A session (workshop) at the next annual meeting could be devoted to this topic. It would be good to incorporate the perspective of ESA members from developing countries. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board asks the Public Affairs committee to work with interested ESA members to identify ways for the Society to consider the issue of economic growth, which could include a symposium and workshop at the next annual meeting, and developing a policy statement and policy paper.

E. Owens Valley science based conflict resolution (Christensen, Jackson, Duke)
About 100 years ago the city of Los Angeles engineered a project to move water to the city. About 1960-70 the city installed pumps to move water from the shallow aquifer in the valley to augment water for the city. The process for monitoring water by using vegetation status and using this information to make decisions about use of the pumps has gone on for a couple of decades. The committee met recently with the Inyo county water department and city of Los Angeles water officials, who are interested in having ESA contribute to a review of the monitoring program or other ecological aspects of the water use issue. Another possibility would be to sponsor a workshop to identify what is known and what needs to be known about the issue. A third possibility could be a symposium on land and water use and its impact on vegetation change. The Inyo county and LA officials might also come up with other suggestions for how ESA might be able to help. We may have a concrete proposal by the November meeting. LA city covered the costs for the initial meeting and would do so for future activities.

F. Public Policy priorities (Pouyat, Lymn)
Each year the Public Affairs committee and office try to come up with a list of priorities guide activities for the coming year's activities. The proposed list includes science education, climate change, energy development, invasive species, the Endangered Species Act, and a new one since last year, environmental monitoring. How can we anticipate hot new topics that are coming down the line? Ocean acidification might be an example. ECOLOG-L and the ESA blog might be good ways to solicit ideas.

G. INTECOL proposal (McCarter)
The ESA could propose to serve as the Secretariat of INTECOL for an initial period of four years, providing services such as collection of dues, financial statements, organizing Board meetings, coordinating communications with members, assisting with long-range planning, hosting the web site, etc. ESA would negotiate a yearly fee with ITECOL to help cover expenses. Serving as Secretariat would be a way to help INTECOL achieve its goals and to expand our involvement with international ecological societies. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board supports the idea of making a proposal to INTECOL for ESA to serve as Secretariat.

H. ESA HQ office move (McCarter)
The building in which ESA's office is currently housed is slated to be demolished for redevelopmen and tenants are being asked to relocate before their leases terminate. The landlord would be expected to cover costs (estimated about $200,000) for moving. A search is going on now for a new location in DC, which would be within our current budget, with about 7,000 square feet (combining the offices now in DC and Silver Spring ).

I. ESA/SER joint statement (Lymn)
SER contacted ESA a few months ago about the idea of issuing a joint statement to release during the annual meeting. They took the lead in developing a statement, which was reviewed by the Public Affairs committee. Both Boards are now considering the joint statement with the goal of issuing a press release on Monday 6 August. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The ESA Board approves of and endorses the SER position statement “Global Strategy for Mitigating Climate Change”.

J. Environmental Justice section proposal
Although it is too late for the Council to vote on this proposal at this meeting (insufficient prior notice), we can approve the proposal and notify the Council about it tomorrow (with a following vote by mail after the appropriate period of notice). The proposers will be asked to incorporate a five-year review into the by-laws. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: the ESA Board recommends approval of the proposal for a new Environmental Justice section.

Executive session, followed by adjournment.

5 August resumption of meeting

K. Meetings issues

  1. San Jose meeting (Kerry Woods, guest)
    We're trying a few new things this year: an invited speaker to summarize the state of the art, and a new process for sorting contributions into sessions (including an element of self-selection by authors, using pull-down lists of keywords culled from last year's set of keywords used by authors). One challenge was Devon 's departure at an awkward time, and the other was the size of the meeting (having to convert a large number of talks to posters). 163 oral sessions, 810 presentations were submitted as posters, some others were changed from talks to posters. It seems that many graduate students feel strongly about preferring to give oral presentations (a larger audience).
  2. Future meetings (Steve Chaplin, guest)
    This is Steve's last year; Kiyoko Miyanishi will be replacing him as Chair. The committee is bringing recommendations for both 2012 and 2014 this week (2012 will be formally recommended on Friday)

     i. 2014 annual meeting site
    2014 recommendation is Sacramento, CA. West coast meetings seem to draw large numbers (e.g., Davis, Portland ). Cost of the convention center rental is a good deal (probably about $21,000). The area around the convention center has been developed nicely in recent years. Meeting would have to be the second week of August, and dorm space is not a very low-cost alternative, so one option is to use low-cost hotels rather than dorms. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: the ESA Board approves the proposal for Sacramento for the 2014 meeting.

     ii. 2012 annual meeting site
    The proposal for 2012 will probably be Portland (2004 was a popular meeting there). Milwaukee, Pittsburg and Portland have teamed up with an offer of free use of the convention center for us in Portland because of our use of Pittsburg in 2009. Dorm situation wasn't great (10 miles to Lewis and Clark dorms, which is a problem at rush hour), but this time we could use dorms at Portland State (on the light trail line). There is no hotel attached to the convention center, but there is a contract going out for one that might be available by 2012.

     iii. 2015 100 th anniversary options
    2015 (centennial) meeting. 1914 AAAS meeting in Philadelphia included 20 ecologists who talked about forming a society, and they decided that in 1915 they would put out a call for ecologists to come to the next AAAS meeting. 40-50 ecologists attended the AAAS meeting in Columbus, OH in 1915, and a constitution was approved. There was a field meeting the next spring/summer (4 papers presented and a field trip), and then the first meeting was in New York City in 1916. Do we want to go to NYC in 2015, which would cost a lot more? Or go to a second-tier city (perhaps Columbus )? The Board asked the Meeting Committee to bring at least two 2015 options for consideration. 

  3. carbon offsets (Lymn)
    Clean Air-Cool Planet has issued a consumer guide to carbon offset providers, and the top-ranked providers include the organization (Sustainable Travel) that we will support. As of recently, 368 members have made carbon offset contributions for travel to this meeting. It was suggested that a group be named to review options for the best science based offset programs.

    Additional discussion focused on how to provide additional travel support for graduate student travel to the annual meeting. Approximately 40 students are currently given travel awards, mostly through efforts of individual sections or chapters.

L. Publications Subcommittee update (Belnap; guests Don Strong, Dave Schimel)

Larger issues discussed by the Subcommittee include:

  1. developing a long-term vision and image for the publications portfolio. Ecology for mainstream ecology articles, Ecological Monographs for synthesis, review, and monographic articles, Frontiers to reach other disciplines and the interested public, and perhaps a new journal for fast-track, hot topic papers (although Ecology Letters may have occupied this niche). Many people think of Ecology as rather stodgy, slow turnaround, although this is not the current situation.
  2. For Ecology and Ecological Applications : maybe have a journal within the journal – make the Reports and Communications section as distinct as possible from the rest of the journal, make them as distinct as possible from other parts of the journal, elevate their visibility by posting them on the Web, adding color to figures, make them open access, invite leading names to write for these sections, offer pre-prints. Additional articles could be made open access if the author pays (but perhaps with a ceiling of 50% of articles to be made open access). Don Strong and Dave Schimel offer support for all of these ideas, particularly a Web presence and pre-prints; Allen Press hasn't been as responsive as they want in this regard.

    The reviewing process is now almost as fast as Science or Nature in some cases, but it takes 10-12 months to get the papers on-line (vs. 3 months for Oecologia ). Although this turnaround is not bad compared to other society journals. We are very highly selective (around 30% acceptance) compared to many other society journals, and our citations reflect this.

    A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: the ESA Board supports efforts by the Publications office to accelerate posting of page proofs of Rapid Reports and Communications sections of Ecology and Ecological Applications on the journal web sites, to make these articles open access, to include color versions of on-line figures, and to promote these changes. Information on the cost of the change in color and of additional staff to speed up editorial work will be presented at the November meeting. 

  3. Ideas for promoting and improving readership of the Bulletin include advertising the table of contents, using Frontiers to help advertise the Bulletin , having Board members help to draw attention to it.
  4. The importance of and ideas for increasing subscriptions to Frontiers were discussed by the Subcommittee. 
  5. The Subcommittee recommended that supervision and review of Editors-in-Chief remain as currently structured, and that all ESA journals be formally connected to and reviewed by the Publications Committee. 
  6. David Baldwin will contact JSTOR about the possibility of scanning back issues of the Bulletin in order to provide an on-line historical record. 
  7. The Subcommittee thinks there should be a survey of the membership about issues related to publications. A draft will be presented to the Board before the November meeting. 
  8. The data registry is difficult to use, needs to be more user-friendly, and there should be some incentive for people to use it. 
  9. Ecological Monographs – syntheses, and monographic articles are appropriate for it; don't necessarily have to be long articles; nature of the papers rather than length could be the defining character of the journal. At present, reviews are not considered appropriate. There seems to be a perception issue with regard to how potential authors consider the journal. A crisper description of appropriate papers on the Web page might help.

M.  New Business

In May we approved establishment of a new competitive invitation-only Millennium Conference Series, probably to start in 2009. There's an announcement of this in the program supplement at this meeting.

The Board supports the idea of having tap water rather than bottled water at future meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 12:00, 5 August 2007

David Inouye, Secretary

May 2007

DRAFT Minutes of the ESA Governing Board

May 7-8, 2007
Washington, D.C.

 

Members Present: Alan Covich (President), Nancy Grimm (Past-President), Norm Christensen (President-Elect), Sunny Power (incoming President-Elect), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), Meg Lowman (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Richard Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Dennis Ojima (Member at Large), Juan Armesto (Member at Large), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large) Rob Jackson (incoming VP for Science).

Staff Present:

Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Jason Taylor (Director of Education), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), Ramona Crawford (Development), David Baldwin (Publications).

Guest: Scott Collins (see section II. I.).

I. Roll Call, 9:00 AM

  1. The Governing Board unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
  2. Minutes from the November, 2006 Governing Board meeting were ratified.
  3. No Child Left Indoors vote (conducted earlier by e-mail) was ratified.

II. Reports

  1. Report of the President (Covich) 
    President Covich reported that the Society is in great shape, and plans for the annual meeting are going very well. He has represented the Society at a variety of venues this year. The ESA's role is increasingly recognized both nationally and internationally. Other societies ask for our help and use our web site as an important source of information. The web site and blog are working well. ESA has been busy preparing for the EcoSummit in Beijing later this month where a meeting of presidents from different national ecological societies will meet to discuss coordination of future meetings and other plans. Covich will give a plenary talk and ESA will be well represented by Katherine McCarter and Sue Silver both giving presentations and having a booth to introduce our journals to this international audience. The British Ecological Society has invited ESA to be involved in their centenary celebration, which will occur two years before the ESA's. The International Union of Biological Sciences meets in DC later this week, and Covich will represent ESA there. It's been exciting to watch NEON progressing, and ESA is involved in several activities ranging from a workshop at the EROS Data Center in South Dakota to the panel review last week. ESA has been asked to send a member to the INTECOL Board to represent our members on the Scientific Planning Committee for the 2009 meeting in Brisbane, Australia. ESA was also invited to nominate appointees to the National Science Board. The Southeast initiative is proceeding well. Excitement is building about the 100 th anniversary with several members expressing interest in writing a series of papers on the history of ecology and the role of ESA. There is also some initial discussions regarding organization of a documentary film or some way to include selected environmental films in the annual meeting in 2015. 

    Norm Christensen represented ESA at the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, which is working on a draft position statement on climate change. ESA has been approached about helping to resolve the water management issue in the Owens Valley. He and others will investigate this request and report to the Board in August as another way to begin our regional involvement of ESA members in ecological issues.

  2. Report of the Executive Director (McCarter) and staff 
    This is Jason's last meeting, before he moves to Salt Lake City, but a new Director of Education and Diversity has been hired. Katherine and Sue Silver will both be going to the EcoSummit this month, to host ESA's booth. McCarter is also making a presentation at the meeting. 

    Please watch for any e-mail message forthcoming requesting Board members to vote electronically, as 100% participation is required for these votes to be valid. 

    Director of Development Ramona Crawford has completed one week on the job and has talked on the phone with Fran Day. She and is reviewing development priorities and plans already in place and will travel to New York with Norm Christensen to meet potential donors. 

