November 4, 2010

ESA Governing Board
November 04, 2010
Washington, DC

Members Present
Terry Chapin               President
Steward Pickett          President-Elect
Laura Huenneke          VP for Public Affairs
Rob Jackson                VP for Science
Bill Parton                   VP for Finance
Meg Lowman              VP for Education and Human Resources
Charles Canham          Secretary
Andrea Lloyd             Member-at-Large
Josh Schimel               Member-at-Large

Members Absent:  Lisa Graumlich (Member-at-Large), Mary Power (Past President)

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

Thursday, November 4, 2010.  9:00 meeting was called to order.

I. Agenda, Minutes, and Ratification of Votes
Josh Schimel moved and Laura Huenneke seconded a motion to ratify the vote for nominations for Vice President for Science.  The vote was ratified unanimously. 

Steward Pickett moved and Laura Huenneke seconded a motion to approve the minutes as amended.  The motion passed unanimously.

II. Reports

A.  Report of the President, Terry Chapin

Terry Chapin and Cliff Duke reviewed efforts to involve early career scientists in NEON.  Meg Lowman explained some of the history of ESA’s involvement in encouraging participation of small schools and underrepresented groups in NEON, and the potential need for additional ESA staff support for this effort.

Terry also reviewed efforts related to the Earth Stewardship initiative at next year’s annual meeting. Zoe Cardon is organizing a music event related to this theme, and the student section is planning another bioblitz. He also outlined activities of the Sections related to the initiative.  A large number of the Sections have been involved.  He summarized two meetings on Nov. 3, 2010 with members of social science groups and religious organizations.  The meetings were to inform the groups of the goals of the initiative, and to find out whether they have related efforts.  There was discussion of the formation of an informal coalition, with activities that might involve proposals to fund participation by outside speakers at meetings of the different groups.  One discovery was that the language of stewardship and sustainability can vary significantly, particularly among the religious groups.

Finally, he reviewed planned presentations on stewardship at upcoming meetings, including AGU.

B. Reports of the Executive Director and Staff

Katherine welcomed new members of the Board.  She requested that all board members sign and return conflict of interest forms and distributed board orientation books to all members.  Meg Lowman noted that the COI forms should be available for review by all board members.

Katherine noted that the Policy Section is now an official section, and announced that the Society launched its Planned Giving website in the past week.  The site contains much useful information related to planned giving in general.

David Baldwin summarized highlights from the Publication Office report.  Submission rates to Ecosphere have been high, and acceptance rates have been low.  Several new manuscripts (since the rollout in August) have already been published.  The print journals have been on schedule.  More detail will follow during the mid-term review this afternoon.

Cliff Duke reviewed Science Office activities.  He described an upcoming Emerging Issues conference on “Developing Ecologically-based Conservation Targets under Global Change.”   At the end of this month, the Office will be holding a workshop on the NSF-funded project on the sustainability of biological infrastructure (databases, field stations, etc.). 

Nadine Lymn’s report from the Public Affairs Office highlighted interest in the Society’s blog Ecotone, which offers fresh posts nearly daily.  Maintaining this has required a significant allocation of staff time.  A preprint of an Ecological Monographs paper on mountain pine beetle and fire risk attracted a great deal of public interest.  A Frontiers paper on bat mortality and wind turbines also attracted considerable media interest.  She also reported on an ESA-sponsored field trip to the Baltimore LTER study, and noted that work continues on the Policy Handbook. 

Teresa Mourad reviewed efforts related to the upcoming NEON education workshop. She also reported that the Packard Foundation has provided another grant of $150,000 for efforts in the western US.  

Elizabeth Biggs reviewed statistics on membership and subscriptions.  Both have continued to decline slightly, but these have been factored into budgets.  Institutional subscriptions to Ecology have been the most important source of revenue to the Society in the past, and this funding stream has been slowly declining.  This is a significant challenge going forward.  The decline has been happening over a number of years, not just since 2008.   David Baldwin noted that the decline has been relatively small, and Katherine noted that this is due, in part, to efforts to add new subscribers, particularly in other countries. 

Sue Silver gave a report on Frontiers. The publication backlog is gone, and publication times are on target. She noted that authors seem keen to use Frontiers as an outlet for research with clear policy implications. 

C. Financial Updates

Katherine reviewed the first quarter financial report.  There was discussion of the size of the membership and overall program.  Bill Parton reported on investments.  Recent gains in the stock market have helped the endowment, while the reserve funds (unrestricted net assets) are in revolving fixed-income instruments (primarily CDs).

III. Discussion/Action Items

A.  Earth Stewardship Updates

Steward Picket distributed an update on the Earth Stewardship initiative.  Current efforts have focused on outreach to social, economic and political sciences, with a goal to get them involved in participating in the 2011 annual meeting.  Steward’s efforts next year will focus on dialog, outreach and engagement with the planning and design professions.  The initiative will focus on the science of stewardship – including the social contexts that influence how that science is implemented.  There was an open discussion of how to make the initiative successful, including identifying important partners, and changing the academic culture to better support the development of science needed for effective stewardship.  There was also discussion of ways that current activities of the Society could be adapted to promote the initiative.

B. Education Issues

1.  Meg provided a report on the Women and Minorities in Ecology (WAMIE) survey of ESA members.  The response rate was reasonable (~ 15%), but the respondents were overwhelmingly female.  Additional analyses and/or additional survey efforts are being considered.

2.  Teresa reported on the Ecology Education Summit held last month.  Over 200 participants attended.  Action items that came out of the summit included (1) creating a foundation for common environmental literacy principles and concepts, (2) a comprehensive green schools program, (3) activities to harness technology for a green society, and (4) an inventory of environmental literacy standards in different states, and (5) developing new language and purpose including connecting to jobs, health, and security to ensure environmental literacy for all.

Teresa and Meg profusely thanked the Governing Board for their support of the Education Summit, because the event was truly ground-breaking and exceeded the expectations of the Society and the participants.

C. Program Review – Science

Cliff Duke and Rob Jackson presented the mid-term review of the Science Office.  Cliff began by reviewing the history of the establishment of the office – dating to the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative in 1991.  In 1997 it was formally designated the Science Programs Office.  Its structure and mission are defined in the Society’s by-laws. 

Current projects fall into 3 categories: (1) advancing ecological science, (2) ecology for community (to link the ecological research and management communities), and (3) solutions for sustainability.

Projects focused on advancing ecological science include the new Emerging Issues conferences (formerly called the Millennium Conference).  The next conference will be in 2012, with the topic “Developing Ecologically-Based Conservation Targets Under Global Change”.  A special feature issue in Frontiers is being planned in conjunction with the conference.

The ESA Panel on Vegetation is a permanent standing committee that began work in 1995.  It has been very active in recent years in developing national vegetation classification standards and supporting databases like VegBank.

Cliff reviewed 3 projects under the “ecology for community” program area:
1. The 2008 biofuels conference and related activities.  A number of products from the conference are in progress.   
2. The Issues in Ecology publication series.  There have been 13 issues to date.  The most recent was “A Synthesis of the Science on Forests and Carbon for U.S. Forests”. 
3. A workshop on strategies for sustainability of biological infrastructure to be held this year.

There was discussion of reasons for the success of the Office in attracting external funding.  The credibility and reputation of the Society were considered significant factors.

Rob Jackson gave an overview of future directions for the Office.  First on his list of general goals was a focus on ESA-initiated, longer-term projects.  Sustainability has been a theme in the Society for decades, and finding opportunities for new support and activities in this area should be a priority.  Linkages between the Science Office and other programs within ESA (particularly Public Affairs) are also a priority.  Finally, Rob and Cliff would like to see the Science Office play a stronger role in international outreach.

Specific examples of new initiatives that address these priorities include the Emerging Issues conferences, a planned workshop on the science of vegetation change and classification, and a project under development to measure the contributions of ecoinformatics to environmental protection. 

Rob reviewed future activities related to the 2011 and 2012 annual meetings.  Josh Schimel suggested a focus on ecological dimensions of national security.  Rob and Cliff pointed out a number of current topics that are related to this (biofuels, warfare ecology, etc.)

The final section of the discussion focused on activities related to the 2015 Centennial and the Earth Stewardship initiative. Rob suggested starting with a retrospective analysis, beginning with an analysis of the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative of the early 1990’s.  Another opportunity would be to generate case studies of how ESA has influenced science and policy in its first 100 years.

Rob then presented a series of forward-looking activities.  He outlined several proposals, including:

  1. Crafting a document envisioning where ecological science should go in its second century,
  2. Hosting a small workshop to more clearly define the Earth Stewardship initiative
  3. Generate a set of future scenarios
    1. Based in part on IPCC stabilization scenarios
    2. Including different ecosystem services, and
    3. Influencing what a world with proper stewardship would look like in 2050 or 2100.
    4. Recognizing the importance of urbanization
  4. Developing new metrics for stewardship (status and trends in resources)
  5. Improving teaching of and academic support for stewardship science
  6. Identifying the funding opportunities for these activities

D. Mid-term Program Report of the Publications Office

Sue Silver reviewed trends in submissions and acceptance rates at Frontiers.  The fairly long backlog of recent years between acceptance and appearance in print has been resolved, partly as a result of a high rejection rate (including a very high rate of rejection without review).  This has been credited with slowing the rate of increase in submissions.  The timelag between acceptance and appearance in print is currently on target.  There is hope that the acceptance rate can be allowed to increase.

She reviewed new developments at the journal, including: (a) the introduction of page charges, and (b) a new back page columnist.  A number of special issues are being considered, and a large biogeochemistry special feature will be published in early 2011. 

Elizabeth Biggs summarized the long-term financial planning and budgets for Frontiers.  There has been a long-term plan for the ESA contribution to increase over time.  Institutional subscriptions remain the largest single source of revenue, and are increasing, although not as rapidly as hoped in long-term planning. The publication of two externally funded special issues a year would make them the second largest source of revenue.  The shortfall between revenue and expenses is currently covered by draws on the Publication Fund, but the shortfall has been falling over time, and there is hope to have revenue exceed expenses by FY 2013.

David Baldwin gave the report from the Publications Office.  He began with a list of recent innovations and accomplishments.  Issues are on schedule, and the publication backlog at Ecology has “nearly evaporated”.  There has been a strong growth in use of Ecological Archives.  Data papers have also become a consistent feature of Ecology.  There are a number of new features in the Bulletin.  David summarized statistics on submissions to EcologyEcological Applications, and Ecological Monographs (up ~ 5% from last year).  Acceptance rates have ranged from 16% at Ecology to ~ 25% at Applications and Monographs.  Rates of rejection without review remain high.  Impact factors have declined slightly.  149 papers have been submitted to Ecosphere since August, with an acceptance rate of 14%.

Plans for the coming year include implementation of data archiving (if approved by the Governing Board), and automation of keywords for manuscripts.

Concerns include (a) declines in impact factors, (b) declining subscriptions, (c) staffing needs for data archiving, and (d) confusion about the distinction between Ecosphere and the other journals. 

The bulk of the subsequent discussion focused on the distinctions between Ecosphere and the print journals.  David distributed a draft of a new table that will be posted on the website, describing the differences between the various ESA journals.

E. Awards Committee Requests

The Awards Committee has requested several changes to the awards process.  These include a conflict of interest provision, and issues related to funding for travel by award recipients.  Some of the awards have endowments that specify support for travel.

The Board approved the recommended process for avoiding potential conflicts of interest involving members of award subcommittees.

Josh Schimel moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded a motion to increase the travel support from $700 to $800.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Josh Schimel also moved and Rob Jackson seconded a motion that the travel support be offered, but recipients can choose to decline.  The motion passed unanimously.

Rob Jackson moved and Laura Huenneke seconded a motion that all members of the Awards subcommittees must be members of the ESA.  The motion passed unanimously.

There was discussion of the proposal to increase the frequency of the MacArthur award to annually (rather than biennially).  This has implications for the scheduling of keynote speakers at the annual meeting.  There was support for increasing the frequency of the award, but the issue was tabled to allow time for input from the Meetings Committee. 

The request for an increase in the number of honorary members was tabled, and returned to the Awards Committee with a request for further justification of the request to increase the maximum number of honorary members from 20 to 30.  It was noted that there is no endowment for this award, and that it is relatively expensive (all travel expenses, and a lifetime subscription to ESA journals), and that apparently, according to the ESA History Page, not all 20 slots are currently filled.

Meg Lowman moved and Josh Schimel seconded a motion that Section and Chapter awards be recognized during the Awards ceremony with a single slide listing all winners of Section and Chapter awards.  The motion passed unanimously.

F. Diversity Award

The Education and Human Resources Committee forwarded a request that the Diversity Award given by that Committee be acknowledged at the Society-wide awards ceremony.

Josh Schimel moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded that this award be recognized briefly (as with the Section awards) at the general Awards Ceremony, but that the presentation of the award continue to be done at the Diversity Luncheon.  The motion passed unanimously. 

G. Membership Survey

Katherine reported on the planned survey of ESA members.  

Meeting adjourned at 5:19 pm, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010

Meeting Reconvened

8:30 am  Executive Session

Governing Board Members Present:
Terry Chapin, Josh Schimel, Steward Pickett, Charlie Canham, Rob Jackson, Bill Parton, Andrea Lloyd, and  Laura Huenneke (until 9:30 am)

9:00 AM
Staff joined the meeting:
Sue Silver, Nadine Lymn, David Baldwin, Katherine McCarter, Cliff Duke, Elizabeth Biggs

III. Discussion/Action Items (continued)

H. Dryad

David Baldwin summarized the discussion from the August Board meeting.  The technology and process for implementing a requirement for data deposition does not appear to be a significant hurdle, but there are concerns about both cost and whether the requirement will steer some authors away from Society journals.  Discussion focused on a proposal from the August Board meeting that participation in Dryad be tested for a year, and just in Ecological Monographs.  

Rob Jackson moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded that the Board approve participation in Dryad by Ecological Monographs for a year, under Cost Plan A, and ask Editor-in-Chief Aaron Ellison to report back to the full Board in one year.

The Board will also ask the Publications Committee to address the broader issue of criteria that would qualify as an acceptable data archive, and lists of approved existing data archives.  The issue of the relation between Dryad and Ecological Archives needs to be considered. 

I. 2012 Annual Meeting Theme

Brian McCarthy, program chair for the 2012 Annual Meeting, has recommended the theme “Life on Earth: Preserving, Utilizing, and Sustaining our Ecosystems”.  A description of the theme was included in the board book.   Andrea Lloyd moved and Steward Pickett seconded a motion to approve the meeting theme.  The motion passed unanimously.

J. Historical Records / Centennial Committee Requests

The Historical Records Committee (HRC) has requested a multi-year grant of funds for a series of activities related to the ESA Archives and the Centennial in 2015.   Part of the request is to fund a joint meeting of the HRC and Centennial Committee in Athens, GA to discuss the status and future of the ESA Archives maintained at the University of Georgia.  They are also requesting a significant amount of staff time to work on these projects.

