August 6-7, 2016

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board August 6-7, 2016 and August 12, 2016 Fort Lauderdale, FL

Members Present

Monica Turner – President
David Lodge – President-Elect
David Inouye – Past-President
Evan DeLucia – VP for Finance
Frank Davis – VP for Public Affairs
Valerie Eviner – VP for Science
Nalini Nadkarni – VP for Education and Human Resources
Charles Canham – Secretary
Kathryn Cottingham – Member at Large

Members Absent

Leah Gerber (Member at Large)
Ana-Elisa Perez Quintero (Member at Large)

Staff Present

Katherine McCarter – Executive Director
Elizabeth Biggs – Directory of Finance
Teresa Mourad – Director, Education and Diversity
Sue Silver – Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers
Alison Mize – Director, Public Affairs
Steve Sayre – Associate Director of Publications
Cliff Duke – Director, Science Office
Christi Nam – Convention and Meetings Manager

Visitors

Winslow Hansen – Chair, Student Section
Sarah Supp – Chair, Early Career Ecologists Section
Jessica Gurevitch – Incoming Secretary, Governing Board
Emily Cloyd – Incoming Member at Large, Governing Board

Additional Visitors – Sunday

Debra Peters – Editor-in-Chief, Ecosphere
Ed Johnson – Editor-in-Chief, Bulletin
Don Strong – Editor-in-Chief, Ecology
Kiyoko Mianishi – Chair, Meetings Committee
Lee Frehlich – Program Chair
Aimee Classen – Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Monographs
Dave Schimel – Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Applications
Yonglong Lu – Editor-in-Chief, Ecosystem Health and Sustainability
Rich Pouyat – Incoming President-Elect


8:30 am, August 6, 2016, meeting called to order by President Monica Turner

I. Roll Call, Agenda, and Ratification of Votes

President Monica Turner called the meeting to order. The agenda was approved, all aye, and minutes of the May 2016 meeting were approved, all aye. The board also ratified the e-mail vote to approve the recommendation that the environmental offsets for the 2016 meeting be awarded to the Archbold Biological Station. All aye.

II. Reports

A. Report of the President

Monica Turner thanked staff for all of their help with her work during the year, and then provided an update on implementation of recommendations from the May 2016 strategic planning process. The most general goals focus on enhancing membership services, including hiring a new staff member dedicated to membership services. Specific goals included developing a comprehensive communications strategy, improving programs for non-academic ecologists, and increasing services for academic ecologists at all career stages. The goals will be reviewed at the fall 2016 governing board meeting. She also gave an update on Society interactions with NEON, particularly given recent changes in the management of NEON.

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

Executive Director McCarter noted that there were 2,402 pre-registrants for the meeting. It was expected that this would not be a large meeting. She gave an update on the publication transition to Wiley, and noted that the search for a Director of Member Services is underway and going well.

Alison Mize gave a brief update on activities in the Public Affairs office. It was a quiet year for new legislation at the federal level, but the office organized over 60 meetings with congressional staff. The press room will be open throughout the meeting in Ft. Lauderdale.

Cliff Duke reviewed several projects of the Science Office, including coordinating a review of a Northwest Forest Science Synthesis. The office continues to work to support the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Steve Sayre reported on the transition of ESA journals to Wiley. The transition of the publishing workflow to ScholarOne is complete, but there are still issues to be resolved. There are plans for a strategic planning/visioning process with the Editors-in-Chief this fall. Impact factors for all journals are up this year. Revenue projections from the journals are on track to be met or exceeded this year. ESA staff will continue to work with Wiley to improve time to publication at all of the journals.

Teresa Mourad noted that SEEDS is celebrating its 20th anniversary, with a celebration at the Diversity Luncheon. They are partnering with the Doris Duke Conservation Interns program during the Ft. Lauderdale meetings. She also reported on efforts to strengthen faculty mentoring networks.

Sue Silver gave an update on Frontiers. In contrast to the other ESA journals, all of the editing, including copy-editing, for Frontiers is done in-house at ESA, rather than at Wiley.

Elizabeth Biggs provided a brief update on finances. Subscription revenue and total numbers of subscriptions from ESA journals are up over previous years, reflecting the marketing strength of Wiley. The lease on the DC offices has been renewed, with considerable savings over the previous lease.

III. Discussion/Action Items

A. Financial Update

1. Fourth Quarter Financials

Elizabeth Biggs reviewed fourth quarter 2015-2016 fiscal year finances. Katherine McCarter noted that half of the past fiscal year included the transition to publishing with Wiley. The budget expected a small loss during the past fiscal year, in part because of one-time expenses associated with the publishing transition, however annual (unaudited) actual expenses of ~ $5,998,000 exceeded revenue by only slightly over $8,000. Both subscription and annual meeting revenue were significantly higher than budgeted, and salaries and benefits were slightly lower.

2. Investments (DeLucia)

Evan DeLucia reviewed performance of society investments. Unrestricted net assets exceed $3 million. Those assets are conservatively invested with two management firms. The long-term goal is to reach $5 million before beginning to draw on those funds for annual income.

B. FY 2016-2017 ESA Budget

1. Proposed ESA FY 2016-2017 Budget

Katherine McCarter reviewed the budget presented to the Governing Board at the May 2016 meeting. The budget will be presented to the Council for approval at the Council meeting held during the Ft. Lauderdale meeting.

2. Long Range Planning Grant Subcommittee

Governing Board Members-at-Large serve as the subcommittee to review long range planning grant proposals from sections, chapters, and ESA committees. New guidelines for the grants were approved in 2015.

3. Discussion of Council Presentation

There was a brief discussion of the agenda for the Council meeting. Kathryn Cottingham noted that it will be useful to review for the Council the financial implications of the transition to Wiley as the society’s publisher.

C. Review of Yonglong Lu & Review of Ecosystem Health and Sustainability

Josh Schimel assembled a review committee consisting of members from both ESA and the Ecological Society of China. The committee noted the challenges of starting a new journal, including defining a clear niche for the publication and building a flow of submissions. Dr. Lu has been very energetic in assembling both an advisory board and an editorial board, and in soliciting initial submissions and special issues for the journal. The committee and Dr. Lu identified a number of further steps that need to be taken to clarify the marketing vision, to develop a strong and successful identity, and to develop an effective editorial board.

David Lodge moved and Charles Canham seconded a motion to accept the recommendations of the review committee and to re-appoint Dr. Lu. All aye.

NOTE: the decision to reappoint the editor-in chief was rendered moot by a later Governing Board decision to end ESA’s participation in the journal. The later decision is recorded in the minutes for the September 2, 2016 meeting of the Governing Board

D. Editor-in-Chief Review: David Schimel

Tim Essington, Erik Nelson, and Elizabeth Borer were appointed by the Publications Committee to conduct the review of David Schimel as Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Applications. They consulted a large group of subject matter editors, publication staff, and Dave Schimel. They presented their review to the Governing Board, and concluded that the journal is doing extremely well and that Dave Schimel has been an integral part of that success.

David Lodge moved and Frank Davis seconded a motion to reappoint David Schimel as Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Applications. All aye.

E. Editor-in-Chief Review: Debra Peters

The Editor-in-Chief review for Debra Peters was prepared by the Publications Committee chaired by Josh Schimel. Debra has been Editor-in-Chief since the inception of Ecosphere in 2010, and has overseen its explosive growth over the past 6 years. The review noted the need to continue to increase staffing for the journal in response to the enormous growth in submissions. There was consensus among the many contributors to the review that Dr. Peters has been a committed, effective and well-respected Editor-in-Chief.

Charles Canham moved and Nalini Nadkarni seconded a motion to reappoint Debra Peters as Editor-in-Chief of Ecosphere. All aye.

F. Sexual Harassment Policy

During the May 2016 Governing Board meeting the Board reviewed a draft document prepared by ESA members as a result of a workshop at the ESA Annual Meeting in 2015 on the subject of “Recommendations for Reducing Sexual Violence and Harassment in the Field.” The group submitted a summary of recommendations to the Governing Board. Several board members noted that the recommendations conflict with guidelines specific to their home academic institutions. The Board referred the matter to the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee for recommendations for ways that ESA can respond to these issues and also asked them to review the ESA Code of Ethics to see if it needs updating.

Currently ESA has a Meetings Code of Conduct which defines expected behavior, unacceptable behavior and outlines a reporting process and actions that ESA may take for unacceptable behavior at its meetings.

The Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee chaired by Pat Flebbe presented a written report summarizing their recommended actions. They noted that the current ESA Code of Ethics is strong and complete with respect to harassment in any form in any professional context, and did not recommend any formal changes to the Code. They did, however, present a number of suggestions for ways to make the Meetings Code of Conduct more effective, including making it more visible at ESA meetings and to appoint a committee to develop a formal best practices document on the subject of sexual harassment. They included a number of specific suggestions for the charge to the committee.

David Lodge moved and Kathryn Cottingham seconded a motion to appoint a committee to consider development of a best practices document on sexual harassment focused on field conditions. All aye.

G. Emeritus Ecologist Proposal

The Board of Professional Certification is proposing to create a new level for professional certification, Emeritus Ecologist, to begin with the 2017 applications. They have noted that distinguished and productive ecologists in the latter stages of their careers or retired have difficulty meeting the standard review of professional activities within the past five years. Often they are involved in non-traditional ways.

The BPC recommended creating a lifetime designation of Emeritus Ecologist and outlined the criteria for eligibility and suggested a reduced fee. The term “emeritus ecologist” conflicts, however, with an existing general membership category. The Governing Board was generally supportive of the proposal, but would like more clarification about the criteria to be used in conferring this status. There was also concern about conferring a certification status for a level of activity somewhere between full-time and retired status.

David Lodge moved and Kathryn Cottingham seconded a motion to reject the proposal as presented and ask the BPC to revise the proposal subject to input from the board. All aye.

H. Report of the Audit Committee

Charles Canham summarized the report of the Audit Committee. The auditors issued a clean unmodified opinion of the fiscal statements for the 2015 fiscal year. They encountered no difficulties in performing the audit, and thanked ESA staff for their support during the audit.

Val Eviner moved and David Inouye seconded accepting the Audit Committee report. All aye.

The Governing Board went into executive session at 3:00.


Meeting called to order, 9:00 am, Sunday, August 7, 2016

III. Discussion/Action Items (Continued)

I. 2016 Annual Meeting

Lee Frelich, Program Chair for the 2016 Annual Meetings, gave an update on preparation for the meetings. He complimented staff for their superb work on the program. The meeting will be smaller than many recent meetings, with 2218 abstracts in the program compared to > 3000 in Baltimore. Organized sessions continue to increase in popularity. The travel ban for federal employees continues to influence attendance. He expressed concern over competition with attendance at AGU meetings. He also suggested that news coverage in ecology could be strengthened by providing key environmental reporters with complimentary subscriptions to Frontiers.

Monica Turner thanked Lee Frelich and Kiyoko Mianishi, Meetings Committee Chair, for all of their efforts.

J. Meetings with Editors in Chief and Publications Chair

1. Ecology – Don Strong

Don Strong summarized the status of Ecology. Submissions and acceptances have been roughly constant for the past 4 years, while the editorial board has grown over time. The transition to Wiley has not been without complaints, but the number is small and generally related to issues in copy editing of highly technical papers. He complimented peer-review staff in Ithaca. There were early issues with university e-mail systems blocking messages to subject matter editors from ScholarOne.

2. Ecological Applications – Dave Schimel

Submissions to Applications have been stable at ~ 800/yr over the past 5 years. The distribution of submissions across disciplines has also been roughly stable over that period, although submissions with a human dimensions/social science focus have been increasing, as have climate-change related manuscripts. He noted that there were two instances of allegations of misconduct associated with submitted manuscripts, and suggested that the editors develop a standard set of procedures for responding to these cases. Guidelines from COPE are routinely used, and he proposed that this practice be formalized. In contrast to Ecology, the editorial board is somewhat smaller, with fewer highly specialized subject matter editors who only handle 1-2 manuscripts per year. He noted that no issues had been raised by authors with respect to the transition to Wiley, but members of the editorial board have a number of frustrations with the software infrastructure. But he expressed satisfaction with progress working with Wiley staff.

3. Ecological Monographs – Aimee Classen

Aimee Classen began her tenure as Editor-in-Chief in January 2016, joined by Brian Inouye as Associate Editor-in-Chief. Submissions are up 20%, and fewer and fewer papers don’t fit the scope of the journal. Roughly 40% of papers are rejected without external review. She noted that journal impact factors don’t capture the distribution of numbers of citations among individual papers and suggested compiling and presenting the distributions to authors and readers. Initial hiccups with ScholarOne are being ironed out. The journal uses the editorial boards of both Ecology and Ecological Applications.

4. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment – Sue Silver

Submissions have dropped slightly at Frontiers, but manuscript flow has stabilized. Wiley staff have been responsive in dealing with early problems with the transition. She is seeking to increase the number of international members of the editorial board.

5. Ecosphere – Deb Peters

Ecosphere’s first six years have been marked by exponential growth, with over 1200 published papers. This resulted in some growing pains, including issues with backlogs in the publication process. This issue is largely outside the control of the editor and editorial board, and is being addressed via the workflow with Wiley. A new ESA staff member is being hired for the journal, but there remain challenges in speeding up the time to publication following acceptance.

6. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability-Yonglong Lu

Dr. Lu reported on status of the journal since its launch last year. The journal is too new to be indexed or have an impact factor. Most of the papers to date have been commissioned or in special features.

7. Bulletin – Ed Johnson

The Bulletin has been incorporated in ScholarOne, but with a set of work-arounds that fit the unique nature of the often solicited or regular content. He mentioned several topics that he would like to see addressed by contributions to the Bulletin, including the pros and cons of posting of preprints (pre-submission or acceptance), and the question of how much core ecological content manuscripts should contain in order to appear in an ESA journal.

8. Publications Committee – Josh Schimel

Josh Schimel summarized the work of the Publications Committee during the past year, focusing on the reviews of three Editors-in-Chief. This was followed by a more general discussion of publication issues.

Meeting adjourned at 12:00, August 7, 2016. –Submitted by Charles Canham, Secretary


Friday, August 12, 2016: Meeting of the 2016-2017 Governing Board called to order at 8:30 am by President David Lodge

Governing Board Members:

David Lodge –President, presiding
Rich Pouyat –President Elect
Monica Turner –Past President
Nalini Nadkarni –Vice President for Education and Diversity
Jayne Belnap –Vice-President for Science
Jessica Gurevitch –Secretary
Kathryn Cottingham –Member at Large
Emily Cloyd –Member at Large

Guest

Rob Salguero-Gomez, Early Career Ecologist Section Chair

ESA Staff

Cliff Duke, Director of Science
Katherine McCarter, Executive Director
Alison Mize, Director of Public Affairs
Steven Sayre, Associate Director, Publications
Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers

I Information

A. 2016-2017 Governing Board

  1. Incoming President David Lodge welcomed the new GB members, and offered kudos to Past-President Monica Turner and the ESA Staff for organizing a great meeting. He commented that ESA is in great shape.
  2. President Lodge recommended that by end of 2016, the staff and GB members should develop a document of Procedures and Processes put together by GB members and ESA office staff, to clarify responsibilities and smooth transitions.
  3. Upcoming Meeting dates were announced: Fall, Nov. 7, 2016 orientation for new members starting at Noon, Nov 8-9 Governing Board meeting (adjourn at noon on 9 Nov.) followed by a meeting in the afternoon for the Vice Presidents for Science, Education and Diversity, and Public Affairs. Spring, May 3-4, 2017 (full day 3 May, half day 4 May). Both meetings will take place in Washington DC @ ESA HQ.

II Discussion/Action Items

A. Audit Committee

New members Jayne Belnap and Monica Turner were appointed to fill two openings and join current member Frank Davis who will serve as Chair.

B. Current issues

  1. Sexual harassment issues: The GB expressed the views that ESA can do more to raise visibility and address these issues. Kathryn Cottingham will convene a committee and a charge for the committee will be developed. An NSF-funded workshop organized by AGU to discuss sexual harassment in the field will be held on Sept. 9, 2016, and Katherine McCarter and Emily Cloyd will attend to represent ESA.
  2. Membership services and Communications strategy: A search is underway for a Membership Services Director as a permanent ESA staff member, and is being led by Katherine McCarter. ESA also anticipates recruiting an external communications specialist (as a consultant with a limited term). Goals for the Membership Services Director are being developed and elaborated. The communications specialist can also help to update the website design and develop a longer-term plan for website design and strategy.
  3. Journal issues:

    EHS: Discussion continued on the challenges facing this new journal, and President Lodge has followed up with conversations with relevant parties during the week. He indicated that the Board may be asked to continue this discussion after the Florida annual meeting.

    Ecosphere: Success of this journal has been very rapid, but more support may be needed. Steve Sayre has put together an 8-point plan with ESA publications staff and Deb Peters to move back to fast publication and work effectively with Wiley on this. Resolving these issues is an immediate and high priority for ESA and resources will be allocated to address these issues.