    Cliff Duke – the workshop on sustainability science was a success, and there will be a symposium on this topic chaired by Jane Lubchenco at the annual meeting. The data sharing initiative is moving forward, with a third workshop occurring later this month; there may be enough funding left for a fourth workshop. Workshop on southeast forest health will happen next month in Atlanta, at the request of the U.S. Army (is there a problem with forest health, what disease problems are apparent, what management or research issues are of concern, etc.). 

    Sue Silver – is busy getting ready for the EcoSummit. The Asian Chapter has been very involved, including helping arrange for volunteers to help translate at the booth. While in China she will lead workshops both in Beijing and Cheng Du on how to get research published in western journals. 

    Jason Taylor – is helping to prepare for the transition to his replacement. The NEON webcast and survey went well. He's serving on the NEON “tiger team” of experts for education. The February joint SEEDS and advisory committee meeting went well. 

    Nadine Lymn – distributed the new 110 th Congress Directory to Board members. 

    Elizabeth Biggs – annual meeting plans are well under way, with about the same number of abstracts submitted as Montreal (suggesting registration of 4,000 to 4,500). New web site has been working well; more members are contributing photographs. 

    David Baldwin – The logjam in production at the beginning of this year is now past, and May issues were out before end of April. Auk and ESA journals will be doing an ad trade (2 ads in Auk for one in Ecology). Links to data registry entries are going live and use of this feature has begun. Opening up for bids for printing of ESA journals will happen in 2008. The experiment on making one article open access in each journal is going well. 

  3. Financial Updates (Parton/McCarter) 
    Actual expenses are running well below projected, so there is likely to be a good surplus by the end of the fiscal year. Reserves are now $1.2 million, with the goal of $5 million. There has been a one-year gain of 9% on investments. Consensus is that we should stick with the philosophy of investing in mutual funds, and using social/environmental screens to ensure we're investing in companies whose actions we approve. 

    Katherine presented an overview of the FY 2007-08 budget proposal, including assumptions, calculations of revenues and expenses, and adjustments from the previous budget (increases in subscriptions and dues). 

    Editor-in-Chief Don Strong has requested additional funding that would help increase the stipends provided to Associate Editors. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Board supports the idea of increasing by 25% the budgets of editors of Ecology and Ecological Applications. 

    A motion is moved, seconded: The Board supports the idea of increasing the annual payment to the Unrestricted Fund from $50,000 to $100,000. The motion is tabled. 

    The Board is asked for ideas for using the Board's discretionary funding for the year. Suggestions include: 

    A survey by the Ad Hoc Publications Subcommittee about publications issues ($2,000); 
    A third meeting of the Ad Hoc Publications Subcommittee; 
    An extra funded meeting for EHRC on site at the annual meeting 2008; 
    Funds for an EHRC speaker; 
    Hire an intern for a 2010 summit on environmental education; 
    Support a sabbatical position for an ESA member to work on policy by paying for the AAAS orientation ($2,500-3,000); 
    Tie the 100 year anniversary with 25 year anniversary of SBI; 
    Fund a meeting of the Publications Committee. 
    We need to decide on a meeting site for the 100 year anniversary; it would have to be a large city. New York was site of the first meeting. 

  4. Nominations for Board Elections (Grimm) 
    A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: 
    Report of the nominating committee for Board members (from Nancy Grimm). Candidates for President are Jim Clark and Mary Power. VP for Finance candidates are Bill Parton (re-nominated) and Mike Pace, VP for Public Affairs are Richard Pouyat (re-nominated) and Laura Hueneke, Member at Large (four candidates for two positions) Ottar Bjørnstad, Carlos de la Rosa, Josh Schimel, Emily Stanley), and Board of Professional Certification (four candidates for two positions) Margaret DeVall, Garth Redfield, Robert Jones, Harold Ornes). 
  5. Publications Issues 
    How can we get good feedback from members about the use of electronic publications? E.g., are people reading the Bulletin now that it's only available on-line? 

    A mid-term review was conducted, following the full review in Montreal. Recent innovations and accomplishments include: 

    Graphics work brought in-house (significant savings) 
    Totally digital copy-editing and transmission of manuscripts to printer 
    Continued promotion and growth of Ecological Archives (~ half of papers now) 
    Help for authors whose native language is not English (about 70 volunteers now) 
    ESA Data Registry promotion and publication of Registry information (not much use yet)
    Continued improvement in time to publication 
    Increased issue frequency of Ecological Applications to eight per year 
    One open-access article per issue

    Issues on the horizon include: 
    Open access – threat or promise? 
    The future of print 
    Publication of “issues and volumes” or individual articles? 
    Archiving: responsibility of libraries or ESA? 

    Some journal statistics and trends: 

    Number of submissions is increasing, acceptance rates about 28% (rose a little last year), article length decreasing slowly, number of pages increasing a little (over 6,000 for the past four years), number of submissions/country data are being collected ( China is #8 and rising), impact factors are good (including meteoric rise of Frontiers).

    The new journals website, with additional features such as downloads for bibliographic software, is expected to be online by the end of May. 

    Frontiers “Mid-Term” Program Update (Silver) 

    Articles accepted now won't appear until at least February; the idea of pre-print publication is being considered. Many of the early articles were reviews, which tend to have higher rates of citation, and more recent issues have fewer reviews (which could influence the impact factor). Special issues on paleo-ecology and ecosystem services are in the works. Two sets of articles, on ethics and on Pathways to Scientific Teaching are being published as small books. A new student-written column is about to start. A search is going on for a new marketing representative. 

    Frontiers Publication Budget:

    A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The budget will be modified to raise the Society contribution to publication costs of Frontiers from $50,000 to $100,000. 

    Publications Ad hoc Committee update: The committee will be meeting tomorrow afternoon. Issues that are being considered include pre-publication, open publication, bundling of journals. The publishing world is changing rapidly, and annual meetings of a committee are not sufficient to keep up with it. We need a mechanism to get feedback from members about publication issues. 

  6. Public Affairs Issues (Lymn) 

    1. “mid-term” program update (Lymn) 
    Federal support for ecology – continuing to monitor overall funding (which has been stagnant or declining, depending on agency). Together with other members of BESC and Coalition for Agricultural Research Missions, Nadine has been making visits to elected representatives with ESA members. 

    Environmental and science policy – continuing to send bi-weekly Policy News, sending out a variety of position statements and letters, and conducting briefings. The Rapid Response Teams have been important in all of these efforts. Not much turnover in the Teams so far. 

    Media outreach has been going well, with EurekAlert! and Newswise serving as distribution points for press releases. 

    2. Public Affairs Committee update (Pouyat) 
    VP Pouyat reports: Public Affairs Committee met in April. Three committee members will turn over in August, and Board members are asked to help with suggesting replacements. The successful MAMAS contest will be continued at the next annual meeting. The Society should develop a statement on global climate change. 

    3. The Fire Management position paper (Ojima/Pouyat) 
    The committee suggests that this paper be submitted for publication as a peer-reviewed publication and develop a short policy statement derived from it. The Board discussed the differences among fact sheets, policy statements, policy papers, white papers, and Issues in Ecology. Ecological literacy and biofuels are ideas for future topics. 

  7. Awards Nominations 
    The proposed slate of awardees from the ESA Awards Committee, chaired by Cathy Pringle, was presented. The Board asks the committee to pick one of the two nominees for the Corporate Award, and word is still awaited on the Sustainability Science nominee Some additional information is needed for the Distinguished Service Citation (concerning service to the Society). A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Board approves the list of nominees provided by the Committee, with the caveat that only one of the two Corporate Award nominees can be chosen [one is being recommended as the Corporate Special Recognition Award]. 
  8. ESA Panel on Vegetation Classification 
    The panel was last renewed in 2001 for five years, and asks to have its charter renewed for two more years. The panel was first formed in 1994, and suggests it may be appropriate to approve it as a standing committee at some point. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Board approves a two-year extension of the Panel on Vegetation Classification. 
  9. Integrative Science for Society and the Environment (Collins) 
    There was a 2001 review by NSF of LTER program after 20 years, which concluded that there was a lack of synthesis and a need to generate a new research agenda that would have increased breadth, improve science in the network, and have increased outreach and educational components. NSF has come up with money for this new initiative. Historically, the Bio Directorate hasn't reached out to the scientific community for ideas, so this is a cultural shift that they are doing so now. The current document is no longer LTER-centric, attempts to bring in a large component of the research community. ESA is now being asked for a letter of endorsement for the letter that has been sent to NSF. VP Shaver will draft a letter of endorsement to circulate to the Board for comment. 
  10. NEON Update/Membership (Covich) 
    Results of the survey conducted by the Society about ecologists' perceptions of NEON were presented. The process of site designation is proceeding. Covich gave information about a recent review meeting at the EROS data center. The Society has been invited to become either a founding member or an institutional member (or both) of NEON, Inc. Belnap will draft a letter to send to federal agencies as part of an education process about what NEON is and how they can be involved (especially those that have already signed an MOU concerning NEON). A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Ecological Society of America will apply for membership in NEON, Inc., as a founding member. 
  11. ESA President's Series (Grimm/Duke) 
    At the November Board meeting Grimm presented a preliminary proposal for a high-profile, competitive, invitation-only conference series. The intent is that this would be a self-supporting operation, with about 100 participants each year. We could seek co-sponsors (other societies, institutions, etc.). A conference organizing committee would develop the agenda, identify speakers, review abstracts, and oversee production of publications resulting from the conference. There may be sufficient Millennium funding to proceed with planning an initial conference in about 1.5 – 2 years. The Board suggested calling the series the “Millennium Conference Series.” A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Governing Board supports the idea of a high-profile conference series to begin in two years, with up to $50,000 from the Millennium Fund to support the initial conference. The Board will issue a call by August for proposals for conference topics and will pick the initial topic. 
  12. Annual Meeting Issues 

    1. Carbon Program (Pouyat) 
    Pouyat and Lymn met with the local organizing committee to brainstorm about this issue. Suggestions included: the money could be used to support graduate research for measuring carbon offsets in a local wetland restoration project; put a carbon calculator on the web site. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The issue of how to reduce the carbon footprint of annual meetings will be given to the Council in order to get a broad spectrum of input from the membership. Funds collected by ESA from members this year will be donated to the two organizations identified last year for contributions. 

    2. Meeting Enhancements/Changes 
    The Meetings Committee has made some significant changes. There will be no reception after the opening plenary, but will be a cash bar. There will be a reception (with food) when the exhibits open on Monday. Registration will open in the next week. The opening scientific session will be Monday morning instead of the afternoon. The awards reception will still happen late afternoon. 

    The Millennium reception will be broadened to a Donor reception, with all those who donated $100 or more invited. 

  13. Southeast Knowledge Partnership Update (Covich) 
    Five proposals were sent out for funding the meeting. One was turned down, four more are pending. Ramona will be picking up the development activities for the project and will be preparing additional proposals. 
  14. Ecological Research at Undergraduate Institutions Section Proposal 
    A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Board approves asking the Council to consider a proposal to create a new section for Researchers at Undergraduate Institutions. 
  15. New Business 
    Pouyat distributes a summary of information about the ESA-SCME (Sociedad Mexicana de Ecología) symposium in Mexico last November. We've been invited to send a representative to the INTECOL meeting in 2009, and the Society for Ecological Restoration International. American Society of Geographers would like to have us work with them on a sustainability initiative.

Meeting adjourned at 12:00.
David Inouye, Secretary

November 2006

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board
16-17 November 2006
Washington, DC

Draft Minutes

Members Present: Alan Covich (President), Nancy Grimm (Past-President), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), Bill Parton (Vice President for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Meg Lowman (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large), Juan Armesto (Member at Large), Rich Pouyat (Vice President for Public Affairs), Dennis Ojima (Member at Large).

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), Jason Taylor (Director of Education), David Baldwin (Publications), Fran Day, (Director of Development)

Guest:
Jim Collins, Assistant Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, NSF

I. Roll Call, Adoption of Agenda, and Vote Ratification, beginning at 8:56 AM

A. Adopt Agenda – adopted unanimously
B. Minutes from August Governing Board Meeting – approved unanimously
C. Reminder of the meeting dates for May (7 – 8 May) 2007

II. Reports

A. Report of the President (Covich)

Covich met with the SEEDS students during their visit to the Coweeta LTER site and continues to be very impressed with the impact this program is having around the country. He also appreciates the work of the Steering Committee for the Southeast Knowledge Partnership and their participation in a planning meeting (discussed below).