Rob Jackson suggested exploring funding sources that might support the Centennial and analyses of the history of the Society.

The largest component of the request was for 10 small grants of $5000 each to support use of the archives by historians. The general goal of this request was viewed positively, but the amount was problematic.

Josh Schimel moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded that we approve funding for the meeting in Athens and the first year of supplies (a total of $4500).  The motion passed unanimously. 

The Board also encourages the Committees to work with ESA staff to develop proposals to fund the activities (including potentially the requested small-grant program). 

K.  Centennial Committee

Alan Covich, Chair of the Centennial Committee, submitted a report that outlines planning for ESA’s Centennial in 2015.   A key request was for input on the appointment of the full committee, and funding for a meeting of the committee during the current fiscal year.   There was discussion about the potential make-up of the committee, and the need to balance retrospective and forward-looking perspectives.

Terry Chapin solicited input from the Board on both the make-up of the committee and potential names.  He will confer with Alan Covich and appoint the members of the committee.  He will also confer with Katherine McCarter and Charles Canham on a draft of the charge for the committee. Once the committee is named, the Board encourages it to hold a conference call meeting to organize and to meet face to face at the annual meeting in 2011.

L. EiC Review – Dave Schimel

The Board received a very positive report from the committee appointed to review Ecological Applications Editor-in-Chief Dave Schimel.  The continued growth in the workload at all of the journals led to discussion of ways to share the editing duties, potentially making greater use of Associate Editors or Assigning Editors.  Rob Jackson moved and Terry Chapin seconded a motion to re-appoint Dave Schimel to a new 3-year term as Editor-in-Chief for the period from January 2011 to December 2013.

M. EiC Review – Ed Johnson

The Publications Committee was unable to complete reviews of all of the Editors-in-Chief in time for action by the Board.  Ed Johnson was re-appointed EiC of the Bulletin for a year to allow a formal review next year.  The Board recognized Ed’s strong commitment and contributions to the Bulletin.

N.  EiC Review – Jill Baron

The Board received a report from the Publications Committee that both reviewed Editor-in-Chief Jill Barron and summarized the history, current status, and recommendations for the Issues in Ecology series. There are a number of challenges, including securing funding for each issue.  There was an almost 6 year hiatus in the publication series, but a new Issue has just been published, 4 more are in development, and others are in discussion.

The Board is very pleased with Jill’s efforts and leadership with Issues. EiC Baron’s first 3-year term (January 2007 – December 2009) was extended last year for 1 year.  Rob Jackson moved and Andrea Lloyd seconded a motion to appoint Jill Baron Editor-in-Chief of Issues in Ecology for the remaining two years of the current 3-year term (January 2011 – December 2012).

The Board would also like to continue discussion about the niche for Issues (particularly vis a vis Frontiers) at the board meeting in May 2011.

Meeting Adjourned at 11:50 am, Nov. 5, 2010

November 2010

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board
November 17-18, 2009
Washington, DC

Members Present: Mary Power (President), Sunny Power (Past-President), Terry Chapin (Past-President-Elect), David Inouye (Secretary), Josh Schimel (Member-at-Large), Emily Stanley (Member-at-Large), Deb Peters (Member-at-Large), Rob Jackson (VP for Science). Meg Lowman (VP for Education) arrived 10:10 AM.

Staff Present:

Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), David Baldwin (Publications). Teresa Mourad (Education and Diversity) joined the meeting after lunch on Tuesday.

Tuesday 17 November 2009. 9:03 meeting is called to order.

I. Roll Call & Agenda

  • The Governing Board unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
  • The minutes from 1, 2, and 7 August 2009 were unanimously adopted.

II. Reports

  • Report of President Power

Much of her activity has been working on initiating Terry Chapin’s idea of a focus for the Society on Planetary Stewardship, and educating herself about planetary stewardship initiatives that have been brought up by small groups of ESA members and other individuals, organizing at the community scale to develop, sustainable working ecosystems, including community based fisheries, forests (redwood regrowth), ranching (grazing), and agriculture. Power and Chapin are launching a forum in the April 2010 ESA Bulletin in which groups will report on their diverse efforts towards ecosystem or planetary stewardship, and “lessons learned” can be exchanged. Power, with Chapin and other colleagues, are proposing some sessions for the Pittsburgh ESA 2010 meeting to explore interactions between local resource-consumption systems and the long-distance (economic, political, ecological) networks that either undermine or support them.

Under the leadership of Chair Rob Salguero-Gomez, University of Pennsylvania, the ESA Graduate Student Section is contributing exciting ideas for student-oriented initiatives, including an EcoService initiative to engage ESA graduate students in local ecosystem stewardship.

  • Report of Executive Director McCarter and the Office Staff
  • Sue Silver – the last issue of the 7th volume of Frontiers is now completed. There is still a significant backlog of papers to be published, and the acceptance rate for manuscripts is now about 17% (engendering unhappy comments from authors).
  • David Baldwin – the journals are on schedule. The November Ecological Monographs has the first ever synthetic review paper, and a second is forthcoming. Page charges are going up to $70/page as of January. He is investigating facilitation of citing ESA publications in citeulike. Proposals from several vendors to print ESA’s publications and host them online are being evaluated.
  • Cliff Duke – the Millennium Conference was very successful (despite 3” of rain during the drought conference!). The venue was excellent (Georgia Center for Continuing Education). The Forest Service contract should arrive today for funding the next meeting of the Vegetation Classification Panel, which is now a standing committee of the ESA. A report should be available soon for the effort led by RTI International to conduct a peer review of USGS Biological Resources Discipline programs. A draft report has been completed for planning (with The Wildlife Society and the Meridian Institute) for the new USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center.
  • Nadine Lymn – Public Affairs has been reaching out to social scientists around town, e.g., agricultural economists, psychologists, Resources for the Future. There is excitement about ecosystem services and markets, so this may be an area for collaboration in the future. Congressman Baird (Ph.D. in social science) introduced a bill requiring Dept. of Energy to devote some funding to studying human behavior related to energy use. ESA sent a letter of support to Baird , who is waiting for an opportune time to try to reintroduce his bill, which was misrepresented as “mind control” by some Science Committee members and had to be withdrawn.
  • An ESA position statement and fact sheet on climate change are near completion. Nadine and Katherine went to a joint Department of Interior (DOI) – White House conference related to the green economy; there will be a meeting next week with a DOI administration official to talk about joint interests. Christine Buckley (Communications Officer) will be leaving in December for a job at U CONN; she’s done an excellent job with the ESA blog, podcasts, etc.
  • Liz Biggs – dust is settling on the Albuquerque meeting, and it looks like finances are on target with the budget approved by the Board. There are only 37 fewer members in the Society at the end of the membership year 2009, compared to the previous year, which is much better than many professional societies are doing.
  • When Meg and Teresa arrive, we will have a report as part of the Education program review.
  • Report of Vice President for Finance 10:55 AM
    • First Quarter Financials (McCarter)

The budget is in good shape at present (this quarter reflects all the income from the annual meeting, and most of the subscription income for 2009), but there is a lot of uncertainty about how the current economic situation will affect the Society, in terms of membership, subscriptions, and attendance at the annual meeting.

Staff will monitor the revenue and expenses closely to detect any trends.

    • Investment Update (Biggs – Parton is in Australia)

Our investment portfolio with Townley Investment (Board restricted funds, award and prize money, etc.) has gained 6% from 30 September 2008 to 2009, following a 17% decline in the previous year.

III. Discussion / Action Items 10:35 AM

  • Long-Range Planning – update

1. Standing Committee priorities

EHRC (Meg Lowman): A WAMIE (women and minorities in ecology) study has been conducted twice since the early 1990s but data are no longer available. A proposal has been put in for support for another survey, with plans to make sure the data are preserved. Other ideas being pursued include how to promote the development and inclusion of ecology in curriculum, providing tools and resources for effective ecology education, and opportunities for mentoring students and young scientists.

The Ecology Summit idea has a large working group now, and a venue has been offered in D.C. October 14-16, 2010, for a few hundred attendees. Interaction between gaming and ecology education will be investigated, as well as curriculum ideas and other teaching technology.

Science (Rob Jackson): The committee proposes a focus on more ESA-originated long-term projects, additional opportunities in climate change and sustainability, and promotion of ecological science (e.g., data sharing initiative). Strengthening collaborations with other ESA offices makes sense, as many of these initiatives would cut across multiple ESA offices. Also, strengthening international outreach efforts (e.g., with Mexican Ecological Society). Geoengineering and Neo-environment – recent advances are increasingly cutting across science, ethics, and social interactions, and with increasing speed. Some past and ongoing activities of the Science office map well onto this list, such as the data sharing initiative, and DOE’s Biological and Environmental Research program. We should probably try not to overlap with efforts of NCEAS, the Heinz Center, etc.

Policy (Nadine Lymn): the Committee has not yet met to consider the priorities suggested by the Board but will be meeting in early April 2010. One idea is to add a day to the May Board meeting for training in public policy, followed by a visit to elected officials, focusing on a particular issue. OSTP Director John Holdren was suggested as a possible lunch speaker for the May Board meeting.

2. Report from the Training Priorities Subcommittee (Emily Stanley/Katherine McCarter): There are already many ongoing activities in this area, such as the ESA Graduate Student Policy Award, policy training workshops, communications training, online resources, training opportunities at the annual meeting, etc. Activities of ESA and some other scientific societies are described. The subcommittee will talk again to determine next steps.

3. Sustainable Business model (Josh Schimel): the subcommittee met via teleconference. How do we maintain the incentives for young ecologists to want to be ESA members? Social networking was probably a major reason in the past, but there are many other alternatives now for that kind of activity (Facebook groups, etc.). Why do students join, and why do they remain members or drop their memberships? Maybe a certificate program for workshops for students at the annual meetings would be attractive; e.g., a certificate for training in communications with policy makers or media. A survey of student members is planned.

  • Planetary Stewardship goals (Mary Power/Chapin)

This is a continuation of the sustainability issues ESA has focused on for many years, so it’s not a significant reorientation of Society activities. Rationale is that this is an urgent issue we can use to redirect the relationship between society and the biosphere, and an opportune time with the recent Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, IPCC activities, change in US administration, etc. Informing and engaging ESA members to do something is one goal, but how can we also involve other societies, disciplines, and policy makers? What are the leverage points where ESA could make a difference? Power is working on an article for the Bulletin’s April issue. Program Chair for the 2011 Annual Meeting (in Austin) is enthusiastic about using Planetary Stewardship as a theme for the meeting, and Chair for the 2012 meeting (in Portland) is interested in suggestions for themes that would follow up on it. Some of the Sections have expressed interest in finding ways to integrate with the theme.

Is this a radical re-orientation of the Society’s directions, by putting an emphasis on people rather than just organisms and their environment? AESS (Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences) might be a good group for collaboration. Should we say anything explicitly about human population size/growth, which underlies most environmental problems? Can we make statements about consumption rather than human population size/growth explicitly? E.g., the footprint approach. There will be an editorial in the December issue of Frontiers related to this topic.

We would have to move toward the direction of environmental sciences – e.g., considering water use for various power production methods, rather than just the hydrological cycle. Why are solar panels on houses better than a large-scale solar project in the desert? Would there by pushback by the membership about such a change in emphasis?

  • INTECOL (Mary Power). ESA Past-President Alan Covich is currently President of INTECOL, and is enthusiastic about joint activities with ESA during his 3-year tenure. Their next annual meeting will be in London in 2013, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the British Ecological Society (Mary has joined their committee planning for the anniversary).

Lunch with the ESA staff

  • Education and Diversity Programs (Mourad)

1998 – education activities began within the Public Affairs Office with a ½ JSTOR and ½ education position. 
2001 – the Education Manager position was created within the PAO
2002 – the Department of Education was created.

Early education activities included a Careers in Ecology brochure, community outreach programs, workshops and symposia at ESA meetings, and participation in education and diversity events with organizations such as SACNAS.

1999 – EHRC was formed with the merger of the former Education Committee and the Gender and Minorities Committee as recommended by the 1993 Women and Minorities in Ecology (WAMIE) report.

WAMIE 1 – 1993. Stimulated creation of EHRC, first fulltime EHR staff, mentoring programs, K12 ecology education, and Focus on Ecologists.

WAMIE 2 – 2006: Encouraged diverse recruitment and retention in universities; excellent ecology instruction; community outreach and environmental justice; grad students, postdocs, and young professionals; leadership development, broad career horizons, changing the culture of ecology.
Current Education initiatives – SEEDS, EcoEd Digital Library, Continental-scale ecology education (NEON); K12 research and education day, Ecology and Education Summit.

SEEDS – now present on 57 campuses, almost doubled since 2006. Won awards in 2006 and 2008. New projects in progress include supplemental REU partnerships (replacing SEEDS fellowships); University of North Texas IRES (International Research Experience for Students) in Chile; Appalachian State University research with SEEDS chapters in NC; MOU with Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS); SEEDSNet Website.

EcoEd Digital Library is attracting growing use (but relatively flat number of unique visitors over the past two years). 
Another new project is an NCEAS Distributed Seminar focusing on publication of a set of teaching resources illustrating the use of large public datasets for the undergraduate level.

Ecology Education Summit: What should Ecology Education look like in 2020?

  • What is our core/common understanding of ecological and environmental literacy?
  • What pedagogical and technological tools should be disseminated or developed to prepare all citizens for future-oriented ecological thinking, planetary stewardship and participation in a green economy?
  • In particular, how can we ensure that minority and underrepresented audiences will have access to ecology and environmental education?
  • What cross-sectoral, multi-institutional coordination and communication strategies are necessary to achieve a transformational ecology and environmental education for K-gray by 2020?
  • How can effective educational policies be put in place to achieve the 2020 vision for quality ecology and environmental education?

Collaborators on the Ecology and Education Summit (so far) include AAAS, National Education Association, NEA Foundation, NA Association for Environmental Education, National Environmental Education Foundation, National Institute for Food and Agriculture, LTER network, National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Institution, US Forest Service.

Planned products from the Summit include a pre-Summit ESA policy statement on ecology education; a dynamic visualization tool to facilitate information sharing and coordination; a pre-Summit survey of national organizations; an interactive online Resource Center with a one-stop shop for educational resources; a cohesive decadal plan. 

The Education Office has also been involved in K-12 education: attended the Ocean Science Education Coalition meeting; DC Science Alliance; White House STEM-Ed 21 initiative (national Lab Week, National STEM Week, Building Communities of Scientists and Teachers).

Partner programs include, managed by the Botanical Society of America for grades 6-12, and EarthTrek’s global citizen science program (managed by Geological Society of America’s Education and Outreach group.