C. Usefulness of final Friday meeting: The value of having an 8:30 am meeting on the Friday at the Annual Meeting conclusion was raised and will be revisited at the Fall meeting in DC. While it is recognized that a GB meeting at the end of the Annual Meeting has value, there is also considerable support for changing the scheduling of this meeting.

III Other

  • Future meetings: A suggestion was made by Jessica Gurevitch to meet with Mexican Ecological Society. This will be discussed at the November GB meeting.
  • AV volunteers: Jessica Gurevitch and Rob Salguero-Gomez noted that better training for AV volunteers is needed at meetings.
  • NEON/Battelle informal update by DL: The ESA leadership met with the NEON team during the week; In addition to a meeting with the current Battelle/NEON leaders earlier in the week, five ESA Presidents/Past Presidents met with Jim Olds, Assistant Director for the BIO Directorate at NSF, to facilitate better ESA input to NEON via the ESA leadership. There is a reconstituted group called STEAC that will provide scientific input to NEON and ESA is invited to name a representative to this group. NEON is conceived of as a 30 year instrument (starting in 2019) to foster research using this new infrastructure. The ESA community is perceived as the central users of this instrument. The infrastructure will be evolving over this 30 year period, with input from ESA. ESA can lead in leveraging existing networks with NEON.

9:30 AM Adjourn

–Submitted by Jessica Gurevitch, Secretary


Meeting convened September 2, 2016 – Conference Call

Governing Board Members Present

David M. Lodge, President
Richard Pouyat
Monica G Turner
Jayne Belnap
Evan DeLucia
Frank Davis
Jessica Gurevitch
Kathryn L. Cottingham
Emily Therese Cloyd
Sharon Hall

Governing Board Members Absent

Nalini Nadkarni

Staff Members Present

Katherine McCarter
Steven Sayre

Community Review of Ecosystem Health ant Sustainability

The ESA Governing Board met by conference call on Friday, September 2, 2016 to continue a discussion about the journal Ecosystem Health and Sustainability (EHS) which was started during the Governing Board meeting in Fort Lauderdale and informed by additional information and discussions during and after the annual meeting.

The Board arrived at a decision to terminate the publishing agreement with the Ecological Society of China after much discussion and reflection. The Board concluded that ESA misjudged the potential for success for this open-access journal, particularly in the crowded ecology market. The small stream of submissions to EHS is not increasing and, therefore, EHS relies on commissioned articles or manuscripts transferred from other ESA journals to fill each issue. The current publication rate of three articles per month is not sufficient to sustain a journal. This was a difficult but necessary decision in the opinion of all present.

A motion was made and seconded that ESA will terminate the EHS publishing agreement with the Ecological Society of China

The Governing Board voted unanimously to approve this motion.

May 12, 2016

Members Present

Monica Turner, President

David Lodge, President-Elect

David Inouye, Past-President

Evan DeLucia, VP for Finance

Frank Davis, VP for Public Affairs

Valerie Eviner, VP for Science

Nalini Nadkarni, VP for Education and Human Resources

Charles Canham, Secretary

Kathryn Cottingham, Member at Large

Ana-Elisa Perez Quintero, Member at Large

Members Absent

Leah Gerber, Member at Large

Staff Present

Katherine McCarter, Executive Director

Elizabeth Biggs, Director of Finance

Michelle Horton, Director of Administration and Meetings

Teresa Mourad, Director of Education and Diversity

Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers

Alison Mize, Director of Public Affairs

Steve Sayre, Associate Director of Publications

Visitors

Winslow Hansen, Chair, Student Section

8:30 am, May 12, 2016, meeting called to order by President Monica Turner

  • Roll Call and Agenda

President Monica Turner called the meeting to order.  David Inouye moved and Val Eviner seconded a motion to approve the agenda.  All aye.

David Inouye moved and David Lodge seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the November 2016 meeting, and ratify the following e-mail votes:

  • Approving the Awards Committee recommendations,
  • Approving the 2016 Regional Policy Award to Shannon Estenoz, DOI Director of Everglades Restoration, and
  • Approving the appointment of Serita Frey to a second term as Editor-in-Chief of Issues in Ecology.

All aye.

  • Reports
  • Report of the President

Monica Turner reported on her activities as President since the November board meeting.  Much of her efforts were devoted to organizing the strategic planning retreat on May 11, 2016.She noted efforts to make recommendations from the Awards Committee more timely to allow recipients more time to plan to attend the annual meeting.  There has been discussion to ensure that the new journal structure under Wiley is consistent with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).  She attended the SEEDS Leadership Meeting at Coweeta this spring, and reported being very inspired by the event. 

  • Report of the Executive Director and Staff

Katherine McCarter noted the extensive staff reports provided in the board materials.  She reported on the transition at NEON to management by Batelle Labs.

Teresa Mourad will present a program review of the Diversity and Education programs later in the meeting.  She reviewed meetings she has attended in the past 6 months, many of them focused on K-12 education. 

Sue Silver reported on the status of Frontiers during the transition to Wiley. There has been a steep learning curve but submission rates remain strong.  The production side has been completely transformed, including page layout/design that is now handled by Wiley.  Wiley needed to bring on additional staff with the necessary design expertise, but she is comfortable with progress at this point.

Steve Sayre reported on the publication transition to Wiley.  The compartmentalization of processes at Wiley requires that he work with many different people there.  He will provide metrics for the first half of the calendar year for each of the journals to Editors-in-Chief and the Publications Committee in advance of the annual meeting.

Michelle Horton gave an update on the annual meeting.  The program committee is finalizing compiling the program.  She and staff are working on a much more streamlined meeting registration process, and processes to reduce streamline registration processes on-site.  She also gave an update on the professional certification program.  The Board of Professional Certification will meet in Washington in June to review the large number of applications for Professional Certification. 

Elizabeth Biggs noted that audited financial statements are now available.  The Audit Committee will meet next week to review the audit.  The audit was clean, with no issues in the management letter. 

Alison Mize noted that the Society’s Annual Report is now being produced as a website, rather than as a PDF.  The bimonthly policy news mailings are being tweaked to expand reach.  Staff organized two days of meetings for ESA members on Capitol Hill.  The graduate student policy award event was held in April.  Six graduate students were recognized, and met with elected officials from their home states.  

  • Financial Update

Elizabeth Biggs reviewed finances at this point in the current financial year. The publication transition resulted in many one-time perturbations to the budget, particularly in terms of timing of revenue and expenses relative to past years.  Subscriptions are ahead of budget, although this pre-dated the transition to Wiley.  The Baltimore annual meeting significantly exceeded the original revenue projections.   She expects this year to show a net loss, but this was expected given transition costs.  Monica Turner thanked staff and VP for Finance Evan DeLucia for managing the transition so well.

III. Discussion/Action Items

  • Asset Allocations for Unrestricted and Temporarily Restricted Funds

Evan DeLucia reviewed objectives and asset allocation for Society investments.  Merrill Lynch manages our unrestricted funds; while Townley Capital manages temporarily restricted funds (i.e. award endowments).   The funds are very conservatively invested.  In consultation with our adivisors, there has been a slight increase in allocation of the Merrill Lynch funds to equities.  There have been no major changes in the allocation of the Townley funds.

  • Proposed FY 2016-2017 Budget

Katherine McCarter and Elizabeth Biggs presented the FY 2017 proposed budget.  Non-institutional (i.e. member) subscriptions for print versions of the journals bring in significantly less revenue than the costs of printing and mailing those journals.  This represents a significant net loss to the Society.  The board supports making the non-institutional(member) print subscription rates beginning in 2017 reflect the true, full cost of the print versions.

Charles Canham moved and David Inouye seconded a motion to recommend that the Council approve the budget as presented when the Council meets in August 2017.

  • Board Strategic Initiatives

There is a tradition of allocating $10,000 from the Opportunity Fund each year for board strategic initiatives.  In recent years, the board has chosen not to use all of those funds to allow the Opportunity Fund to grow for more substantive initiatives.  The strategic planning process that is underway envisions a number of new initiatives that will require resources.  The board decided to postpone allocating the Strategic Initiative budget line until there is more clarity about broader strategic plan initiatives and costs.

  • Core Concepts

George Middendorf  joined the meeting via Skype and gave an update on the work of an ad-hoc committee that has been developing a list of core concepts in ecology.  The original motivation for this work was to potentially serve as the basis for new standards for professional certification.  The committee also sees value in use of the effort in broader education programs. 

The Governing Board will forward the materials developed by the committee to the members of the Board of Professional Certification for use in their deliberations of any changes in the certification process.

  • Report of the Nominations Committee

Past-President David Inouye presented a slate of nominees for election to the Governing Board for terms beginning in August 2017. The list will be forwarded to the Bulletin for publication.

  • Program Review – Education & Diversity

Teresa Mourad and Nalini Nadkarni presented the 3-year review of the Education and Diversity Programs.  Teresa focused on reviewing the goals and programs of programs such as SEEDS, and various programs designed to advance undergraduate education, including resources for both students and faculty.  Nalini reviewed a recent strategic planning process undertaken by the Commiteee on Diversity and Education.  The plan identified 5 priority goals for 2016-2018:

  • Enhance public awareness of and engagement with ecology
  • Disseminate best practices in ecology to attract a continuing supply of new ecologists
  • Diversify ESA membership, the population of ecologists, and the range of publics whom we reach
  • Shape the CDE as a hub to coordinate and amplify impacts of events and initiatives
  • Measure and understand the efficacy and extent of the impacts of CDE activities to create improved programs and best use resources into the future.
  • Awards Issues
  • Award Nominations Issues

Monica Turner led a discussion of issues raised by recent members of the ESA Awards committees and subcommittees.  The issues included how to ensure an adequate diversity and number of nominees, and how to deal with conflicts of interest between committee members and nominees.   There are also issues with the timing of award notifications relative to the timing of the annual meeting.  Jonathan Levine, Awards Committee chair, and Tony Ives, chair of the MacArthur award subcommittee forwarded a number of suggestions for ways to improve the award nominations process.  The board discussed them, and encouraged Jonathan and Tony to pursue them.

  • Wiley Contribution to ESA Awards Program

ESA’s agreement with Wiley includes an annual contribution of $20,000 to ESA’s awards program. The Governing Board considered a variety of proposals for how to use the monies.  The Board will wait for more clarity on strategic directions and try to use the award funds to enhance the strategic plan.

  • Awards – Bylaws Amendment

Carmen Cid has pointed out that ESA’s Bylaws include a list of some ESA awards and not some of the newer awards that have been approved.  Removing the list of specific awards in the Bylaws was proposed since these can change over time and would require an amendment every time an addition or deletion is needed. Award decisions are the responsibility of the Governing Board and not the ESA Council.

David Inouye moved and Monica Turner seconded that the Governing Board recommend to the Council that it amend the bylaws to remove mention of the specific awards.  All aye. 

  • Sexual Harassment and Violence

A group of ESA members led a workshop at the ESA Annual Meeting in 2015 on the subject of “Recommendations for Reducing Sexual Violence and Harassment in the Field.”  The group submitted a summary of recommendations to the Governing Board.  Several board members noted that the recommendations conflict with guidelines specific to their home academic institutions.   The board has referred the matter to the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee for recommendations for ways that ESA can respond to these issues.  Currently ESA has a meetings code of conduct which defines expected behavior, unacceptable behavior and outlines a reporting process and actions that ESA may take for unacceptable behavior.

  • Section/Chapter Issues
  • Discontinue International Affairs Section and Rocky Mountain Chapter

David Lodge moved and Val Eviner seconded a motion to recommend to the Council that the International Affairs Section and the Rocky Mountain Chapter be dissolved.  All aye.

Evan DeLucia raised the issue of whether there should be an automatic process of dissolution if a Section or Chapter is inactive or has no officers through 2 successive annual meetings.  This would require an amendment to the Society’s Constitution, and the Governing Board decided not to pursue this.

  • Black Ecologists Section Petition

Senay Yitbarek submitted a petition for a new section which was signed by 50 ESA members and contains the proposed bylaws which contain the general mission and scope. Staff review of the proposed bylaws indicate that they are in accordance with the requirements of the ESA Constitution and Bylaws and also confirm that 50 members have signed the petition (list available on request).  However, there were concerns with exclusivity in the definition of membership in the section.  The Governing Board asked Executive Director McCarter to communicate these concerns to the organizers of the proposed section, and ask that they consider revising the proposed by-laws and mission statement. 

  • Section Proliferation

            The number of Sections has grown considerably in recent years.  The Society by-laws have a relatively simple procedure for creation of new sections.  While there is substantial staff time involved in providing services to sections, there is relatively little net cost to the Society in the proliferation of sections, and there is a sense that sections serve an important function within the Society.

  • Publications Update

Steve Sayre provided a thorough review of the status of the transition to publishing with Wiley.  There have been concerns with quality and speed of the production process, but the concerns have been brought before Wiley and are being addressed.  Steve also outlined initiatives he plans to pursue in broader development of the Society’s portfolio of publications.

  • Annual Meeting Issues
  • 2017 Meeting Theme

Chris Swan, Program Committee Chair for the 2017 meeting has proposed a theme for the meeting: “Linking biodiversity, material cycling and ecosystem services in a changing world”.  David Inouye moved and Val Eviner seconded a motion to approve the theme.  All aye.

  • 2019 Program Chair

Kathy Cottingham moved and Val Eviner seconded a motion to approve the recommendation of Ryan McEwan as the Program Chair for the 2019 meeting in Louisville, KY.

  • Resolution of Appreciation for Michelle Horton

Charles Canham moved and Monica Turner seconded a motion for the Governing Board to express its deep gratitude to Michelle Horton for her many years of service as Director of Administration and Meetings.  All aye.


August 8-9 & 14 2015

Members Present

David Inouye, President
Monica Turner, President-Elect
Jill Baron, Past-President
Evan DeLucia, VP for Finance
Scott Collins, VP for Public Affairs
Valerie Eviner, VP for Science
Julie Reynolds, VP for Education and Human Resources (via phone)
Charles Canham, Secretary
Carmen Cid, Member at Large
Ana-Elisa Perez Quintero, Member at Large
Leah Gerber, Member at Large

Staff Present

Katherine McCarter, Executive Director
Elizabeth Biggs, Directory of Finance
Cliff Duke, Director, Science
Michelle Horton, Director, Administration and Meetings
Teresa Mourad, Director, Education and Diversity
Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers
Alison  Mize, Director, Public Affairs
Regina Przygocki, Interim Associate Editor, Publications Office
David Gooding, Publications Office

Visitors

Dane Ward, Co-Chair, Student Section


9:00 am, August 8, 2015, meeting called to order by President David Inouye

Roll Call and Agenda

Adopt Agenda

Jill Baron moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve the agenda.  All aye.

Ratification of Vote-Minutes from May 2015

Scott Collins moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to ratify the email vote to approve the minutes of the May 2015 Governing Board meeting.  All aye.

Review of Governing Board Annual Meeting Activities

Katherine McCarter reviewed the schedule of Governing Board activities during the annual meeting. 

Reports

Report of the President

David Inouye began by expressing his thanks to staff and the Governing Board for their support and efforts during the past year.  He summarized his work with the Science and Public Affairs programs, and noted that he had been able to attend the SEEDS Leadership meeting earlier this year.   He noted his efforts to strengthen our ties with international ecological societies.  He will be hosting a meeting with leaders of 15 other ecological societies during this year’s annual meeting.  The publication transition has been a major focus of his efforts this year.

Report of the Executive Director and Staff

Katherine McCarter began by noting the extensive materials presented in the board book.  Alison Mize summarized efforts with Scott Collins to update the goals of the Public Affairs program, and efforts to engage with journalists covering the annual meeting.  Sue Silver gave an update on activities at Frontiers, particularly the Centennial special issue.  Regina Przygocki reported on activities in the Publications Office, and noted the growing backlog of manuscripts in Ecosphere.  Michelle Horton gave a preview of the annual meeting, noting that we hoped it might exceed the most recent Portland meeting in number of attendees.  Teresa Mourad noted that this was a successful year in fundraising for the Education Program and SEEDS, including a 4-year NSF grant.  SEEDS will be introducing a Certificate Program focused on longer-term mentoring.  Cliff Duke reviewed activities in the Science Program.  Jill Baron complimented the program for its various efforts to support the infrastructure for science.

There was discussion of ways to effectively inform ESA members of the enormous range of activities undertaken by ESA staff during the past year. 

Financial Update

Fourth Quarter Financials

Katherine McCarter and Elizabeth Biggs reviewed fiscal year 2014-2015 financials. The year ended with expenses exceeding revenue by $31,328 on total expenses of $6,090,691.  The year was notable for many unexpected expenses related to the transition to a new publisher, including additional staffing in the Publications Office, and consultants assisting in the transition. 

