November 2011

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board, 
November 17, 2011
Washington, DC

Members Present
Steward Pickett          President
Scott Collins               President-Elect
Sharon Collinge          VP for Public Affairs
Deborah Goldberg      VP for Science
Leslie Real                  VP for Finance
Margaret Lowman      VP for Education and Human Resources
Charles Canham          Secretary
Mimi Lam                   Member-at-Large
Sonia Ortega               Member-at-Large
Andrea Lloyd             Member-at-Large

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter    Executive Director 
Elizabeth Biggs           Director, Finance
Sue Silver                    Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers
Nadine Lymn              Director, Public Affairs
David Baldwin           Managing Editor
Teresa Mourad            Director, Education and Diversity

Members Absent:  Terry Chapin (joined via speakerphone for 1 hour)

Thursday, November 17, 2011, 9:00 - Meeting called to order by President Steward Pickett

I. Roll Call and Agenda

A. Adopt Agenda 
            Deborah Goldberg moved and Meg Lowman seconded a motion to approve the agenda.  All aye.

B. Ratification of Votes taken since August meeting

            1. Minutes, August 6-7, 2011 and August 12, 2011 
            Andrea Lloyd moved and Meg Lowman seconded a motion to ratify the vote to approve the minutes.  All aye.

II. Reports

A. Report of the President 
            President Steward Pickett reported that his highest priority for the year is to continue the Earth Stewardship Initiative, with a focus this year on science, particularly in reaching out to disciplines of urban design, urban planning and civil engineers.  He reported on efforts to secure funding from NSF for a workshop to advance these ideas.  Terry Chapin, Cliff Duke and Steward are taking the lead on that effort. 

            Steward also described his efforts to initiate a Presidential Conversation on Diversity, to emphasize the importance of this issue throughout Society activities.   This included developing linkages to the Earth Stewardship Initiative.  He also mentioned early efforts to address the topic of the role of ecology in interdisciplinary studies, and the degree to which such studies are constrained by institutional structures.

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

            The Governing Board book contains detailed reports from Executive Director Katherine McCarter and ESA staff.  Katherine highlighted progress on discussions with the Ecological Society of China about professional certification programs. The ESC has approached ESA about jointly supporting a new scientific publication.

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded a motion to appoint Les Real, Vice President for Finance, an official signer on our investment accounts and to give him the ability to make decisions on the reserve funds.  All Aye.

            Teresa Mourad gave an update on SEEDS.   The Packard Foundation has asked ESA to further develop a proposal for long-term sustainability of funding for SEEDS.   She mentioned an effort to secure funding for an NSF Research Coordination Network (RCN) focused on ecology education.

            Sue Silver highlighted new features planned for 2012 in Frontiers.  This includes a new series on ecological literacy.  There is a Citizen Science special issue planned for August 2012.  Frontiers was approached by the Dept. of Energy about a potential special feature based on material that DoE is developing for the National Climate Assessment.

            David Baldwin summarized the status of the journals.  Ecosphere continues to thrive, and submission rates have been high.  Submissions to the other journals have been at traditional levels.   The data mandate for Ecological Monographs appears to be working well.

            Liz Biggs reported that the annual audit has been completed.  The audit committee will have a phone meeting to review the audit once we receive it.  Our 2011 membership was up for the year.

            Nadine Lymn reviewed efforts of the Public Affairs program, including a recent congressional briefing on flood management.  ESA joined with AIBS to mobilize their members to write letters in support of restoring funding to NSF.

C. Financial Updates

  1. 1. First Quarter Financials

 

            Katherine McCarter reviewed revenue and expenses to date.  Revenue is running well above expenses, in part because annual meeting revenue occurs during the first quarter.

  1. 2. Investment Updates

 

            VP for Finance Les Real provided a first quarter investment summary.  Market fluctuations have affected the accounts, but not unexpectedly.

III. Discussion/Action Items

A. ESA Centennial Plans 
            
            1. Centennial Committee Update

            Katherine summarized the report from the Centennial Committee chaired by Alan Covich.  The committee held its first meeting in Austin, TX in August, 2011.  The committee has requested an extension of the deadline for presenting a final plan (currently May, 2012).  Sharon Collinge suggested that the Public Affairs program committee and staff should be involved in the planning, particularly to identify and reach audiences outside the Society membership.  It was suggested that Cliff Duke, Nadine Lymn and Teresa Mourad be added as ex-officio members of the Committee.

            Meg Lowman moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded a motion to extend the deadline for a formal report to the Governing Board to the time of the annual meeting in 2012, but request a progress report by the time of the May 2012 Governing Board meeting.  All aye.
            
            2. Funds for the Centennial

            Staff have proposed that funds be set aside to support activities associated with the Centennial.  One source would be from the Society’s annual allocation to the unrestricted reserve fund.  Andrea Lloyd moved that we create a Centennial Strategic Fund using allocations to the unreserved funds during the next two fiscal years to support strategic activities related to the centennial.  Les Real seconded.  All aye.
            
            3. EHRC Centennial Suggestions

            Meg Lowman summarized a meeting of the Education and Human Resources Committee focused on planning for the Centennial.  Their meeting focused on reaching out to diverse stakeholders, particularly in Washington.  The EHRC report will be provided to the Centennial Committee who will be developing proposals and priorities for activities related to the Centennial.

            4. Centennial Planning – D.C. Event

            Katherine McCarter summarized ideas generated by staff for events that could be held in Washington during the Centennial.  There was extensive discussion of how best to engage in policy debates, both in Washington and elsewhere.  Katherine McCarter noted that pursuing some of these ideas will require staff support. Staff were asked to see how a D.C. event could build on the Centennial.