The next part of the presentation addresses the challenges and issues related to education. The department has actively sought information from a variety of channels to guide its programs.

(1) Has included meetings with education representatives from

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Metereological Society
  • Botanical Society of America
  • Geological Society of America
  • LTER Education Committee
  • Organization of Biological Field Stations Human Diversity Committee

(2) Also surveys through SEEDS, TIEE, and the EcoEd Digital Library,

(3) Information gathering through workshops and conferences such as

  • NSF Conversations on Undergraduate Biology Education Reform
  • Ocean Science Education Workshop
  • LTER All Scientists Meeting
  • National Science Digital Library conference
  • Cyberlearning Tools for Climate Change Education

Challenges and Issues

What is ecological literacy? (ecological knowledge, evidence based, systems thinking, ecological-cultural interactions, temporal and spatial thinking, citizenship, values)

No child left inside (narrowing curriculum, nature deficit disorder, childhood obesity)

Quality labs (NRC, 2005, America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science; labs emphasize procedures rather than science content, rarely incorporate discussion or reflection, and researchers and educators don’t agree on how to define high school science labs or on their purposes; facilities, equipment and supplies are inequitably distributed; providing a range of effective lab experiences for future teachers is critical)

Data and big ecology – challenges are generated by availability of biotic datasets, metada comparisons, statistical literacy, and causality and uncertainty.
Integration of disciplines – what does this really look like? How should SEEDS field trips be structured? Who gets the credit?

Workforce development and diversity – a concern of NSF. Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) published a biennial report this year. Diversity is increasing, but very slowly for some groups (e.g., American Indians and Alaska Natives). In 2006 minorities formed 21% of US population between ages of 25-64 with a Bachelor’s degree, but only 9% of the STEM workforce.

Stewardship and Outreach – SEEDS Education and Outreach Initiative is one example of ESA activity in this area, also engagement with K12 education, and bioblitz activities.

Funding – several NSF programs and some foundation support at present.

Opportunities include engaging the research community, developing partnerships, and avenues for revenue generation.

The Board spent some time brainstorming about possible sources of donations for sponsoring SEEDS students; maybe try approaching companies who exhibit at the annual meeting.

  • Proposal from the Publications Committee to launch a new author-pays, open access, rapid publication, online journal. Joined via conference call with Editors-in-Chief Don Strong and Aaron Ellison, and Publications Committee Chair Scott Collins.

Reasons for this proposal include the growing backload of papers waiting for publication in the ESA journals, and the growing number of submissions. Some editors are resigning because of the increased workload. Many of the papers being rejected without review are because the work is not novel, despite being solid science with valid techniques, etc. Submission rates suggest that authors want to publish in ESA journals, and many of these papers currently being rejected could be the primary content of a new journal. There have been 80 submissions to ESA journals in the past week.

Would we risk diluting the prestige of ESA journals if our acceptance rate does increase? Aaron Ellison is concerned about how one big hurdle now to publication is just getting your paper reviewed (not rejected without review), and suggests that it’s not quality of the work that is behind many decisions not to review. We are currently rejecting about 1,800 papers per year, and publishing about 600 (not including Frontiers).

Cost for publishing in the new journal is expected to be about $1,250 (which is $100 less than PLoS ONE). PLoS journals don’t publish many ecological papers. Length restriction would be approximately the average (about 14 pages) for current papers inEcology and Ecological Applications, with an extra fee for longer papers.

There is substantial support for the concept among the Board members. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the concept of a new online-only journal that will be open access, rapid publication, and author-pays. The Business office is asked to work on a business plan that investigates the implications of different numbers of papers per year (e.g., 100, vs. 250, vs. 500), and to confirm that the proposed $1,250 charge per paper is sufficient. The Publications Committee will be told that the Board can consider a revised proposal for a new electronic journal as soon as it is received (no need to wait until the May Board meeting). Don Strong will be asked to serve as Interim Editor until a new Editor-in-Chief is appointed by the Board. The Publications Committee will be asked to provide, as soon as feasible, suggestions for a title and suggest a set of candidates for Editor-in-Chief. Schimel and Jackson will generate a list of additional questions for the Publications Committee.

  • TIEE

The Education Section has proposed to produce Volume 7 of TIEE, limiting the content to Experiments, Data Sets, and Figure Sets.

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board appreciates and approves the proposal from the Education Section to produce Volume 7 of Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology (TIEE) as a volunteer effort. No commitment to future issues is assumed by the Board, as it is possible that the upcoming Ecology Summit may result in new ways to disseminate these educational articles at the national-international level.

  • Name change and new focus for the Millennium Fund (McCarter)

The Fund for the Future is proposed as a new name, with a focus on generating funds for student travel to the ESA Annual Meetings and for the SEEDS diversity program. The Development Committee and Past Presidents (at their luncheon at the last Annual Meeting) recommended these changes. It is suggested that we need to leave some flexibility in wording so that donations could be used for a variety of Society needs, some of which we can’t anticipate.

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the renaming of the Millennium Fund to The Fund for the Future, with student travel to the ESA Annual Meetings and support for the SEEDS program as current priorities for funding.

  • Millennium Conference Series (Mary Power)

Past President Nancy Grimm, who initiated the idea for this conference series, was very pleased with the outcome of the first one, this fall. She has suggested a name change, and suggests that it should be primarily the responsibility of the proposers to find funding for the conferences (i.e., not ESA). A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board is enthusiastic about continuing the Millennium conference series as a grass-roots opportunity for the membership to propose conference topics and collaborate with the ESA staff and Board on planning, organizing, and funding. A call for new topics will be issued every other year.

Suggestions were made for a new name for the Millennium Conference (until a sponsor takes a naming opportunity), including Emerging Issues in Ecology, the Founders Conference Series (maybe named after a founder), the President’s Conference Series, Sustainable Biosphere Conference Series. Consensus is that Emerging Issues Conference Series is a good idea (Emerging Issues Conference on …..).

November 18, 2008 (Meg Lowman, Bill Parton, Laura Huenneke not present)

Executive Session 8:30 AM, followed by continuation of the normal meeting with staff present.

  • Review of Editor-in-Chief Don Strong

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board is enthusiastic about approving the Publications Committee recommendation to reappoint Don Strong for another term as Editor-in-Chief of Ecologyfrom 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012.

  • Review of Editor-in-Chief Jill Baron

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the postponement of the review of Jill Baron as Editor-in-Chief of Issues in Ecology for a year, with an extension of her appointment until 31 December 2010.

  • Opening Plenary Speaker for the 2010 Annual Meeting (VP for Public Affairs Laura Huenneke joined the discussion by speaker phone).

An invitation has already been extended to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and the Board endorsed the idea of also inviting NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. The Board felt that it would be impractical to invite President Obama given the logistical and financial implications (minimum cost of $100,000).

  • ESA Centennial – Standing Committee suggestions

Sunny Power contacted ESA Standing Committees in January 2009 to invite them to consider how they might be involved in the celebration of ESA’s 100th anniversary in 2015. The Public Affairs Committee, Publications Committee, Education and Human Resources Committee, and Science Committee all made suggestions. The Historical Records Committee is currently without a Chair, but contributed some suggestions from their meeting in Albuquerque.

  • ESA Centennial Committee/Point Person (Centennial Czar)

Jim Collins and Alan Covich are suggested as candidates for the position of Committee Chair; President Power will contact them. The Committee itself would not be appointed for a couple of years.

  • Program Chair Incentives

It has been difficult to find program chairs for upcoming ESA meetings. The Meetings Committee has sent recommendations about possible incentives that could be offered to candidates, beyond what is already provided (complimentary registration and room, airfare and miscellaneous expenses, a letter to their administrators, and ESA staff support). The Board affirmed that the current incentives were appropriate and also were supportive of the suggestions made by the Committee to enlist their help in recruiting new program chairs; President Power will convey this to the Committee Chairs Kyoko Miyanishi and Scott Franklin.

  • Proposed position statement “Ecosystem Management in a Changing Climate”

ESA does not have a position statement on climate change, but has recent experience in developing one on economic growth. Four Rapid Response Team members worked with the Public Affairs staff to draft a proposed statement. The Board reviewed the proposed statement carefully, and while generally supportive of it and greatly appreciative of the work that went into it, provided extensive feedback to the Public Affairs Office for preparation of a revision. The Committee will revise the statement and circulate it to the Board for comment and a vote.

  • Theme for the 2011 Annual Meeting in Austin

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the proposal from Thomas Jurik, Program Chair for the 2011 Annual Meeting, for the theme “Planetary stewardship: Preserving and enhancing Earth’s life-support systems”.

  • Student Representation on the Governing Board

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board will invite the incoming and outgoing Chair of the Student Section to attend August meetings of the Board of Governors as non-voting participants.

  • Adjournment

Meeting is adjourned at 11:31 AM.

Submitted by David W. Inouye, Secretary

August 5, 2010

ESA Governing Board
August 5, 2010
Pittsburgh, PA

Members Present
Mary Power                Past-President
Terry Chapin               President
Steward Pickett          President-Elect
Bill Parton                   VP for Finance
Meg Lowman              VP for Education and Human Resources
Charles Canham          Secretary
Andrea Lloyd             Member-at-Large

Andrea Kuchy                        Vice-Chair, Student Section

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

Meeting called to order at 9:00 am by President Terry Chapin

I.  Information

            A.  2010-2011 Governing Board Meeting Dates 
Nov 4-5, 2010 new member orientation Friday afternoon
May 16-17, Washington DC

II. Planetary Stewardship Initiative

Terry Chapin reviewed discussions during the meeting on the Planetary Stewardship Initiative.  Those talks have focused on maintaining continuity during the 3 years of the terms of Mary Power, Terry Chapin, and Steward Pickett as President.  Another emphasis has been on engaging ESA Sections, and encouraging them to incorporate the Initiative in their own activities, with their particular expertise – specifically in their planning for symposia at the 2011 meetings.  There is a strong interest in engaging social scientists in the coming year, and then following with attention to the fields of design and other disciplines in the humanities. 

Terry proposed a series of organized oral sessions or symposia at the 2011 meeting bringing in environmental psychology and other social sciences to think about practicalities.  He also proposed encouraging similar symposia at other societies.   There was a suggestion to consider webcasts as a way to reach a wider/larger audience.

It was noted that the policy directions approved at the last board meeting for the Public Affairs programs dovetail nicely with the goals of Planetary Stewardship Initiative.

There was also discussion of how to link the goals of the Initiative with the ESA Centennial meeting in 2015.

Andrea Lloyd volunteered to serve as a Governing Board liason to the Centennial Committee to represent the Stewardship Initiative.

A number of potential products were considered: 

  • A high profile paper (or series of papers) ala sustainable biosphere initiative paper of 1991.
  • A list of groups/initiatives/efforts related to planetary stewardship – suggestion that this might be done by the student section, with help from the staff (and their many contacts at other organizations).
  • Mary Power is considering volunteering as Editor for a Planetary Stewardship Forum in the Bulletin (planning for forum pieces in 2 of the 4 issues a year).   She described a series of types of contributions she would like to see, including a photo novella.
  • Could Ecosphere play a role – through forum pieces, essays or contribution from other societies?
  • A publication in the Issues in Ecology series is another potential vehicle for communication.  The Human Ecology Section has been considering an Issue related to the Stewardship Initiative.

III. Discussion/Action

A.  Audit Committee

There are several members rotating off the committee.   Laura Huenneke is a continuing member, Charles Canham will serve, and Rob Jackson will be asked to serve.

B.  Feedback from Committee Meetings and Council

Registration was strong (and the music was good).  There was discussion of ways to encourage speakers to return to broader issues in the conclusions of their talks.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00

Minutes respectfully submitted,
Charles Canham, Secretary

August 1, 2010

ESA Governing Board: Minutes of the ESA Council
August 1, 2010
Pittsburgh, PA

Members Present:

Hal Balbach, David Baldwin, Romi Burks, Elizabeth Biggs, Charles Canham, Zoe Cardon, Terry Chapin, Carmen  Cid, Scott Collins, Phil Dixon, Cliff Duke, Scott Franklin, Deborah Goldberg, David Gooding, Peter Groffman, Stephen Hart, Laura Huenneke, Rob Jackson, Ed Johnson, Angela Kent, Mimi Lam, Meg Lowman, Nadine Lymn, Jude Maul, Katherine McCarter, George Middendorf, Kiyoko Miyanishi, Teresa Mourad, Juliana Mulroy, David Nelson, Yude Pan, Bill Parton, Deb Peters, Steward Pickett, Sunny Power, Mary Power, Sam Scheiner, Dave Schimel, Sue Silver, Robin Snyder, Emily Stanley, Donald Strong, Fabricio Villalobos, Terry Wheeler, and Anthony Yannarell

I.  Introduction and Announcements

The ESA Council meeting was called to order by President Mary Power. 

II. Report of the President and ESA Activities/Initiatives

Mary Power outlined a proposal for a new Policy Section, and reported on the launch of the new journal Ecosphere.  She reminded the Council of the upcoming 2015 Centennial, and encouraged members to contact Alan Covich with ideas.  She also noted that the Student Section has been the fastest growing section of the Society.

III. Presentation of the Budget

Bill Parton presented a summary of the 2010 - 2011 budget.  Laura Huenneke moved and Phil Dixon seconded a motion to approve the budget as presented.  The motion was approved unanimously.

IV. Vote to Establish the Natural History Section

Meg Lowman moved and Hal Balbeck seconded a motion to approve the formation of the Natural History Section.  The motion was approved unanimously by the Council.

V. Reports from Long Range Planning Grant Awardees

Reports from recipients of Long Range Planning Grants were distributed in the Annual Report to the Governing Council.  A representative from each group presented a brief summary of their activities.

A.  Applied Ecology Section
B.  Education Section
C.  Education and Human Resources Committee
D. Environmental Justice Section
E.  Mexico Chapter
F.  Microbial Ecology Section
G. Southwest Chapter
H. Student Section
I.  Traditional Ecological Knowledge

VI. Planetary Stewardship and Sections and Chapters

President-Elect Terry Chapin described the Planetary Stewardship Initiatives and encouraged Sections and Chapters to get involved.  

VII. Recognition of Governing Board Members Leaving the Board, and Introduction of New Governing Board Members

President Mary Power presented plaques recognizing the service of three Governing Board members who have completed their terms, and introduced incoming members of the Governing Board

VIII.  Announcements / New Business

Scott Franklin described efforts by the Historical Records Committee in preparation for the ESA Centennial.  