Investments and Asset Allocation

VP for Finance Evan DeLucia reviewed the guidelines for investment of ESA’s restricted and unrestricted reserves.  Our current balance of fixed income and equity investments is outside the current ranges set previously by the Governing Board, with more in fixed income than dictated by our current policy guidelines.  DeLucia will meet with our investment advisors to discuss bringing the balance back within our investment guidelines.   The signing bonus from Wiley will be allocated to budgets over the next seven years, but the total amount will be received in a lump sum that will be placed in the unrestricted reserves.

Discussion/Action Items

FY 2015-2016 ESA Budget

Proposed ESA FY 2015-2016 Budget

The Governing Board reviewed the FY 2015-2016 budget at the May 2015 board meeting, and voted to recommend that the Council approve the budget at its meeting on August 9, 2015.  Elizabeth Biggs reviewed modifications to the proposed budget due to expected changes to revenue (both positive and negative) related to the new contract with Wiley, and to changes in dues revenue, which is running higher than expected.  Given the many one-time expenses related to the publication transition the proposed FY 2015-2016 budget shows a $21,169 loss on total expenses of $5,801,726.  The shortfall will be met from a draw on unrestricted reserves.

Scott Collins moved and Jill Baron seconded a motion to recommend that the Council approve the amended budget at its meeting on August 9, 2015.  All aye.

Long Range Planning Grant Subcommittee

The FY 2015-2016 Budget contains $10,000 for long range planning grants to sections, chapters, and committees. A subcommittee of the Governing Board reviews the proposals and makes recommendations for funding.

The subcommittee has traditionally been composed of the Members at Large.  Ana-Elisa Perez Quintero agreed to chair the subcommittee.  Jill Baron noted that in past years the Governing Board has encouraged that the grants be used for strategic issues, rather than routine operation of the sections and chapters.   The call for proposals in recent years has reflected this more strategic focus. 

Discussion of Council Presentation

Katherine McCarter reviewed the agenda for the Council meeting, focusing on a presentation that will be given to the Council on the publication transition.

Publications Update

As a continuation of the discussion of the Council presentation, the board reviewed the status of the publication transition process.  The schedule calls for Wiley to assume publishing of all Society journals as of January 2016.

Ad Hoc Certification Review Committee – final report

The Ad Hoc Certification Review Committee, chaired by Carmen Cid, has submitted its final report. The report discusses the history of the program, the strengths and weaknesses of the current program, and provides a series of recommended actions organized into three phases.  The charge was to ensure that the program was robust, inclusive and relevant for professional ecologists.  The current program serves roughly 7% of the membership of ESA, primarily consultants or government scientists.  

The report outlined the history of the program and previous reviews.  It concludes that the current program has very modest requirements for academic training in ecology, and presented a list of both weaknesses in the current Board of Professional Certification process and recommendations in three phases for ways to improve the certification process to better serve the needs of ESA members.  A central recommendation is to implement an exam that new applicants would need to pass to become certified. 

The committee also reviewed the ESA Code of Ethics, and reminded us that all ESA members are governed by the Code of Ethics.  They recommended that the Code be displayed more prominently on the ESA website.

David Inouye thanked Carmen Cid and committee members Linda Heath, Luther Smith, Tom Mulroy and Elizabeth Binney for their thorough analyses and detailed recommendations.

Charles Canham moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve an allocation of up to $5000 from Board Strategic Initiative funds to support the implementation of Phase I of the committee’s recommendations. The task of defining core concepts was given to the Committee on Diversity and Education Fundamental Ecological Concepts Task Force.  The Task Force will report on those efforts at the November 2015 Governing Board meeting.  All aye.

Engagement with Busines

During the May board meeting, the board expressed interest in exploring ways that ESA could engage with the business community. Staff were asked to think about this engagement and prepare a document for the August meeting. After an open discussion among staff leadership, Director of Science Cliff Duke took the suggestions and comments and organized them in a document that outlines potential benefits of such engagement to both ESA and business.  After Governing Board discussion of the document, Leah Gerber was asked to lead an effort to determine the next steps.

Public Policy Recommendations

VP for Public Policy Scott Collins presented recommendations for public policy priorities for the coming year.  The recommendations were generated by ESA staff in the Public Affairs Office, led by Alison Mize, and the Public Affairs Committee.  In contrast to the often very detailed (and long) lists of priorities recommended in previous years, Collins presented a very focused set of priorities that acknowledge that the Society’s efforts in public policy often require very rapid responses to issues that arise during the course of the year.  Thus, the “priorities” focus on the types of activities undertaken by the Public Affairs Office, rather than a list of specific topics.  The three main priorities were:

  • Addressing federal policy issues affecting STEM research and education
  • Emerging environmental issues of interest to the ecological community
  • Fostering ESA member engagement in policy and science communication

Charles Canham moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve the recommendations.  All aye.

Reproducibility in Field Sciences

Cliff Duke reported on a recent workshop on Reproducibility in the Field Sciences cosponsored by ESA, with AAAS and AGU.

National Park Service – Ecological Landmarks

Jill Baron gave an update on a plan of the National Park Service to designate 10 sites nationally that recognize major achievements in science.  Baron attended a meeting to nominate sites, and three sites – Hubbard Brook, Sapelo Island, and a set of the Florida Keys – are currently being considered for inclusion in the plan.  She noted that many of the other sites identified by ecologists are already on protected lands.  Jill Baron and Clarisse Hart (Harvard Forest) met on August 7 with NPS representatives from the National Landmarks Program, the Office of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers, and the Climate Change Response Program to discuss NPS needs and how ESA members can help address them.   They are exploring ways to incorporate stories about sites within the National Parks in elementary school science programs.

2017 Annual Meeting Program Chair

Kiyoko Miyanishi, Co-chair of the Meetings Committee recommended naming Chris Swan as the Annual Meeting Program Chair for the 2017 Portland meeting.  Dr. Swan is currently serving as the local host for the 2015 Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

Charles Canham moved and Scott Collins seconded a motion to appoint Chris Swan as the Annual Meeting Program Chair for the 2017 ESA Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon.  All aye.

Certified Ecology Education Program

The Committee for Diversity and Education (CDE) has prepared a preliminary concept for an ESA Certified Ecology Educator Program that would initially be limited to the informal science sector which includes nature center/park naturalists, volunteer master naturalists, museum/natural history docents, etc. It would not include technical professionals like foresters. They have developed a concept paper that outlines the potential audience, the content of the program, and financial projections.

There was extensive discussion of the feasibility of the concept.  There was a general sense of the Board that the idea is worth pursuing.  Valerie Eviner moved and Leah Gerber seconded a motion to encourage the CDE to continue exploring the concept.  All aye.

Membership Discussion at ESA Council Meeting

Monica Turner summarized points she made in a recent editorial in the August 2015 issues of Frontiers about expanding efforts to serve Society members and expand our membership.  There will be a 30 minute session at the Council meeting on August 9, 2015 on this topic.  The goal of the session will be to solicit input from the Council on how to ensure that the Society remains relevant and important to ecologists.

Fundraising

Charles Canham led a discussion of fundraising ideas.

 

Meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm for executive session


Meeting called to order Sunday, August 9, 2015, at 8:40 am

Guests

Donald Strong, Editor-in-Chief, Ecology
Aaron Ellison, Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Monographs
Aimee Classen, incoming Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Monographs, 2016
Debra Peters, Editor-in-Chief, Ecosphere
Yonglong Lu, Editor-in-Chief, Ecosystem Health and Sustainability
Edward Johnson, Editor-in-Chief, ESA Bulletin
Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Colette Bean, Vice President and Publications Director, US Global Research, Wiley
Hannah Smith, Senior Editor, Life Sciences, Wiley
Mark Jacobsen, DeltaThink (ESA Publications Transition Manager)
Daniel Scholes, Chair, Early Career Section
Kiyoko Miyanishi, Chair, Meetings Committee
Carol Brewer, Program Chair
Nancy Huntly, Centennial Implementation Chair

Discussion/Action Items (continued)

2015 Annual Meeting

Program Chair Carol Brewer thanked ESA staff for their extraordinary efforts organizing the program.  She noted that a record number of abstracts had been submitted.  She noted that the Earth Stewardship Initiative efforts constitute a meeting within the meeting and that it should be brought into the regular annual meeting structure in the future.  The Governing Board thanked Carol Brewer for her efforts on behalf of the annual meeting program.

Centennial Implementation Committee

Nancy Huntly, Chair of the Centennial Implementation Committee reviewed activities and projects planned to celebrate the Society’s Centennial.  The Governing Board thanked Nancy Huntly for coordinating the special annual meeting centennial activities.

Meeting with Editors in Chief and Wiley Representatives

Colette Bean and Hannah Smith from Wiley joined the meeting to discuss the publication transition.  The Board and the Editors in Chief were briefed on the arrangement between Wiley and ESA and afforded the opportunity to ask questions about the transition and the changes to our current processes.

11:30 ADJOURN


Friday, August 14, 2015, 8:30 am, meeting called to order by President Monica Turner

Members Present

Monica Turner, President
David Inouye, Past-President
David Lodge, President-Elect
Frank Davis, VP for Public Affairs
Charles Canham, Secretary
Ana-Elisa Perez Quintero, Member at Large

Staff Present

Katherine McCarter, Executive Director
Cliff Duke, Director, Science
Michelle Horton, Director, Administration and Meetings
Teresa Mourad, Director, Education and Diversity
Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers

Visitors

Winslow Hansen, Chair, Student Section

Information

2015-2016 Governing Board

Incoming President Monica Turner welcomed new board members and outlined plans for the coming year.  The Fall 2015 meetings will be held November 4-6, 2015, and the Spring 2016 Governing Board meetings will be held May 11-12, 2016, both in Washington DC.

Discussion/Action Items

  1. Audit Committee

            David Lodge and Frank Davis were appointed by President Turner to fill the two vacancies on the Audit Committee, which is chaired by Charles Canham.

Current Issues

  1. Membership

The Committee on Diversity and Education will have a meeting this fall.  Board members noted that there are obvious ties between this committee and potential membership growth.

  1. Publications Transition

There was discussion of the Issues in Ecology series in the context of the publications transition.  As currently structured, the series is not suitable for incorporating in the suite of journals to be published with Wiley.

Monica Turner led a discussion of the challenges of defining ESA program priorities under new budgets made possible by the agreement with Wiley.

Sue Silver reported that the Frontiers editorial board has approved the idea of a new series of articles on non-academic careers for ecologists.

  1. ESA and NEON

Monica Turner gave an update on the ESA-NEON relationship.  The Governing Board needs to continue recent momentum towards improving transparency and communication on NSF’s part.

 Other

There was a brief discussion of the two resolutions proposed by Jean-Luis Martin, President of the French Ecological Society, for consideration by the 15 ecological societies at the dinner hosted on 10 June by David Inouye. There was consensus to approve the first (with a minor wording change) and not the second (which was more relevant for European societies).

Teresa Mourad announced that a new award from NSF has been recommended for a joint workshop with the Society for Conservation Biology to consider next generation career paths for biologists. This might lead to a future RCN on the topic.

9:30 AM ADJOURN


 

November 4-5, 2015

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board
-November 4-5, 2015 Washington, DC

Members Present

Monica Turner, President; David Lodge, President-Elect; David Inouye, Past-President; Evan DeLucia, VP for Finance; Frank Davis, VP for Public Affairs; Valerie Eviner, VP for Science; Nalini Nadkarni, VP for Education and Human Resources (via phone); Charles Canham, Secretary; Kathryn Cottingham, Member at Large; Ana-Elisa Perez Quintero, Member at Large; Leah Gerber, Member at Large.

Staff

Present, Katherine McCarter; Executive Director, Elizabeth Biggs, Directory of Finance; Cliff Duke, Director Science Programs; Michelle Horton, Director Administration and Meetings; Teresa Mourad, Director -Education and Diversity; Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief -Frontiers; Alison Mize, Director -Public Affairs.

Visitors

Sarah Supp Chair, Early Career Section

9:00 am, November 5, 2015, meeting called to order:

I. Roll Call and Agenda

President Monica Turner called the meeting to order. David Inouye moved and Charles Canham seconded a motion to approve the agenda. All aye. David Inouye moved and Evan DeLucia seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the August 2015 meeting. -All aye

II. Reports

  1. Report of the President
    Monica Turner began her report with a thank you to ESA staff and board members for all of the work during the past year on the publication transition. She also reported on efforts to reduce the backlog of accepted manuscripts at Ecosphere. She and Katherine McCarter and David Inouye met with the editor-in-chief of the new journal Ecosystem Health and Sustainability. They discussed a proposal to have ESA appoint an associate editor to help with the successful launch of the journal. She discussed issues that have come up with respect to public statements on policy issues by ESA, and whether there is a need for a formal process for revising policy statements over time in the face of new science or disagreements over policy. The current procedures appear to be working well and were considered sufficiently flexible to handle changing conditions.
    She also noted that copies of a strategic plan from the British Ecological Society have been distributed with the meeting materials, along with a report of the Ecology for a New Generation committee. She noted that the last strategic planning process by the Society was done in 2009. She is considering appointing a committee to explore how to ensure better continuity in board initiatives.
  2. Report of the Executive Director and Staff
    Executive Director Katherine McCarter noted the detailed reports in the board book from Washington office programs. She reported that she is in the process of recruiting a Senior Publications Manager to oversee all of the journals (excluding Frontiers). Sue Silver noted that the Centennial Special Issue has been published. A number of new special issues are in the works. Cliff Duke highlighted work in several areas, including the Sustaining Biological Infrastructure program and a new publication in the Issues in Ecology series on citizen science. Elizabeth Biggs noted that membership for the past year reached 8,951. There is an expectation that the new automated renewal option will help with retention of existing members. The membership database will be upgraded in January 2016. Michelle Horton reported on the Centennial Meeting in Baltimore. Attendance reached 4,671. Alison Mize reviewed efforts in the Public Affairs program, particularly policy issues.
    Teresa Mourad reviewed work with SEEDS and education programs, including discussion of how to direct efforts dedicated to K-12 education for maximum effect.
  3. Financial Update
    First Quarter Financials
    Katherine McCarter and Elizabeth Biggs summarized first quarter 2016 FY finances. First quarter finances are typically strongly positive because of revenue from the annual meeting. Expenses are on track with the budget adopted by the Council at the annual meeting in Baltimore.

III. Discussion/Action Items

  1. Enhancing Membership
    Monica Turner initiated discussions at the May 2015 Governing Board meeting on ways to enhance the benefits of membership and to better serve the needs of a broad range of careers in ecology. She reviewed a survey of members conducted in 2011. “Supporting the field of ecology” was the top factor influencing the decision of respondents to be a member of ESA, but “Access to info that helps me do my job” was the second most common factor. She also summarized ideas that came out of discussion of this topic at the Council Meeting in Baltimore in August 2015. Sarah Supp, Chair of the Early Career Section reviewed responses to a survey of members of that section. Alison Mize highlighted the challenges of maintaining communication with members. There was discussion of where within ESA staff these efforts are housed, since virtually all ESA programs involve interaction with members.
  2. Centennial Survey
    VP for Science Valerie Eviner presented key findings from the Centennial Survey of priority research/synthesis needs, focusing on developing more rapid synthesis and policy recommendations in response to emerging issues in ecology. She presented a proposed framework consisting of a set of committees charged with “horizon scanning” and “rapid synthesis”, as well as a committee to aid in “data-poor decision making”. She concluded by presenting ideas for funding and implementing these ideas.
  3. Authorization for ESA Line of Credit
    Capital One Bank requires an updated authorization for Katherine McCarter to obtain a line of credit on behalf of ESA. Charles Canham moved and David Inouye seconded a motion that “Katherine McCarter, Executive Director, Ecological Society of America is authorized to sign the required documentation with Capital One for the line of credit”. All aye.
  4. Financial Program Review
    Major programs within the Washington office are reviewed by the Governing Board on a 3-year cycle. Elizabeth Biggs began by reviewing revenue (without investment revenue) and expenses over the past 10 years. Revenues exceeded expenses in each of the 10 years, with a net cumulative gain of over $2.5 million. Unrestricted net assets now exceed $3.2 million. The Governing Board has set a target of $5 million in unrestricted net assets. Subscription income from Society journals has historically been the largest single source of unrestricted income. Beginning in 2016 these revenues will be replaced by guaranteed minimum royalties from Wiley, and long-term projections Society finances under the Wiley contract are for surpluses over current expenses in each of the next 5 years. Dues revenue represents approximately 10% of total revenue. In 2007 the Council voted to institute 2% per annum increases in dues for regular members (and every other year for student and developing country members).
    Three items should be considered for the agenda for the May 2016 Governing Board meeting: (1) Evan DeLucia and Elizabeth Biggs should present a proposal for new asset allocations for the unrestricted and temporarily restricted assets; (2) there should be a discussion of how to allocate the $10,000 annual contribution from Wiley towards ESA Awards; and (3) there should be a review of the performance of our investments.
  5. NEON Outreach
    Monica Turner updated the Board on interactions between the Society and NEON. A letter signed by ESA past presidents, which expressed both support for NEON’s scientific potential and the need for more outreach and involvement by the scientific community, was widely distributed. ESA has expressed its willingness to work with NSF and NEON to develop outreach to the scientific community.
  6. Publications Update
    Katherine McCarter presented a proposal from Wiley for ESA to adopt a standard fee for authors to participate in Wiley’s OnlineOpen access. Wiley is proposing that ESA offer this option for Ecology, Ecological Applications, and Ecological Monographs. They have suggested a fee of $3000 with a discounted rate of $2250 for members. Wiley has a hybrid journal pricing policy which offsets subscription prices for library customers based on the growth of open access articles in any particular title. This ensures that libraries are not paying for content that has already been funded.
    Monica Turner moved that we accept the proposal from Wiley, but with further discussion about whether this would also apply to Frontiers. David Lodge seconded the motion. All aye.
  7. Whittaker Award
    Jessica Gurevitch, chair of the Whittaker Awards subcommittee is requesting a change in the two Whittaker awards. The subcommittee would like to make the Whittaker Distinguished Ecologist Award purely honorary, with no travel and no monetary amount associated with it. All the money currently allocated for that award ($2000) would then be added to the $1200 currently allocated for the Whittaker Award to fund a scientist from a developing country to travel to the US. Gurevitch notes that the amount given for the Whittaker Award is currently too small to enable a person from a developing country to have sufficient money to get to the US. Distinguished scientists are more likely to have access to travel funds, and they can be from any country, including those that have substantial support for science.
    Kathryn Cottingham moved and Valerie Eviner seconded a motion to make the Whittaker Distinguished Ecologist Award honorary with no cash award, with the funds previously allocated to that award added to the Whittaker Award. All aye.
  8. Inclusive Ecology Section Petition
    Society bylaws allow any group of 50 or more members of the Society to petition for the establishment of a Section. The petition must specify the proposed general scope of the Section and its proposed plan of organization. Article 10 of the Constitution indicates that each Section must be approved by a vote of the Council and that proposed Section bylaws must be approved by the Governing Board. Elita Baldridge submitted a petition for a new Inclusive Ecology Section. The petition was signed by 50 ESA members and contains the mission, the general scope and the proposed bylaws.
    Staff review of the proposed bylaws indicates that they are in accordance with the requirements of the ESA Constitution and Bylaws and also confirm that 50 members have signed the petition.
    Leah Gerber moved and Kathryn Cottingham seconded a motion to approve the proposed bylaws for the new section, and to recommend that the Council approve the formation of the new section at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Florida. All aye.
  9. INNGE Virtual Ecology Festival
    David Inouye gave an update on efforts by the International Network of Next Generation Ecologists to hold a Virtual Ecology Festival. This is intended to be a global online conference. The first topic for the conference is expected to focus on the first summary report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

