ESA Governing Board
August 2-3, 2002
The August 2-3 meeting of the ESA Governing Board was attended by Pamela Matson (President), Ann Bartuska (President-Elect), Jill Baron (Secretary), James Clark (Vice President for Science), Timothy Schowalter (Vice President for Public Affairs), William Schlesinger (Vice President for Finance), Carol Brewer (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Jim Gosz (Member-at-Large), Julie Denslow (Member-at-Large), Sharon Collinge (Member-at-Large), and Executive Director Katherine McCarter. Managing Editor David Baldwin, Associate Managing Editor David Gooding, Bulletin Editor-in-Chief Allan Solomon, Frontiers Editor-in-Chief Sue Silver, Director for Public Affairs Nadine Lymn, Education Director Jason Taylor, Meeting Manager Ellen Cardwell, and Financial Manager Elizabeth Biggs, were present for parts of the meeting. Incoming Vice-President for Public Affairs Allison Power, and incoming Members-at-Large Ed Johnson and Oswaldo Sala attended as non-voting participants. The meeting was called to order by President Matson at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug 2, 2002, and adjourned at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug 2, 2002.
I. Roll call
- The Governing Board unanimously adopted the Agenda, and added discussion of the position of SBI/Science director to new business.
- Ratification of votes taken via email since November 2001:
Governing Board unanimously ratified the minutes from the May 17-19, 2002 meeting that were previously voted on via email.
- President Matson reported on the tremendous progress that has been made this past year in ESA: Frontiers, and development of the Needs Assessment.
- Report of the Executive Director and Staff
Executive Director McCarter presented a set of written reports to the Governing Board summarizing the activities of ESA staff. Highlights of staff reports include the following:
- Frontiers in Ecology and Environment is preparing to launch its first issue in 2003. Editor-in-Chief Sue Silver and Assistant Editor Julian Smith are working out of offices in Silver Spring, MD. An Advisory Board and Editorial Board have been established, and papers are coming in for the first few issues.
- Membership for 2001 was 7833, of which 1328 were international.
- The Board of Professional Certification evaluated 88 applications at their May meeting. Certifications were given for 11 associate ecologists, 19 ecologists, and 52 senior ecologists.
- The SBI and Scientific Program Office reported on their current focus areas and their strong success over the past 10 years. Biologically reactive nitrogen, aquatic ecosystems, rangelands, invasive species, climate change, ecosystem services, the ESA panel on vegetation classification, and support of the ecological community, including members, agencies, and a new effort to support women in global change science are all current activities.
- The Public Affairs Office has been actively helping members meet with their congressmen, sending out action alerts, sending out statements on issues, keeping members informed on important legislative topics, and keeping the press informed on important ecological results.
- The Education Office, which was elevated to Office status within ESA HQ, has been awarded a new SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology, Education, Development, and Sustainability) grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. They are also an active part of the BEN network (BioSciences Education Network).
- Submissions to ESA journals are nearly 10% greater in 2002 over 2001, while acceptance rates were 24.1% for Ecology and Monographs, and 37.7% for Ecological Applications (inclusive of Invited Features). There is no longer a journal backlog for Ecology and Ecological Applications. Online submission and review of manuscripts is expected to be available beginning January 2003.
- Meetings continue to draw more participants, and Meeting Manager Ellen Cardwell is working closely with Program Chairs to make the meeting more enjoyable, less stressful, and more successful. The Madison annual meeting had 3,010 registrants. As of the Aug 2 Governing Board meeting, Tucson's pre-registration was 3,200. Future meetings include the Benthic Fisheries Symposium in Tampa FL (Nov 11-14, 2002); 88th annual meeting of ESA in Savannah GA (Aug 3-8, 2003); Invasive Plants Conference, Ft. Lauderdale FL (Nov 3-7, 2003), 89th annual ESA meeting in Portland OR (Aug 2-6, 2004), 90th annual meeting in Montreal (Aug 7-12 2005), 91st annual ESA meeting in Memphs TN (Aug 6-11, 2006). Tom Swetnam (U AZ)will be program chair for Savannah and Portland.
- Nancy Huntly is developing an endowment for ESA in honor of Jay Anderson.
- Report of the Vice President for Finance. Elizabeth Biggs, Financial Manager, and Katherine McCarter reported that ESA revenues during 2001-2002 were greater than expenses, due to institutional journal subscriptions and registration income from Madison and the Nitrogen Meeting. Expenses were kept at or lower than budgeted amounts through careful management of cash flow in the Washington Office. Once again, restricted funds managed by ESA are behaving similarly to the rest of the US financial markets and have not recovered from the recent recession.
III. Discussion/Action Items
- Fiscal Year 2002-2003 ESA Budget
- Approval of proposed budget: Vice President Schlesinger presented the FY 2002-2003 budget proposal to be presented to ESA Council. The proposed budget reflects and approximate 4% increase in overall expenses compared with actual expenses from 2001-2002. This is largely due to expenses for Frontiers (which are covered by the Publication Fund). The new budget includes a $50,000 repayment to the unrestricted funds. The Governing Board approved the budget to go forward for Council approval.
- Committee Funds: The Governing Board voted to provide $5,600 each for four committee meetings during the coming year. Committee meetings that will be supported include Education and Human Resources, Sustainable Biosphere Initiatvie, Research, and Public Affairs. There was a discussion to merge SBI/Science, and Research Committees, but no action. This action will be taken up again pending the results of the "Needs Assessment" committee.