Meeting was adjourned at 4:00

Minutes respectfully submitted,
Charles Canham, Secretary

July 31 – August 1, 2010

ESA Governing Board
July 31 - August 1, 2010
Pittsburgh, PA


Members Present
Mary Power                President
Alison Power              Past-President
Terry Chapin               President-Elect
Laura Huenneke          VP for Public Affairs
Bill Parton                   VP for Finance
Rob Jackson                VP for Science
Meg Lowman              VP for Education and Human Resources (Sunday)
Debra Peters                Member-at-Large
Emily Stanley              Member-at-Large

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

Charles Canham          Secretary-Elect
David Gooding           Publications Office
Rob Salgueero-Gomez                           Chair – Student Section
Don Strong                 Editor in Chief – Ecology  (Sunday)_
Frank Gilliam              Program Chair (Sunday)
Bill Michener              Dryad (Sunday)
Aaron Ellison              Associate Editor-in-Chief, Ecology and Ecological Monographs (Sunday)
Scott Collins               Chair, Publication Committee (Sunday)
Dave Schimel              Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Applications (Sunday)
Ed Johnson                 Editor, Bulletin  (Sunday)
Todd Vision                National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (Sunday)

Saturday, July 31 2010.  9:00 meeting is called to order.

I. Roll Call & Agenda

  • The Governing Board unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
  • The electronic vote to approve the minutes of the May 2010 Governing Board meeting in Washington was unanimously ratified.
  • The electronic vote to approve the report of the Nominations Committee was unanimously ratified.

II. Reports

A.  Report of the President

Mary Power began with comments on her admiration for the staff and the board, and her pleasure in serving as President.   She described experience with stewardship of an 8,000 acre preserve in California.  She met Frank Lake, a steward at a preserve on the Klamath River, who told her that an article he published in the Bulletin had had a large impact on his career.  This suggests that we find a means to provide some form of peer-review for selected articles in the Bulletin.  Ed Johnson is interested in assisting.

B.  Report of the Executive Director and Staff

Katherine McCarter began with reminders of meetings during the week, and encouragement to consider a contribution to the Fund for the Future.  She then reviewed highlights of Society activities during the past year, including the launch of Ecosphere, the first Millennium Conference, and the society’s response to the Gulf oil spill.

Liz Biggs provided an update on Society finances, membership, and administration.  Finances for the year have been very close to budgeted, despite the difficult economic climate.  Attendance for the Pittsburgh meeting has been very good.  Library subscription revenue has been level – a very good sign given pressures on library budgets. Society membership is down slightly (5-10%), and she reviewed efforts to slow that trend.

Cliff Duke reported on activities in the Science Office. He called attention to activities related to last year’s Millennium Conference, including students from that conference who are attending this year’s meeting with support from the Conference budget.   The Vegetation Classification Panel received kudos for its continued hard work, in part with support from the US Forest Service.  He provided an update on an upcoming workshop on sustainability of biological infrastructure.

Teresa Mourad provided an update on the upcoming Ecology Education Summit in October.  Fundraising will be covered later in agenda.  The NEON Education initiative is going well, and a new K-12 program is off the ground in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.  An NSF proposal is moving forward in partnership with 3 other societies to support the Eco-Ed Digital library.  The SEEDS program continues to grow.  There was discussion of whether the program is overstretched.  Fundraising has been strong (30-50k/yr) but needs to be sustainable.   Mary Powers encouraged staff to develop relations with Howard Hughes Foundation

Sue Silver reviewed the status of Frontiers.  The publication backlog has been reduced dramatically – from 13 months to roughly 6 months.  As a result, acceptance rates have been allowed to rise slightly.  Page charges have been instituted to contribute to the financial support of the journal.  The journal ranking is currently in second place in environmental science and fourth in the Ecology categories of JCR.

David Baldwin reported on activities in the Publication Office.  The backlog at Ecology has been reduced, largely because of higher rejection rates, resulting in a roughly 5-6 month backlog.  The backlog at Applications is longer (roughly 8 months).  Innovations in the past year include (1) preprints available online (complete with doi) and (2) Aaron Ellison has instituted a new review category in Monographs.  The startup of the new journal Ecosphere is on schedule – a remarkable achievement given the short time involved.  David credited a strong effort from staff at Allen Press.  The first papers in the new journal have already been published.   

Submission rates to existing journals are up slightly over 2008 to ~ 2350 manuscripts a year.  Acceptance rates have leveled off at roughly 25% (14% at Monographs).   The Publication Office doesn’t anticipate any supplemental issues in 2010, but expect 2 in 2011.

Nadine Lymn reviewed the activities of the Public Affairs Office, beginning with media expected to attend the meeting in Pittsburgh, and those expected to cover the meeting remotely.  She will be blogging from the meeting, and encouraged Board members to contribute.  At the encouragement of President Mary Power and President Elect Terry Chapin, the office organized a workshop on getting engaged in local/regional issues.  Staff are preparing a Policy Handbook to assist members who want to be more engaged in policy issues.  There was considerable discussion of how to get regional sections more engaged in policy issues.

C.  Report of the Vice President for Finance

Bill Parton and Katherine McCarter reviewed 4th quarter financials.   Bill reviewed the status of endowment funds (close to $1M currently).  There was discussion of both the strength of the finances and the diligent efforts to rebuild the endowment and build the unrestricted fund.

D. Planetary Stewardship

Mary Power and Terry Chapin led a discussion of the Planetary Stewardship initiative.  There are a number of Society activities related to the initiative, involving both annual meetings and activities of sections.   Terry led a discussion of the psychology of climate change and human perceptions of risk.  Mary mentioned the importance of interfacing with communication efforts by Society staff.  Partnerships with other societies working on environmental change are also important.  Sections could play an important role in this, through their disciplinary ties to other societies.  There was discussion of tradeoffs between influencing management at a local scale versus influencing macro policy at the federal level.  There was also discussion of the impact of societal investments in physical infrastructure.   How can we be engaged at both local and national levels in decisions about the built environment (and its impacts on sustainability of ecosystems)?  Terry mentioned the potential impact of introducing ecological courses in the curricula for undergraduate students in K-12 education programs.   There is need to identify specific audiences for our messages, and to target audiences appropriately.    There was discussion of ways to expand the reach of Frontiers to resource managers (expanding the subscription base).


E.  Emerging Issues Conference

The topic of the next Emerging Issues Conference will be “Developing Ecologically-based Conservation Targets Under Global Change”.  There are regular conference calls involving conference organizers and ESA staff.  A preliminary budget is being prepared.  Fundraising efforts will begin this fall.    

F.  Ecology Education Summit

Teresa Mourad reviewed the status of pending proposals to support the 2010 Ecology and Education Summit.  The event will be held October 14-15, 2010 at the NEA headquarters in Washington.  One of the major goals of the summit is the formulation of a decadal plan for ecology education nationally.  The theme of the summit is “Environmental Literacy for a Sustainable World”.   Keynote speakers include Will Seeger (arctic explorer).

G.  EcoSummit 2012  

Mary Power gave an update on discussions with Bill Mitch about an ESA role as a co-sponsor of the 2012 EcoSummit.  There has not yet been a formal letter of commitment from ESA to serve as primary US host.  Cliff Duke will be the staff representative on the Scientific Planning Committee.  An academic representative will also be named.

III. Discussion and Action Items

A.  New Policy Section Proposal

Laura Huenneke reviewed the proposal to establish a Policy Section.  A Statement of Purpose, Bylaws, and a list of names from a petition in support of the new chapter were distributed in the Board packet.  Actual approval requires action of the Council, after a 60 day review period.  Alison Power moved and Laura Huenneke seconded a motion to recommend establishment of the new section.  The motion was approved unanimously.

B.  FY 2010-2011 ESA Budget  

1.  Approval of Budget (recommendation to Council)

Elizabeth Biggs and Katherine McCarter led a discussion of the budget presented to the Board at the May 2010 meeting.   Bill Parton moved and Rob Jackson seconded a motion to recommend approval of the budget to the Council meeting on Aug. 1, 2010.  The motion carried unanimously.

2.  Long Range Planning Grants

Each year the budget normally includes $10,000 for long-range planning grants.  Members at Large typically serve as a review committee for proposals from sections, chapters and committees to use these funds.  Alison Power moved and Emily Stanley seconded a motion to appoint the Members at Large as the review committee for the coming year.  That motion carried unanimously.  Mary Power then moved and Emily Stanley seconded a motion to make this appointment permanent.  That motion carried unanimously.

3.  Board Strategic Initiatives

The proposed FY 2010-2011 budget includes $10,000 for Board Strategic Initiatives.  The Board reviewed a list – generated during the May, 2010 meeting - of potential uses of those funds.  There was also discussion of a new proposal to use the funds for a member survey.  Governing Board should have input in the focus of the survey.    

Alison Power moved and Laura Huenneke seconded a motion that funds for travel by the President of the Mexican Ecological Society to the 2011 meeting in Austin be included in the budget for that meeting.

The Board also considered a request for support for a meeting by the Historical Records Committee, and will ask the committee for further information, with a recommendation that they apply for a Long Range Planning Grant.  The issue was tabled pending further discussion.

Laura Huenneke moved and Terry Chapin seconded a motion to approve use of Board Strategic Initiative Funds for a member survey, with details of the survey and the nature of the involvement of the Governing Board to be determined.  The motion carried unanimously.  Terry Chapin (volunteer) and Josh Schimel (recommended in absentia) were proposed as the Governing Board members to provide input to this process.

4.  Discussion of Council Presentation
There was a brief discussion of issues to be highlighted in the presentation of the budget to the full Council.  Issues included drawing attention to planning for the Centennial meeting in 2015.

C.  Board of Professional Certification Recommendations

The Board of Professional Certification has made five recommendations for changes to the certification process.  The 5 proposals were:

  • Require that all applicants for the Senior Ecologist certification level have a graduate degree
  • Require that all applicants be ESA members at the time of application
  • Require that all non-streamlined applications include a transcript (unofficial transcript accepted)
  • Establish a streamlined process for Recertification for applicants holding a Master’s degree who have been previously certified as a Senior Ecologist at least once.
  • Require that applicants clearly identify which courses fulfill the certification-required introduction to population, community and ecosystem areas of ecological inquiry for all coursework.

There was concern with the proposed requirement that applicants for Senior Ecologist have a graduate degree.  The board feels that extensive experience in the field is a reasonable way to achieve the desired comprehensive training required for Senior Ecologist certification.

There was also concern expressed about the requirement that all applicants be ESA members at the time of application.

The Governing Board would like additional information from the Board of Professional Certification about the first two proposals before voting on them.

Mary Power moved and Laura Huenneke seconded a motion that the Governing Board approves proposals #3, #4, and #5 above.  The motion carried unanimously.

D.  Membership Data

Elizabeth Biggs presented an analysis prepared by staff of trends in membership from 2003 -2009, broken down in various categories.   This led to a wide-ranging discussion of the causes and implications of the patterns, particularly in the membership trends within Sections.  The Student Section has shown particularly strong growth in recent years, and there was discussion encouraging more student participation in other sections. 

E.  Nominations / Underrepresented Groups

The difficulties faced this year in finding female applicants for ESA board positions prompted a discussion of efforts to attract under-represented groups to Board service.   There was a suggestion that this could be done by encouraging involvement in Society activities and committees at early stages in career development, including service on standing committees.  Another suggestion was to raise this issue at the SEEDS leadership meetings.  Yet another suggestion was to contact officers in Sections for nominations based on experience in Section leadership.

F.  Yearly Policy Priorities 

The Public Affairs Office, in consultation with the Public Affairs Committee, has submitted a set of recommended public policy priorities for the coming year.  These priorities are intended to guide the staff and Society, but they are not intended to preclude action on other items.  The policy priorities fall in 6 broad areas:  (1) Gulf of Mexico oil accident, (2) climate change and adaptation, (3) energy, (4) infrastructure impacts on ecosystems, (5) water quality and quantity, and (6) science education.

Laura Huenneke moved and Terry Chapin seconded a motion to approve the list of priorities.  The motion carried unanimously.


G. Carbon / Environmental Offsets

The Board reviewed the process for selecting organizations that receive contributions from the carbon/environmental offset funds.  Discussion focused on the balance of the split between local and national programs, and procedures for recommending specific programs to receive the funds.

Mary Power moved and Emily Stanley seconded a motion that all the funds be used for local programs recommended by the Local Host and Meeting Committee.  Their recommendations should highlight ways that the proposed recipients will offset environmental impacts specific to our location.  The motion passed unanimously.   

H.  EiC for Ecosphere (Executive Session with D. Strong and Staff)

A motion was made and seconded to appoint Debra Peters to a 3 year term as Editor-in-Chief of Ecosphere.

I.  New Business

There was discussion of a proposal that the President’s address to the Annual Meeting come at the beginning rather than the end of their term.  

Motion was made and seconded to appoint Rob Jackson to a 1-year term as Vice-President for Science from 2010 - 2011.   This appointment will fill the position being vacated by Debra Peters’ appointment to a term as Editor-in-Chief of Ecosphere until a new Vice-President for Science can be elected to fill out the remaining two years of the term.

J. 2010 Annual Meeting

Frank Gilliam gave an update on the 2010 meeting.   He began by acknowledging the efforts of ESA staff.  Abstract submission has been higher than last-year’s meeting in Albuquerque, and registration has also been strong.  A new feature this year is grouping posters into Organized Poster Sessions.

K.  Dryad

Bill Michener gave a presentation on Dryad, a repository for data associated with publications in the biological sciences.  Archiving of data in Dryad is designed to be implemented in conjunction with article publication, and potentially as a requirement for publication.  Under a proposed Joint Data Archiving Policy, authors may elect to embargo access to the data for a period up to a year after publication.   Dryad has three different subscription plans with different costs to the member journals (including one plan where all costs are borne by the authors).  The issue will be discussed further at the November 2010 Governing Board meeting.

L.  Ecosphere Update

David Baldwin gave an update on the launch of Ecosphere.  The launch took place on schedule, thanks to enormous effort by staff at both ESA and Allen Press.  The first article has already appeared online.  He emphasized the focus on rapid publication.  There was extensive discussion of ways to ensure this.

M. Publications Meetings

1.  Publications Committee

Scott Collins congratulated the staff and Governing Board for going from the idea for Ecosphere to the first published paper in essentially 1 year.   He also reviewed their interactions with Dryad over the past year. 

2.  Ecology

Don Strong reviewed efforts during the past year to bring down the publication backlog.  The efforts have been successful at reducing the backlog from over 1 year to less than 6 months. 

3.  Ecological Monographs

Aaron Ellison summarized trends in submissions at Monographs over the past year.  Paper lengths are up slightly, and reviews are now being published.   He emphasized the need to continue to prepare for transition to paperless publications.

4.  Ecological Applications

Dave Schimel noted that Applications has also faced the issues associated with very high submission rates.  He mentioned his desire to see more synthesis papers rather than sets of articles in special features.  He also noted significant expansion of particular subject areas, particularly in marine sciences.   Another area of rapid expansion has been the application of theory to the design of conservation systems.

5.  ESA Bulletin

Ed Johnson mentioned efforts to use the Bulletin to facilitate preparation for the Society’s Centennial in 2015.