Upcoming international meetings at which ESA will be represented: 1) EcoSummit in China (22-27 May in Beijing). The theme will be Ecological Complexity and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for 21th Century’s Ecology; and 2) the 10th International Congress of Ecology ( INTECOL) meeting in Australia (Brisbane, 16-21 August 2009).

ESA members may also wish to attend the 29th International Union of Biological Sciences General Assembly and Scientific Symposium that will be held in Washington, D.C. (9-13 May). The theme will be Biological Sciences for the 21th Century: Meeting the Challenges of Sustainable Development in an Era of Global Change.

The Society for Ecological Economics would like to encourage a joint meeting at some time in the future; Board members with suggestions related to this meeting should convey them to Alan Covich. The Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry has also indicated an interest in joint activities. 
A group of several biological societies is discussing pooling resources to sponsor jointly an AAAS Fellow. Discussions are ongoing.

The new Web site and Blog are up and running, and working well.

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

Executive Director (McCarter) – ESA is one of the founding members of the Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) collection of journals, which are being provided free to developing countries as of the beginning of October. JSTOR will add Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment to its collection of ESA journals. Jim Brown and Les Real, years ago, assigned royalties to ESA from a book they published. University of Chicago Press just sent a check for $14,000 (several years worth of royalties), which the student section will use as the basis for starting a new travel award. Only two sections submitted applications for long-range planning grants; the deadline has been extended. Individual Board members have been assigned as liaisons for the different major development projects.

Public Affairs (Lymn) – summarized the changed political landscape following last week’s elections, as it relates to environmental issues.

Ithaca publications office (Baldwin) – the new Ecological Applications schedule is in place to get 8 issues out each year (every month that there isn’t an Ecological Monographs). The publications Web site, hosted at the Allen Press, is being updated and will be available soon, with a variety of improvements.

Finance and Administration (Biggs) – the new Web site was initiated last month, although a few pages remain to be moved to the new format. Member comments have been positive. The Audit Committee should receive results of the annual audit soon.

Frontiers (Silver) – highlights for the year for Frontiers included the China issue and the launch of the series on Pathways to Effective Communication. The Mexico and Paleoecology issues are in progress. Sue will attend the EcoSummit meeting in China, to support the ESA booth with Katherine McCarter. She has been invited to China by the Chinese Academy of Science to give a two-day workshop for Chinese editorial staff.

Development (Day) – the preliminary proposal to NSF for SEEDS for teachers was submitted.

Education and Diversity (Taylor) – the recent Coweeta LTER field trip went well. The digital library project is moving forward with a new assistant. Jason attended a NEON conceptual design review meeting recently, representing the educational component.

Science (Duke) – the data sharing initiative is going well. There will be a meeting next month at NCEAS about data centers. National Resources Conservation Service has contacted the science office about a review of ecological services provided by wetlands. Devon Rothchild is working on the pollination web site project with NBII, which is proceeding well The sustainability science workshop group has been busy.

C. Financial Reports

1. Vice President for Finance (Parton) – investment update. We have now crossed the $1 million mark with our investments.

2. McCarter reported that the first quarter financials are looking positive and that ESA is currently meeting or exceeding our projections for the first (a report is presented).

III. Discussion Items / Actions

A. Financial / Fundraising Mid-Term Program Review (Biggs, Day)
In general the budget looks fine; we have a substantial rainy day fund, and are progressing toward the goal of $5 million set in August 2006. Subscriptions from libraries are the largest source of revenue, and there is still some uncertainty about how electronic journals and open access will affect this in the future.

Fundraising – Priorities have been set for seven projects, and work is progressing on all of them (pre-proposals, proposals, cultivation of potential major donors, etc.). Meg Lowman will be the featured speaker at a proposed event in D.C. for about 50 potential major donors.

B. Dues Increase proposal
Staff and VP for Finance recommend an annual 2% increase in dues for membership, with a similar increase every other year for student members and those from developing countries. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: THE BOARD WILL PROPOSE A DUES INCREASE OF approximately 2% per year for regular members, and 2% every other year for student members and those from developing countries. This proposal will be presented to the Council next August, and if approved, implemented for 2008.

C. Developing plans for additional ESA activities with NSF
The Board discussed several ways in which our members could actively participate in ongoing NSF projects, especially the National Ecological Obeservatory Network, prior to meeting with Jim Collins, Assistant Director for Biological Sciences at NSF.

D. Publications Issues

1. Ad Hoc Publications Review Committee – update (Belnap)
Some questions were answered, some issues were identified for further exploration at the spring Board meeting. Answered questions include:

The ESA portfolio of publications should be reviewed regularly.
ESA is still happy with its relationship with Allen Press, and we should not pursue turning printing and electronic services to someone else at this time.

Foreign translations would be too costly.
ESA should not publish proceedings of competitive conferences from other societies.
It would be too costly to publish comments and revisions of papers, as is typically done in math and physics journals.

Issues warranting further exploration include:

The current publications portfolio.
Changing format from paper to on-line.
How to spiff up the journal’s image, make Issues, the Bulletin, and small books from Frontiers more visible.
JSTOR and the moving wall for access (4 years is too long, 1 year too short).
Access to back issues for electronic subscribers.
Data access – should we require data associated with papers be made available?
Should we print long-term high-quality archival issues if we go completely electronic?
Open access and page charges.

Questions deferred to the Publications Committee:

Handling of electronic appendices, and the level of editorial attention they should receive.
Review of publication office staff by other than Managing Editors.
Should there be a review of Frontiers Editor-in-Chief different from editors of Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Applications, the Bulletin, and Issues in Ecology?
We need member input on several issues related to how well the journals represent ESA. How best to do this? The publication Ad Hoc review committee needs to meet more often.

Lunch guest: Jim Collins, Assistant Director for Biological Sciences, NSF

NEON: a conceptual design review meeting was held last month. NEON is on schedule, making good progress. The NEON budget is in the House and Senate markup for next fiscal year, but the government is on a continuing budget at present. The revised science plan is available on the NEON, Inc, web site. A strong continental focus, with moveable towers, potential for experimentation and freshwater studies are included. In April or May a project design review will occur. There’s a January 5th deadline for the Request for Information, and a review of the RFIs will occur in February. The NEON Board of Directors has been expanded. A Scientific Advisory Committee will be appointed soon. David Schimel has been named the new CEO of NEON, Inc.

The consensus is that we should include a time for NEON updates by NSF program officers (and NEON, Inc.) at the annual meeting.

ESA can help NSF by suggesting candidates for program directors, and encouraging colleagues to seek administrative approval to serve at NSF on a rotating basis.

Cyber infrastructure remains a major focus at NSF this year. How can more ecologists be involved?

D. Publications Issues (continued)

2. Review of the Editor-in-Chief of Ecology, Don Strong.

It was moved and seconded that Don Strong be reappointed as Editor-in-Chief of Ecology and Ecological Monographs. The Board discussed ideas for how to increase the proportion of women and underrepresented minorities on the editorial boards of ESA journals, and whether the current policy on Ecological Monographs concerning length of papers needs to be modified to encourage longer papers. The publications committee is asked to consider the possibility of emphasizing synthesis as a function of Ecological Monographs. The motion to reappoint Don Strong as Editor-in-chief of Ecology and Ecological Monographs to a three-year term (January 2007 – December 201) was approved unanimously and a letter thanking him for his past sevice will be sent.

3. Appointment of Editor for Issues in Ecology. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously to appoint Jill Baron as Editor for Issues in Ecology for a three-year term (January 2007 – December 2010).

E. Education and Diversity Program review (Lowman & Taylor)

They reviewed the history of the program, ongoing projects, and plans for the future.

F. Integrative Science for Society and Environment (Grimm)

The Board is asked to endorse the concept, and more specifically, a document describing a strategic research plan that would go to NSF and potentially help stimulate funding of a new budget initiative in this area. Several other societies are also being asked for endorsements. The board reviewed the current draft and suggested that additional sites with long-term studies be included to emphasize the wide range of research activities now being investigated but not yet fully integrated.

G. 100th Year Anniversary (Covich)
President Covich has convened a group to start planning for activities leading to 2015, including discussions of the Society’s history and future as well as groups that were initiated from within ESA (such as The Nature Conservancy, Animal Behavior Society, the Society for Conservation Biology and others). ESA will begin planning for the annual meeting well in advance to make certain that the theme is well suited and attendance is optimal. Suggestions for the venue and theme are needed. What special topics for journals could we consider? There is a lot of interest among ESA members in planning an appropriate set of events to celebrate the anniversary.

Meeting adjourned for the evening at 4:55 PM.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2006
MEMBERS: SAME
STAFF: SAME
GUESTS: NONE

III. Discussion Items / Actions (continued)

H. Southeast Knowledge Partnership – update (Covich)
A planning meeting attended by 11 was held 8 November in Athens to generate suggestions for a theme and ways to engage stakeholders as well as evaluate the effectiveness of this pilot program aimed at regionalizaiton. Funding will be sought during the next several months to sponsor a workshop for about 50 people next fall. There was discussion of how to proceed with this regional initiative and how to develop the concept in other regions.

I. Annual Meeting Issues
How can we disperse the scientific information presented at annual meetings? More complete symposium reports in the Bulletin and Frontiers? In special issues of our journals?

1. Carbon-free annual meetings (proposal from the Meetings Committee)
The Board is concerned about the idea of a mandatory, or even default, increase to the annual meeting registration fee, but supports the idea of facilitating an optional contribution. The Board also recommends an article or editorial in Frontiers about the idea of carbon-free travel, and suggests including an announcement of this option in the e-mail message to the membership that announces the opening of the registration Web site. 
A motion is made and seconded to make clear on the registration form that there is an option to offset carbon costs through a voluntary donation, and that the public affairs committee identify, if possible, a local carbon-offset effort to which those funds will be contributed. Passed with one abstention.

2. 2008 Annual Meeting Theme (Milwaukee)
“Ecological education for our future” is proposed as the theme. The education committee will help with developing the theme and text regarding integration of research and teaching.

3. Meeting Appointments

The VP for Science and the Co-chair of the Meetings Committee present recommendations for the appointments of 2009 Program Chair and Local Host, and Co-Chair of the Meetings Committee. A motion is made and seconded to appoint Scott Franklin as Program Chair and Will Pockman as Local Host for the 2009 annual meeting, and to appoint Kiyoko Miyanishi as the Co-Chair of the Meetings Committee (for future meetings). Passed unanimously. Board members will suggest names for the Local Arrangements Committee for the Pittsburg meeting, and the Meetings Committee will contact the Mid-Atlantic region chapter for more suggestions.

J. Competitive Conference Series (Grimm)
Grimm suggests that a prestigious ecology conference series, perhaps modeled on the Gordon Conferences, or the AGUs conference series, would be attractive. Cliff and Nancy will collect some additional information about this idea and bring it back to the Board in May.

K. CSSP Fellow (Grimm)
The Council of Scientific Society Presidents has invited presidents of ESA to participate. Grimm has been elected to the Executive Board and will serve until May. Norm Christensen will be asked to replace her, and remain the CSSP representative for three years (Nancy replaced Ann Bartuska). CSSP is proposing a Fellows program and is seeking $1,500 from ESA as a contribution. The Board suggested that putting this funding into a AAAS fellow or an ESA intern might be more productive. Nancy will take that idea to the CSSP Board.

L. ESA Website Review (Biggs)
Covich suggests a photo contest for pictures on the home page (which will be rotated monthly). Inouye suggests putting identifying text behind the pictures. Duke encourages reading and use of the blog by Board members.

M. New Business
Covich received a letter from AIBS President Doug Futuyma, who is undertaking a review of potential 21st Century Directions in Biology, especially the impact of modern molecular methods. Covich will seek two ESA researchers to contribute to this special issue of BioScience.

How to highlight the San Jose meeting to the potential international audience? San Jose may be attractive as a venue to Latin American ecologists. The December 1 deadline for special session proposals for the meeting will likely attract a large number of proposals.