- Governing Board approved $10,000 (a doubling from previous years) for Long-Range Planning grants for sections and chapters to undertake long-range planning efforts to benefit the Society. Proposals can request up to $2500. The Vice Presidents of Science, Public Affairs, and Education and Human Resources, and Ed Johnson, as Member-at-Large, will serve on the review committee. Announcement for the proposals will come out in early fall, with October submission deadlines.
- President Matson led a discussion of the Society's proposal to develop an assessment of priorities, needs, and opportunities in ecology. The objective of the assessment will be to identify and articulate the challenges, needs, and opportunities for ecology in the next decade, in order that ecological knowledge can be increased, and disseminated, and can make strong contributions to sustaining Earth's life support systems (including species and ecosystems and the goods and services they provide). The Governing Board discussed the composition of the committee that will conduct the assessment and possible funding sources. The Board wanted representation of ecologists from academic homes, agencies, and NGOs, in addition to international participation for makeup of the committee. There was discussion about ESA convening a meeting of presidents of ecological societies of the Americas to foster relations, and include them into the assessment.
- Aldo Leopold Leadership Program update: President-Elect Bartuska reported that the Packard Foundation has committed to seed money for the renewed Leopold Program. A proposal will be submitted by Fall, 2002, from Colorado State University (Diana Wall, PI) for the renewal. Goals for the next program will include core training of Fellows, enhancement of training for existing Fellows, including curriculum development for Fellows' classes, and outreach, such as training offered at ESA meetings and by other societies. In addition, some funds will be available for post-training projects or activities proposed by Fellows.
- Paul Zedler, Program Chair, and Ellen Cardwell, ESA Meetings Manager announced the number of registrants for the Tucson joint meeting of ESA with the Society for Ecological Restoration was the largest in ESA history. The meetings reflected substantial changes over past meeting formats, including separate poster sessions, extended lunch hours, and many features added in response to suggestions made by members via the post-meeting questionnaire and during sessions with graduate students.
- The Historical Records Committee (under the oversight of the Secretary) assembles and maintains the history portion of the ESA website, supervises the collection and preservation of records to be deposited in Society archives, and addresses policies regarding notifying the Society about deaths of its members and resolutions of respect. The current chair, Frank Golley, is planning to step down. There was a discussion about how to invigorate this committee in a digital age, and what kind of committee membership would help this committee best serve the ESA. Suggestions made to Secretary Baron for membership included a number of eminent ecologists, professional archivists or librarians (to advise the Society on what records will be important to historians in future years), and participation by the Education and Human Resources Committee. Video tapes were discussed as an exciting way to interview and archive eminent ecologists. Secretary Baron is to follow up with the ideas and report to the Board in November.
- Allen Solomon was asked if he would remain in his position as Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin as it goes through transition from print to electronic media, and he agreed. The 2002-2003 year will be experimental, with materials posted on-line quarterly, and archived annually so that the ESA's first journal does not disappear. The Board emphasized the need for ESA members to volunteer services to keep current features active (such as Ecology 101, or Tech Tools). The transition to electronic version will be made with some fanfare, with an announcement to all ESA members.
- Tranlsation of ESA materials into Spanish, possibly French and Chinese: Options discussed included a) entering into an agreement with a Latin American publishing house for translation and printing; b) inclusion of the cost for translation into budgets for future Issues in Ecology; c) obtaining funding from grants for translation of past Issues; making translated versions available online, since shipping is expensive. An ad-hoc committee including Ed Johnson, Oswaldo Sala, Rodolfo Dirzo, and Julie Denslow was asked to come up with a business plan for translating past Issues to present in November. This committee will work under the aegis of Vice President for Public Affairs Power, with liaison with the Publications Committee Chair Reichman.
- Steve Chaplin, Future Meetings Chair, presented a proposal to reorganize the Future Meetings and Program Committees into one committee with responsibility for both. The proposal was well-received by the Governing Board, and after discussion and suggestions the Board asked Steve Chaplin and the Program Committee to submit a final proposal for the November GB meeting. The planned change will require a Bylaws change, so it will be circulated for 90 days notice before a vote by ESA Council. Paul Ringold, who will be the local host for the Portland meeting, agreed to serve as Program Chair for the Montreal meeting.
- New Business
- Vice-President Schowalter presented a proposal from Lisa Graumlich for an ESA position paper on wildland fire. After discussion, the Governing Board recommended further development of the idea, with perhaps a discussion including Vice-President for Public Affairs Schowalter and Vice-President Elect for Public Affairs Power. The Governing Board recognized a need for an ESA position quickly on the issue of fire while it is topical, in addition to a position paper. Ideas included a 2-page statement developed from papers by Allen and Swetnam currently in press, reviewed by the Governing Board, and disseminated by the Public Affairs Office.
- With the resignation of SBI/Science Director Mary Barber, and the rethinking of science priorities via the Needs Assessment and Strategic Planning process, the GB discussed the need to carefully select a new Director who would have the expertise and flexibility needed to implement any new science objectives. The GB also noted that next year is an appropriate time to re-think the role of the SBI office within ESA.
- The Board wishes to thank Vice President Schlesinger for six years of hard labor as Vice President for Finance. His careful oversight of the Society's finances contributed greatly to the fiscal health we now enjoy.
Jill Baron, Secretary