6.  Frontiers in Ecology and Environment

Sue Silver reviewed highlights from the past year at Frontiers.  As with the other journals, there was a successful effort to reduce the publication backlog.  In contrast to the other journals, Frontiers is quite interested in appropriate special features.   One challenge has been the requirement that the contributors raise the funding for a special issue.  There was discussion of ongoing efforts to increase the number of library subscriptions to Frontiers.

Meeting adjourned at 11:35 am, August 1, 2010

Minutes respectfully submitted,
Charles D. Canham, Secretary

May 2010

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
May 17-18, 2010
Washington, D.C.

Members Present: Mary Power (President), Sunny Power (Past-President), Terry Chapin (Past-President-Elect), David Inouye (Secretary), Josh Schimel (Member-at-Large), Laura Huenneke (VP for Public Affairs), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), Emily Stanley (Member-at-Large), Rob Jackson (VP for Science). Guest - Charles Canham, Secretary-Elect.

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), David Baldwin (Publications). Teresa Mourad (Education and Diversity) joined the meeting after lunch on Tuesday.

Monday 17 May 2010. 9:00 meeting is called to order.

I. Roll Call & Agenda

  • The Governing Board unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
  • The minutes from November 2009 were unanimously adopted.
  • The Climate Statement (approved previously by e-mail) was ratified. 

II. Reports

  • Report of President Power
  • She had a wonderful time at the SEEDS retreat, was impressed with the setting, agenda, science, and students. There is a lot of mentoring of younger students by the older students students and recently fledged young professionals.  SEEDS folk have initiated “SNAPS”, SEEDS Network of Alumni and Professionals” to capture and focus the intense intergenerational loyalty inspired by the program.  The SEEDS retreat participants also visited  the REAL School, a science program for under-served re-entry students at Redwood High School in the South Bay, led by Cynthia Wilber and Rudolfo Dirzo.
  • ESA reaction to the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Mary contacted Student Section chair Rob Salguero Gomez (at U. Pennsylvania), who contacted a SEEDS leader (and alum), graduate student (Jorgé Ramos at University of Washington).  Power  suggested that they help organize background information useful to ecologists and managers on the front line of the spill, and she put them in touch with colleagues in Florida and Louisiana, (Felicia Coleman and Robert Twilley, respectively, both of whom serve on ESA’s Rapid Response Team for the BP Spill.  Rob and Jorge seized the initiative and, with help from the Univ. of California Natural Reserve System and ESA Web master Zaw Aung, are  organizing an online searchable metadata database of previous field research in coastal areas that are or may be affected by the ongoing oil spill. Rob and Jorge’s leadership here has been inspiring.  The Ecological Archives might be an appropriate home for this database, which should prove useful for scientists and managers dealing with the aftermath of the spill over the coming decades. 
  • Bill Mitsch, leading the Consortium for Aquatic Science Societies, invited ESA to join in their planned EcoSummit in Columbus, Ohio in 2012, which is still under discussion.

An ESA media advisory went out the day after the BP oil rig accident letting the Press know about Rapid Response Team members who could be resources. 

There may be an opportunity for ESA members in the damage assessment process, based on experience of the Exxon Valdez experience. Maybe an article in Frontiers about legal aspects of specimens used for evidence would be appropriate. 

The luncheon for Rapid Response Team members at the Annual Meeting would be a good opportunity for getting feedback from RRT members about how ESA can help them when they are called upon for their expertise. 

There may be an opportunity to get out messages about the long-term ecological consequences of the spill, and the cost of cleaning up the accident compared to funding for renewable (or clean) energy sources.  Why are we in reactionary rather than proactive mode so often with high-impact, low probability events? 

  • Report of Executive Director McCarter and the Office Staff
  • Things are looking stable for this year in terms of library subscriptions, and the slight decline in membership was expected. Exciting events include planning for the new journal, Ecosphere.  The Development Committee met and we’ll consider their report at this meeting.  Cliff and Katherine met with Ford Foundation recently to explore possible funding ideas.
  • Cliff Duke – Printed copies of the new Issues in Ecology, about carbon sequestration, should be available later today (it’s already available on the ESA Web site).  Four documents are available now from the Biofuels conference, and a fifth (synthesis) is in preparation.
  • Teresa Mourad – She is looking forward to the 2011 SEEDS annual meeting in Washington state.  Packard Foundation approached her about applying for a $150,000 grant from internal funding from their grants officers. She’s trying to develop new contacts within Dept. of Interior (facilitated in part by a SEEDS alumna).  There will be a summer institute in NC related to forest ecology that will include SEEDS students.  New projects include a climate change education partnership (working with Terry Chapin), focused on pre-service students (undergraduate students training to be teachers). Another new project is to upgrade education resources that can be shared (images, tables, data, syllabi), and a data visualization tool.  TNC received funding from the Toyota Foundation for their urban youth program, to create a network of environmentally-themed high schools, starting with one in New York City, and asked the ESA Education program to start working with them 1 June. Some of the teachers will attend the Annual Meeting. A green jobs fair will be one sub-project.
  • Nadine Lymn –  Katie Kline, new Communications Officer, has continued development of the EcoTone blog.  Piper Corp is entering a Ph.D. program in scientific rhetoric after the Annual Meeting.
  • Liz Biggs – we are still financially stable, in part thanks to the library subscriptions remaining flat (we had budgeted for a decline).  Membership is down about 5% over the past year.  Estimate is that 3,200 will register for the Annual Meeting.
  • Sue Silver – has commissioned an editorial for the June issue about the Gulf oil spill. August issue of Frontiers will be the special issue about scientific communication about environmental controversies.  The backlog is declining, due to the >84% rejection rate (70% without review).  Page charges are now being charged for papers starting this year (except for commissioned papers and Special Issues that are funded).  The journal is on track to be self-sustaining in another two years (10 years after starting it).  The option of accepting papers that would only be published electronically was considered but rejected, in part because readers (even students) said they were less likely to read electronic-only articles (a model that American Naturalist has tried). 
  • David Baldwin – The increased rejection rate has led to a decline since the last Annual Meeting from 11 months to 6.5 months in the publication lag. Both May issues of Monographs and Ecology are out.  They have hired a new person (Ellen Cotter) to help shepherd the new journal into implementation. 
  • Report of Vice President for Finance
    • First Quarter Financials (Parton and McCarter)

The budget is in good shape at present ($348,000 in the black), and we expect the fiscal year to end with a positive balance. As of a few weeks ago our investments (with Townley Investment) were back up to where they were two years ago. 

  • Planetary Stewardship (Power/Chapin)

Mary solicited 11 people to write about their individual projects promoting planetary stewardship at local to regional scales for the current issue of the Bulletin, and all followed through, providing the 11 boxed reports in the current article. An ongoing ESA Bulletin form is being planned and Ed Johnson is considering steps to have sections for this forum peer reviewed.
The larger goal is to turn around society’s relationship with the environment.  How can ESA foster this?  Mobilizing members through sections and section leadership is one opportunity. The Council meeting may be a venue to encourage this.  There may be opportunities for the ESA staff to identify appropriate projects. 

III. Discussion / Action Items

  • Report of the Audit Committee (Jackson/Schimel (Stanley was sick))

A few minor issues were flagged by the accounting company, and in general they were complimentary about the Society’s bookkeeping practices.  
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the report of the Audit Committee.

  • Proposed 2010-2011 ESA Budget (Parton/McCarter/Biggs)
      • Budget and Budget Assumptions

The proposed budget anticipates a balanced budget for the Fiscal Year 2010-2011. Assumptions include a projected 5% drop in membership in 2010 (there was discussion about what is behind this drop and how to reverse it) but membership is expected to remain flat in 2011, that dues will increase by 2%, library subscriptions will remain flat in 2011 (with 30% begin on-line only), and there will be a 15% drop in member subscriptions. Income and expenses for the new journal have been included, and an estimate for income from the Annual Meeting has been generated.  There are no capital expenses projected, and a $50,000 commitment to the reserve fund is included.  There is a 2% cost-of-living and 2% merit pool for staff.  A contract for development of a Planned Giving Program is included ($2,000).  Expenses for Governing Board meetings at the Annual Meeting, a President’s budget, travel ($1,000) for Council of Scientific Society Presidents meeting, and one meeting each for five committees are budgeted. The Board compliments the staff for keeping the Society in such good fiscal health. 

2. Proposal for the Board Strategic Initiatives funds
There was discussion about the idea of providing free registration to the Annual Meeting for speakers who are invited to make presentations.  Historically a few waivers are granted every year, primarily for people who would not otherwise come to the meeting.  
The Historical Records Committee has asked for funding for a meeting, as they start to prepare for the Centennial.  The request for sending a Board member to the South American chapter meeting in Brazil next August could fall into this funding category. 
A follow-up in a few years of the ecological effects of the Gulf oil spill, maybe in conjunction with a 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill, could be a possibility of future use of this funding category.  Maybe an Issues in Ecology in the next year or two; assumptions about how best to deal with a large oil spill are being used for management decisions, but are the lessons from previous spills being incorporated?  
There is some support for the idea of letting funds accumulate for a future larger expenditure.  
Follow-up to strategic planning discussions might be another possibility. 

Break for lunch. 

  • Fund for the Future (Parton)

The Development Committee met a few weeks ago to discuss plans for the Fund.  A couple of Committee members who are former Board members suggested they would like to have an option of giving unrestricted money, rather than just designated for student travel or SEEDS, and suggested adding an “Opportunity Fund” option under the Fund for the Future.  
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the addition of the “Opportunity Fund” as a third option within the Fund for the Future.

  • Sustainable Business Plan (Schimel)

The Sustainable Business Plan Working Group has four suggestions for the Board:

  • Develop open-access author-pays journals (already underway with Ecosphere);
  • Conduct small conferences that generate revenue;
  • Produce Webinar programs, perhaps related to conferences or public affairs training;
  • Broaden the membership base, perhaps to NGO or other non-academic groups.

The survey sent to student members did not result in any particularly good insights.

Are there some sub-disciplines that the ESA has lost from its membership and journals? Who would be good point people to contact/increase those audiences?  Could small conferences be targeted both for making money and for broadening our membership? 

Is there a way to use the idea of certification (attractive to students) to provide content for a price?  What audiences have continuing education requirements?  E.g., pesticide applicators, land use/zoning boards.  Sue Silver’s seminars on how to publish in scientific journals have been successful in Asia, and she recently presented one to a group of about 45 postdocs and graduate students at Virginia Tech. 

  • Emerging Issues Conference [minutes recorded by Canham as Inouye had a conflict]

Two proposals received very positive reviews, and the committee felt that each, with some modification, could lead to successful conferences.  There was discussion of two options (a) to request revised proposals from both groups, or (b) to select one now, but still request revisions to that proposal.  Discussion favored option (b) to avoid delays. 

Committee and staff were encouraged by the quality of all 5 proposals.  There was discussion of the format of the proposals, and whether more detail should be allowed/provided.  The current format was considered suitable. 

The Board will ask for clarification from Blossey and Sax about several issues related to both content and organization, but pending satisfactory responses from them, supports their proposal for the next Emerging Issues Conference.  The Board will ask Committee Chair Monica Turner to compose the letter to Blossey and Sax, and letters to the authors of the other proposals, based on the language in the committee report. Bronstein et al., in particular, should be encouraged to resubmit this proposal next time; that topic might also be a good symposium at an Annual Meeting.

There needs to be a member of the Governing Board as a member of the organizing committee.  
Incoming VP for Science Deb Peters will be asked to serve in this role.

  • Public Affairs Committee mid-term review (Huenneke/Lymn)

Committee membership has been quite stable in recent years, and has included Laura Huenneke as Chair, Angela Bednarek, Cheryl Dybas, David Goldston, Liz Harp, and Marcia Wolfe.  Efforts are under way to recruit a few new members now (e.g., Marcia Wolfe, from the consulting arena).

Recent activities have included:

  • Reviewed two ESA position statements
    • Ecological Impacts of Economic Activity (2009); which had unique challenges and time requirements
    • Ecosystem management in a Changing Climate (2010)
  • Joint meeting with ESA Science Committee
  • Identified newsworthy Annual Meeting abstracts
  • Sponsored symposium (2009)
    • Global sustainability in the face of uncertainty:  How to translate more effectively Ecological Knowledge to Policy Makers, Managers, and the Public
  • Opening Plenary – selecting and facilitating speaker

2009 Sandra Postel, Director, Global Water Policy Project “Strategies to sustain Earth’s freshwater ecosystems”

  • ESA Regional Policy Award

2009 Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)
“For outstanding record of informing decision-making with ecological science”

  • ESA Policy Handbooks
    • Goal is to help ecologists identify opportunities to connect their knowledge to public issues
    • Will include chapters on:
      • General “how-tos” & resources
      • Opportunities to interact with the media
      • White House and federal agencies
      • Congress
      • Review of major environmental legislation
      • State level
      • ESA member anecdotes

Observations and Opportunities (Huenneke)

  • Greater cooperation and coordination with Science Office and Science Committee
  • Potential engagement of broader membership in direct action on policy (Brad Smith, ACS, guest at PAC meeting) – ACS uses social media in many ways now with its membership, e.g., getting them to contact elected representatives.
  • SEEDS students incorporating policy engagement as an element in Leadership Retreats
  • Private sector potentially crucial arena for engagement, but no point of contact yet.

Public Affairs Office (Lymn)

Nadine Lymn, Director
Piper Corp, Science Policy Analyst
Katie Kline, Communications Officer

Public Affairs Office Media and policy activities often feature contributions and participation by ESA’s Rapid Response Teams.

Media Policy
Press releases 
Ecotone (blog)
Field talk (podcast)
Press room at annual meeting
Communications training
Media inquiries
Policy News
Position statements
Ecologist goes to WA (podcast)
Cong. briefings & field trips
Policy training
Letters & Action Alerts

The Ecologist Moves to Washington – Making Science Policy a Career
            An example of introduction to a podcast: Some ecologists have taken time from their academic work to share their share their expertise with policymakers; others have made a career out of it. Four years ago, Dr. Jay Gulledge left academia to join the Pew Center on Global Climate Change as the Senior Scientist and Program Manager for Science and Impacts. Here he discusses the transition and the range of options that DC offers for promoting and disseminating science.

Public Affairs podcasts:  Field Talk
            An example of a Field Talk podcast:  Arctic shrubs looming large: Climate change and tundra productivity

EcoTone - the ESA blog

In April 2009, the blog received an average of 387 unique visitors and 2,491 page views per day.  This April it averaged 636 visitors and 4,135 page views daily, about a 60% increase in overall traffic.