Energy and environmental impacts of biofuel production might be a topic to involve multiple components of policy, education, and science, e.g., for the Southeast Knowledge Partnership.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:50 AM on Friday, November 17, 2006

David Inouye, Secretary

August 11, 2006

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
11 August, 2006
Memphis

 

Members Present: Alan Covich (President), Nancy Grimm (Past-President), Norm Christensen (President-Elect), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), Meg Lowman (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Richard Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large), Dennis Ojima (Member at Large).

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), Fran Day (Development), David Baldwin (Managing Editor), Jason Taylor (Director of Education).

  1. Roll Call, 8:36 AM
  2. Welcome from the new President (Covich)

Feedback about the meeting program and venue has been favorable.  Just about 2,800 people registered; he has had some feedback that people liked the smaller size. Some of the ideas brought up at the meeting have helped set the stage for the 100th anniversary.  NEON appears to be back on track, we’ll see what else ESA can do to help facilitate it.  One suggestion heard was to schedule more talks by icons (e.g., one each day).  What could we do to make the meeting more welcoming to members who teach at small schools that don’t emphasize research? There may be a move to create an environmental justice section, and to do more at the meeting site (e.g., student volunteers working on a local project). 

Organizing for the coming year: Jayne Belnap has agreed to chair the publications review committee, which will also include, Scott Collins, and others still to be appointed.  Liz Biggs, David Baldwin and Sue Silver will serve as staff resources to the committee.

Meeting dates: 16-17 November in DC, and the 15th for new Board members.  Suggested spring meeting dates 7 and 8 May.  Climate change science program office is one possibility for an agency meeting, also DOE Office of Science, Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, TNC, etc. Next year’s annual meeting in San Jose, CA, 4-10 August. 

100th year (2015) anniversary preparations: Historical Records Committee is being involved, encourages archiving of Society records.  What can we and others learn from our history? The contributions of individuals coming up with important ideas from their familiarity with natural history is one important theme – how can we ensure that this will continue? And what is the future role of big science projects?  Will its budgets create problems for funding smaller-scale research?  Don Shure played an important role at the 75th annual meeting, and should be contacted regarding the 100th.  A showcase exhibit on Capitol Hill and for the media would be appropriate.  Last year Nadine presented a history of the Public Affairs Office; perhaps other VPs could work on similar summaries. Perhaps we could collaborate with other agencies to highlight previous efforts such as the International Geophysical Union.  Maybe try for a postage stamp? Society for Environmental History might be interested in collaborating (Nancy Langston at Wisconsin might be a contact; headquarters is in Durham). 

Steering committee for the southeast Regional Knowledge Partnership will meet in early November.  Members include:  Michael Binford, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Norman Christensen, Duke University, Durham, NC; Alan P. Covich, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Virginia Dale, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN; Dr. Frank S. Gilliam, Marshall University Huntington, WV; Margaret D. Lowman, New University of Florida, Sarasota, FL; Jerry Melillo, The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA; Robert R. Twilley, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; Peter S. White, University of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC.  An outreach effort will be an important component. 

EcoSummit: This will be the third one, the first in China.  The Asian Section will play an important role.  Elsevier is sponsoring it, Ecological Society of China has taken a major role (e.g., in terms of financial risk).  Our role is to serve on the Program Committee and help (through our membership) suggest symposia, and help organize/award student funding.  Several Board members will attend the summit.  In addition, Katherine McCarter and Sue Silver will exhibit at the meeting and publicize ESA’s journals.  Editor of Ecological Complexity, Bai-Lian (Larry) Li, is the point person for Elsevier.  They may publish a set of symposium volumes from the meeting.  

  1. Audit Committee

 This group reviews the audit, and participates in a conference call with the Auditors.  Norm Christensen was appointed to the committee.

Meeting feedback.  Some donors to funds other than Millennium Fund were unhappy because they weren’t invited to a reception and didn’t get DONOR tags for their name tags.  Some postdocs and recently appointed faculty members asked for graded registration fees (similar to membership fees).  Maybe a young-scientist network would be a good idea.  The student section activities attracted a lot of participants and went well, although there were some complaints about the student mixer (expensive, not enough food). SEEDS went well; Nancy encouraged Board members to participate in the Diversity Mixer.  Katherine encouraged more Board members to attend the Bagels with the Board breakfast in the future.  The public outreach session (community presentation) on Wednesday evening featured Ann Bartuska talking at the Anointed Temple of Praise; a mixed success due to a conflict at the church (a service that evening).  Press Office report:  The reporter from Nature was busy sending out reports, and about 15 other media representatives were present.  Ecological Society of Mexico will have their first meeting in November; Rich Pouyat will attend as they are hoping to establish a public affairs committee modeled after ours. 

Meeting was adjourned at 10:34 PM on Friday, August 11, 2006.

David Inouye, Secretary

August 5, 2006

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
5-6 August, 2006
Memphis

 

Members Present: Nancy Grimm (President), Jerry Melillo (Past-President), Alan Covich (President-Elect), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), Carol Brewer (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Richard Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Shahid Naeem (Member at Large), Dee Boersma (Member at Large), Dennis Ojima (Member at Large), and Meg Lowman (incoming VP for Education and Human Resources). Norm Christensen (incoming President-Elect) arrived 2:30 PM. 

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Jason Taylor (Director of Education), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), David Baldwin (Managing Editor), David Gooding (Associate Managing Editor), Fran Day (Development)

Guests Present (August 6, 2006):
Steve Chaplin, Co-Chair Meetings Committee, Edward Johnson, Editor in Chief, ESA Bulletin, Kiyoko Miyanishi, Co-Chair, Meetings Committee, and Don Strong, Editor in Chief, Ecology and Ecological Monographs.  Staff: Michelle Horton, Meetings Manager and Devon Rothschild, Program Assistant

I.  Roll Call, 9:02 AM

  1. The GB unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
  2. Minutes from the May, 2006 Governing Board meeting were adopted with one editorial correction. 

II.  Reports

  1. Report of the President (Grimm)
    President Grimm highlighted 5 areas of activity:
  1. regional activities (Regional Knowledge Partnerships), and the pilot southeast project (update from Alan and Jerry later on)
  2. growth in membership – on track to reach 10,000, perhaps at this meeting
  3. education – there are many SEEDS activities for 40 student participants at this meeting.  A proposal has been submitted for a SEEDS For Teachers
    program.  Remaining funds from the Ford Foundation Mexico meeting grant are supporting five graduate students from South America to make presentations at this meeting.
  4. ESA representing the ecological science community – the goal is to be a voice to funding agencies, to foster initiatives that require an integrated and coherent community effort; e.g., meetings with federal agencies (USDA’s CREES program last May). Science office has been busy (more later).  A special session on Monday with representatives of USDA, NSF and NASA on a panel, and initiatives from the ecological community (LTER-based or initiated programs).
  5. Publications review – a charge has been developed for Board approval at this meeting, to form an Ad-Hoc “Publications Review Committee”. 
  1. B. Report of the Executive Director and staff
  1. Executive Director (McCarter)
    The annual meeting will probably be a little smaller than expected (possibly 2,800 to 3,000 vs. 3,200 expected), but is expected to achieve budget expectations.  The new team has worked well during the build-up to the meeting. Web site re-design is proceeding, with staff reviewing and rewriting text.
  2. Public Affairs (Lymn)
    Annie Drinkard has been working hard to get media coverage of the meeting: reporters from the Nature office in London, Mother Jones, a local TV station, Smithsonian Magazine, etc.  Board members are invited to the Rapid Response Team lunch.  The King County (WA) executive, Ron Simms, will be speaking at the Opening Plenary.  As an experiment this year, Anne Bartuska will give a talk on environmental justice at the Anointed Temple of Praise, a popular African- American church 15 miles from the Convention Center. A wetlands course on the Hill is being offered for congressional staffers for 2 days during the August recess, with a field trip on the third day to the Smithsonian’s Environmental Research Center.
  3. Publications (Baldwin)
    Submissions continue to increase about 10%/yr, average paper length and acceptance rates have gone down, so there has been no increase in the backlog of unpublished papers. First ever supplement for Ecology was published in conjunction with the July issue this year.  A small-scale experiment with open access (one article per issue) was started with the July issue of Ecology; this is not being advertised widely yet, but is a trial to see how this works. An attempt will be made to implement “mini-subscriptions”, allowing individuals to purchase numbers of on-line articles in quantities of 1, 5, 10, 20 over a year or two (using the Geological Society’s program as a model). 
  4. Frontiers (Silver)
    The new impact factor for the journal is 4.745, placing it 2nd among environmental science journals and 6th among ecological journals.  The September issue will be the one focused on China, and will be open access.  The whole issue may be translated (abstracts already are); 300 copies will be sent to authors to distribute, and it may be made available at the May 2007 meeting in China. Other special topic issues, including one from the ESA meeting in Merida, Mexico, are coming up. 
  5. Administration (Biggs)
    The fiscal year just ended with a positive balance.  For the coming fiscal year, $50,000 less is budgeted than last year as income from the annual meeting will be less than Montreal, and the bump in enrollment that typically accompanies the meeting may not quite get us to 10,000 members this year.
  6. Education (Taylor
    A fourth CD of Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecologywas published this year.  SEEDS (now in its 10th year) had a field trip to the Konza Prairie LTER site in June.  The largest number of applications ever received came in this year for attendance at the annual meeting, and about 40 ESA members are serving as mentors for these students. Board members are encouraged to attend the Diversity Luncheon.  The student coordinator will be leaving for a graduate program this fall and interviews are ongoing for a replacement.
  7. Science (Duke)
    About 350 people attended the workshop on agricultural air quality in June.  The sustainability science workshop funding has been approved, for next spring in the northeast.  The data registry workshop occurred last month. The NBII collaboration on a web site about pollination is proceeding. The cooperative agreement (a 3-year project) with them could lead to a variety of other collaborative efforts. In September a project will begin to produce a series of papers about ecological services provided by agricultural wetlands (NRCS collaboration); plan is to publish these as an open-access supplement to Applications. Involvement in 2007 nitrogen meeting in Brazil is proceeding (primarily publication support – maybe a special issue of Applications). Two Board members are working with Cliff on the issues of sustainability science (Shaver) and data sharing (Grimm).  Another potential issue is the ecological effects of warfare (Boersma).  ESA blog will be initiated with the new Web site.  There was discussion about how the blog will be monitored / controlled.
  8. Development (Day)
    Frontiers will become a focus for funding after this annual meeting. SEEDS is progressing well, with an upcoming focus on ecology clubs and an international component.  Collaboration with the Science office will include focusing on nitrogen and ecological effects of war.  An upcoming survey will help in development of both membership and Frontiers funding. In the coming year a series of “friend-raising” events will be held around the country to try and cultivate major donors (DC as a prototype, possibly Boston, Atlanta, Santa Fe).  Knowledge Partnerships for the southeast are also in progress. It was noted that almost all Board members contributed to the Millennium Fund. 
  1. Report of the Vice President for Finance (Parton)
    The unaudited year-end statement was presented.  Grant revenue was more than expected, and interest and dues income were greater than anticipated.  Bottom line is that we are able to add $281,000 to the unrestricted fund (reserve) category. As subscription numbers continue to erode, we may need to find a way to endow the journals to support their continued publication and to deal with publishing issues such as open access. 

    Investment update:  the past 3 months haven’t done so well (lost about 1%), but we are still up about 7% over the past year.  We have about 60% in equities (mostly in mutual funds), 40% in bonds. 

II. Discussion Items /Actions

  1. Fiscal Year 2006-07 ESA budget (McCarter)

    1. Approval of Proposed Budget.

    The only change since the draft was presented in May is a change from 4% to 5% (2% cost of living, 3% merit) for staff salary increases. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Board approves the proposed budget of $6,025,838. 

     

    2. Long-Range Planning Grants
    At-Large members of the Board helped to review the proposals from Chapters and Sections.  This system worked well, and will be continued with Dennis Ojima as Chair. Listing of previous awards on the Web site might be a good way to provide some guidance to future applicants. 

    3. Committee Funds
    These have typically been used for meetings of four committees each year: Science, Public Affairs, and Education, plus one other that changes from year to year.  $5,600/committee is allocated.  This year the Board agreed to fund a meeting of the Ad Hoc Publications Review Committee.