    Adjourned at 5:00 pm
    The Board met in executive session from 8:00-9:00 am, Nov. 6, 2015
    Full meeting called to order at 9:00 am Nov. 6, 2015
  10. Editor-in-Chief Reviews
    The Editors-in-Chief of Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Applications, Ecosphere, Issues in Ecology and the ESA Bulletin are appointed by the Governing Board to three year terms. At the end of those terms, the Publications Committee is asked to review the EiC and make a recommendation to the Governing Board about reappointment. There are no term limits.

    1. Don Strong, Ecology
    The Publications Committee submitted an evaluation, noting that Don Strong continues with the excellent job he has been doing over many previous years. They also noted the many challenges of managing the transition to Wiley as a publisher, and broader challenges faced by the journal. David Lodge moved and Monica Turner seconded accepting the recommendation of the Publications Committee and appointing Don Strong to a new 3-year term as Editor-in-Chief of Ecology beginning January 1, 2016.

    2. Serita Frey, Issues in Ecology
    The Publications Committee did not complete its review in time for the regular Board meeting.

  11. Certification Phase 1 – Core Concepts (George Middendorf joined the meeting by phone)
    At its August meeting, the Governing Board received a report from the Ad Hoc Committee on Certification. That report contained a number of recommendations, among the Phase 1 recommendations was the need to determine the core concepts that underlie the science of ecology.
    The Fundamental Ecology Concepts Task Force was created by the Committee on Education and Diversity (CDE) to initiate discussion among ESA members and the wider committee and develop a set of core concepts that will be useful for a number of goals and audiences. This effort will contribute to the Governing Board’s interest in identifying performance standards that will strengthen ESA’s Certification program.
    The task force organized a Special Session at the ESA annual meeting and a workshop of ecology professionals and educators. A set of fundamental concepts was presented to the CDE at its Fall annual retreat, October 23-25 for review and revision.
    The revised draft was presented to the Governing Board by Dr. George Middendorf (Howard University) (joining the meeting via Skype). The committee anticipates much additional effort to flesh out alternative frameworks for organizing the concepts. The Board suggested that the Task Force focus first on the aspects related to professional certification.
  12. Annual Meeting Issues
    1.
    Salt Lake City 2020
    Meetings Co-chair Kiyoko Miyanishi joined the meeting by phone, and reviewed the report on the suitability of Salt Lake City as the annual meeting site for 2020. Mindful of the Governing Board’s directive to rotate among sites that can provide the maximum revenue for ESA, she recommends Salt Lake City as a western site that will attract ESA members much like Portland has done in the past.
    A recent site visit conducted by Kiyoko Miyanishi, Katherine McCarter and Michelle Horton included a meeting with ESA members from the area. They were enthusiastic about the location and noted the success of three previous annual meetings held in Snowbird, Utah.
    Val Eviner moved and David Inouye seconded selecting Salt Lake City as the site of the 2020 ESA Annual Meeting. All aye.

    2. Program Chair 2018
    Kiyoko Miyanishi, co-chair of the Meetings Committee is recommending that Tim Showalter serve as the Program Chair for the 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans. Dr. Showalter is Professor of Entomology at Louisiana State University (2003-present) and served as Department Head 2003-2015. Showalter was elected in the past as the ESA Vice President for Public Affairs and has agreed to serve as Program Chair.
    Charles Canham moved and David Inouye seconded appointing Tim Showalter as Program Chair for the 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans. All aye.

    3. Local Host 2018
    Kiyoko Miyanishi, co-chair of the Meetings Committee is recommending that Caroline “Caz” Taylor serve as the Local Host for the 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans. Dr. Taylor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, New Orleans. Dr. Taylor has agreed to serve in this post.
    Val Eviner moved and David Inouye seconded appointing Caroline Taylor as the Local Host for the 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans. All aye.

  13. ESA/Business
    During the May 2015 Governing Board meeting, the board expressed interest in exploring ways that ESA could engage with the business community. Staff were asked to think about this engagement and prepare a document for the August meeting. That document was reviewed at the August board meeting. After an initial discussion, the board asked Leah Gerber to continue the discussion with staff. Gerber updated the board during the November meeting. The report focused on the potential value of such interactions to both ESA and the business community. Gerber planned to attend the COP21 meeting in Paris and expected to meet with representatives of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and others while there. She is also planning to organize an editorial for Frontiers.
    Meeting adjourned at 11:30

May 7, 2015

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board
May 7-8, 2015
Washington, DC

Members Present
David Inouye              President
Monica Turner President-Elect
Jill Baron                     Past-President
Evan DeLucia                         VP for Finance
Scott Collins               VP for Public Affairs
Valerie Eviner             VP for Science
Julie Reynolds             VP for Education and Human Resources (via phone)
Charles Canham          Secretary
Carmen Cid                 Member at Large
Ana-Elisa Perez Quintero       Member at Large
Leah Gerber                Member at Large

Staff Present
Katherine McCarter    Executive Director
Elizabeth Biggs           Directory of Finance
Cliff Duke                   Director, Science
Michelle Horton          Director, Administration and Meetings
Teresa Mourad            Director, Education and Diversity
Sue Silver                    Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers
Alison  Mize                Director, Public Affairs
Regina Przygocki         Interim Associate Editor, Publications Office

Visitors
Dane Ward                  Co-Chair, Student Section

9:00 am, May 7, 2015, meeting called to order by President David Inouye

I. Roll Call and Agenda

A. Adopt Agenda
Monica Turner moved and Jill Baron seconded a motion to approve the agenda.  All aye.

B. Ratify Votes
1. Ratification of VotesAwards Committee Recommendations
Charles Canham moved and Monica Turner seconded a motion to ratify the email vote to approve the Awards Committee recommendations.  All aye.

2. Ratification of Votes – Regional Policy Award
Charles Canham moved and Monica Turner seconded a motion to ratify the email vote to approve the recommendation of Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) as the Regional Policy Award winner.  All aye.

3. Ratification of Votesminutes from the November 2014 Governing Board Meeting
Jill Baron moved and Monica Turner seconded a motion to ratify the email vote to approve the minutes from the November 2014 Governing Board meeting. All aye.

II. Reports
A. Report of the President
President Inouye commended ESA staff for their work during the past year.  He summarized his activities representing ESA at international meetings.

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff
ESA Executive Director McCarter referred the Board to the detailed reports from staff in the board book.  She noted that publications issues have consumed the majority of her time this year.  Cliff Duke reviewed upcoming events in the Science Office.  There was discussion of NEON and issues related to communication between NEON and the scientific community.  Michelle Horton gave an update on plans for the Centennial meeting.  Elizabeth Biggs noted that membership is flat from last year, but is expected to increase due to the Centennial meeting.  Chapter and Section membership is way up, and with the changes in dues structures will result in significant increases in budgets for the Chapters and Sections.  Regina Przygocki reported on anticipated changes in the Publications Office.  Sue Silver gave an update on a Centennial-related issue at Frontiers.  Teresa Mourad announced that NSF had awarded SEEDS funding for the next 5 years, and reviewed other funding opportunities and activities planned for the coming year.  Alison Mize reviewed activities of the Public Affairs Office, including preparation of the Annual Report.

C. Financial Update
VP for Finance DeLucia summarized the status of management of Society funds.  He recommended revisiting the discussion of asset allocation at a later date.  Elizabeth Biggs reviewed third quarter results of expenses and revenue.  Subscription revenue was down substantially from budget.   

III. Discussion/Action Items
A. Report of the Audit Committee
Scott Collins moved and Monica Turner seconded approving the audit committee report.  All aye.

B. Proposed FY 2015-2016 ESA Budget
Elizabeth Biggs and Evan DeLucia presented the proposed 2015-2016 budget.  There is more uncertainty than usual in budgeting given the publication transitions, and the budget projects a slight deficit for the coming year, to be covered from operating reserves.

            Scott Collins moved and Valerie Eviner seconded a motion to recommend that the Council approve the budget when it meets in August.  All aye.

            The Board decided to not allocate monies from the Opportunity Fund for board strategic initiatives at this time.

C. Publications Transition
David Inouye opened with a summary of the publications transition process to date.  A consultant was hired to help the Society develop an RFP, which was distributed to 8 publishers.  All 8 submitted proposals, and 5 of them were selected for additional presentations in person to the Publications Transition Committee.  The committee quickly reached consensus on the top proposal, and the Society has entered into contract negotiations with that publisher.  A consultant has been hired by the Society to assist in the goal of completing the transition by the end of 2015.

D. Editor-in-Chief for Ecology Monographs
Current Editor-in-Chief Aaron Ellison indicated last year that he would be retiring from the EiC role. The Board extended his agreement, which was to end December 31, 2014 until December 31, 2015. This was to allow Aaron to continue through the Centennial year and to provide an opportunity for overlap once a new Editor-in-Chief is named. The Publications Committee has recommended that Dr. Aimee Classen be appointed Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Monographs beginning January 1, 2016 and fill out the two remaining years of the current three year term.

            Scott Collins moved and Valerie Eviner seconded appointing Dr. Aimee Classen as Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Monographs beginning January 1, 2016, to serve the remaining 2 years of the current 3-year term.  All aye.

E. Nominations
The Nominations Committee, includes the three Members at Large – Carmen Cid, Leah Gerber and Ana Elisa Perez Quintero, and is chaired by Past President Jill Baron. The committee has provided its recommendations for the open positions on the Governing Board and the Board of Professional Certification.

            Monica Turner moved and Scott Collins seconded approving the slate of candidates recommended by the Nominations Committee.  All aye.
F. Resolutions of Respect
The Historical Records Committee has been discussing the question of Resolutions of Respect (RoR) versus Obituaries in the Bulletin. They propose a new policy that would eliminate the distinction between an obituary and Resolution of Respect. They are recommending having only one form of tribute – similar to the current RoR concept – for publication in the Bulletin, but without the restrictions that limit who would qualify for a RoR. Past HRC Chair Dennis Knight originated the proposal and it has been discussed thoroughly and approved by HRC members.

            Monica Turner moved and Scott Collins seconded a motion to approve the recommendation from the Historical Records Committee

G. ESA Membership
Monica Turner opened a discussion of ways the Society engages with its members.  Slight declines in membership over the past few years, both in ESA and in other scientific societies, suggest that a variety of forces are changing the ways that scientists participate in scientific societies.  Expectations on young scientists are very different than in the past, and challenge the Society to remain vital to new members of the profession. 

            There was an extensive discussion of initiatives to better serve the needs of the very diverse constituencies within the Society.

H. Ad Hoc Certification Review Committee
The Ad Hoc Certification Committee is chaired by Carmen Cid and includes four other ESA members who are also ESA Certified Ecologists: Thomas Mulroy (LEIDOS Environmental Consulting), Luther Smith (Soil Science of America certification director), Elizabeth Binney (Pacific Ecologic) and Linda Heath (USDA Forest Service).

            The ad hoc committee was charged to make the ESA Certification Program robust, inclusive and relevant for professional ecologists. They were asked to answer questions already posed by ESA Board of Certification Committee, identify priorities and additional questions to answer and make recommendations for changes to the program. The committee has a year to complete the review, and the product will be an evaluation of the current program with recommendations for how, and why, to update the review process. The ad hoc committee met in DC in April.  Carmen Cid provided an update from that meeting. They anticipate a final report for the August 2015 Meeting.

Executive Session
            The Board met in Executive Session to consider an issue from the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee.    

Meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm

May 8, 2014, meeting called to order at 8:00 am

III. Discussion/Action Items (continued)

Executive Session
The Board met in Executive Session from 8:00 – 9:00

I. Public Affairs Committee
Scott Collins, VP for Public Affairs and Chair of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC), and Alison Mize, Director of Public Affairs, provided a summary of the outcomes of the Public Affairs Committee meeting which was held just prior to the May Governing Board meeting.  They also discussed plans to reorient the Goals Document of the PAC, which currently reads like a frequently edited and amended amalgam of ideas and issues that are used to set the priorities of the Committee. Their goal is to start the process of developing a short and succinct document that will bring the PAC Goal and Priorities more in line with the activities of the other ESA Offices (Science, and Education and Diversity). They propose that the document contain explicit statements about the role of the Public Affairs Office in developing, coordinating or advising on Policy Activities. 

            There was extensive discussion of opportunities for focusing Public Affairs efforts on improving communication and interaction with the private sector.

J. Guest Participation in Governing Board Meetings 
The Board has for several years invited the chair of the Student Section to participate in the Governing Board meeting during the annual meeting and reimbursed the student for one night in a hotel as is done for Board members. In recent years, the Presidents have invited and helped to pay for the Student Section chair to also come to the fall and spring meetings. President Inouye suggested that if ESA wishes to have this participation, it should be included in the meeting budget and ESA should assume the travel expenses. If the Board recognizes the value of having a “student” viewpoint, it might also want to think about alternating the invitation to participate between the Student Section chair and the Early Career Ecologist Section chair. Given that ESA established early career ecologists as a specific emphasis (as a result of a member survey).  Dr. Inouye suggested that it would be appropriate to alternate the invitation between these two sections that both represent early career members. 

            Carmen Cid moved and Jill Baron seconded a motion to alternate invitations between the Student Section and the Early Career Section for the spring and fall board meetings and to ask both to attend the August meetings, with travel expenses covered as for regular Governing Board members.  Motion approved: 10 aye, 1 nay.

K. National Park Service – Ecological Landmarks
The ESA was a represented by Past President Jill Baron in a one-day meeting on March 12, 2015 hosted by the National Geographic Society and the NPS Science Advisory Board to identify “Science Sites” to increase recognition, public awareness, and appreciation of contributions of American scientists of distinction to the health, wealth, and quality of life of all Americans, and build public understanding of and support for science.  Jill Baron polled members of the Governing Board, Past Presidents, and the Rapid Response Team for their suggestions of sites important to the development of ecology, and presented the list for consideration at the meeting.  She suggested that Sections and Chapters be encouraged to nominate sites and develop materials in support of those nominations.   Charles Canham will forward materials to Section and Chapter leadership encouraging their participation.

L. Reproducibility in Field Sciences
AAAS, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and ESA will be convening a 2-day workshop in mid May to discuss reproducibility issues in the field-based sciences, with special focus on data issues. This workshop will build and expand on a previous workshop convened by the AGU last October. ESA will be represented by Editor-in-Chief Aaron Ellison and Director of Science Programs Cliff Duke.  Cliff Duke summarized the agenda for the meeting.