Press Releases:  Top Hits with Media

  • Ecologists Identify Birds Struck in Hudson River Crash as Migratory Canada Geese (FIEE)
  • Transporting Juvenile Salmon Hinders Adult Migration (EA)
  • Ecologists Propose First Prevention for White-nose Syndrome Death in Bats (FIEE)
  • Declining Alaskan Sea Otters Affect Bald Eagles’ Diet (ECOL)
  • Polarized Light Pollution Leads Animals Astray (FIEE)
  • Fake cod article from FIEE is the current hot topic.

Coverage includes:
            BBC World News, Science, The New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, LA Times, Denver Post, Scientific American, Discovery News, National Geographic News, and many others.

Letters, Action Alerts, Policy News Updates

  • About a dozen letters on topics of importance to ecological community from science collections to water planning
  • Action alerts to targeted members ranging from pending legislation to assisting with Gulf oil disaster assessments
  • ESA Policy News on key environmental policy developments

            About a dozen letters on topics of importance to ecological community from science collections to water planning

Action alerts to targeted members ranging from pending legislation to assisting with Gulf oil disaster assessments

ESA Policy News on key environmental policy developments

Briefings and Field Trips
            Water resources in the West (2009)
            Environmental Observatories (2009) with NEON, inc.
            Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (2010) with AAAS and other organizations

Policy and Media Training
            e.g., session last summer at the Annual Meeting with a panel of media experts who gave feedback to participants as they pitched their research to the panel. It was popular, and will be repeated this summer. 
            A growing number of scientific groups are asking for help with media training. (There could be some opportunity to generate income doing this.) 

ESA Graduate Student Policy Awards 
            Two to four graduate students are brought to Washington, DC each year for training and to make visits to Capitol Hill. 

Upcoming Activities
            Congressional field trip to Baltimore Ecosystem study, June 2010 (hosted by President-Elect Pickett)
            Policy & Media Training (e.g., for some of the ESA Board later this week)
            Policy handbook
            Possible event associated with Gulf oil disaster

Rapid Response Team
            Continues to be a great resource for the PAO. 

  • Regional Policy Award (Huenneke / Lymn)

Two nominees were tied for the third annual Regional Policy Award and the Board reviewed the details of both nominees:  A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the choice of Mayor Fetterman to receive the Regional Policy Award.

  • Natural History Section

A petition with 92 signatures (two of which were duplicates and 43 of which turned out not to be ESA members, but have been solicited by Secretary Inouye to join) was received.  Four additional Board members added their names so the requisite 50 votes were received.  A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board agrees to send the proposal for the new Section to the Council at the Annual Meeting.

  • EcoSummit 2012 

The meeting is proposed for September 30 – 5 October 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.  This would be the 4th EcoSummit, and ESA had a presence at the previous one in China.  Bill Mitsch is Program Chair and has approached ESA to explore a possible role, which could include being on the planning committee or serving as the US host.  There was discussion about the potential costs and benefits of participation.  It was pointed out that 8 of the 12 members of the International Scientific Committee are editors of Elsevier journals.  Mary Power, Terry Chapin and Katherine McCarter will call Mitsch with a request for some additional information about details of the proposed partnership.  Alan Covich, a member of their Scientific Committee, will also be asked for an opinion. 

  • Report of the Awards Committee

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the list of award nominations from the ESA Awards Committee. 

  • New Journal

We now have a hold with the Library of Congress on the name “Ecosphere”.  
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves name Ecosphere for the new electronic journal. 

A ‘cover page’ for the journal has been designed to add to the Publications Web landing page.  The mission statement has been refined:

The Scope of the new journal is as broad as the science of ecology itself.  The journal welcomes submissions from all sub-disciplines of ecology and interdisciplinary studies.  The journal’s goal is to provide a rapid-publication, online-only, open access alternative to ESA’s other journals, while maintaining the rigorous standards of peer review for which ESA publications are renowned.

There will be volume numbers but page numbering will start with 1 for each paper. The editor(s) will probably continue to reject some submissions without review.  A call for papers will be issued at the next Annual Meeting. We hope to have an Editor-in-Chief chosen by the fall, as new submissions start to arrive (the first papers will be drawn from the existing pool of accepted papers from the other ESA journals).  Don Strong will serve as Interim Editor-in-Chief, to get the journal up and running. 

Given that we will be encouraging all authors of papers in Ecosphere to become ESA members (through the reduced publication fee for members), we should consider the expense of mailing Frontiers to a large number of international members (anticipating that there will be many international authors submitting papers).  A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: Beginning in 2011 we will provide Frontiers to international members of the ESA via free online access.

Publications office is having weekly meetings about the new journal, and meetings are also set up with other people and organizations (e.g., Allen Press) that will be involved.  A two-page flow chart of steps that need to be taken in this process, with target dates, has been created.  New servers have been delivered, EcoTrack software is being installed now by Allen Press, and they will be ready soon.  Discussions are underway with Thompson-Reuters about getting the journal indexed ASAP, with an eye toward having an impact factor generated in three years.  The plan is to publish the first papers in July, with an official launch and call for papers at the Annual Meeting.  The Public Affairs Office has made plans to send announcements to ESA members, issue press releases, ESA will also have a table at the ESA booth at the Annual Meeting, notify institutional subscribers, host a reception at the ESA Headquarters, etc. 

  • Board Vacancy

A vacancy for a Member-at-Large on the Board has been created by Deb Peters’ move to Vice President for Science.  The Board asked the two current members who will leave the Board this year if they would be willing to extend their service another year, and both agreed.  Josh Schimel was selected to fill the vacancy. 

  • Annual Meeting Issues


A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: Lee Frelich is approved as Local Host for the 2013 Annual Meeting, and thanked for his willingness to serve. 

The Local Host for the Pittsburgh Annual Meeting has recommended designating the Center for Sustainable Landscapes Development Fund at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Garden as recipient for funding from the carbon offset project.  A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the recommendation from the Pittsburg Local Hosts to designate the Center for Sustainable Landscapes Development Fund at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Garden as recipient for funding from the carbon offset project.

After some discussion about carbon offset funding:

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved with one vote against, to reallocate all of the carbon offset funding to the choice of the local hosts, rather than splitting it between the local choice and national groups.  The current national groups will be reviewed in August when the issue will be revisited for the 2011 annual meeting.

  • Report of the Nominations Committee (Sunny Power)

Garth Redfield, Andrew Burton, Janet McFall, and Kenneth Klemow have agreed to run for the Board of Professional Certification. The remainder of the slate is currently incomplete, and will be announced soon (and future Past-Presidents are warned to start early on the task of assembling a slate of nominees!). 

  • South America Chapter Request for Support

South America Chapter Chair, Juan Armesto, has asked ESA to support travel of two individuals to the bi-national meeting of the ecological societies of Chile and Argentina, in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 8-13, 2010.  One of these would be a Board member, and the other a member of the Editorial Office or Publications Committee for a workshop about publishing. The fact that this meeting follows immediately our own Annual Meeting makes it unlikely a current Board member would be able to go. An AGU meeting is happening about the same time in Iguazu, and Rob Jackson volunteers to contact some recent ESA Board members who may be going to the AGU meeting to see if they would be willing to attend the Buenos Aires meeting as well.  We will suggest using Skype as a way to have someone from the Editorial Office or Publications Committee participate in the publications workshop, and look for an appropriate (perhaps Spanish-speaking) volunteer. 

            A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves funding up to $3,000 for a recent ESA Board member attending the AGU meeting in Iguazu in August to attend the meeting of the ecological societies of Chile and Argentina.   

  • New Business

NSF announced that around October 2010, it will require that all grant proposals include a data management plan in the form of a two-page supplementary document that will be subject to peer review. This step is part of the agency's efforts to address how best to make government-funded research accessible to the public. Bill Michener is on the Board for Dryad, “a permanent, stable, curated and updated online repository for … data”, based at NESCENT, and has sent a prospectus about Dryad to the ESA.  ESA could endorse their Joint Data Archiving Policy, become a partner, encourage authors to archive their data, appoint a representative to their Board, and implement an agreement of cooperation to integrate the journal’s manuscript system with Dryad’s data submission process.  

Michener will present a proposal to the Board at the August meeting about formalizing a relationship to Dryad. 

Meeting is adjourned at 12:00 noon. 

Submitted by David W. Inouye, Secretary

November 2008

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
November 18-19, 2008 
Washington , DC

Members Present: Sunny Power (President), Mary Power (President-Elect), Norm Christensen (Past-President), Laura Huenneke (VP for Public Affairs), Meg Lowman (VP for Education and Human Resources), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Josh Schimel (Member-at-Large), Emily Stanley (Member-at-Large), Ann Kinzig (Member-at-Large). Rob Jackson (VP for Science) arrives at lunch.

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

Tuesday 18 November 2007. 9:05 meeting is called to order.

I. Roll Call & Agenda

  • The Governing Board unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
  • The minutes from 2, 3, and 8 August 2008 were unanimously adopted.

II. Reports

  • Report of President Power
  • “I made it through the first three months of presidency!”.
  • During Board orientation yesterday, there was discussion about one issue President Power would like to pursue:  understanding the demographics of our membership, which has implications for attendance at the annual meeting (e.g., many people only come to one, and don’t return), fund raising, etc.
  • There will be an effort (led by Public Affairs) to share information with the new Obama administration about what the ESA considers to be priorities for actions related to ecological issues. 
  • David Baldwin points out that the ESA doesn’t have an official policy on privacy of personal information (such as the database of membership information).
  • Report of Executive Director McCarter and the Office Staff
  • INTECOL has declined the ESA’s bid to serve as secretariat.
  • British Ecological Society and ESA are combining their archives in JSTOR so that members of either society will have access to both sets of journals.
  • The agreement with CAPES, a Brazilian consortium, for distributing ESA journals, is close to completion.
  • Membership has dropped a little (9,971), as expected with the lower attendance at the Milwaukee annual meeting, but library subscriptions are essentially unchanged. 17% of the membership is from outside the USA. 
  • Development: Ramona hopes to increase the % of members who contribute to the Society (6.4% now). A mailing has been sent to about 250 potential SEEDS donors. The Development Committee membership will be updated soon. Ramona will ask Board members to help screen potential donors from the Consultative Group on Biodiversity.
  • Frontiers is getting more papers, more proposals for special issues (only 2 a year), and more letters (which as of next year will be put online as there is no longer enough room in the journal). As of December, issues to US addresses will not have a plastic mailing envelope (they are required for international addresses). 
  • Science: The biofuels conference and workshop are still having active outcomes, including publications.
  • Public Affairs Office: Opening plenary speaker for 2009 meeting has been chosen: Sandra Postel (Global Water Policy Project).  Many issues have been brought to the PAO (e.g., Asian oyster introduction to the Chesapeake Bay).  ESA is joining several other societies for a January congressional briefing on the science of climate change. PAO has helped with policy training for other organizations, and Nadine will join an AIBS colleague to help train young faculty at University of New Mexico this winter.  ESA will collaborate with NEON to lead a field trip for congressional staffers to the Smithsonian’s Conservation and Research Center (near Front Royal, VA, and outside the 35-mile radius within which some activities for congressional staff are restricted).
  • Publications: Society journals are doing well in terms of submissions, time to publication, and the new Web site, but there is a growing backlog of papers awaiting publication (editors were asked to help by increasing the rejection rate).
  • Education: The workshop about NEON sponsored by NSF for faculty education (development workshop on continental-scale ecology for faculty from undergraduate institutions) was very successful (Liz Blood from NSF was very pleased).  ESA has begun collaborating with a group focusing on ocean science education.  There are now 50 SEEDS chapters, and the program is growing, but there is only about one year of Mellon funding left. It would be nice to have more followup with SEEDS graduates to facilitate their entry into relevant employment.
  • Report of Vice President for Finance Parton 10:55 AM
    • First Quarter Financials (McCarter)

The budget is in good shape at present, but there is a lot of uncertainty about how the current economic situation will affect the Society, in terms of membership, subscriptions, and attendance at the annual meeting. Staff will monitor the revenue and expenses closely to detect any trends.

    • Investment Update (Parton)

Our investment portfolio has lost $162,000 since the beginning of the year (a 13% reduction in our portfolio).  The portfolio is 60% equity, 40% bonds.

III. Discussion / Action Items 11:15 AM

  • Ethics Complaint. 

Chair Pat Flebbe of the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee joined the meeting by speaker phone and gave a brief summary of the history of the complaint filed by an ESA member concerning a paper published in an ESA journal.  The Board greatly appreciates the efforts of the Committee in investigating this case and making recommendations, and President Power will contact the parties involved to communicate the sense of the Board about this issue.

  • Presidential Centennial Committee (Christensen)

Christensen was asked by the Board to suggest names for a committee that would help to plan events related to the Society’s centennial celebration in 2015. Existing committees will also play significant roles, including the Historical Records Committee, Future Meetings Committee, Program Committee, the Publications Committee, and the Governing Board.  Older ESA members who have observed a significant part of the Society’s history might be appropriate members of the new committee.  We should ask all the ESA committees to think about how they might be involved in the celebration, including both celebrating the history and looking toward the future.  Ideas are proposed such as:  reviving the Ecological Classics column in the Bulletin, publishing similar papers with historical insights into significant ecological papers, developing an ecology-related board game (maybe reviving Steve Hubbell’s successful Extinction game, or an ecology-related version of Monopoly). 

  • Studies involving ESA members (President Power)

We have no official policy about collection of data from or ESA members, such as making the membership names and addresses available for surveys conducted by others on behalf of ESA, and archiving the original data collected from member surveys.  The data behind the original WAMIE study, for example, seem to be lost.  Some aspects of this issue will be addressed by the new privacy policy that will be drafted by Katherine and her staff.  A new data policy was adopted: “Whenever possible, and consistent with any IRB regulations imposed on the person or persons conducting the survey, data from surveys on behalf of ESA and involving ESA members shall be the property of the Society.”

  • Vegetation Panel (Jackson/Duke)

Since its original appointment in 1995 this has been a committee with successive three- or five-year appointments, and the current term ends 31 December, 2008. Jackson suggests that this be changed to make the panel a permanent standing committee.
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board supports extending the Vegetation Panel for an additional three-year term, and requests that the Council consider at the 2009 annual meeting a proposal to establish the Vegetation Panel as a permanent standing committee. 

  • Millennium Conference Series (Duke) 2:03 PM

The Science Office proposes a process and timetable for future ESA Millennium Conferences:  A call for proposals will be announced in early September two years before the target year, with proposals due by end of October. The Past-President will convene an ad-hoc committee of five to seven members to review proposals, and a winning proposal will be announced by early December. VP for Science will serve as an ex officio member of the organizing committee.  
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the proposal from the Science Office for a process and timetable for future ESA Millennium Conferences.

  • Principles for Involvement in Extramural Programs (Duke)

The Board is presented with a Draft Principles for ESA Involvement in Extramural Programs (revised from the July 2008 version). 
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the proposed Principles for ESA Involvement in Extramural Programs, dated October 2008.