    4. Board Initiative Funds
    There is a list of 10 potential recipients for this $20,000 budget category (which comes from the Millennium Fund).  Budgets were estimated for each of the 10 ideas, and five (totaling $20,200) were discussed as possible candidates. 
    The Board moved, seconded, and approved: The Board approves the budget for Board strategic funds, including:
    $3,000 for dissemination of Profiles of Ecologists;
    $2,000 for an ESA intern to write the undergraduate survey report;
    $5,600 for a second meeting of the Special Ad-hoc Publications Review Committee;
    $5,600 for a planning meeting in Athens, GA for Knowledge Partnership workshops;
    $5,600 toward the documentation of ESA history
    President Grimm suggested we need a standardized time of year to make and discuss these kinds of ideas, and proposed presenting ideas in November, budgeting them in May, and then approving them in August.  

    5. Discussion of Council Presentation
    VP Parton will present the budget, discuss where the income came from, major expenditures, the goal of raising $2 million (or $5 million) for a Reserve Fund. 

    1. Reserve Funds (Parton/McCarter/Biggs)
      It would be prudent to have a full year’s funding available as a reserve, particularly in view of the small size of our endowment.  A fringe benefit of this would be the interest income from such a reserve once it is achieved.  A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Board approves the goal of establishing a reserve fund of $5,000,000. 
    2. Conflict of Interest Policy (Day)
      A motion is moved, seconded, and approved with one abstention: The Board approved the proposed conflict of interest policy. 
    3. Guidelines for Evaluating Corporate Funders / List of Corporations (Day)
      A motion is moved, seconded, and approved:  The Board amended the current “Corporate and Commercial Support or Donations Policy by changing  point #7 to read “When soliciting funds the ESA will consider evidence of commitment to environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and development of new applications of ecological science.  The Development Committee will screen prospects and periodically consult with the Governing Board on potential donors.”
    4. Knowledge Partnerships (Melillo/Covich/Staff)
      The southeast has been chosen as a pilot region for establishing these knowledge partnerships. To develop the concept, a set of two workshops is proposed, the first a meeting to plan the program for a larger workshop. The second meeting would bring a large number of stakeholders and scientists together. The first meeting will occur this November.  The proposed Center for Progressive Land Use, which may receive legacy funding with assistance of Governor Bush, may be associated with this effort as one of a small number of core subjects for the workshops.  
      How will success of the program be judged?  Indicators will help to attract financial support. We hope that the model from this pilot project (the southeast) will be a model for similar efforts in other parts of the country.
    5. Integrative Science for Society and the Environment (Grimm)
      A draft report, “Integrative Science for Society and Environment: A Strategic Research Plan”, prepared by the Research Initiatives Subcommittee of the LTER Planning Process Conference Committee, has been unofficially submitted to NSF and is presented to the Board. This is one of two outcomes from an award made to LTER to plan for initiatives within and beyond LTER. President Grimm requests feedback from Board members about potential involvement by ESA in this effort.  There is some feeling that although the general idea is good, and that this broad perspective is something that ESA should be concerned and involved with, this document may be too focused on LTER instead of the general ecological community.  President Grimm will take the comments presented back to the authors.  They will revise the document, and ask that ESA consider writing a letter in support of the effort; a draft letter will be presented for consideration at the November meeting.
    6. Yearly Public Policy Priorities (Pouyat/Lymn)
      The list of policy priorities has been vetted by the Public Affairs Committee. The consensus is that this list and the process for keeping it current are appropriate.
    7. Data Sharing Update (Duke/Baldwin/Grimm)
      The 2004 Society Summit of 12 organizations was an effort to identify common ground in interest/need for data sharing.  NSF funded three workshops, on data registries (held last month), data centers, and obstacles to data sharing.  There were 16 societies and 9 other organizations represented at the July 2006 workshop. Board members were encouraged to pass on recommendations to Cliff for potential participants in the two future workshops.
    8. ESA Top Ten List
      Is there something of this nature that ESA should do to draw attention to particular issues.  Maybe published annually in Frontiers? Other suggestions include: a top-ten list of facts and ecologically literate citizen should know, a list of the top 10 papers each year about ecological science, a list of the top 10 cited ecological papers each year, top 10 ecological concepts each year. VPs are requested to take these ideas into consideration.
    9. Feedback from Outgoing Board Members (Melillo/Brewer/Naeem/Boersma)
      The outgoing members all expressed positive feelings about their service on the Board and appreciation for the quality and hard work of the staff.
    10. Annual Meeting Schedule
      Board members reviewed their obligations during the Memphis meeting. 

Executive Session

  1. Memphis Meeting (Miyanishi, guest)
    The meeting is smaller, similar to what we had before Portland; meetings in the East tend to be smaller, and this is not a joint meeting. Review of proposals and abstracts went well.  Only 7 proposals for Organized Oral Sessions, but 7 Symposium proposals ended up as OOSs too; this is the third year we have had OOSs and Board members are encouraged to spread the word about this form of special session for future meetings. Registration might end up about 2,800.
  2. 2008 Meeting Theme 
    Program Chair for the 2008 meeting, Lou Gross, proposed a theme for the meeting.  Proposed theme is “Enhancing ecological thinking through research/education linkages”.  There is some sentiment that this could be improved to make it more enticing. Suggestions include “Ecology for Society”, and “Emerging Frontiers in Ecological Literacy.” Lou Gross will be asked to consider these ideas and report back to the Board in November.
  3. Future Meetings (Chaplin, guest)

    1. 2011 Annual Meeting Site

    Two contenders were Austin, TX and Charlotte, NC; looking for something in the SE, following San Jose, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, and Pittsburgh. Steve Chaplin, Katherine McCarter, Michele Horton, and Tricia Crocker visited both Austin and Charlotte, and found the former the most suitable for ESA (a casual, laid-back attitude, lots of music and restaurants within a few blocks of the meeting venue).  A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Board approves the proposal to hold the 2011 annual meeting in Austin.  

     

    2. Program Chair / Local Host Issues
    We still need a Local Host Committee Chair in Albuquerque, where we also met in 1997.  Pittsburgh-area ecologists will meet soon to help identify a Chair for that meeting.

  4. Publications Charge (Grimm)
    The Publications Committee was asked last year to report to the Board with questions and issues pertaining to the Society’s publications.  Their ideas have been used to create a charge for a Special Ad-hoc Publications Review Committee.  There is some sentiment that we should de-emphasize the issue of open electronic access, as there are not many commercial or private publications moving in this direction at present.  Ideas are suggested for the categories of participants who would be useful for a Review Committee (a graduate student, a librarian, Chair of Publications Committee, a Board member, etc.). Grimm and Covich will work on appointing a committee which will receive staff support from Liz Biggs, David Baldwin and Sue Silver.  The publications review committee charge was approved with the modification that consideration of open access issues be listed as a single item rather than three items.
  5. NEON update (Melillo)
    NEON is evolving, and some of the evolutionary steps are substantial, such as significant structural changes (new CEO¸ restructured Board), and changed emphasis on experimental work.  The ESA will continue to offer its assistance in communicating with the ecological community (ESA membership).
  6. Meetings with Editors in Chiefs

    1. Ecology/Ecological Monographs (Strong, guest)

    Major demands on his time included: looking at and assigning 1400 manuscripts to about 100 editors (some ad-hoc); recruiting and retaining editors; responding to protests by authors (about 100 last year; about 10% of decisions were reversed). The editorial process seems to be going well from his perspective and that of authors.

    2. ESA Bulletin (Johnson, guest)
    Johnson is still looking for ways to take advantage of the digital format (e.g., pictures, videos, models).  He’d like someone who could suggest Web sites of interest to ecologists, and hopes that more use will be made of the Emerging Technologies column.  

    3. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment (Silver)
    There was some discussion about how we might use Frontiers to make connections to the business community, building upon its success to date with policy makers and researchers. 

  7. Position Paper / Position Statement Updates

    1. Fire Management (Ojima)

    Reviews are in and back to authors.  The revision must still come to the Board, then to the membership, before being issued as an official statement of the Society. There is an existing Fact Sheet on Fire.  The paper in progress is essentially a review paper, and perhaps impenetrable to policy makers.  We may need a category of paper in between in size (e.g., 3 pages), accessible to policy makers. 

    2. Nuclear Energy (Pouyat)
    Currently in revision.

    3. Invasives Paper (Grimm)
    Barney Caton wrote a response to the paper that will be published in the Bulletin, and Ed Johnson has asked whether the Board would like to respond. Grimm requested that David Lodge (author of the position paper) develop a response with members of the original authors, and including Board member Dee Boersma.

  8. New Business
    Thanks to President Grimm and the departing Board members for their service.

Meeting is adjourned at 12:30 PM on August 6, 2006

David Inouye, Secretary

May 2005

ESA Governing Board 
May 19-20, 2005 
Washington , DC

Members Present: Jerry Melillo (President), Bill Schlesinger (Past-President, 5/19/05 only), Nancy Grimm (President-elect), Alan Covich (incoming President-elect), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), Norm Christensen (Vice President for Finance), Bill Parton (incoming VP for Finance), Carol Brewer (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Rich Pouyat (incoming VP for Public Affairs), Shahid Naeem (Member at Large), Dennis Ojima (incoming Member at Large, 5/19/05 only). Unable to attend: Boersma, Palmer, Power

Staff Present:

Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), David Baldwin (Managing Editor), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor)

Guests:

Jeff Herrick, 5/19/05 
Bruce Hayden, 5/20/05

Thursday, 19 May 2005

I. Roll Call & Agenda

  1. The GB unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.

II. Ratification of votes taken since the October 2004 meeting

  1. The minutes of the October 2004 meeting were approved.
  2. Brief discussion and approval of the 2006 Annual meeting theme, ?Icons and Upstarts in Ecology?.
  3. Reappointment of David Schimel, EIC for Ecological Applications, to a three-year term beginning January, 2005 and ending December 31, 2007 , was approved.

III. Reports

A. Report of President Melillo. A reminder of the schedule of program reviews and mid-term reviews:

Program Review Mid-term Review
Science Fall 2004 Spring 2006
Finance/fundraising Spring 2005 Fall 2006
Publications Summer 2005 Fall 2006 or Spring 2007
Public Policy Fall 2005 Spring 2007
Education Fall 2006 Spring 2008

Gus Shaver requested that a document be created summarizing the timetable of events such as creation of the ESA office in Washington , D.C. , the SBI program, etc. Katherine and staff will work on this after the annual meeting.

Gene Likens has agreed to give a retrospective of the ESA on its 90 th birthday. Jerry has been contacting past-presidents to encourage them to attend. Nancy suggested that we consider commissioning a history of the ESA for its 100 th anniversary. The ESA archives at the University of GA library could be a resource for this.

B. Report of Executive Director and staff

  • See the May 2005 written report. One highlight is the positive reception that several federal agencies gave to Katherine and Sue Silver about possible financial support for Frontiers .
  • The Montreal meeting may have 4,000 people (registration to open next week); even larger than Portland . Presidents of other ecological societies from around the world are being invited to a breakfast meeting with ESA president Jerry Melillo and BES president Alastair Fitter.
  • Cliff Duke reported on the data sharing initiative, and planning and fund-raising for the Mexico meeting.
  • Sue Silver reported on discussions with Charlesworth China to introduce Frontiers to many libraries in China , and efforts by the Chinese Frontiers Board member to solicit articles from Chinese authors for a possible special issue next year. The Mexico meeting may also generate a special issue (there is a proposal in to NSF for funding this).
  • David Baldwin reported that submissions are up, and turnaround at Ecology is now at a record low. The success of Ecological Archives is responsible for some of this (e.g., there are now >100 submissions associated with papers inEcology , and almost every paper in the August issue has material in EA). The publications office is ready to start making links to a data registry as soon as it is created.
  • Liz Biggs reported that Charlesworth China is also exploring marketing of other ESA publications besides Frontiers . ESA has had a good year in terms of finances (memberships, meetings). The membership database is now working with on-line access by members. The e-store is also working now for purchase of back issues.
  • Nadine Lymn reported that the rapid response teams are mostly mobilized, and Board members will be invited to a lunch meeting with the team members at the annual meeting. Congressional Visits Day went well. Plans are proceeding to take a bus-load of congressional staffers on a tour of USGS activities in the Chesapeake Bay area.
  • Jerry Melillo reported on a dinner meeting with Lou Pitelka, who is now working part-time at USDA, and discussion of possible collaboration with a few other societies to run a workshop about agricultural ecosystems.
  • Financial updates. Norm Christensen and Katherine McCarter. The fiscal year begins on 1 July, and Katherine reported results through the third quarter (March). The budget is in good shape, in large part because of the success of last year's annual meeting (2/3 of the surplus) and subscriptions and dues (1/3); currently we have a $325,432 surplus. We are trying a different mechanism this year to discourage those who submit abstracts for the meeting and then don't show up (taking credit card numbers but not charging an adstract submission fee to non-attendees until after the meeting occurs).
  • Written reports from President Elect Grimm and Program Chair Paul Ringold
  • Grimm reported on plans for the International Conference on Circular Economy and Sustainable Development, to be held in Hangzhou , China , 1-4 November 2005, sponsored by the provincial government of Zhejiang . Melillo and Grimm will attend.
  • Plans for the 2005 meeting in Montreal are proceeding well.