            5. Fund for the Future – Centennial Plan

            Sonia Ortega and Katherine McCarter presented ideas to use the Centennial to leverage fundraising for the Fund for the Future.  They proposed a goal of raising $1 million by 2015, and summarized a formal development plan to meet the goal.   An expanded Development Committee would need to be involved in this effort, so the proposals will be forwarded to Development Committee Chair Les Real.  

B. EiC Review – Aaron Ellison

            The Publications Committee submitted their review of Ecological Monographs Editor-in-Chief Aaron Ellison, with a strong recommendation that he be reappointed for another 3-year term.   Andrea Lloyd moved and Sharon Collinge seconded a motion to reappoint Aaron Ellison to a new 3-year term (January 2012-December 2014) as Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Monographs.  All aye.  

            The Board would like to thank Aaron Ellison for his excellent work with the journal, and thank the Publication Committee for their thorough review.

C. Diversity Issues

            1. Diversity Recommendations from the Education and Human Resources Committee (EHRC)

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded a motion to recommend the change in the bylaws as proposed by the EHRC.  The intent of the amendment is to insure that Chairs of ESA Sections, Chapters, and Committees and the general membership will be solicited for nominations as part of the yearly nomination process. After discussion Deborah Goldberg moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded a motion to alter the proposal to modify the language of the second sentence in the proposal to eliminate the words “form this list”.  The amended motion was unanimously approved.  The recommendation will be forwarded to the Council for consideration at the next annual meeting.

            The EHRC also forwarded a proposal to allocate funding for a graduate student to examine historical trends in diversity within membership and meeting attendance.  There was discussion about limitations of current data available to the Society.  The proposal was tabled and EHRC was asked to develop a proposed diversity action plan for the Board’s consideration.

            2. Presidential Conversation on Diversity

            Steward Pickett provided an update of his efforts to initiate a Presidential Conversation on Diversity, as a means of highlighting the Society’s commitment to all of the dimensions of diversity. 

D. ESA and Technology 
Thet Oo, Associate Director for Information Technology, joined the meeting for a conversation on available technology and needs of Society activities.

E. Board of Professional Certification Recommendations

            Niki Nicholas, Chair of the Board of Professional Certification joined the meeting by speaker phone to discuss proposed changes in certification procedures.

            There were two proposals – to institute a minimum grade requirement for courses used to establish eligibility, and to require membership in ESA during the year that they become certified.

            Sharon Collinge moved and Les Real seconded the proposal that all courses used to meet certification must have a minimum grade of B minus.

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded the proposal that newly certified or re-certified ecologists who are not members of the society be granted a free 1-year membership to start in January of the year following the date of certification or re-certification.  All aye.

F. Bylaws – EHRC Name Change

            Meg Lowman summarized a proposal to change the name of the Education and Human Resources Committee to the Committee on Diversity and Education.  There would be no change in the formal charge to the committee.  Andrea Lloyd moved and Charles Canham seconded the motion to recommend to the Council a change in the Bylaws to rename the EHRC “The Committee on Diversity and Education”.  All aye.  

G. SEEDS Leadership Certificate Program

            Teresa Mourad presented ideas for a system of coordinated partnerships that will support and reinforce a progression of career development opportunities from high school through professional employment, through a series of levels of certificate programs.  The overall program would significantly expand the reach and scope of SEEDS by encouraging other organizations to adopt SEEDS activities and approaches.   

H. EEB Chairs

            Deborah Goldberg gave an update on her initiative to organize a network of chairs of departments of ecology and evolutionary biology.  They distributed an initial questionnaire to chairpersons and got an enthusiastic response.  There was a similar response from the Governing Board.  There was discussion of how inclusive to be in the network for departments that are not readily classified as ecology and evolutionary biology.

Adjourned for the day at 5:00 pm

 

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board, 
November 18, 2011
Washington, DC

Members Present
Steward Pickett          President
Terry Chapin               Past-President (via speakerphone)
Scott Collins               President-Elect
Sharon Collinge          VP for Public Affairs
Deborah Goldberg      VP for Science
Leslie Real                  VP for Finance
Charles Canham          Secretary
Mimi Lam                   Member-at-Large
Sonia Ortega               Member-at-Large
Andrea Lloyd             Member-at-Large

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter    Executive Director 
Cliff  Duke                  Director, Science 
Elizabeth Biggs           Director, Finance
Sue Silver                    Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers
Nadine Lymn              Director, Public Affairs
David Baldwin           Managing Editor
Teresa Mourad            Director, Education and Diversity

            Members Absent:      Margaret Lowman

Friday, November 18, 2011

The board met in executive session from 8:30 – 9:00 am

III. Discussion/Action Items

I. Program Review – Public Affairs

            Nadine Lymn and Sharon Collinge led the three-year review of the multi-faceted Public Affairs program.   

J. Emerging Issues Conference – Brainstorming

            Cliff Duke led a discussion to the current structure of the Emerging Issues Conferences, with several suggestions for ways to modify the program, including expanding the program to accommodate smaller workshops and projects focused on specific outcomes such as publications or educational materials.   

K. SBI 20th Anniversary Celebration

            Deborah Goldberg initiated a conversation on plans for a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative during the 2012 Annual Meeting in Portland.  Ideas include a special session and a reception.

L. Ecology for a New Generation Committee

            Sonia Ortega gave an update on the work of the committee, including a detailed set of recommendations for activities to implement at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Portland.  There was broad support for the recommendations, and the staff is enthusiastic about implementing the ideas.  The Committee will have additional recommendations for the May Governing Board Meeting.

M. New Business

 

Meeting  adjourned at 11:30.  

ADJOURNMENT

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