M. Ecological Restoration Section Petition
ESA Bylaws provide that any group of 50 or more members of the Society may petition for the establishment of a Section. The petition must specify the proposed general scope of the Section and its proposed plan of organization. Article 10 of the Constitution indicates that each Section must be approved by a vote of the Council and that proposed Section bylaws must be approved by the Governing Board.

Kris Hulvey and Elise Gornish have submitted a petition for a new Ecological Restoration Section.  It was signed by 50 ESA members and contains the mission, the general scope and the proposed bylaws. Staff review of the proposed bylaws indicates that they are in accordance with the requirements of the ESA Constitution and Bylaws and also confirm that 50 ESA members have signed the petition.

            Scott Collins moved and Monica Turner seconded a motion to recommend that the Council approve the formation of the new section.  All aye.

N. Centennial Update
1. Report from the Program Chair
Carol Brewer, 2015 Annual Meeting Program Chair submitted a report on planning for the Centennial Meeting in Baltimore.  She focused on the Plenary Sessions and on a “Centennial Ecology Lecture Series” that will occur at Noon on Monday through Wednesday of the annual meeting.

            2. Report from the Centennial Implementation Committee Chair
            Nancy Huntly, Chair of the Centennial Implementation Committee submitted a report detailing the allocation of funds provided to Sections and Chapters for activities related to the Centennial.

O. Annual Meeting Issues
1. 2016 Annual Meeting Theme
Lee Frelich has submitted his recommendation for the 2016 Annual Meeting to be held in Ft. Lauderdale, FLA. He is recommending the theme of “Novel Ecosystems in the Anthropocene.”

            Scott Collins moved and Monica Turner seconded a motion to approve the theme recommended by Dr. Frelich for the 2016 Annual Meeting.  All aye.

            2. 2017 Local Host
Kiyoko Miyanishi, Future Meetings Chair, is recommending Marion Dresner to be the Local Host for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Portland, OR. Dr. Dresner is a professor at Portland State University and has volunteered (enthusiastically) to be local host for the meeting. She has been very active in community outreach and citizen science and has organized sessions and workshops at past ESA meetings.

            Scott Collins moved and Monica Turner seconded a motion to approve the appointment of Dr. Marion Dresner as the Local Host for the 2017 Annual Meeting.  All aye.

            3. Annual Meeting Site Rotation
The Governing Board has indicated a number of times that they wish the meetings committee to consider rotating the annual meeting between cities where ESA can expect good attendance and to meet specific financial goals. Meetings Co-Chair, Kiyoko Miyanishi and Meetings Co-Chair Hal Balbach have submitted suggestions for this rotation.  The primary candidates they propose include Portland (OR), Austin, San Jose, and Baltimore, with other possibilities including Albuquerque, New Orleans, and Salt Lake City.

            Some concern has been raised about some regions of the country not being represented in the proposed rotation (e.g. the Midwest and Southeast). Until now, one of the criteria for site selection was “rotation around the country”. The rationale for this criterion was not only the desire to vary the meeting locations but also to increase accessibility for many members who would not always have to fly across the country to attend a meeting but to allow them to drive to a meeting site. In particular, members who work for at non-research-intensive universities may not have access to funding for transcontinental travel to attend meetings.

            Furthermore, even if the decision is made for a primary rotation among 3 or 4 locations, it seems reasonable to allow an occasional wild card in the rotation. The rationale for doing so is that very favorable opportunities can and do arise unexpectedly (such as New Orleans and Salt Lake City). Also, costs at some currently feasible locations might increase dramatically in the future. We have to keep in mind that net profits depend on both attendance and meeting costs. Thus, while the Midwest and Southeast may not draw quite as large an attendance as the West or Southwest, it may still be possible to meet or exceed the $125,000 net revenue requirement if the meeting costs are significantly reduced through rebates or other major concessions.

            The Governing Board reaffirmed their desire to rotate the annual meetings among a set of cities where past experience suggests strong attendance, while still allowing flexibility for the Meetings Committee to consider new sites periodically.  The criteria for future site selection will be strong attendance and the possibility to meet or exceed net revenue goals set by the Governing Board, and will no longer incude geographic representativeness. 

4. Environmental Offsets for the 2015 Annual Meeting.
            Local Host Chris Swan has recommended use of Environmental Offset funds to support the Parks and People Foundation in Baltimore.  The $5 contribution per registrant is expected to be roughly $20,000.

            Scott Collins moved and Monica Turner seconded a motion to appropriate environmental offset funds to support the Parks and People Foundation.  All aye.

P. Global Online Ecology Festival
The International Network of Next Generation Ecologists (INNGE) is proposing to develop a global festival of ecology.  INNGE provided the GB an outline of the concept of an “online global festival of ecology” for consideration by the governing boards of the British Ecological Society and the Ecological Society of America. The primary goals of this festival, seen as a complement to existing national and international conferences in ecology, are threefold: (1) to speed up internationalization of ecological science, (2) to increase public ecological awareness, and (3) to reduce the environmental footprint of new international ecology conferences. While it is expected that planning and fundraising for such a festival will take several years, INNGE is asking its potential partners to review the concept and provide feedback about willingness to participate. They are not asking for a financial commitment at this time. ESA will express its interest in the proposed online global festival and is looking forward to further information as planning proceeds.

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 am, May 8, 2015

November 18, 2014

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board,
November 18-19, 2014
Linthicum Heights, MD
Members Present

David Inouye              President
Monica Turner            President-Elect
Evan DeLucia             VP for Finance
Scott Collins               VP for Public Affairs
Valerie Eviner             VP for Science
Julie Reynolds            VP for Education and Human Resources
Charles Canham         Secretary
Carmen Cid                 Member at Large
Ana-Elisa Perez Quintero       Member at Large
Leah Gerber                Member at Large

Staff Present
Katherine McCarter    Executive Director
Elizabeth Biggs           Directory of Finance
Cliff Duke                    Director, Science
Michelle Horton          Director, Administration and Meetings
Teresa Mourad           Director, Education and Diversity
Sue Silver                   Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers
Alison  Mize                Director, Public Affairs
Regina Przygocki       Publications Office

Members Absent
Jill Baron                     Past-President 

Visitors
Kate Gallagher            Co-Chair, Student Section

9:00 am, November 18, 2014, meeting called to order by President David Inouye

  1. Roll Call and Agenda
  1. Adopt Agenda

            Monica Turner moved and Valerie Eviner seconded a motion to approve the agenda.  All aye.

  1. Ratification of Vote – Minutes from August 2014

            Julie Reynolds moved and Scott Collins seconded ratification of the minutes of the August 2014 meeting.  All aye.

  1. Reports
  1. Report of the President

            David Inouye gave a brief report on a visit to the ESA office to meet with staff.  He has been in contact with other ecological societies around the world, including societies in Mexico and Europe.  He has been in frequent contact with Alison Mize for ESA communications.  He also reported on meetings with the Ecological Society of China.

  1. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

            Katherine McCarter began her remarks by noting that preparations continue for the Centennial.  She recently visited the Publications Office in Ithaca.  There was discussion of the ongoing concerns within members of the Society about connections between NEON and the scientific community.

            Teresa Mourad provided highlights from the Education and Diversity program, including recent field trips funded by the Packard Foundation.  She has submitted a number of proposals for funding the SEEDS program, including to NSF and NASA.  She continues to seek support from private foundations.  Elizabeth Biggs noted that the changes in membership dues structure approved by the Council this year have been implemented.   The annual audit has been done.  Regina Przygocki gave an update on activities in the Publications Office during the past year.  Ecosphere continues to do well.  A process of transferring submitted manuscripts from the print journals to Ecosphere was instituted in August 2014, and has worked well, and in the past month constituted a significant fraction of the submissions to Ecosphere.   Sue Silver reported that Frontiers is expected to finish the year with an acceptance rate and number of submissions that are similar to last year.  The new series on natural history is taking shape.  The Co-Chairs of the Natural History Section have agreed to edit the series.  There was discussion of the pros and cons of a page in Frontiers devoted to news and activities from the Washington office.  There will be two special issues in 2015, and one online-only special issue.  Cliff Duke highlighted activities of the Science Office, including the series of courses on sustainability planning for scientific infrastructure projects.  Michelle Horton gave an update on upcoming deadlines for a variety of programs, including Fellows and Awards.  She will be conducting a site visit at the Baltimore Convention Center later this month with Nancy Huntly and Carol Brewer.  Alison Mize reported on activities in support of science funding within the federal government. 

  1. Financial Update
  2. Fourth Quarter Financials

            Katherine McCarter and Liz Biggs reviewed the first quarter financial report.  Revenue from the annual meeting exceeded budget, but expenses did as well, so net revenue from the annual meeting will be slightly below last year.  They expect that both revenue and expenses are on track to be very close to the budget approved at the August 2014 Council meeting.

  1. Investment Update

            Evan DeLucia gave his overview of Society finances, and discussed broad strategies for dealing with long-term trends in both revenue and expenses.  He also reviewed the Society’s investment portfolios, which are very conservatively invested.  He feels that the investment mix is probably more conservative than the stated investment goals for these funds. 

III.        Discussion/Action Items

  1. Awards Committee Questions

            Alan Hastings, Chair of the Awards Committee, submitted a set of questions for clarification by the Governing Board.  The first question concerned whether awards should focus primarily on ESA members.  It was the sense of the Board that unless the documents creating the award stated otherwise, the Awards Committee and its subcommittees should give priority to ESA members.  A second question concerned when it is appropriate to give an award to more than one person.  The Governing Board agreed that there are clearly cases where this is appropriate, but that it should be the exception rather than the rule.  The third question concerned whether nominations need to come from ESA members.  There is no requirement for this, and creating a pool of suitable nominees is ultimately the responsibility of the specific award subcommittees, but the Board encourages as broad a pool of nominees as possible, from all sources.  This same principle applies to their question about self-nominations.  The Awards Subcommittee holds ultimate responsibility for recommending awardees, regardless of the source of a nomination.

            The Awards Committee recommended that the Governing Board make decisions via e-mail on award nominations by February of each year.  The Board agrees that this is desirable and should be implemented.  The Committee also asked about the cap on 20 Honorary Members at any one time.  The Governing Board generally felt that the cap was reasonable, particularly given the costs associated with designating honorary members.  There may be other innovative ways to recognize other international scholars.

  1. Environmental Offset Guidelines

            Julie Reynolds reviewed discussions during the August 2014 meetings about how the annual meeting funds are used for environmental offsets.  A general principle is to use these funds to offset the environmental footprint of the meeting.  She proposed the following language as guidance for awarding these funds:

Earth Stewardship is a high priority for the Ecological Society of America, and one way in which we demonstrate this value is to mitigate the environmental impact of our annual meeting.  Therefore, ESA contributes $5 for each registrant to an environmental organization whose mission achieves this goal.  The Governing Board invites the meeting local host to nominate a local organization or organizations who meets these criteria to which this contribution will be donated.

Charlie Canham moved and Scott Collins seconded accepting this language.  All aye.

  1. Strategic Initiatives/Opportunity Fund

Each year the ESA budget has contained $10,000 moved from the Opportunity Fund to the line item called Board Strategic Initiatives.  This allows the Board to determine the use of this subset of the Opportunity Funds, which are expected to be used for strategic activities not included in the annual budget.  During the August meeting, the Board began a discussion about the use of these funds and expressed sentiment that the funds need not be used each year, allowing them to be accumulated over time for more substantive initiatives (such as the strategic review of publications).  There was also discussion of the desirability of allocating time at Governing Board meetings for considering strategic long-term initiatives in general.  President Inouye recommended that a time slot for this be scheduled during the May meetings.

  1. Diversity Statement

            Julie Reynolds presented a request from the Committee on Diversity and Education for the Governing Board to adopt a diversity statement and to add links to the statement on the ESA website.  In addition, they are asking for an amendment to the ESA ByLaws to add language that directs the Nominations Committee to be guided by the diversity statement. 

            The proposed diversity statement is:

“The Ecological Society of America is dedicated to the science and study of ecology. The society welcomes and encourages participation by all individuals regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental difference, politics, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or subculture. We strive to cultivate a society built on mentorship, encouragement, tolerance and mutual respect, thereby engendering a welcoming environment for all. Ecologists believe in the need for interdisciplinary study, both in terms of disciplines and participants.  We believe in biodiversity both in terms of ecosystems and membership. We will vigorously and proactively reject prejudice and stereotyping wherever it is encountered in our profession. ESA further promotes diversity in all areas of activity, including fostering diversity in membership, leadership, committees, staff, outreach, public engagement, recruitment, and all other areas of societal activity.”

            Julie Reynolds moved and Monica Turner seconded approving the language as the Society’s formal statement on diversity.  All aye.

            There was further discussion on how to disseminate the statement and give it visibility in the ESA webpage.  Julie Reynolds moved and Evan DeLucia seconded a motion to change the webpage in ways specified in the board book to highlight the statement and the diversity programs on the ESA website.  All aye.

            The Committee also recommended a change to the first sentence of Bylaw 1 as follows (new text highlighted in red):

Bylaw 1. Elections. The Nominations Committee shall be guided by the Diversity Statement when soliciting names of potential candidates for each position from the Chairs of ESA Sections, Chapters, and Committees and the general ESA membership prior to 1 March. 

            Julie Reynolds moved and Carmen Cid seconded approving this change and recommending to the Council that the Bylaws be amended accordingly.  The motion passed by majority.

            There was also discussion of updating the Bylaws to correctly list new awards.  David Inouye will work with Katherine McCarter and Carmen Cid to propose appropriate updates.

  1. New Section Petitions

            Bylaw 13 indicates that any group of 50 or more members of the Society may petition for the establishment of a Section.  The petition must specify the proposed general scope of the Section and its proposed plan of organization.  Article 10 of the Constitution indicates that each Section must be approved by a vote of the Council and that proposed Section bylaws must be approved by the Governing Board.

  1. Science Communications Section

            Holly Menninger has submitted a petition to establish a Science Communication Section.  The petition contains a statement of general scope, proposed bylaws, and the names of at least 50 members.

            Staff review of the proposed bylaws indicates that they are in accordance with the requirements of the ESA Constitution and Bylaws and also confirms that 50 members have signed the petition.

            Charles Canham moved and Julie Reynolds seconded approving the proposed bylaws and recommending to the Council the formation of a Science Communications Section.  All aye.

  1. Open Science Section

            Andrew MacDonald has submitted a petition to establish an Open Science Section.  The petition contains a statement of general scope, proposed bylaws, and the names of at least 50 members.

            Staff review of the proposed bylaws indicates that they are in accordance with the requirements of the ESA Constitution and Bylaws and also confirms that 50 members have signed the petition.

            Leah Gerber made a motion that the Board recommends approval to the Council, but that the petitioners be required to add additional detail about the definition of open science principles in Article 2 of the proposed bylaws.  Julie Reynolds seconded the motion.  Motion failed, 4 aye, 5 nay. 

            Evan DeLucia moved that we table discussion of this proposal pending further clarification of the definition of open science in the Bylaws.  Monica Turner seconded.  All aye.

            Further clarification was provided later in the day.  Scott Collins moved and Leah Gerber seconded approving the bylaws with the additional clarification and recommending to the Council creation of the Open Science Section.  All aye.

  1. Invasion Ecology Section

            Jennifer Funk, Luke Flory, Erik Aschehoug, and Virginia Matzek have submitted a petition to establish an Invasion Ecology Section.  The petition contains a statement of general scope, proposed bylaws, and the names of at least 50 members.

            Staff review of the proposed bylaws indicates that they are in accordance with the requirements of the ESA Constitution and Bylaws and also confirms that 50 members have signed the petition.

            Monica Turner moved and Valerie Eviner seconded approving the proposed bylaws and recommending that the Council approve the formation of the Invasion Ecology Section.  All aye.

  1. EiC Review – Ed Johnson

            The Editors in Chief of Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Applications, Ecosphere, Issues in Ecology and the ESA Bulletin are appointed by the Governing Board to three year terms.  At the end of the term, the Publications Committee is asked to review the EiC and make a recommendation to the Governing Board about reappointment. There are no term limits.

            Ed Johnson’s current agreement with ESA expires in December, 2014. The Publications Committee named Josh Schimel, Paul Grogan and Christine Hawkes to review Johnson’s leadership of the ESA Bulletin.  The committee recommends that Ed Johnson be reappointed to a fourth three-year term as Editor in Chief of the ESA Bulletin.

            The Board expressed its appreciation for the excellent job Editor-in-Chief Johnson has done with the Bulletin.  Monica Turner moved and Charles Canham seconded reappointing Ed Johnson as the Editor-in-Chief of the ESA Bulletin.  All aye.

  1. Annual Meeting Issues
  2. 2016 Annual Meeting Program Chair

            Program Committee Co-Chair Kiyoko Miyanishi and the Meetings Committee are recommending Lee Frelich as the Program Chair for the annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2016.  Dr. Frelich is a Research Associate at the University of Minnesota and Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology.  He was the Local Host for the 2013 annual meeting and as a result has served on the Meetings Committee. 