IV. Discussion/Action items

A. Financial Review. Liz Biggs led a quick discussion of 10 graphs sent to Board members that show membership and financial data for the past 6 years; the trend has been positive in both areas.

  • Reserve funds ? an analysis was done of the ESA's requirements for operating reserves. Total risk, should there be significant problems with subscription revenue, cancellation of the annual meeting, etc., is about $2.3 million. One suggestion is that we have a reserve of 6 months of operating expenses, which is also about $2 million. The VP for Finance and staff recommend that we use this as a target, with the goal of budgeting $50,000/yr , as well as, adding any additional surplus. This could become a quasi-endowment, managed like an endowment, but without the restrictions of endowment spending. We currently have about $600,000 in unrestricted reserves. 
    A motion is moved and seconded: The Ecological Society of America should develop a financial reserve of approximately six months of operating expenses, currently $2 million, through an annually budgeted payment ($50,000) and any surplus from the annual budget. Approved unanimously.
  • Investment of restricted funds ? follows a typical (conservative) pattern for endowment funds. Significant growth will have to come from donations, not from investment income.
  • Discussion of a fundraising position, following on previous Board suggestions that we should have one. Katherine presented ideas about how this can be accomplished (using both core funding and Millennium Fund). We have researched a target amount for annual salary for a non-profit development officer (with up to 50% of this in additional funding for travel, entertainment, publications, etc.).
  • Millennium Fund ? is available to the Governing Board for specific projects. Fund balance is about $84,000; Christiansen suggests we shouldn't let it get this large. The proposed budget would fully utilize the account for this year, and let us start over next year.
  • Frontiers budget. Katherine reported on efforts to raise $500,000 to cover the gap that developed when Packard Foundation was unable to meet its original commitment. About $165,000 is now in hand from a few different federal agencies, and we are waiting to hear from a few more. Advertising revenue is above the goal for this time, and a lot of effort is going into securing additional library subscriptions. We have funding in hand for about three more years (at about $400,000/yr).
  • Other publication issues. The plan is to move to giving electronic access to ESA journals to all subscribers, for the previous cost (+ 9%) of print subscriptions. This will result in a savings of about $700/yr to libraries; Schlesinger suggests we use this as an opportunity to push adding a Frontiers subscription.
  • Membership dues. Have been flat for many years, and we should consider whether to raise them. There is no specific proposal yet.
  • Board ethics and management. Sarbanes-Oxley legislation provided guidelines to commercial companies, and while non-profits are not covered by this, many organizations are beginning to look at a checklist of requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley that may eventually apply to non-profits. ESA has been doing most of these for some time, but there are two that we should adopt: an audit committee of the Board, and clear conflict of interest policies (e.g., an annual form to be signed by Board members). The plan is for the staff to start work with the incoming VP for Finance, Bill Parton, to work on these changes.

B. The Mexico meeting. Guest (meeting co-organizer) Jeff Herrick made a presentation about the meeting. Plans are progressing well, and there has been a lot of interest. A call for workshop titles will be issued soon (many have been suggested already). Fund-raising is progressing and looks promising, but the Board decided to assume responsibility for the cost of the meeting (running the meeting and subsidizing registration and travel for international participants) in the meantime so participants can make commitments to attend. A motion is moved and seconded: The ESA will commit to up to $250,000 in expenses for the Mexico meeting. Approved unanimously.

C. Proposed 2005-06 budget. Katherine and Liz presented the budget, which the Board discussed. A major new initiative in the proposed budget will be the addition of a development/fundraising position (see discussion above). Printing of WAMIE II report, analysis of undergraduate education survey data, translation of additional Issues in Ecology before the Mexico meeting, and a WAMIE workshop were suggested as additional activities for Board approval. No decision was made about these additions.

D. Public Information Campaign. Vice President for Public Affairs Sunny Power joins the discussion via speakerphone. Should the ESA undertake such a campaign? Nadine reviewed the chronology of this idea. Sunny summarized discussions of the Public Affairs Committee, and presented a recommendation. Lengthy discussion leads to a consensus that a regional focus, perhaps taking advantage of ESA chapters, would be an appropriate way to proceed. This is less daunting than the idea of a national campaign, whose scale (and expense) began to appear formidable. Staff will begin development of a concept paper for review in August.

E. Publications Issues

  • Journal mission statements ? David Baldwin reviewed the origins of these statements. A few suggestions were made that David will convey to Jim Reichman.
  • EIC review recommendations ? Issues raised in the report of the review committee for the Editor in Chief of Ecological Applications were discussed, and some recommendations were made that will be passed on to David Schimel.

F. Data registry proposal / Data access ? Nancy Grimm presented a possible timeline/process to move from a data registry toward a data repository, and then on to ways to facilitate use of stored data. The Board has already approved a statement for ESA journals encouraging authors to identify a data registry for their data. A prototype for an official ESA data registry at NCEAS can be seen at http://knb.ecoinformatics.org/knb/style/skins/esa/index.html)A motion is moved: The ESA has approved the data registry at NCEAS and strongly encourages all authors of papers accepted in ESA journals to use this or another ESA-approved registry for data in their papers. Data registration will become a requirement for papers submitted for ESA journals beginning in 2006. Motion is tabled. The publications committee is asked to clarify the steps involved in creating a data archive and implications of requiring that it be used, and to come up with a list of ESA-approved data registries that might used in addition to the ESA registry. The motion will be reconsidered at the August meeting.

Dinner: The Governing Board invited NEON postdocs to join the Board for dinner. Those in attendance were Kit Batten, David Kirschtel, Rank Knight, Meeko Oishi and Brian Wee.

Friday, 20 May 2005

Executive Session.

G. The British Ecological Society intends to invest approximately $1 million in support of ecology in developing countries, and has asked ESA to join in this effort, at least in terms of moral support (and potentially in terms of fund raising in the future). A motion is moved and seconded: The ESA Board supports the idea of collaboration with the British Ecological Society. Approved unanimously. The details of this collaboration remain to be decided, but because there is some urgency for the BES to proceed, we would like to convey our interest and support at this time.

H. NEON Co-Director Bruce Hayden gave the Board an update on the status of NEON, and the role of the postdocs that joined us last night for dinner. They are working toward an integrated plan for development that is due in October. He also addressed the issue of funding for big science projects (e.g., what influence might they have on smaller-scale science funding), the relationship between NEON and other science agencies (e.g., NASA), the ratio of funding for infrastructure vs. research, and what the ESA might be able to do to support NEON.

I. Norm Christensen reported on discussions regarding the National Parks Fellowship program. He is very enthusiastic about the impact of this program for science in and for the parks, and the potential to strengthen the relationship between NPS and ESA. Previously funding has come through a collaboration of the National Parks Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, while ESA has served as a subcontractor to organize the selection process.. Advisory Committee Chair Kay Gross and Committee member Norm would like the Board to consider having ESA lead both the program in general and fundraising efforts for it The Advisory Committee will come back with a proposal.

J. Science Committee suggestion for a change in the Bylaws. A proposed Bylaws revision to combine the Research and SBI Committees into a new Science Committee and to clarify the mission of the Office of Science Programs was proposed. This change grew out of the discussions in May about Science Programs. A motion is moved and seconded: The ESA Board supports the proposed change in the Bylaws. Approved unanimously.

K. Awards Nominations. Vice President Brewer presented the slate of proposed award winners from the Awards Committee. A motion is moved and seconded: The ESA Board supports the slate of proposed award winners. Approved unanimously.

L. Proposal from VP Power and the Public Affairs Committee to pursue development of a position paper on ecosystem services. There is general support for this idea (including from incoming VP for Public Affairs Pouyat). The Committee is asked to proceed with identifying appropriate people to help develop a position paper.

M. Proposal from an ESA member (Richard Christian) that the ESA adopt a statement on economic growth as it relates to the long-term health and functioning of ecosystems. Concerns raised by Board members included potential alienation of some ESA members (many of whom come from industry), potential to damage the Society's reputation as an impartial source of advice to government, and the fact that some of the statements of fact in the proposed policy statement may not have a strong scientific basis at this time. There was consensus that this is a subject worthy of further discussion and study, but that it is premature for the ESA to make a policy statement.

N. Presentation of the WAMIE II report by VP Brewer. Extended discussion of the report and its (33) recommendations. There is a big gap between what seem to be female-majority graduate students in ecology (although many are not ESA members) and the numbers of females in postdoctoral and faculty positions. How can we identify the barriers and work as a Society to overcome them? Although there seems to be some progress with regard to sex ratios, there has not been much in recruiting from minority ethnic groups. Sentiment was expressed for using the existing committee structure (e.g., the Standing Committee on Education and Human Resources) rather than making a new one to push for progress in these issues raised by the report. Can we mine previous government studies for data rather than duplicating efforts? Perhaps we should contact other societies such as the Society for Conservation Biology and the Society for Ecological Restoration about their memberships to see whether they are proving to be more attractive to female graduate students. A motion is moved and seconded: The ESA Board gratefully accepts the WAMIE II report. Approved unanimously. The EHR Committee is asked to try and find answers to:

1) Why don't more of the female ecology graduate students become members of ESA and consider it their primary professional organization?

2) What can ESA do to address the general issue of retention in the field?

O. ESA links to NEON. Given that NEON is likely to be funded in the near future, after a build-up phase of 5-10 years, and that this may bring about a cultural change in what ecologists do or are perceived as doing, what can the Society do to bring its membership behind this effort? Suggestions included an editorial in Frontiers , having Jerry make some comments at the NEON symposium in Montreal , and letting Bruce Hayden know that the Society would like to know what it can do to strengthen the case for NEON funding.

P. New business ? none. President Melillo reminded the Board about its meetings in Montreal . Board members are reminded about the requirement for a passport or other acceptable documentation for travel to Canada and back.

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 AM .

Respectfully submitted by David Inouye, Secretary

May 2004

ESA Governing Board
May 24-25, 2004
Washington, D.C.

Members Present: Bill Schlesinger (President), Ann Bartuska (Past- President), Jerry Melillo (President-elect), Jim Clark (Vice President for Science), Norm Christensen (Vice President for Finance), Alison Power (Vice President for Public Affairs), Carol Brewer (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Osvaldo Sala (Member at Large), Margaret Palmer (Member at Large), Edward Johnson (Member at Large).

Members of the 2004-2005 Board Present:
Nancy Grimm (Incoming President-elect)May 25, 2004 only, David Inouye (Incoming Secretary), Gus Shaver (Incoming Vice President for Science), Dee Boersma (incoming Member at Large)

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), David Baldwin (Managing Editor) Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Jason Taylor (Director of Education), Sue Silver (Editor)

Monday, 24 May 2004

I. Roll Call

  1. The GB unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.

II. Dinner Meeting

Guest speaker: Jim Turner (Minority Counsel, House Science Committee) discussed the dynamics of science policy and funding in Congress. The current stalemate in appropriation bills is unprecedented in his (almost 30 years) experience. In response to questions he also discussed the politicization of science, how to move science into policy making, climate change, the demise of the OTA.

III Ratification of votes taken since the November, 2003 meeting

  1. Minutes of the November, 2003 meeting: moved, seconded, adopted unanimously.
  2. Awards nominations: moved, seconded, adopted unanimously.
    The nominees were:
    Eminent Ecologist Award: Dr. Sam McNaughton
    Distinguished Service Citation: Dr. Jim Reichman
    Corporate Award: Taylor Guitars
    Mercer Award: Dr. John Stachowicz, H. Fried, R.W. Osman, and R.B. Whitlach
    Cooper Award: Dr. Jack Williams, B.N. Shuman, and T. Webb III
    Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education: Dr. Richard Root
    (See also item XIII. Sustainability Science Award)
  3. Genetically Engineered Organisms position paper: moved, seconded, adopted unanimously. It was suggested that this paper be sent to the European Union, the International Biosafety meeting, and NAFTA.