  • TIEE

TIEE has been supported by ESA since 2004, hosting this peer-reviewed electronic publication and providing services of the ESA Education Coordinator.  NSF funding for this publication is ending, and Dr. Charlene D’Avanzo, who has led the effort to date, has asked ESA to assume responsibility for TIEE. The Publications Committee has prepared a report, which is presented to the Board.

A survey of members of the ESA Education Section (N=71 responses) found high support for TIEE. Estimated cost of maintaining TIEE is $27,000/yr (primarily Education office staff time, Webmaster time), but this may be an underestimate given the previous grant-funded budget.  There is one issue per year, with a significant number of pages; the 2008 issue is close to completion.  The Education and Human Resources Committee would need to be involved (one of Teresa’s staff members is essentially the managing editor at present), as would Publications (whose membership would have to be changed to reflect the new responsibility).

The Board consensus is that TIEE has been a valuable contribution to the ecological education community, but there are still some questions about the financial model and how the transition to ESA would be accomplished. Liz Biggs and Katherine will try to confirm the estimate for an operating budget for continuing TIEE, and the Publications Committee is asked to provide more detail on what should TIEE look like if it became one of our flagship publications, including the balance of pedagogy versus lab experiments, the identity of the journal's closest competitors, and any ways in which the peer-review process may need to change to make it consistent with ESA practices. 

  • Site Selection 2013/2015  3:30 PM

Kiyoko Miyanishi, Chair of Meetings Committee, joined the meeting by conference phone.  Both Minneapolis and Baltimore are good options, but because of potentially easier media access, she recommends Baltimore for 2015 (the centennial meeting), and Minneapolis for 2013, and the Board concurs. Minneapolis and Fort Lauderdale are offering free use of their convention centers, and ESA hasn’t met in Florida for several decades. Fort Lauderdale is a possibility for a meeting after 2015. 

  • Program Chair 2011 (Christensen) 3:56 PM

Norma Fowler will be local host at the Austin meeting. Sharon Strauss (UC Davis) is considering the invitation to be Program Chair and Norm has another person in mind if she declines. 

  • Broader Environmental Impacts for ESA Annual Meetings (Huenneke)

ESA includes in the cost of annual meeting registration an amount to be used to offset environmental impacts of the meeting.  The Local Host Committee was asked to recommend local organizations or projects to support and the Public Affairs Committee was asked to make a recommendation for national and international organizations/projects to which ESA can contribute.  The Public Affairs Committee did not have the opportunity to discuss this request and will do so at their upcoming meeting and make a recommendation in time for the May Governing Board meeting.  The Local Host Committee will make a recommendation at that meeting as well.  Broader impacts beyond the greenhouse gas emissions of travel, including those related to habitat destruction, introduced species, and the spread of human disease could be addressed, and an effort could be made to tailor the focus to local issues (e.g. focus on water at the Albuquerque meeting).

  • 2010 Annual Meeting Theme 4:10 PM

Frank Gilliam is the Program Chair for the 2010 meeting in Pittsburgh, and has proposed “Global warming: The legacy of our past, the challenge for our future” as a meeting theme. 
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the proposed theme for the 2010 meeting.

  • Ecological Monographs

The Publications Committee was asked to discuss several suggestions related to Ecological Monographs that grew out of the report from the Ad Hoc Committee on Publications and in conversations with Don Strong, Editor in Chief of EM.  The Committee recommends that the name of the journal should not be changed, that Associate Editor Aaron Ellison be named Editor in Chief of Ecological Monographs, and that he be paid $5,000 for this responsibility 
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board supports these recommendations for changes in Ecological Monographs, to appoint Aaron Ellison as Editor in Chief with an initial term through December 2011, and offer him compensation of $5,000 per year

November 19, 2008
Executive Session 8:30 AM

  • Public Affairs Program Review (Huenneke/Lymn) 9:36 AM

ESA’s Public Affairs Committee dates back to 1954.  In the early 1980s a Public Affairs Office was established, which developed the Ecological Information Network, an ESA Newsletter and facilitated a Biotech Hill briefing.  Interactions tended to focus on collaborating with environmental policy and advocacy groups. The 1990s saw a shift to a facilitator role, press operations began, and there was ESA testimony on wetland issues.  There was a focus on science funding, the Public Affairs Officer position was created, communications training and policy sessions were instituted, the first ESA Congressional Fellow and Congressional Visits Day were initiated, as were press releases about papers appearing in ESA journals.  A half-time education position was also funded within the PA office.  ESA sponsored its first booth on the annual Hill science exhibition, and on average three Hill briefings were held each year.  Since 2000 the education position has become full-time and independent of the PA Office.  There are now about 20 Hill and Executive Branch meetings/yr, a Policy Analyst position was created, a second ESA Congressional Fellow was appointed, ESA sends about 10 letters/statements per year, and international media coverage has increased. 

The PA Committee has originated a number of initiatives for the Society, such as ESA position papers, the ESA Corporate Award, the Opening Plenary at the Annual Meeting, community outreach efforts, hosting policy staff at the Annual Meeting, and development of the Regional Policy Award.

The mission of the PA office now is to work with media to convey ecological knowledge, inform national environmental and science policy, and foster federal support for ecological research and education.  Media outreach efforts include press releases, the press room at the Annual Meeting, creating podcasts, connecting media to ESA members, writing op-ed pieces, and communications and policy training sessions at the Annual Meeting.  Samples of the podcasts were played for the Board.

The current portfolio for the PAO related to federal support of ecological research and education includes budget analysis, congressional visits, the annual Hill exhibition about research and education projects funded by NSF, and working with coalitions that focus on different federal agencies of relevance to ecologists. Congressional visits to support funding for all federal agencies that fund ecological research are an important activity that has involved members ranging from graduate students to senior Society leaders. The environmental and science policy part of the portfolio includes conducting (or partnering) in Congressional briefings, field trips for Hill staff, press releases, writing statements (e.g., the recent biofuels statement) and letters (10-12/yr, e.g., the letter from President Power to the Bush administration about proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act), targeted hill meetings (smaller groups than briefings), and creating and supporting the Rapid Response Teams. 

Engagement with ESA members includes sending the bimonthly Policy News, the communication training at the Annual Meeting, PAC-sponsored sessions at the Annual Meeting, and the membership of the Public Affairs Committee.

Looking ahead:  PAC wants to:

  • Continue to interact with EHRC and Science committees, and with “Issues in Ecology”. 
  • Encourage regional rapid response teams; explore “toolkits” for members engaged in local or regional policy issues.
  • Evaluate the 2007 member policy survey
  • Recognize the new threshold of member expectations (e.g., those making visits to D.C. who want help arranging meetings with legislators)
  • Keep ESA’s reputation intact – play to strengths of being the world’s largest society of ecological scientists.

There may be additional ways to take advantage of the Annual Meeting, e.g., in terms of regional efforts related to the local region. 
It would be a good idea to remind the membership of the availability of the ESA Policy News listserv (ESANEWS).

  • Bioenergy Policy Paper Proposal 11:03 AM

ESA member Dennis Ojima has proposed development of an ESA Policy Paper “Bioenergy: Options for Decision-making”.  The intended audience for policy papers includes federal agencies, Congress, and the media.  A two-day meeting is requested, with a budget of $9,000 + publication costs (unspecified).

Concern was expressed about the feasibility of addressing this broad topic in a two-day meeting with a relatively small pool of participants.  It might be more appropriate to do something on the scale of an NCEAS workshop.  It’s also uncertain how much this effort would add at this point to the recent activity by the Society on biofuels. Although this is an issue that ESA should continue to be involved in, this particular proposal may be premature given the state of our understanding of the biofuels issue, and not well enough focused.  VP for Public Affairs Hunneke will respond to the proposal and encourage a potential future resubmission. 

  • Long-Range Planning Process (President Power) 11:25 AM

A proposal is presented for a continuous long-range planning process that will incorporate the current Program Reviews and Mid-Term Program Reviews. These operational-level reviews seem to be achieving the goal of adaptive management at the program level, but we need to make sure that a broader perspective on ESA priorities is also being addressed. The Board agreed that time beyond the normal semi-annual meeting is needed, and scheduled an extra day for the May meeting for this long-range planning.  Suggestions were made for a possible facilitator for this meeting.

  • Corporate Award

There is some risk in this award, in terms of public relations, but it is an opportunity to try and move industry toward more beneficial ecological activities by recognizing a corporation’s activities and holding them up as a role model.  Receipt of this award has not had an effect on corporate giving to the Society, and we have no information about how it may have affected corporate behavior.  Given the apparent cost/benefit ratio of this award, the consensus is that we should not give the award this year and should re-think the reasoning behind the award as part of our long-range planning. This could be considered as part of an outreach effort to a non-academic, private sector audience. 

  • May Meeting Dates

The May meeting is scheduled for 18-20 May 2009, with the first day to be devoted to a long-term strategic planning process.

  • New Business

No new business.

Meeting is adjourned at 12:16 PM. 

Submitted by David W. Inouye, Secretary

August 8, 2008

ESA Governing Board 
August 8, 2008 
Milwaukee, WI

Members Present: 
Sunny Power (President), Norm Christensen (Past-President), Mary Power (President-Elect), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Laura Huenneke (VP for Public Affairs), Rob Jackson (VP for Science), Emily Stanley (Member at Large), Josh Schimel (Member at Large),

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

I.  Roll Call, 8:45 AM

II. Information

  1. The Governing Board agreed to meet 17-19 November 2008 in Washington, D.C.; activities on the 17th will be the orientation for new Board members, and a late afternoon reception for all Board members and staff.

III. Discussion/ Action Items

    1. Audit Committee needs an additional member.  Rob Jackson and Ann Kinzig are current members of the Audit Committee, and Laura Huenneke agrees to join it. 
    2. Discussion of Data Registry and DRYAD
      David Baldwin handed out information, a list of action items, and a proposal generated during the previous few days from the Publications Committee. Concerns were raised about how to archive simulations and results from modeling studies (probably just the algorithm and not the results of runs of it), how permanent some archives might be (analogous to the closing of some herbaria, some data centers may not be long lived), and whether ESA needs to recommend particular archives or restrict the number of approved archives. The evolution journals are proceeding with the data registry/deposition policy and we will have an opportunity to see how well this works before we implement an ESA policy (or more broadly, a policy for all major ecological journals).

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the recommendation from the Publication Committee regarding data registration, archiving, and sharing, and approves the following statement:
“ESA strongly encourages data registration, archiving, and sharing. Data used in papers  published in ESA journals should be deposited in an 
appropriate public archive, such as Dryad, LTER, GenBank, TreeBase, EcoTrends, Ecological Archives, the NCEAS-based ESA Data Registry and 
Archive, or any other approved data archiving platform. The data should be given with sufficient metadata such that an interested researcher might 
re-create each result in the published paper.”.” 

    1. Ecological Monographs
      The Board discussed briefly the idea and implications of changing the name of the journal to Ecological Monographs and Reviews, adding a new Editor, and the possibility of raising the page limit on papers in it.  The Publications Committee is asked to continue consideration of these issues and provide a proposal for the Board to review during its November meeting.
    2. Carbon imprint and environmental impact of the Annual Meeting
      Past-President Norm Christensen has talked with the local host committee chair about the process used for selecting organizations for donations. 

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the choice of organizations suggested by the local host committee to receive $10,000 (split equally) from the funds collected as part of the meeting registration fees: 

      1. A contribution toward installation of a wind turbine at Riveredge Nature Center;
      2. Support for forest and wetland restoration projects at the Mequon Nature Preserve;
      3. A contribution to the sustainability programming at the Urban Ecology Center.

The remaining funds collected for offsetting the environmental impact of the annual meeting will be contributed to the same organizations as last year - Sustainable Travel International and the Carbon Fund --  for carbon offsetting activities.

    1. Centennial celebration, and report from the Historical Records Committee
      The Historical Records Committee met this week, and invited Jean Black (Yale University Press).  She presented ideas about how some other professional groups have celebrated their significant anniversaries with publishing projects, and suggested that the ESA needs to decide what the goal would be for a publication related to the upcoming centennial; should it be just to inform the membership, to create a historical record, or be used for development purposes?  She also suggested names of some prominent environmental historians who might be contacted about a commission to write a history of the Society. 

      The HRC asks the Governing Board to appoint a Presidential Centennial Celebration Committee (PCCC) that would have the primary responsibility for planning the Centennial activities, and suggests that Alan Covich would be an excellent choice to chair the committee.  The HRC also requested that funding be provided for a meeting of the PCCC in October so that it could make a presentation to the November Governing Board meeting. It was pointed out that some members of the HRC are both well versed and very interested in ESA history and should be members of the PCCC.  Although the Board recognizes the need to proceed quickly on planning for the centennial, it would like to wait until the November meeting to proceed with appointment of the committee.  

      Bob Peet, who has handled much of the creation and updating of the ESA Web page with historical information would like ESA staff to take over the job of updating the information in the future (e.g., biographical information for Board members, names of Section award winners, etc.).

    2. Public Affairs Committee also met this week.  They will continue to coordinate with the Science Committee and the Program Committee in plans for the next annual meeting. The PAC has looked at the first draft of a statement about economic growth.
    3. Future meetings

Past-President Christensen has been seeking candidates for the Program Committee chair for 2010, and had some difficulty finding someone to agree. He solicited Frank Gilliam this week and he has agreed to do it, and was able to attend the Meetings Committee meeting this week. Norm is working on a candidate for 2011, and also pointed out that we should find someone for the Centennial year soon.  Local Host Committee chairs are already appointed for the meetings through 2011. 

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves appointing Frank Gilliam as Program Chair for the 2010 meeting.

  1. Current meeting
    Bill Parton raised the issue that the biogeochemistry community used to come to ESA Annual Meetings, but now go to AGU for their annual meeting instead (there are 2000 members of that AGU section).  The way AGU organizes their sessions is different from ESA: session titles are proposed and approved, and then the session organizers solicit people to speak in those sessions (somewhat similar to the process for our Organized Oral Sessions).  Having more organized oral sessions at the ESA meeting for this community might bring more of them to the ESA meeting, although there may be other reasons for the decline in attendance (e.g., a better context for them at the AGU meeting). President-Elect Mary Power suggested that co-hosting a meeting, or sessions, with USGS might a way to encourage collaboration and attendance. ESA  is becoming a better home for microbial ecology (for which there isn’t an alternative in the US at present).  

    The Education Committee would like to recommend archiving of data such as the results of surveys conducted by ESA committees.  E.g., the WAMIE survey. 

Meeting is adjourned at 10:22 AM.