            Monica Turner moved and Julie Reynolds seconded appointing Lee Frelich as the Program Chair for the 2016 Annual Meeting.  All aye.

  1. 2016 Local Host Chair

            Program Committee Co-Chair Kiyoko Miyanishi and the Meetings Committee are recommending Brian Benscoter as the local host chair for the annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2016.  Dr. Benscoter is with the Department of Biological Sciences with Florida Atlantic University.

            Valerie Eviner moved and Julie Reynolds seconded appointing Brian Benscoter as the local host chair for the 2016 annual meeting.

  1. Certification Review Committee

            Carmen Cid, Certification Review Committee Chair, provided an update on the deliberations of the committee and described future plans of the committee.  The committee has a long list of recommendations for expansion of the certification program, including issues of continuing education, and certification for ecology teaching.  There was discussion of both the fees and expenses that could be associated with the various proposals. 

  1. New Phytologist Trust Plenary Speaker

            Evan DeLucia presented a proposal to designate a New Phytologist Trust Keynote Speaker, with details outlined in the board book.  Funding will be supplied by the New Phytologist Trust.  The major change from the proposal outlined in the board book was replacement of “plenary” with “keynote”, since there are so few true plenary time slots in the program. 

            Julie Reynolds moved and Charles Canham seconded approving the amended proposal.  All aye.

  1. Board Fundraising Update

            Charles Canham gave an update on the board efforts to increase contributions to the Fund for the Future (and its component parts – SEEDS, Student Travel Grants, and the Opportunity Fund).  As in the past, board members were asked to personalize e-mails to friends and colleagues encouraging them to contribute.      

  1. Centennial Survey

            Valerie Eviner, Elena Bennet, Daniel Scholes, and Kelly Garbach have drafted a series of surveys to be sent to four groups: researchers, educators, environmental managers and policy makers.  They provided a cover sheet explaining the project and a draft of the four surveys in the board book.   Val Eviner gave an overview of the effort, and asked for feedback from the Board to assess the scope of the survey and identify any gaps in what is covered.  The Board expressed their strong support for the effort.

  1. CourseSource

            Julie Reynolds described a long-range planning grant proposal to create a working group to produce a list of topics that would represent the core set of ideas that should be contained in a college ecology course.  The materials would be posted in an online journal from an organization named CourseSource from the University of Minnesota.

The Board entered executive session at 4:45 pm and adjourned for the day at 5:30 pm

David Inouye called the meeting to order at 8:00 am on Wednesday, November 19.  The Board entered executive session to consider the strategic review of ESA publications. 

At the end of that session, David Inouye moved and Charles Canham seconded that the ESA issue a Request for Proposals to seek a publishing partner for its journals.  The motion passed unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at noon, Wednesday, November 19, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 7-8, 2013

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board,
November 7-8, 2013
Washington, DC

Members Present
J
ill Baron                     President
Scott Collins               Past-President
David Inouye              President-Elect
Leslie Real                  VP for Finance
Sharon Collinge          VP for Public Affairs
Valerie Eviner             VP for Science
Charles Canham          Secretary
Michelle Mack            Member at Large

Staff Present
Katherine McCarter    Executive Director
Elizabeth Biggs           Chief Financial Officer
Cliff Duke                   Director, Science
Michelle Horton          Director, Administration and Meetings
Teresa Mourad            Director, Education and Diversity
David Baldwin           Managing Editor
Sue Silver                    Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers 

Guests
Kika Tarsi                    Chair, Student Section

Members Absent
Julie Reynolds             VP for Education and Human Resources
Carmen Cid                 Member at Large
Stephen Jackson          Member at Large

9:00 am, November 7, 2013:  meeting called to order by President Jill Baron

 

I. Agenda and Approval of Minutes

A. Adopt Agenda

Sharon Collinge moved and Les Real seconded adopting the agenda.  All aye.

B. Approval of the Minutes of the August 2013 Governing Board Meetings.

Scott Collins moved and Sharon Collinge seconded approval of the August 2013 minutes.   All aye.

II. Reports 

A. Report of the President

Jill Baron reported on activities related to the Earth Stewardship Initiative, including the project entitled “Integrating Ecological Science into Landscape and Urban Design” to be conducted during the 2014 meetings in Sacramento.  There is also continued effort on strengthening ties to the business community.   The issue of automatically signing members up for section membership will be discussed at the May meeting.

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

Katherine McCarter summarized the report from the Executive Director and staff, and reminded the Board of the scheduled conference call with the newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of the ESC/ESA journal.  Long-range planning grant proposals have been received.  Guidelines for the grants were revised at the August meeting, and far fewer proposals were submitted than in the past.  The search for a new Director of Public Affairs is underway.

Michelle Horton gave an update on the past Minneapolis meeting and the upcoming Sacramento meeting.  She also reported that there is a new online process for applying for status as a Certified Ecologist.  Membership renewal efforts are underway.  An ad hoc committee has been meeting regularly to devise ways to increase renewal rates.   This stimulated a lot of discussion of the challenges and opportunities for increasing overall membership.

David Baldwin summarized the report from the Publication Office.  One highlight was that Ecosphere has been accepted for inclusion in Web of Science.

Teresa Mourad reported on the SEEDS evaluation process that is underway.  She also summarized efforts to connect with faculty at minority-serving institutions.

Elizabeth Biggs reported that the auditors completed their site visit recently, and that the Audit Committee should be receiving the report soon.

C. Financial Updates

1. First Quarter Financials

Katherine McCarter and Elizabeth Biggs reviewed first quarter financials.  First quarter FY 2014 revenue was below first quarter FY 2013 because the revenue from the Minneapolis meeting was below revenue from the Portland meeting.  Membership dues and subscription income have declined in the past year, but year-end expenses and revenues are still expected to be close to budgeted.

2. Investment Updates

Les Real summarized performance of the Society’s investment portfolio.  There was discussion of the process of reviewing the investment policy, including the challenges of socially responsible investing.  There was a suggestion that there should be a regularly scheduled review of the investment policy, timed with the election of new Vice Presidents for Finance.

III. Discussion/Action Items

A. New Disease Ecology Section

Katherine McCarter summarized a proposal submitted by Jason Rohr for formation of a Disease Ecology section.  Staff have confirmed that the petition contains the required signatures of 50 ESA members.  The proposal included draft bylaws.  Scott Collins moved and David Inouye seconded a motion to recommend to the Council the formation of the Disease Ecology section.  All aye.

The recommendation will be sent to Council members for an e-mail vote.

B. Conversation with EiC of Joint ESA/ESC Journal (Dr. Yonglong Lu, EiC and Jing Duan, ESC.)

There was a conference call with Dr. Yonglong Lu, the newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of the joint ESA/ESC journal.  He summarized his vision and goals for the new journal, which will focus on “applying principles and concepts of ecology to support sustainable development, especially in regions undergoing rapid human change”.

C. Dryad Payment Plans

Dryad instituted charges for archiving data in September, 2013.  Ecological Monographs requires authors to deposit their data in Dryad prior to publication, and the Editorial Board of Ecological Applications voted at its August 2013 meeting to do the same with that journal.  David Baldwin summarized options for payments, ranging from requiring individual authors to handle the payments without involvement of the Publication Office, to a subscription plan whereby the Society pays a flat annual fee per journal based on the total number of papers published by the journal in a year.  Under the subscription plan entered into for Monographs, the Publications Office proposes to charge authors a $50 fee to cover costs of the subscription and the overhead associated with administering the program.  The publication office has paid a subscription fee for the next two years to cover the existing archiving requirement with Monographs.

There was considerable discussion of issues related to data archiving in general and ways to cover the costs with Dryad in particular for the other ESA journals.  Some authors will either already have their data archived under a different system, or will chose one of the alternative data portals, and no conclusion was reached on the appropriateness of charging a flat fee of all authors to cover a Dryad subscription for ESA’s other journals.  The Board agreed that Ecological Applications would mandate data deposits starting in January 2014. They decided that ESA will not enter into a Dryad subscription plan for Ecological Applications and that authors will be free to deposit their data in any repository of their choice,

D. Program Review – Science Programs

VP for Science Valerie Eviner introduced the program review for the science program.  Cliff Duke reviewed the history, goals and functioning of the Science program.  The Science Office depends heavily on outside funding for both a portion of staff salaries and other program expenses.  The board books contained details of specific program activities.  Cliff described several programs in detail, including the ongoing vegetation classification work and a June 2013 workshop on scaling up population and community ecology to continental scale for early career scientists.  The Science Program organizes periodic Emerging Issues conferences.  The next topic will be on “Integrated Landscape Science for Agriculture, Biodiversity Conservation, and Poverty Alleviation”, pending successful fundraising.  The office also coordinates the Issues In Ecology series.  Eighteen issues have been published to date, and several more are currently in progress.

Topics considered for future directions in the Science Office include (1) environmental change and natural disasters, (2) management responses to environmental change, (3) ecosystem services monitoring, and (4) linking science, policy and management to tackle ecological challenges.  Activities are being planned in each of these areas in conjunction with the 2014 Annual Meeting in Sacramento.

E. Editor-in-Chief Reviews

The Publications Committee submitted reviews of two Editors-in-Chief, and a request from Aaron Ellison, Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Monographs.   The reviews of both Dave Schimel and Deb Peters were overwhelmingly positive.  David Inouye moved and Charles Canham seconded a motion to appoint both Dave Schimel and Deb Peters to new 3-year terms effective January 1, 2014.  All aye.

The Governing Board expressed its deep appreciation for all of their efforts on behalf of the Society.  The Board also expressed its thanks to the Publications Committee and the editorial board members who contributed to the reviews.

David Inouye moved and Scott Collins seconded a motion to approve Aaron Ellison’s request to extend his current term as Editor-in-Chief of Monographs by 1 year (to December 31, 2015).  All aye.

The governing board will ask the Publications Committee to submit nominations for the new Editor-in-Chief by December 31, 2014, so that a new editor can be chosen before Aaron completes his term.

F. Mid Term Program Review – Publications

David Baldwin kicked-off the mid-term program review of the publications program.  Acceptance rates across the journals are back up to pre-2011 levels after the low rates of 2012.  Ecosphere has been approved by Thompson-Reuters for inclusion in Web of Science.  Ads are now included with Issue Alerts, providing a modest new source of potential revenue.   He reviewed goals and needs in the next few years, including implementation of the new ESA/ESC journal, and a new production module to replace outdated DOS-based software.  Concerns include erosion of subscriptions, impacts of data and open access mandates, and how to pay for innovations.

Sue Silver provided the mid-term review for Frontiers.  The number of manuscripts received by the journal continues to increase, necessitating a continuing decline in acceptance rate (to ~ 12% currently).  There have been 3 recent special issues, including an online-only issue on fire ecology. The journal is now in its 11th year.   She reviewed data from a number of sources assessing the impact and use of the journal, and the nature of both the authors and audience for the journal.  She described the use of a new system  – altmetrics – for assessing the social media buzz associated with individual publications.

G. Board Fundraising Update

Charles Canham provided an update on the effort to involve GB members in personalizing appeals for support of the Fund for the Future.   The personalized e-mails will be sent to lists of individuals identified by each GB member once the overall appeal letters have gone out from Katherine McCarter.   David Inouye will approach a contact in the University of Maryland development office about meeting with select staff and board members to get advice on development strategies.

H. Board Strategic Funds

Julie Reynolds and Teresa Mourad submitted a budget to support fundraising efforts related to SEEDS.  The Governing Board at the August 2013 meeting approved use of the funds for this purpose.  The Board would like to make sure that these efforts are coordinated with Society-wide development efforts and also requested more detail about the proposed plan.

I. National Park Service Science Sites

Jill Baron described an effort by the National Park Service and other organizations to identify and protect sites of important scientific discoveries.  ESA has been asked to participate in the nomination process for identifying sites once criteria are developed.

New Business

David Inouye suggested including information on meeting registration badges that recognizes how long individuals have been members of the Society.

Meeting adjourned at 5:15 pm, Thursday, November 7

Meeting called to order 11:15 am, Friday, November 8

III. Discussion and Action Items (Continued)

 J. Student Section Requests

Kika Tarsi, Chair of the Student Section, presented three proposals related to section and membership and funding: (1) automatic membership in the Student Section, (2) providing stable annual funding for the section, and (3) routine Section budget updates.  Over the past 10 years Section membership has ranged from 14-24% of student members.  The issue of folding a section membership in overall society membership (for all members) will be considered at the May 2014 Governing Board meeting.  This would still leave open the question of whether all student members were automatically enrolled in the Student Section.  Elizabeth Biggs pointed out that she provides budget details on demand whenever Section Chairs request it, and that the Society used to provide these details on a routine schedule but that Section Chairs still routinely asked for updates at other times.

The Governing Board strongly supports the recent initiatives of the Student Section.  A variety of proposals were advanced to provide funding for those activities.

Charles Canham moved and Sharon Collinge seconded a motion to recommend to the Council  increasing the Student Membership by $2, with the additional funding dedicated to Student Section activities.  All aye.

 

Meeting Adjourned at 12:00.

August 3-4, 2013

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board,
August 3-4, 2013
Minneapolis, MN

Members Present
Scott Collins               President
Steward Pickett          Past-President
Jill Baron                    President-Elect
Leslie Real                 VP for Finance
Sharon Collinge         VP for Public Affairs
Deborah Goldberg     VP for Science
Julie Reynolds            VP for Education and Human Resources
Charles Canham        Secretary
Mimi Lam                   Member-at-Large
Stephen Jackson       Member-at-Large
Michelle Mack            Member at Large 

Staff Present
Katherine McCarter    Executive Director
Elizabeth Biggs           Chief Financial Officer
Nadine Lymn              Director, Public Affairs
Cliff Duke                   Director, Science
Michelle Horton          Director, Administration and Meetings
Teresa Mourad           Director, Education and Diversity
David Baldwin           Managing Editor
Sue Silver                   Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers
David Gooding           Asst. Managing Editor

Guests – Saturday, August 3
Joey Bernhardt            Chair, Student Section                  
Valerie Eviner             VP-Elect for Science
Carmen Cid                 Member-at-Large Elect                                              

Guests – Sunday, August 4
Valerie Eviner             VP-Elect for Science
Carmen Cid                Member-at-Large Elect                                          
David Inouye              Incoming President-Elect
Don Strong                 Editor-in-Chief, Ecology
Aaron Ellison              Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Monographs
Brian Inouye               Associate Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Applications
Debra Peters              Meeting Program Chair, and Editor-in-Chief, Ecosphere
David Schimel             Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Applications
Edward Johnson         Editor –in –Chief, ESA Bulletin
Nancy Huntly             Centennial Committee

9:05 am, August 3, 2013:  meeting called to order by President Scott Collins 

I. Roll Call and Agenda

 A. Adopt Agenda

Deborah Goldberg moved and Stephen Jackson seconded adopting the agenda.  All aye.

B. Ratification of Votes taken since May Meeting 

1. Minutes, May

            Stephen Jackson moved and Sharon Collinge seconded ratification of the e-mail vote to approve the minutes of the May 2013 meeting.   All aye.

II. Reports

A. Report of the President

            President Collins summarized the fine-tuning of the functioning of the Society in the past year by staff and the Governing Board, including adopting recommendations from the Committee for a New Generation, and keeping the society responsive to members.  He also reviewed the status of a number of larger issues, including open access for journals and the structure of the annual meeting.  Centennial planning proceeds apace.  Other major activities in the past year include initiation of the ESA Fellows program, and expansion of the Professional Certification program.

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

            Executive Director Katherine McCarter summarized the report from the staff.  She provided an update on the status of the formation of the joint ESA/ESC journal, including the search for a managing editor. 

Nadine Lymn reported on press coverage of the annual meeting.  There will be a celebration Monday, Aug. 5, of 30 years of the Public Affairs program.  There will be an inaugural science café at this year’s annual meeting.  Teresa Mourad reminded members of the diversity program celebration Wednesday Aug. 7. 

Michelle Horton summarized the status of the meeting.  There were approximately 3000 registrants, and another 200-300 walk-in registrants are expected.  These numbers are in line with expectations and the budget for the meeting. 

Cliff Duke reviewed activities in the science program, including the ongoing and energetic efforts of the Vegetation Classification panel.   A number of volumes in the Issues in Ecology series will be released soon, including one on citizen science and one on threatened and endangered species management.  Both of these are supported by workshops funded by the U.S. Forest Service. 

David Baldwin summarized opportunities for future changes in production of the subscription journals.  Ecosphere is now 3 years old, but there is still no formal word from Thompson-Reuters on when it will be indexed.  The Bulletin is gearing up for the Centennial celebration (and its own centennial). 

Sue Silver highlighted activities at Frontiers, including the relatively unsuccessful launch of a digital edition.  This fall will see the first online-only special feature, on prescribed burning in fire-prone landscapes.  They will publicize the issue vigorously.  The August issue contains the first installment of the eco-literacy section. 