IV. Report of the President

President Schlesinger reported that this has been a busy period, including activities such as testimony before Congress. Schlesinger signed a letter coordinated by the UCS on global warming. ESA weighed in on the peer review issue through comments to OMB. ESA was not invited to sign the letter about visa difficulties for international scientists initiated by the National Academy of Sciences. However the Society is aware of this issue. Information about this issue is available at www7.nationalacademies.org/visas and there is a link to this site on the ESA Portland meeting web site.

He wrote to Mary Clutter at NSF to support renewal of NCEAS.

V. Report of the Executive Director and staff (only three issues are discussed here; the full report was distributed in writing before the meeting).

Marketing:

Director of Finance Elizabeth Biggs noted that ESA needs to make Frontiers self-sufficient over the next 8-10 years. ESA has initiated a number of marketing efforts to promote sales and attract advertising revenue. This spring a consultant was hired to help with this. About 70 libraries subscribe to Frontiers (vs. about 2,000 for other ESA journals). To help increase that percentage, there is a form in each issue of Frontiers for subscribers to send to their libraries. Also ESA is trying some direct-mail initiatives, and working with subscription agents.

One goal of Frontiers is to increase ESA membership and indeed, membership is still growing (will probably be up about 300 this year, and was up about 300 last year). The Society is doing advertising at other professional meetings, and contacting authors who are not members.

NEON

Schlesinger reported on a February meeting at NSF that McCarter, Duke and, Schlesinger attended to express ESA’s interest in a partnership between ESA and NEON coordinators. Two groups have responded to a RFP for a NEON Coordinating Consortium. Schlesinger and staff met with a team developing a NEON proposal in connection with AIBS and conveyed ESA’s interest in being involved. AIBS subsequently indicated that they did not see a role for ESA at this time in the process. National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) is the other group that put in a proposal, and they were enthusiastic about involving ESA; Cliff Duke worked with them to develop the community engagement aspect of the proposal. There was some discussion about the history of ESA's involvement in NEON. The Governing Board includes representatives of both groups submitting proposals to NSF, so discussion was limited in scope because of conflicts of interest.

Millennium Fund

Although Board members had committed to help increase the number of donors, it appears that there has been no success yet, so McCarter reminded Board members about their commitment. The fund currently contains $52,000. The fund generally receives contributions from the same group of traditional donors. She will send Board members a list of current donors and some cards to use to help solicit new ones.

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

VI. Financial updates

McCarter presented the third-quarter financial report that shows a positive bottom line with some excess revenue over expense.

ESA Long-term investments

Vice President for Finance Christensen reported that the endowment is currently about $855,000; part is restricted, set up by individuals for particular purposes (e.g., awards), part is Board-restricted (quasi-endowment, principal could be spent by decision of the Governing Board), and part is unrestricted. About is $573,000 invested in a value fund through Townley, in a relatively conservative way. About three years ago the Board voted to move about $500,000 to a growth fund with Riggs and Company; what's left of this fund is now valued at about $270,000. Christensen noted that it may be appropriate to move this money to Townley at some point.

Vice President for Finance Christensen wants guidance on spending policy. A conservative policy might be to spend about 5% of the endowment/year (about $40,000/yr). He suggests that a rolling 3-year average of 5% would be better policy, allowing some adjustments for annual variation in income. Another option suggested is that on 31 December we calculate a moving three-year 5% average of the endowment principal, which can be considered available for the following year. The Board asked that a recommendation be brought back in August. Christensen believes that it is probably not appropriate to try and grow the endowment through investments.

Christensen raised the issue of the role of the Finance and Investments Committee. The Board agreed that this group needed to continue its oversight of investment policy.

Additional discussion raised the need for a development committee to work on increasing the endowment. It was suggested that the dormant Fund Raising committee could be reactivated, perhaps with new members, to function as a development committee.

We currently have a $163,000 rainy day fund (unrestricted reserves); target is $250,000.

VII. Presentation of proposed FY 2004-05 budget

McCarter reviewed the budgeting process that begins in April with staff reviewing the income and expenses, consulting with the VP for Finance. A draft budget is presented to the Board in May. Any additions or changes are reviewed by the Board in August and then presentation to the Council for approval. McCarter provided an overview of assumptions, calculations of revenues and expenses, adjustments to the previous year's budget, program adjustments, and activities not funded. There was considerable discussion about the costs of library subscriptions since the office must provide price changes to libraries in June.

Motion: That the print subscription rates for libraries be increased by 7%, with a similar consideration for online subscriptions. Seconded and approved unanimously.

  1. A. Discussion of proposed program budget adjustments.

    While all ESA members in developed countries receive hard copies of Frontiers, it is now provided only electronically to developing countries because of the significant delivery problems (e.g., recently, none of 30 copies of Ecology sent to Brazil arrived at their destination recently). It will cost about $7-8,000 for printing and shipping to mail printed copies.

    Motion: That we spend up to $10,000 to provide printed copies of Frontiers to members in developing countries. Seconded and approved unanimously. 

    The Board of Professional Certification has requested $3,050 in addition to the funds provided each year for a meeting. This would make it possible, for example, to recruit at meetings of other societies.

    Motion: that the request from the Board of Professional Certification for a $3,050 increase in their annual budget be approved for two years, during which we would like some evaluation of the effectiveness of the Certification program. Seconded and approved unanimously.

    Carol Brewer brought a recommendation from the Women and Minorities in Ecology committee that the Society conduct a membership survey to update the 1992 survey (Holland, M. M., D. M. Lawrence, D. J. Morin, C. Hunsaker, D. Inouye, A. Janetos, H. R. Pulliam, W. Robertson, and J. Wilson. 1992. Profiles of Ecologists: Results of a survey of the membership of the Ecological Society of America.).

    Motion: that up to $10,000 be provided to plan and conduct a survey of our membership. McCarter was asked to find the most appropriate place to find this funding, including using the Millennium Fund. Motion seconded and approved unanimously.

IX. Discussion of further implementation of the Ecological Visions Report

  1. Development of the draft plan for a Rapid Response Team.

    A plan to develop teams of ESA members who would be available to respond quickly to topical issues was reviewed. A suggested list of topics was presented. The Board proposed an additional area: ecological implications of international conflicts and military activities (Duke has a long-standing interest in this area). It was also suggested that ESA institutionalize meetings of the rapid response teams during the annual meeting. Staff will proceed with implementation for the Rapid Response teams.

  2. Fostering international collaborations among societies.

    President Elect Melillo just returned from China, where he spoke with the current and upcoming presidents of the Chinese Ecological Society. They were enthusiastic about the idea of exchanging representatives to annual meetings, and about translating of selected ESA publications into Chinese. They have about 6,000 members, and the society is quite active (e.g., 16 committees). There is also a newly formed East Asian Federation of Ecological Societies (China, South Korea, Japan), that will have its first meeting in Korea in November. There is potential for ESA to link with this new organization.

    It was suggested that ESA seek funds to support the travel of international students from the developing world to the Montreal meeting. This might be easier to do for a Canadian meeting that for one in the US given the current problems with obtaining visas for foreign visitors.

  3. Translations of ESA publications

    David Baldwin suggested the idea of partnering with some international journals, as is already done by some medical journals. ESA would provide advance notice of the table of contents to the partners, who could then decide which (if any) papers they might want to republish in their own journals. The international journal would decide if they wished to translate the articles or publish them in English.

  4. Federation of the Americas

    Member at Large Sala was asked to continue his role in spearheading the Federation of the Americas even after he leaves the Board in August.

  5. Major public information campaign

    This would be a major undertaking since ESA would need to raise millions of dollars to do it adequately.

    Motion: ESA should formalize implementation of a business plan for the public information campaign and this should be spearheaded by subcommittee of ESA Vice Presidents and others. Motion approved unanimously.

    It was noted that this would be a good activity in which to involve a development committee. Discussion also involved suggesting other organizations that might like to partner with ESA. It was noted that several other societies expressed interest in collaborating with ESA after a February briefing about the Visions Report. It is anticipated that the Business Plan will be developed by next May and that an update on progress will be provided at the November Board meeting.

  6. Emerging Issues in Ecological Science

    Duke presented a plan to support implementation of visions priorities. He proposes to develop a set of toolkits organized around particular themes. The goal would be to produce for each issue a comprehensive, linked set of products for a diverse set of audiences. The resulting toolkits would provide an “off the shelf” science resource for the proposed rapid response and public education capabilities, and also would make ecological science information available to a wide array of users. No Governing Board action taken at this time.

X. Lunch Speaker

Guest speakers were Dr. Kathie Olsen (Associate Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Dr .Clifford Gabriel, Deputy to Dr. Olsen). Olsen and Gabriel described the organization and activities of OSTP and answered questions from the Governing Board.

XI. Policy issues

  1. A. Proposed Policy Activity
    Vice President for Science Clark and Vice President Public Affairs Power have been discussing a project involving "ground truthing" the Healthy Forests Restoration Act. This project could potentially be sponsored and funded by the Public Affairs Committee. Since this project would involve the collection of primary data, both Vice Presidents agree that the concept needed careful Governing Board discussion before proceeding. The Board requested additional information at the August meeting before making a decision.
  2. Measuring effectiveness in public affairs
    Director of Public Affairs Lymn presented results of a survey conducted last fall about how other societies deal with measuring the effectiveness of public affairs activities. The survey shows that ESA’s program is consistent with that of other similar societies and is well regarded in the policy community. It's difficult to quantify impact, but a process will be developed and implemented to clarify ESA's policy objectives and outcomes each year.

XII. Publications Issues

  1. A. Review of Editor in Chief for Ecology and Ecological Monographs
    The Publications Committee is asked to provide a review of the volunteer Editor in Chiefs of ESA publications just prior to the end of the editor’s three year term. Editor in Chief Don Strong was reviewed and a report presented to the Governing Board. The Board noted its agreement with the very positive report. Motion: to approve reappointment of the Editor in Chief for Ecology and Ecological Monographs to a three year term beginning retroactively on January 1, 2004 and extending to December 31, 2006. Seconded and approved unanimously. The Board noted that it agreed with the review committee that there is a need to increase representation of women and members of other underrepresented groups on the Editorial Board and is ready to work with Strong to identify appropriate new members. The report raised several issues for additional discussion that will be considered in August. 
  2. Website policy.
    Request the Publications Committee to set up a website subcommittee to review website content and to report in August.
  3. Blackwell Science Textbook Proposal
    The Board reviewed a proposal from Blackwell Science for a joint project to develop a series of textbooks. The Board voted not to pursue this project.
  4. Editor in Chief- The ESA Bulletin
    The current Editor in Chief of the ESA Bulletin, Allen Solomon will retire from that position in December, 2004. The Publications Committee was asked to nominate a successor. The Committee recommended and the Board strongly endorsed the recommendation that Edward Johnson be appointed to this role.

    Motion to appoint Ed Johnson as Editor in Chief of the ESA Bulletin for a three-year term (January 1, 2007-December 31, 2007). Seconded and approved unanimously. 

  5. ESA Journal Impact Factors
    The Board received a report on the rankings of ESA journals based on the ISI impact factors. Managing Editor Baldwin presented data on three years of rankings. ESA journals continue to be among the top group of cited journals.

XII. Nominations for ESA Offices

The Nominations Committee chaired by Past President Bartuska, has a preliminary list which is still being refined. The Board can expect a slate to vote on in mid-June, and the final list of nominees will be advertised in the next issue of the Bulletin.

XIII. Nomination for Sustainability Science award

Motion: to approve the nomination of Marten Scheffer, Steve Carpenter, Jonathan Foley, Carl Folke, and Brian Walker as the 2004 Sustainability Science Award winners. Seconded and approved unanimously.

XIV. Amicus brief – Faulkner v. National Geographic Society

ESA has been asked by JSTOR to sign on to an amicus curiae brief they intend to submit on behalf of the NGS. This issue may have bearing on copyright law issues affecting JSTOR and other projects involving the retrospective digitization of print versions of scholarly materials.

Motion: to sign on to the amicus curiae brief after seeking advice from ESA corporate counsel. Seconded and approved unanimously.

XV. Meeting issues

  1. Program Chairs for 2007 and 2008 ESA Annual Meetings
    The Board reviewed a list of recommendations for persons to serve as program chair for the 2007 (San Jose) and 2008 (Minneapolis) annual meetings. The list was narrowed down and President Schlesinger will begin to contact the potential chairs. 
  2. Local Host for 2007 Annual Meeting
    Motion: to appoint Rachel O'Malley as local host for the 2007 annual meeting. Seconded and approved unanimously.

XVI. New Business

  1. San Jose-ESA and SER Partnership
    Motion: to accept the request by the Society for Restoration Ecology to hold a joint annual meeting in San Jose in 2007. Seconded and approved unanimously.

XVI. Adjournment

Respectfully submitted,
David Inouye

November 2003

ESA Governing Board
November 21-22, 2003
Washington, D.C.

The November 21-22 meeting of the ESA Governing Board was attended by Bill Schlesinger, President, Ann Bartuska, Past President, Jerry Melillo, President Elect, Jill Baron, Secretary, Jim Clark, Vice President for Science, Norm Christensen, Vice President for Finance, Carol Brewer, Vice President for Education and Human Resources, Sunny Power, Vice President for Public Affairs, Margaret Palmer, Ed Johnson, and Oswaldo Sala, Members-at-Large. Also attending were Katherine McCarter, Executive Director, Elizabeth Biggs, Finance Director, Jason Taylor, Education Director, Clifford Duke, Science Director, Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief for Frontiers, David Baldwin, Managing Editor, and PAO representative Maggie Smith. The meeting was called to order by President Schlesinger at 7:00 pm on Friday November 21, 2003, and adjourned at 5:00 pm on Saturday November 22, 2003.

    1. Roll Call
      1. The GB unanimously adopted the agenda.
      2. The minutes from the August 2003 meeting were approved with two amendments related to wording of the August 2-3 IID, Ecological Visions Committee.
    2. Reports

 

      1. Meeting with ESA Auditor. Terri Marrs, an auditor with Gelman, Rosenberg, and Friedman, presented the results of their independent audit of the ESA finances for the fiscal year July 2002-June 2003. She reported a clean opinion and stated that it was a very positive year for ESA. Both she and the Governing Board noted that much of the credit belongs to Finance Director Elizabeth Biggs, who is thorough, careful, and well-prepared. The financial report was approved unanimously.
      2. Meeting with Congressional Fellow. Dr. Evan Notman, the Congressional Fellow sponsored by ESA for 2003-2004, introduced himself to the GB. He is one of 45 Congressional Fellows sponsored by scientific societies this year, and will be on the staff of the Senate Agricultural Committee, working with Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. He will be working on issues of farm conservation, specifically pesticide regulations. The GB requested that Notman reflect on his year as a Fellow at the ESA Annual Meeting in Portland.
      3. Report of the President. President Schlesinger reported on Capitol Hill activities, including letters about the ruling regarding observance of the Endangered Species Act on military bases, fire policy, revisions to the Endangered Species Act, briefings to Senators on the carbon cycle, and an Inter-American Institute letter to Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation. President Schlesinger noted that Maggie Smith in the Public Affairs Office deserves credit for much of this work, and the GB thanks her. President Schlesinger also noted that enacting the recommendations of the Visions Committee will be a big agenda item in 2004.
      4. Report of the Executive Director and Staff.

 

        1. Executive Director McCarter noted that ESA staff have been devoting time to redesigning the website, building Frontiers subscriptions, the Federation of the Americas, manuscript tracking, and education programs. Membership and subscription numbers look good, and the Savannah annual meeting was successful.
        2. Education. President-elect Melillo and Education Director Taylor will go to NSF BIO directorate to promote increased funding for SEEDS students to come to ESA meetings, and generally strengthen the links with NSF.
        3. Finance Biggs noted that there are 8116 ESA members.
        4. Journals. Frontiers Editor-In-Chief Silver reported that there are 83 days from submission to acceptance for Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, and the journal has a 53% rejection rate. The journal is not yet indexed by ISI or BioSys, but Frontiers is under consideration by both. President-elect Melillo noted that advertising still need to improve in order to cover more of the costs of producing the journal. Managing Editor Baldwin announced the imminent inauguration of manuscript tracking for ESA journals.
        5. Science. Science Director Duke noted the significant help provided by Rhonda Kranz to the Visions Committee and to the Science Program overall in 2003. The Weed Science meeting was a success, and credit is due to Lori Hidinger. Duke is preparing a proposal to develop a common statement across many societies regarding data archiving.
      1. Reports from Committees
        A written report from the Annual Meeting chairman was submitted.
      2. Financial Updates. Vice President for Finances Christensen and Executive Director McCarter reported that ESA had a solid first quarter. In stocks, ESA mutual funds are holding steady, while those in the equities fund are slightly higher than they were in January 2003.
      3. Federation of the Americas.

 

        1. A motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved to add $600 to the funds Member-at-Large Sala now has to increase the print run of three Spanish-version Issues in Ecology from 450 to 1000.
        2. Discussion regarding the possibility that the 450 ESA overseas members receive a hard copy of Frontiers ended with the suggestion that funding for mailing could be an introductory request to a small foundation interested in building international cooperation. Finance Director Biggs will email GB members with the costs of mailing Frontiers.
        3. As a result of a suggestion from the Meeting of the Americas in August, a letter of support for the InterAmerican Institute for Global Change Research was sent to NSF.
        4. Member-at-Large Sala reported on meetings ESA has had with potential funding organizations to support the activities of the Federation of the Americas. The Organization of American States (OAS) Sustainability in the Environment sectios, USAID, NSF International Programs are all interested with varying levels of available support. President-elect Melillo suggests ESA meet with DEB, GEO, and International Programs in February to inform a greater funding base at NSD.
        5. ESA staff are exploring the possibility of holding a theme meeting in Mexico in 2005-2006. 
    1. Discussion Items
      1. Ecological Visions Committee Update. Member-at-Large and Visions Committee Chair Palmer presented a draft report of the Visions Committee, which the GB reviewed and commented on. Among the questions raised during discussion were whether the Visions Report lead to a sea-change within ESA, what is and what is not part of the role of ESA in implementing the plan, how should ESA bring in partners (national and international), since the vision is larger than ESA alone? Other professional societies named to include early as partners included AIBS, AGU, ASLO, Agronomy Society, and education societies.
      2. A special meeting of the ESA GB will be held February 20 to begin to revise the ESA strategic plan around the recommendations from the Visions Committee.
      3. Trends in ESA revenues, expenses, and subscriptions. There was an anticipated decline in individual member journal subscription trends between 1999 and 2003, but institutional subscriptions remained fairly constant. VP Brewer suggested ESA explore the idea of a State University System pricing (“Tier 4") for multiple universities that share site licences and subscriptions. It was also suggested that ESA look again into bundling the journals, since students at universities that do not subscribe to one or more ESA journals (such as Duke University) are not exposed to those journals. A discussion of the PLOS initiative noted that there is lots of opposition to the idea of pay-per-view fees for individual manuscripts. Member-at-Large Sala requested to see the trends of Impact Factors for ESA journals in comparison with other society and for-profit journals over time. Other trends observed were increases in both total income and total expenses, with income slightly higher than expenses. The Board asked to see the trends for the annual meeting displayed as net revenue per participant. Funding for the Public Affairs Office has not changed since 1999, while other offices within the Headquarters Office have increased. The GB greatly appreciated the information provided by trendlines, and requested similar summaries once a year.
      4. Awards Issues

 

        1. Odum Award. Linda Wallace, Chair of the Odum Award, and Carol Brewer, VP Education and Human Resources, request more recognition for the recipient of the Odum Award, such as presentation of a lecture and/or paper in Frontiers. The GB responded with the idea that the committee consider additional creative activities, such as sponsoring a symposium or a workshop.
        2. Buell/Braun Awards. There is a perennial problem of getting enough people to judge Buell and Braun student paper and poster presentations. The GB recommends a pre-screening process and suggests that Sections and Chapters be involved; Secretary Baron will urge Sections and Chapters to support these awards by volunteering judges. VP Brewer will explore student award guidelines from other societies, such as NABS. The Buell/Braun award committee is urged to change the wording of the announcement for submissions to suggest that participation should present the capstone of a student’s career.
        3. Sustainability Award. The GB unanimously agreed that presentation of the new Sustainability Science Award be included in the ESA annual award ceremony.
        4. Awards Ceremony. The GB agreed that the awards ceremony in the Opening Plenary Session at the Annual Meeting was effective.
      1. Canada Chapter. The Board reviewed a petition by 20 Canadian ecologists and draft Chapter by-laws and unanimously approved recommending establishment of a Canada Chapter to the ESA Council in August.
      2. Corporate Grants Policy. The Board adopted a Corporate Grants Policy for ESA to guide the solicitation and receipt of corporate grants and sponsorships. GB recommended that corporate prospecti and awards are to be approved by the GB prior to solicitation or receipt, and a time limit will be established for how long a sponsor can use the ESA logo.
      3. Public Policy Priorities. The PAO proposes that Forest Fire Management, Air Pollution, Endangered Species Act, Marine Issues, Genetically-Modified Organisms, and Invasive Species become the topics of focus for 2004. The first four issues are on the legislative agenda, and the last two have pending position papers. Maggie Smith recognized these issues are not exclusive of others that should arise. GB recommended there should be a list of 8-10 experts identified for each of the issues, and will send names of experts to Smith. GB also recommended a list of the upcoming year’s PAO activities be prepared yearly and brought to the GB in August before the fall legislative session. The list should be reviewed again each May.
      4. EiC/Publications Program Review Criteria. The Publications Committee presented review criteria for Editors-in-Chief and for the entire Publications Program to the GB. The GB approves the broad criteria for evaluations. For all EiC evaluations except Frontiers these are: 1) quality and breadth of editorial board; 2) interaction with editorial board and authors; 3) interaction with society membership; and 4) interaction with managing editor. For the entire Publications Program, including Frontiers, the criteria are: 1) scientific quality of journals; 2) service to ESA members; 3) scope and breadth of publications; 4) and efficiency and quality of journal production and publication. Details under these broad criteria need not be spelled out explicitly, but we request that the evaluations presented to the Governing Board reflect how each criteria was specifically reviewed. Review committees for EiC and Publications Program should be recommended by the Publication Committee to the Governing Board.
      5. Meeting Issues

 

        1. Montreal 2005 symposia. The GB voted unanimously to cap the number of symposia at 24 for the joint meeting of ESA with INTECOL, but encourage all symposia to reflect the international flavor of the meeting. The GB strongly suggests ESA and INTECOl work as partners to develop themes for the symposia.
        2. Program Chairs

 

        1. There was approval of Kiyoko Miyanishi as the Program Chair for the 2006 meeting in Memphis, TN, with Ed Johnson abstaining.
        2. Names were suggested as possible Program Chairs for 2007 and 2008 and will be forwarded to the Meetings Committee for consideration. The Board looks forward to the Meetings Committee returning with recommendations.
      1. Local Hosts -2005. The GB unanimously approved Christian Messier and Catherine Potvin as local hosts for the 2005 Montreal annual meeting,
      2. Mexico Meeting. Discussion centered on possible themes and program chairs for a meeting in Mexico to be held in the winter, 2005. The GB felt that the theme of the meeting should be decided before appointing program chairs, and possible topics (partnerships for the planet, ecological consequences of trade, GMOs, and bioprospecting) were added to the list already developed by the Meetings Committee. Theme possibilities should be cycled back to the Federation of the Americas leaders. The Mexico Chapter should be involved in planning the meeting.
    1. Position Paper Updates. The GB wonders if the Invasive Species paper under construction by Lodge et al. be produced in time for the March 2004 AIBS invasive species theme meeting. VP for Science Clark will ask for a ~ 5-page distillation of the Biodiversity paper, which is currently being considered for publication in Ecological Applications or Ecological Monographs. Secretary Baron will check on guidelines for the role of the Governing Board on position papers.
    2. New Business. There was no new business.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Jill Baron 
Secretary