Liz Biggs gave a brief history of ESA finances since both she and Katherine arrived in 1997, when it had a negative net asset balance of ~ $800,000.  In the past 15 years, in part because of gradual increases in subscription rates, the Society has gone to a positive net asset balance of $2.6M.  She feels that era of asset growth is ending, in large part because of constraints on subscription revenue.  We should expect that budgets going forward will be much tighter.

C. Financial Update

1. Fourth Quarter Financials

Katherine McCarter and Liz Biggs summarized the fourth quarter financial report.  For the year, revenue exceeded expenses by $52,493 in a budget of $6.5M.  While this is positive, this is a smaller balance than in previous years, and is only this large because of a very successful annual meeting in Portland in 2012.  Membership dues were close to (but slightly under) budget, but again this was buoyed by Portland.  Subscription revenue came in $162,779 under budget, offset partly by a reduction in printing expenses of $98,959.  Individual subscriptions represent a very small faction of total subscription revenue, and continue to decline as expected.  Manuscript charges were also under budget, in part because of lower than expected revenue from Ecosphere.  There was extensive discussion of the challenges of maintaining revenue and minimizing expenses associated with the publications.  There was also discussion of the need to maintain excitement about the meetings, including the need to accommodate evolution in modes of communication.                  

2. Investments

VP for Finance Les Real commended Liz and Katherine for their management of the Society’s finances.  The Society’s two investment accounts are doing well at ~ 5-7% annual return in conservatively invested portfolios. 

III. Discussion/Action Items

A. FY 2013-2014 ESA Budget

1. Approve Budget for Council Meeting

            A draft budget was discussed and approved at the May 2013 Governing Board meeting.  Sharon Collinge moved and Mimi Lam seconded recommending the adoption of the budget by the Council at their annual meeting on Aug. 4, 2013.

2. New Membership Category

            New membership categories were discussed at the May 2013 Governing Board meeting.  In response to that discussion, staff were asked to propose new membership categories at the upper income levels.   Deborah Goldberg moved and Julie Reynolds seconded recommending that the Council adopt the new membership categories.  All aye.

3. Board Strategic Initiatives

            Board members discussed a number of suggestions for use of Board strategic initiative funds.  The main proposals were to add three additional Graduate Student Policy Awards ($1000 each) and to provide funding for the SEEDS leadership program.  There was discussion of whether either of these really met the definition of “strategic initiatives”.  Additional support for the Graduate Student Policy Awards is expected to be available from the previous monies raised for AAAS Congressional Fellows, so the proposal to use board strategic initiative funds for that purpose was withdrawn. 

            No decision to allocate funds was made.  Julie Reynolds would like to develop a proposal for future consideration in the area of the sustainability of SEEDS funding.

4. Long Range Planning Grant Subcommittee

            Members-at-Large have traditionally reviewed applications from sections, chapters, and committees for Long Range Planning Grants.   The board agreed that this practice should continue.

5. Discussion of Council Presentation

            The board discussed the importance of updating the Council on the long-term challenges in Society finances, particularly the issues of declining library subscriptions and new, more cost-effective models for publications.

B. Impacts of Open Access Mandates

            ESA’s subscription journals are already “green” open access (and have been for many years), and Ecosphere is “gold” open access.  There is still uncertainty about what sort of federal mandates might be coming, and what impact these would have on institutional subscriptions and society finances.  Even a 10% decline in subscriptions would have a dramatic impact on the Society’s budget.

C. Yearly Policy Priorities Recommendations

            Each year the Public Affairs office reviews public policy priorities for the coming year, and asks the Governing Board to formally adopt those priorities.  Priority areas for the coming year are (1) energy and climate, (2) water quality and quantity, (3) disasters affecting ecosystems, (4) STEM education, (5) endangered species, (6) urban ecosystems, and (7) federal investment in research agencies. 

D. Fundraising

There was lots of enthusiasm for the plan outlined by Charles Canham to involve the Governing Board in building the donor base for the Society through personal contact.   Further discussion included suggestions for matching funds specifically for student donations.  Teresa Mourad volunteered to be staff liason for SEEDS donations.

E. Earth Stewardship Application Ecological Action Plan: Designed Ecological Transect

            Jill Baron reviewed a proposal for a series of activities to incorporate ecological science into landscape and urban design, using earth stewardship as a framework, in concert with the 2014 ESA meetings in Sacramento and Baltimore.  Alex Felson at Yale University is the lead on the proposal with Jill Baron, assisted by an advisory committee of Steward Pickett, Sharon Collinge, Mary Cadenasso, Joe Brown, and Fritz Steiner. 

F. Awards – Distinguished Service Award

            The bylaws establishing the Distinguished Service Citation do not specify whether the recipient must be an ESA member, although the citation with the first award in 1975 mentions that the award is to honor “members”.  There was discussion of whether the award committee should be given explicit guidance on whether the recipient should be an ESA member.  The Governing Board recommends establishing a separate committee charged with making recommendations for this award (rather than combined with the Eminent Ecologist award), and that the committee should have a preference for nominations of ESA members.

G. Congressional Fellow/Policy Fellows

            In past years there has been an option for donations as a part of membership dues to support a AAAS Congressional Fellow.  The option raises relatively little money, and the costs of a AAAS Congressional Fellow are very high.  There is a proposal to change the donations to support Graduate Student Policy Fellowships (~ $1000, versus $100,000 per AAAS Fellow).  Deborah Goldberg moved and Sharon Collinge seconded changing the donation option to support Graduate Student Policy Fellowships.  All aye.  Prior donors will be notified of this change and will be able to request a refund if they desire.

H. Developing Country Awards and Shreve Award

            Jessica Gurevitch, chair of the Grants and Fellowships Committee, has recommended changes to the use of funds collected from the “Support for Developing Countries” option on the membership form.  Specifically, the committee recommends that the Grants for Membership include a free year of membership, a subscription to one journal, and travel funds.  The committee provided several alternate suggestions regarding the Grants for Libraries, and has requested feedback from the Governing Board. 

            Funds have been accumulating in these accounts for a number of years, with very low rates of annual contributions, and few if any applications for use of the funds.  The goals of this program overlap very closely with the Whittaker travel awards, and there was a proposal to merge the funds raised for “grants for membership” with the Whittaker travel awards, while ensuring that funds from the developing country membership pool used for awards under the Whittaker program go to an applicant from a developing country. The corpus of the funds for developing country libraries will remain intact, while interest from the corpus will be used to support Whittaker travel awards.  Deborah Goldberg suggested that the funds be viewed as an award rather than as research support, given the very small amount of funds involved. 

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Steve Jackson seconded a proposal to remove the developing country check-off donations from the membership form.  All aye. 

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Les Real seconded the recommendation from the committee to award the Shreve Award to Anny Chung from the University of New Mexico.  All aye.

I. Update on Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

            Teresa Mourad provided an update on ESA activities related to the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education Summit organized by NSF and AAAS in 2009.  Later this month she will be attending a conference organized to review progress toward the goals of the original summit.   There was discussion of the role of professional science societies in changes in undergraduate general biology education.

J. Long Range Planning Grant – review Guidelines

            At the May 2013 meeting, a request was made to review the guidelines used in awarding Long Range Planning Grants.  Katherine McCarter contacted former Members-at-Large for their opinions on these guidelines.  There was discussion of whether travel grants really fall within the purview of either “long range” or “planning” grants.  But these funds are the primary source of monies used by sections and chapters for building capacity.  The current cap of $2500 on proposals may be limiting the ambitiousness of the activities.  Julie Reynolds proposed that we revise the guidelines to emphasize strategic activities and raise the cap on the maximum amount of the proposal.  Steve Jackson will work with the other members-at-large to revise the current guidelines.

K. Ecology for a New Generation

            Teresa Mourad reminded the board that the final report of the Ecology for a New Generation Committee was presented at the May 2012 meeting.  The board encourages ESA staff, sections, and chairs to review the report and implement the recommendations as appropriate.

L. Earth Stewardship Business Communications

            Jill Baron gave an update on recent efforts to train ecologists in effective communication with business leaders on the topic of sustainability. She specifically noted a “trial” training that will take place in London (for selected ESA members attending INTECOL2013) and will be hosted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers London.

M. Bulletin Request

            Bulletin Editor-in-Chief Ed Johnson has requested input from the Governing Board on names of individuals who should be solicited for contributions on papers which have had particular influence on their ideas and approaches to ecology.  Members are asked to send names to Scott Collins who will collate the names and forward them to Ed Johnson

N. Executive Session (Governing Board Members only)

            The Governing Board met in Executive Session at 5:25, and adjourned at 6:00 pm.

Meeting called to order at 9:00, Sunday, August 04, 2013

III. Discussion/Action Items

N. 2013 Annual Meeting

            Debra Peters gave an update on the 2013 Annual Meeting.  New features include the Ignite sessions.  More Ignite sessions than expected were proposed.  There was extensive discussion of use of Internet access, social media and Twitter use during the meeting.

O. Centennial

            Nancy Huntly gave an update on efforts of the Centennial Implementation Committee.  They will be meeting this week, and are looking for input on the theme and logo for the meeting (in coordination with the meeting committee).  They are also interested in suggestions for symposia and special sessions.  2015 will be the year of the MacArthur Award plenary.  They think an additional science plenary should be planned.  The Committee hopes to have most of the Past Presidents attend the meeting, and there was a request that the Governing Board consider ways to encourage their attendance.  Les Real and Charlie Canham will explore fundraising opportunities to support their attendance, particularly for retired past presidents. 

P. Publications Meetings  

1. Ecology                                         

            Editor-in-Chief Don Strong summarized his report.  Current acceptance rate is running approximately 21%.   The editorial board is quite large (~125 members), with a relatively low turnover rate.   The work load varies enormously among the editorial board.

2. Ecological Monographs

            Editor-in-Chief Aaron Ellison gave an update on Ecological Monographs.  Submissions in the past year ran ~136, and published 26 articles.  Roughly half of submissions are not sent out for review, and overall acceptance rate is approximately 20%.

3. Ecological Applications

            Editor-in-Chief Dave Schimel reported on the year in Ecological Applications.  Submissions are up slightly this year.  There have been no major changes in procedures and processes in the past year.  A social scientist has been appointed as an assigning editor.  Many of the papers handled by that editor examine economic and ecological tradeoffs in conservation.  A number of papers have been commissioned as part of the Centennial celebration.  The editorial board also spent time discussing the issue of data availability and requirements for publicly posting data.  Data availability is seen as increasingly important for papers with policy and decision-making implications. 

4. Ecosphere

            Debra Peters, Editor-in-Chief of Ecosphere reported on the status of that journal.  The editorial board has reached 50, with a goal of 70-80.   There have been close to 400 submissions during the past year, with 144 papers published in the past year.  Time to first decision from initial submission is roughly 50 days.  Weekly content alerts are now being generated by Allen Press.  Two virtual special feature issues have been generated (published separately and linked by keywords).  They are pursuing a set of 6-10 papers as part of the Centennial celebration.

5. Frontiers

            Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief summarized the year in Frontiers.  The submission rate continues to increase, although as many of 70% are returned without review because they do not fit the goals and format of the journal. 

6. Bulletin

            Ed Johnson, Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin summarized activities at the Bulletin, which is the Society’s oldest journal.  There are a number of efforts related to the Cenntennial celebration, including collating all of the Society’s Resolution of Respect.

Meeting adjourned at 12:00 pm, August 4, 2013

May 2013

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board,
May 20-21, 2013
Washington, DC

Members Present:
Scott Collins               President
Steward Pickett          Past-President
Jill Baron                     President-Elect
Sharon Collinge          VP for Public Affairs
Deborah Goldberg      VP for Science
Julie Reynolds             VP for Education and Human Resources
Charles Canham          Secretary
Michelle Mack            Member at Large
Mimi Lam                   Member-at-Large
Stephen Jackson          Member-at-Large

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

Members Absent:  
Leslie Real                  VP for Finance

Guests:
Josh Scholl                  Representative, Student Section                    

                                               

9:00 am, meeting called to order by President Scott Collins

I. Roll Call and Agenda

A. Adopt Agenda

Jill Baron moved and Deborah Goldberg seconded a motion to approve the agenda.  All aye.

B. Ratification of Votes

Stephen Jackson moved and Steward Pickett seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the December 2012 Governing Board meeting and the e-mail vote to approve Ellen Anderson for the Regional Policy Award.  All aye.

II.  Reports

A.  Report of the President

Scott Collins reported on his activities since the December board meeting, including efforts to increase coordination among the REU programs at LTER sites to improve minority recruiting to the field.

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

Katherine McCarter summarized her report, and noted that publication issues have been a priority.   Michelle Horton gave an update on planning for the 2013 meeting.  Membership numbers and institutional subscribers are both down this year.   Elizabeth Biggs summarized work of the Finance office.  The budget will be discussed in detail later in the meeting.  Teresa Mourad reported that her program received a 1-year NSF grant to support the SEEDS program, and to survey SEEDS alumni.  The EcoEd Digital Library will merge with other programs to form a new resource called LifeEd Digital Library.  She is looking for new funding for this effort.  Cliff Duke summarized work in the Science Office.  The Vegetation Classification Panel met recently in Chapel Hill, NC.  He reported on progress on a number of new volumes in the Issues in Ecology series.  Nadine Lymn distributed copies of the ESA 2012 Annual Report, and then summarized events related to federal science funding, budgets, and proposed legislation.  Sue Silver reported on the status of Frontiers, with 4 special issues currently in the pipeline.  David Baldwin reported on two new hires in the Publications Office.  The May issue of Monographs will be posted shortly.  The requirement that Monographs authors upload their data has required effort by staff to enforce.  Advertising has been instituted on the issue alerts.  There remain problems with generating issue alerts and RSS feeds for Ecosphere.

C. Financial Update

Third quarter financial reports were distributed and summarized by Katherine McCarter and Elizabeth Biggs. Revenues are running ahead of YTD budget, and expenses below YTD budget, with a strong positive balance of revenue over expenses that is expected to carry over but at a lower level to the end of the budget year.  Much of this can be traced to the success of the 2012 meeting in Portland.  There has been a significant drop in membership year to date, but staff are working hard to raise membership by year’s end.  Liz Biggs gave an update on our investment accounts.  Thanks to a strong market, the investment accounts are up 5-12% since the beginning of the year. 

III. Discussion/Action Items

A. Report of the Audit Committee

Sharon Collinge moved that the Audit Committee report be approved.  Steve Jackson seconded.  All aye.

B. Proposed FY 2013-2014 ESA Budget

1. Budget and Assumptions

Katherine McCarter began the discussion of the FY 2013-2014 budget with a summary of the assumptions behind the budget.  Elizabeth Biggs stressed the continuing problem of declining subscription revenue and rising expenses.  These are long-term trends, but have been masked in recent years by better than expected revenue from meetings.  Pressure from open access puts additional uncertainty on budget projections. There was discussion of strategies to recruit and retain new members.  Teresa Mourad raised the issue of the desired scope of Society membership, and the continuing challenge of recruiting members outside of traditional academic careers.  Nadine Lymn mentioned the challenges of meeting needs of members in policy and NGO positions.

Deborah Goldberg suggested a new membership category above Level 3 at a higher income level.  She moved and Steve Jackson seconded creating a Level 4 at $100,000 annual income and a Level 5 at $150,000 annual income.  All aye.  New membership rates associated with these levels will be proposed by staff.

Deborah Goldberg, Josh Scholl, Jill Baron, Michelle Mack, and Mimi Lam volunteered to serve on an ad hoc committee to explore recruitment and retention of new members.

Steward Pickett encouraged the board to establish a strategic process for planning the Society’s response to long-term budget challenges.

Jill Baron moved and Steward Pickett seconded a motion to approve the draft budget.  All aye.

2. Board Strategic Initiative

Ideas for use of Board strategic initiative funds included (1) board fund-raising efforts, (2) increase the number of Graduate Student Policy Awards, (3) funds to support further work on contingent faculty initiatives, and (4) SEEDS program funding. 

C. Report of the Ad hoc Publications Visioning Committee

Scott Collins opened up a discussion of the report from the ad hoc Publications Visioning Committee.  The Committee consisted of Ted C. Bergstrom (University of California, Santa Barbara), Aimee T. Classen (University of Tennessee), Scott L. Collins, Chair (University of New Mexico), Mark Schildhauer (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis), Diane C. Schmidt (University of Illinois), Don R. Strong (University of California, Davis), and Crispin Taylor (American Society of Plant Biologists), and 4 members of the ESA staff: Katherine S. McCarter, Executive Director, J. David Baldwin, Managing Editor, ESA Journals, Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and Liz Biggs, Chief Financial Officer, ESA.

The report contained recommendations in the areas of (1) data accessibility, (2) development of Frontiers, (3) youthful exuberance, (4) pricing (5) Ecosphere, and (6) open access.

Manuscripts published by Monographs are currently required to post data.  The Board recommended changes to the process of ensuring that authors adhere to this requirement, to reduce the work-load on ESA staff.  Phasing the requirement in on other ESA journals will wait until further data have been collected on costs.

Efforts to create an App for Frontiers have been challenging, and experience suggests that it is very expensive to do well.  A digital version of the journal is currently being tested and evaluated.

A subcommittee developed recommendations for a variety of future directions for ESA publications in an evolving technology landscape.  One recommendation focused on methods for preprint distribution.

The section of the report on journal pricing recommended establishment of a pricing structure that accommodated smaller libraries and institutions.  Staff seconded this idea and are pursuing it.

There was extensive discussion of a proposal to facilitate transfer of papers rejected by other ESA journals for consideration by Ecosphere with quality control to be provided by the other journal’s EiCs.  No concrete recommendation was adopted, but it was suggested that once Ecosphere has an impact factor, to move towards a PlosOne model and to accept papers reviewed and rejected by the other journals and sent to Ecosphere by the EiCs.

Analysis of access to online versions of ESA journals suggests that the vast majority of full-text views happen within the first 12 months of publication, however the number of views remains high over the long term.  This suggests that open access to the journals after 12-18 months might not result in significant loss of subscription revenue.  Increases in page charges could replace some of revenue lost from subscriptions, but it would be difficult to have page charges cover any substantial portion of the full cost of publication in the current print journals.

We tabled the recommendation to make all ESA journals open-access until further data on the potential impact of lost subscription revenue is developed and presented to the Board.

D. Contingent Faculty Results/Recommendations

Mimi Lam summarized the results of a survey of the needs of “contingent faculty” members of ESA.   The survey received 536 responses.  The respondents appear to represent a broad range of stages and types of employment.  Based on the survey results the subcommittee recommended a number of actions the Society could take to support contingent faculty, including various forms of reduced fees, recruitment services, and professional development workshops.  Governing board members suggested a number of other possible efforts, including mentoring and networking opportunities.  The Committee on Diversity and Educatin will continue the discussion of Contingent Faculty and will report back by the Fall meeting of the Governing Board.

E. ESA Award Recommendations 

The Awards Committee, chaired by Alan Hastings, has provided its recommendations for the ESA-wide awards to be presented during the Scientific Plenary during the 2013 Minneapolis Annual Meeting.  Alan is setting up a subcommittee of the Awards Committee to work on increasing the diversity of nominees for Society awards.   The chair of the subcommittee for the new Fellows program noted that the overall number and quality of nominees was not quite as high as expected or hoped for (additional nominees were generated partly by the subcommittee itself).   The committee recommends that we explore ways to publicize this program more, especially since it is a way to increase diversity of awardees.

Steve Jackson moved and Charlie Canham seconded that the Governing Board approve the recommendations of the Awards Committee with the exception of the Senior Fellows who were on the board at the time of the approval of the policy.  All aye.

F. Update on New Generation Committee Implementation  

Teresa Mourad provided an update of activities and pointed out four areas of recommendations that staff are currently working on, based on the report of the New Generation Committee.  There will be a full report on activities during the August meeting.

Adjourned, 5:00 pm, May 21, 2013

May 22, 2013

Governing Board Executive Session, 8:00 – 9:00 am

Meeting called to order at 9:00 am, May 22, 2013

G. Public Affairs Midterm Review 

Sharon Collinge and Nadine Lymn presented the midterm review of the Public Affairs program.

H. Emerging Issues Conference

Cliff Duke summarized planning for ESA‘s third Emerging Issues Conference, Integrated Landscape Science for Agriculture, Biodiversity Conservation, and Poverty Alleviation.  Funding for the conference has been challenging, and conference organizers are exploring options for modifying the goals and products of the effort.

I. Centennial Implementation Update

Scott Collins led a discussion of the implementation of the recommendations of the Centennial Committee.

J. Earth Stewardship Application Ecological Action Plan: Designed Ecological Transect

Jill Baron reported on a proposed collaboration between ecologists, landscape architects, and urban planners focused on the themes of earth stewardship and sustainability.   The initiative, coordinated by Alex Felson and Jill Baron, would focus on efforts centered on the annual ESA meetings in 2014 and2015.  Jill also described efforts to train ecologists in communicating with the business community on issues of sustainability.   Activities planned for the annual meetings will require coordination with staff over issues of allocating space, etc.  Sharon Collinge volunteered to assist Jill Baron in providing feedback on the project.

K. Nominations

The Nominations Committee is chaired by Past President Steward Pickett. Members of the Nominations Committee include Members At Large Mimi Lam, Michelle Mack, and Stephen Jackson. Additional members appointed by Past President Pickett are Jessica Hellmann, University of Notre Dame, Bob R. Pohlad, Ferrum College, and Silvia Alvarez-Clare, University of Montana.  A slate of candidates was presented for approval by the Governing Board.   Charles Canham moved and Jill Baron seconded a motion to approve the slate of candidates proposed by the Nominations Committee.  All aye.

There was discussion of the nominating process, including the issues of pairing of candidates for individual slots, and ensuring diversity within the Board.  Steward Pickett addressed the role of the Nominations Committee in leadership development within the Society, and was encouraged to summarize ideas from the committee in an informal document that can be distributed to future Nominations Committees.

L. ESA Code of Ethics

Patricia Flebbe, chair of the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee (PEAC), presented a proposed addition to the ESA Code of Ethics.  The addition would insert after Item 6 in The “General” Section (and renumber successive items):

“7. Ecologists will, to the extent practicable, engage meaningfully with the communities in which they practice to promote teaching, learning and an understanding of their study; broaden the participation of underrepresented groups; enhance local infrastructure for research and education; and disseminate results broadly to benefit the local community.”

Deborah Goldberg moved and Sharon Collinge seconded a motion to approve the proposed addition to the ESA Code of Ethics.  All aye.

M. Annual Meeting Issues

1. Environmental Offsets

Sharon Collinge moved and Julie Reynolds seconded approving Great River Greening for use of Environmental Offset funds from the Annual Meeting.  All aye.

2. 2014 Annual Meeting theme

Program Chair Hal Balbach has submitted a recommendation for the theme of the 2014 Annual Meeting in Sacramento, CA. He is recommending “From Microbes to Mountains: It‘s All Ecology”.  There was discussion of the need for a scope that ranged from local to global, using opportunities provided by the specific meeting location to illustrate meeting themes.  Scott Collins will discuss ideas for revising the theme with the Program Chair.

3. Local Host 2015

Steve Jackson moved and Jill Baron seconded a motion to approve Chris Swan as 2015 Local Host.  All aye.

4. Local Host 2016

Deborah Goldberg moved and Steve Jackson seconded a motion to approve Frank Mazzotti as the 2016 Local Host.  All aye.

5. 2017-2018 Annual Meeting Sites

The Program Committee, through its chair Kiyoko Miyanishi, is recommending Portland OR for the 2017 meeting and Louisville KY for the 2018 meeting.  Charles Canham moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve the recommendations.  All aye. 

N. ESA/ESC Joint Journal Update

Katherine McCarter reported on the status of the development of a joint ESA/ESC journal.  An agreement has been signed covering the functioning of the new journal.  Applications are being received for the position of Editor-in-Chief.   Candidates are being screened by a search committee with members from both Societies.

Meeting adjourned at 12:00 pm, May 22, 2013

 

December 2012

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board,
December 18-19, 2012
Washington, DC

Members Present:
Scott Collins               President
Steward Pickett          Past-President
Sharon Collinge          VP for Public Affairs
Deborah Goldberg      VP for Science
Julie Reynolds            VP for Education and Human Resources
Charles Canham        Secretary
Michelle Mack             Member at Large 

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

Members Absent:     
Mimi Lam                      Member-at-Large
Stephen Jackson          Member-at-Large
Leslie Real                   VP for Finance (present via Skype for a portion of the meeting)
Jill Baron                      President-Elect                                                              

9:00 am, meeting called to order by President Scott Collins  

I. Roll Call and Agenda

A. Adopt Agenda

Sharon Collinge moved and Steward Pickett seconded adoption of the agenda.  All aye.

B. Ratification of Votes taken since August meeting

            1. Minutes, August 2012

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Sharon Collinge seconded approval of the minutes of the August 2012 meeting.  All aye.

            2. EiC for Issues in Ecology

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Sharon Collinge seconded approval of Serita Frey as Editor-in-Chief for Issues in Ecology.  All aye.

II. Reports

A. Report of the President

            Scott Collins reported on his activities as President since the August meeting, including efforts to maintain momentum on the Earth Stewardship Initiative.  He is particularly interested in reaching out to the arts community during annual meetings.  He is also interested in maintaining the outreach to the faith community. 

            He also reported on activities related to ESA publications, including issues related to open access.  Recommendations from an ad-hoc committee on the future of publications will be presented to the Governing Board at the May 2013 meeting.  He also summarized a meeting with representatives from NSF concerning the proposal submission process.

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

            Katherine McCarter summarized her report on staff activities, noting that the ESA Fellows program is up and running.  Cliff Duke reported on two new publications in the Issues in Ecology series, and several more in the pipeline.  Planning has begun for the next Emerging Issues conference. Nadine Lymn described activities of the Public Affairs program.  Sue Silver reported on Frontiers, including a planned special issue on the national climate assessment.  The 100th issue of Frontiers was just published.   Elizabeth Biggs noted that the Portland meeting resulted in membership exceeding 10,000.  David Baldwin summarized activities in the Publication Office, including a new automated system for handling Ecological Archives.  Teresa Mourad gave a brief review of the Education and Diversity program.  A full program review will be presented later in the meeting.  Michelle Horton reported on efforts to migrate the website to new software to make it easier for staff to update materials of the website, and provided an update on planning for the 2013 meeting. 

C. Financial Updates

                        1. First Quarter Financials

                        Katherine McCarter and Elizabeth Biggs reported on first quarter financials.  There was extensive discussion of the financial issues involved in selection of sites for the annual meetings.        

                        2. Investment Updates

                        Elizabeth Biggs summarized the Society’s investment accounts. 

III. Discussion/Action Items

A. Program Review – Education and Diversity Programs

            Teresa Mourad and VP Julie Reynolds presented the formal periodic review of the Education and Diversity Program.  There are 3 core programs: SEEDS, the EcoEd digital library, and the Macroscale Ecology Education initiative.  There is a new regional structure for the SEEDS chapters.  There is also a new social networking site for SEEDS.  The EcoEd Digital Library is a relatively new effort that offers resources designed to raise data literacy, build core concepts, and strengthen communities of practice.  The Macroscale Ecology Education program has been funded primarily by NSF, and is a partnership with NCEAS and NEON.

            The Committee on Diversity and Education held a retreat this fall and has produced an action plan for the coming year.  Julie Reynolds discussed the importance of addressing diversity in all aspects of the Society’s activities, and highlighted elements of the action plan.  This included making the Education Scholars program more visible, and making the Diversity Award a standing award from the Society.

B. Code of Ethics Revision 

            The Ecology for the New Generation Committee has proposed changes to the ESA Code of Ethics.  The proposals have been referred to the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee, chaired by Patricia Flebbe.  That committee will consider the proposals and report to the Governing Board at the May 2013 meeting.

C. Editor-in-Chief Review

            Editors are appointed for 3 year terms, and go through a formal evaluation at the end of each term.  The Publications Committee, chaired by Josh Schimel, submitted their review of Editor-in-Chief Don Strong, who has served 4 terms.  The committee fully endorsed his re-appointment for another 3-year term, and the board enthusiastically agreed.  Steward Pickett moved and Sharon Collinge seconded a motion to appoint Don Strong for another 3-year term as Editor-in-Chief of Ecology.  All aye.

D. SEEDS Sustainability Report

            Joe Gilmer of CCS presented a summary of their report on development strategies for support of the SEEDS project.

E. SEEDS Sustainability Discussion

            Staff and board members engaged in a spirited discussion of the report by CCS, and opportunities for philanthropic support of SEEDS and other ESA initiatives.  There was consensus of the need to expand the base of financial support (among members and more broadly) for both SEEDS and the Society at large.   

F. Centennial Committee Final Report

            The Centennial Committee, chaired by Alan Covich, submitted a final report containing a list of recommendations for activities and expenditures related to the ESA Centennial.  Included in the report is a proposal to fund a short video tracing the history of the Society.  Sharon Collinge moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve the allocation of $38,350 for the production of the video.  All aye. 

            The Historical Records Committee presented a detailed request for $18,980 to support their activities.  The 2015 Past Presidents Committee requests $2650 for their activities related to the Centennial.  Deborah Goldberg moved and Steward Pickett seconded a motion to approve both requests.   All aye. 

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve $2000 to support the production of a history of the Society, for publication in the Bulletin, by Frank Egerton.  All aye.

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve $10,000 to support other activities planned by sections, chapters and committees, and recommended by the ESA Council.  All aye.  The monies will be allocated and approved by a centennial implementation committee established by the Board.

            There was also a proposal to collect an online series of “classic” papers with introductions.  The effort will be coordinated by David Baldwin, and no funds are requested.  The Board supported this proposal.  A proposal to commission a set of centennial papers for the journals was tabled pending further details from the editors-in-chief.

            Deborah Goldberg moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve $10,000 to support student-initiated activities related to the Centennial, with encouragement to include participation by SEEDS students.  All aye.

G. Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award

            Julie Reynolds presented a proposal to make the Diversity Award one of the standing awards of the Society.  Deborah Goldberg moved and Steward Pickett seconded a motion that the award, named the Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award, becomes a formal ESA award, with recommendation from a standing subcommittee of the Awards Committee.  All aye. 

H. ESA/ESC Joint Journal

            Katherine McCarter provided an update on the development of the ESA/ESC joint journal.  There has been agreement on the division of responsibilities and the budget for the new journal.  Thomas Liu, from the editorial staff of Acta Ecologica Sinica, is spending time at ESA Headquarters to work on development of the journal.

I. Mid-term Program Review - Finances

            Elizabeth Biggs presented the mid-term review of the Society financial program.  Institutional subscriptions continue to provide the largest single source of unrestricted funds, but the numbers of institutional subscriptions continue to decline.  Membership has held roughly steady in the past 5 years, with minor fluctuations tied to attendance at the annual meetings.  The Society’s reserves have steadily increased over the past 10 years.

J. Ad Hoc Working Group on ESA Publications Update

            Scott Collins summarized work of the ad hoc working group charged with considering the impact of open access on ESA publications.  The committee met in early December, and will present recommendations at the May 2013 Governing Board meeting.  There was an extensive discussion of open-access issues.

K. Editor-in-Chief Stipends

            Deborah Goldberg presented a report from the Publications Committee on Editor-in-Chief stipends.  Sharon Collinge moved and Steward Pickett seconded a motion to approve the the following recommendations:

            A. Stipends will remain the same for Ecology and Ecological Applications.

            B.  The stipend for the Editor-In-Chief of Ecological Monographs will increase to $10,000/yr, effective January 1, 2013.

            C.  In the budget year when submissions to Ecosphere are expected to exceed 500, the stipend for Ecosphere will be increased by $7,500.

            All aye.

L. IRB reviews of ESA surveys

            Julie Reynolds moved and Sharon Collinge seconded a motion to approve the proposed policy on IRB approvals.  All aye.

The new policy states:

“The Ecological Society of America is occasionally asked to assist or cooperate with researchers who seek to survey all or part of the ESA membership (e.g., as a representative set of professional ecologists). Such surveys may involve sensitive or personal information. In order to provide legal, ethical, and other protections for the Society and for the survey participants, all researchers seeking to use Society membership rolls, mailing lists and other resources must have prior approval for their project from the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) of their respective institutions. Such approval must be documented before the Society will provide membership lists or other resources.

Routine membership surveys and inventories conducted on behalf of the Society for internal needs of the Society (e.g., demographic profiles, member-satisfaction or need surveys) are ordinarily exempt from IRB review. Alternatively, if an ESA-sponsored research project is intended for dissemination beyond ESA officers, councilors, or general membership, it should be reviewed by an IRB of an outside organization (e.g., a university in the greater Washington, DC area).”

M. Community of Practitioners

            Mimi Lam has submitted a proposal that seeks to offer reduced registration fees to increase attendance at the annual meetings for specific targeted groups.  The board supported the general goals of the proposal, and tabled the proposal pending more detail on definition of the targeted groups, financial implications, and methods for implementation.   Vice President for Education and Human Resources Julie Reynolds was asked to work with Mimi Lam to refine the proposal.     

L. New Business

            Deborah Goldberg described a joint initiative of the science, education, and public affairs programs to encourage and provide information and mentoring for a wider range of career paths in ecology.  Specific proposals include establishing a network of mentors and a webpage with supporting materials.   The development of the initiative has been supported with an initial long-range planning grant.  She requested a $5,000 allocation from the Opportunity Fund to support an intern to work with the HQ office on establishing the website.  Deborah Goldberg moved and Julie Reynolds seconded a motion to approve allocation of $5,000 from the Opportunity Fund to support the Career Pathways in Ecology program.

 

Adjourned at 11:55 pm