Submitted by David Inouye, Secretary

August 3, 2008

Minutes of the ESA Council 
August 3, 2008 
Milwaukee, WI

I. Introductions of Council Members and others present

Brendan Bohannon (Microbical Ecology), Lou Gross (Program Chair), Scott Collins (Long-Term Studies & Publication Committee), Jenny Talbot (Student), Nancy Johnson (Soil Ecology), Wayne Zipperer (Urban Ecosystem), Richard Brugam (Paleoecology), Jill Baron (Editor in Chief, Issues in Ecology), Karen Yee (Canada Chapter), Hoski Schaafsma, Janet Morrison (Mid-Atlantic Chapter), Mimi Lam (Traditional Ecological Knowledge), Mark Fulton (Vegetation Section), Dennis Martinez (Traditional Ecological Knowledge), Susan Andrews (Agroecology Section), Catherine Pringle (Awards Committee), Scott Collins (Publications Committee), Deb Peters (Southwest Chapter), George Middendorf (Environmental Justice Section), Laurie Anderson (Researchers at Undergraduate Institutions), Anna Sher (Plant Population Ecology Section), Carolyn Hunsaker (Board of Professional Certification), Kiyoko Miyanishi (Meetings Committee, Future Meetings Committee), Randy Balice (Statistical Ecology Section), Ed Johnson (Editor in Chief, Bulletin).

Governing Board members present: Armesto, Belnap, Christensen, Covich, Inouye, Parton, Lowman, Jackson, Stanley, Huennecke, Schimel, Pouyat, Power, Kinzig.

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

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

President Christensen recognized Lou Gross as Program Chair, Michele Horton and Aleta Wiley as ESA staff, and Gretchen Meyer as local host, all of whom were critical to this Annual Meeting.  This has been a good year for the Society, with no big bumps in the road.  Leadership by the staff and ESA members has made it a successful year.  The Science Program has been quite active, for example running the Biofuels Conference, and planning for next year’s Millennium Conference.  Frontiers has continued its rising trajectory, with increasing numbers of submissions.  Issues in Ecology are also taking off, with six in preparation at present. 

            An upcoming issue is that of data registration and data archiving. The Rapid Response Teams have been busy, helping to address important, topical ecological issues, and regional chapters can help with local response teams in the future.  The SEEDS program is helping to train a new generation of ecologists. 

            The financial health of the Society is good, and this year the D.C. office moved to new quarters and was consolidated with the Frontiers staff that was previously in Silver Spring, MD.  Thanks to all of you who have volunteered to help lead the Chapters and Sections.

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

In short, we’ve had another good financial year.  We have had several good years in a row, but will have to look ahead with caution given the current world economic outlook.  Although we had about 10% interest/yr for the past two years, we had a 4% loss on the endowment funds this year (which is good relative to many indices over the past year).  Over the past 5 years the average annual return has been 8%. We have an unrestricted reserve fund of $1.8 million, with a goal of $5 million. 

Assumptions made in planning the 2007-08 budget were reviewed. The proposed budget assumes 10,000 members during 2008-2009, that membership subscriptions will decrease by 20%, that there will be $10,000 in long-term planning grants for Chapters and Sections, and that there will be a subsidy of $40,000 to the Millennium Conference.  The projection for the current fiscal year is that there will be revenue of $6,267,800 (slightly less than the previous year, and expenses of $6,267,462 (down from $6,369,307 last year). Revenue minus expenses is thus projected at $338. As approved two years ago by the Governing Board, there will be a routine increase in annual dues of approximately 2%, with a 2% increase for student and developing member categories every other year (beginning in 2009). 

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved: The Council approves the proposed 2008-2009 budget.

IV. Discontinuing the Western Chapter (Inouye)

The Governing Board has recommended discontinuing the inactive Western Chapter.  A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Council approves discontinuing the Western Chapter.

Long-Range Planning Grants are reviewed by the Members-At-Large of the Board of Governors. Last year about 8 proposals were received and 6 were funded (not all at the original levels requested). A motion is moved, seconded, and approved (not unanimously): The Council approves transfer of the accumulated Western Chapter dues to the Long-Range Planning Grant account to be distributed over a two-year period. 

President Christensen points out that the Council will be asked shortly to approve creation of a new South American Chapter.

V. Meetings Committee By-Law Changes (Inouye)

            Two changes are proposed to the By-Law concerning the Meetings Committee, to bring it into alignment with what has been the practice for the past couple of years. The first would have the immediate past Program Chair rather than the current Program Chair serve as Co-Chair (with the Future Meetings Chair) of the Meetings Committee.

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously:  The Council approves the proposed change in the By-Laws, to make the immediate past Program Chair rather than the current Program Chair, Co-Chair of the Meetings Committee.

            The other proposed change is the addition of the Chair of the Student Section as a member of the Meetings Committee. This would recognize formally the involvement of the Student Section in Annual Meeting planning. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Council approves the proposed change in the By-Laws, to make the Chair of the Student Section a member of the Meetings Committee. 

VI. Board of Professional Certification (Hunsaker)

            There are many reasons why it would be good to increase the (currently quite low) proportion of members who are Certified Ecologists.  There may be some unexpected costs to members who become certified; e.g., anyone claiming certification of any kind in Tennessee has to pay a $250 annual fee to the state. The proposal from the Board of Professional Certification to require Board and Council members to be Certified Ecologists was discussed.  Council and Board members are encouraged to consider becoming certified (only a few are currently certified).

VII. Reports from Long-range Planning Grant Awardees

  1. Education and Human Resources Committee – Meg Lowman. Six speakers have been invited to speak at the EHRC lunch this week, and these funds were used to help bring them to the meeting.
  2. Education Section – Christopher Beck.  The grant was used to bring six high-school teachers to the meeting so they could learn about what ESA does. 
  3. Student Section – Jenny Talbot. The proposal was to fund travel by students to the Annual Meeting.  Over 100 applications were received, 11 students (3 international) were funded.  Prizes of $150 were given to the winner of the competition for a Student Section logo, for the best undergraduate presentation at the Annual Meeting ($150 each for the best oral and poster presentations), and for the best student (undergraduate and graduate) research project (nominated by their advisors). There will also be a presentation of entries for the best student-made film, following the Student Section meeting.
  4. Soil Ecology – Nancy Johnson.  The grant was used for awards for student travel to the Annual Meeting, and the apparent need has stimulated a search for funds for an endowment for future travel awards.
  5. Canada Chapter – Karen Yee.  The grant was used to hire someone to create a database for use by the Chapter on its Web site. 
  6. Agroecology Section – Susan Andrews.  The grant was used for awards for the top three oral and poster presentations. 
  7. Microbiology Section – Brendan Bohannan. This is the end of the Section’s first year. The grant was used for travel awards for four students. 

Ann Kinzig gave some information about what kinds of proposals for Long-Range Planning Grants the Members-At-Large would like to encourage.

VIII. Information Exchange (Inouye)

            There was a lively discussion about the need for and mechanics of seeking external funding for Chapters and Sections.  
The Plant Population Biology Section silent auction at the Annual Meeting to raise funds for student travel could be emulated by other Sections or Chapters.
Sections and Chapters can submit Symposium proposals. Note that jointly sponsored proposals are encouraged.  Organized Oral Sessions are another opportunity for cross-Section interactions.  
Mid-Atlantic Chapter has an annual spring conference; this year it will be co-sponsored by the Society for Ecological Restoration.  Janet Morrison would appreciate any suggestions about how to run a co-sponsored event like this.
There are many opportunities for involvement with SEEDS, Teresa Mourad pointed out.
Meg Lowman announced that there will be a focus during the 2010 meeting on best practices for ecological education.
There may also be a need for student subsidies for field trips and workshops, or some balance between the need to control numbers of participants in workshops and allowing access by students; the Meetings Committee will discuss this.  
Mimi Lam (TEK Section) suggested that there is also a need for travel funding for members of Native American and other groups with traditional ecological knowledge.

IX. Recognition of Governing Board Members Leaving the Board (Christensen)

            President Christensen recognized the service by Alan Covich (Past President), Rich Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs), Juan Armesto (Member at Large), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large). 

X. Introduction of New Governing Board Members and Passing of the Gavel (Christensen)

            President Christensen introduced President Elect Mary Power, incoming Vice President for Public Affairs Laura Huenneke, incoming Members at Large Josh Schimel and Large Emily Stanley, and incoming President Sunny Power. 

XI. Announcements and New Business (Christensen)
Meeting adjourned at 4:18 PM.

David Inouye, Secretary

August 2, 2008

ESA Governing Board 
August 2-3, 2008 
Milwaukee, WI


Members Present: 
Norm Christensen (President), Alan Covich (Past-President), Sunny Power (President-Elect), Mary Power (incoming President-Elect), Meg Lowman (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Rich Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs), Laura Huenneke (incoming VP for Public Affairs), Rob Jackson (incoming VP for Science), Ann Kinzig (Member at Large), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large), Emily Stanley (incoming Member at Large), Josh Schimel (Incoming Member at Large), Juan Armesto (Member at Large; arrived Saturday afternoon)

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

I.  Roll Call, 9:01 AM

  1. The GB unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
  2. Minutes from the May, 2008 Governing Board meeting were ratified.

II.  Reports

    1. Report of the President (Christensen)

President Christensen thanked the ESA staff for all the help they have provided him during the past year, and expressed pleasure in having gotten to know all of them. There has been no large defining issue for the year, but significant progress was made on a variety of issues. Frontiers is on a more solid ground financially, the Millennium Conference series is underway, data archiving has been addressed, the future of the Society’s publications is being planned, policy issues have been addressed, the education program is active, and the financial footing is secure. He looks forward to turning the gavel over to Sunny Power on Friday, and to assuming the duties of Past-President.

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

See the reports from staff in the Governing Board Meeting Materials for additional detail, which are available in the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America.

JSTOR has asked us to experiment with some different pay-per-view options, to see whether a new pricing option over the next six months will encourage more people to pay for access to ESA journal articles.  We will also be experimenting with joint access to British Ecological Society and Ecological Society of America publications for those who subscribe to either one of the sets of publications.

Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs).  Christine Buckley is the new ESA Communications Officer. About 20 publications have sent writers to the meeting.  Nadine will talk this week to some of the local chapters about establishing their own local rapid response teams. Initial efforts this year to get graduate student members more involved in Public Affairs activities were very successful, and will be continued.

David Baldwin (Managing Editor).  Registration packets at the annual meeting include news about changes in the journals. Reports and Communications are now all open access, as is one article in each issue..  This fall all journals will be moved to a new publishing platform, which will lead to new enhanced features in the online versions.  Impact factor of journals have been rising, in particular Ecological Monographs. Submissions are up about 10% this year, and are continuing to be very international in origin (20 countries this year for country of corresponding author).  Four Special Issues were in the works this year, but this will decline to about one a year. The Bulletin has taken on the publication of annual meeting abstracts as a supplement. Income from JSTOR has been increasing as Internet users use this as a means to access ESA publications.

Ramona Crawford (Director of Development).  Development priorities have been reaffirmed over the past few months (SEEDS, Frontiers, unrestricted funding, special projects as needed).  Ramona, Katherine, and Bill Parton visited three foundations in the San Francisco Bay area (Moore Foundation’s Environmental Conservation and Science initiatives; Energy Foundation; Packard Foundation).  Packard is considering some short-term funding for SEEDS, in response to input from a SEEDS alumna who is working there.  A trip to New York City is planned for the fall to talk with a few more foundations, and a meeting is set for later this month with DuPont (in Delaware). ESA Board members will be contacted soon to ask about contacts they may have with foundations or other potential funders.

Sue Silver (Frontiers Editor).  Submissions to Frontiers have continued to grow.  The E-View early publication feature is working well now.  There are also a lot more letters being submitted, with a 3-month backlog at present, so the Write-Back section will also be put up on E-View, with the best submissions also being put into the print issue. It would be nice to have a blog-style comment section, and although Allen Press can’t do that, there will probably be a work-around solution to make this possible. TNC has offered some funding, and EPA and NSF seem likely to provide some funding, for a special issue on ecosystem services. Sue will be going back to China again to lead another workshop on how to get published in high-impact English-language journals.    

Cliff Duke (Director of Science).  The Millennium conference planning is proceeding for next fall’s meeting at the University of GA.  EPA is likely to contribute funding, and some NSF offices probably will too.  There will be a meeting in December in the DC area for stakeholders in the plan for the new (virtual) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (for which the Science office is conducting planning).

Teresa Mourad (Director of Education). SEEDS has received recognition twice in the past year, from NSF and from AIBS. The program received a grant from NSF to identify SEEDS students as potential candidates for REU supplement awards to NSF grantees.  Packard Foundation is interested in helping to fund an organizational effectiveness program, to help provide an ecologically informed work force for the future.  In response to staff inquiries, there has been positive interest from contacts in Chile, China, and Mexico about working with SEEDS. EcoEd Digital Library has been low-key, but a call for submissions did go out this year.  There is a day of events here at the annual meeting for local K-12 teachers (especially high school).  

Liz Biggs (Director of Finance).  The financial office doesn’t like excitement, and there isn’t much this year; 30 June was the end of the fiscal year, and we seem to have done well. Projection is for about 3,200 attendees at the annual meeting. 

    1. Financial Updates (Parton/McCarter)

Fourth quarter (end of year) financials were distributed and discussed.  The financial picture is good, in part because of the unexpectedly large attendance at the San Jose meeting. 

We lost 5% of our investment value last month, but were only 4% down for the past year.   

III. Discussion/Action Items

    1. Fiscal Year 2008-2009 ESA Budget
      1. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the proposed budget for 2008-2009.
      2. LongRange Planning Grants

As in the past, proposals for planning grants will be reviewed by the Members-at-Large. The uneven quality of proposals and the wide range of kinds of proposals were a problem for the review committee last year. The current and incoming Members-at-Large agreed to draft a set of criteria for evaluating proposals, after they have looked at the old guidelines that Katherine will provide, which had additional information about inappropriate uses of funds.  

      1. Committee Funds

$5,600 is available for each of four committees to meet, and five have expressed interest in having meetings this year.  Some committees may not need all of the allocated funding, and we could potentially use Board Strategic Initiative Funds to cover any expenses beyond this budget.  Jayne Belnap made a case for a line item in the budget for an annual meeting (not at the ESA annual meeting) of the publications committee. 

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Committee Funds budget will be increased to cover funding for five committee meetings each year.

      1. Board Strategic Initiative Funds

$4,400 is available (having just committed some of this to the Committee Funds budget).  The discussion evolved into consideration of the future of three kinds of meetings – committees, larger-scale (e.g., perhaps regional) meetings, and the annual meeting. How will these meetings be affected by the increasing cost of transportation and increasing concern about environmental impact of travel?  How could an electronic alternative for meetings be used to increase international participation? 

      1. Discussion of Council Presentation

This year there will be a 2% increase in dues for all members (including student and international members, for which the increase occurs every other year).  The Educator Day activities should be emphasized.

      1. Frontiers Funding

Financial goals for the next four years for Frontiers were discussed; the model presented assumes continuing growth in revenue and contributions both from ESA and from external sources, and with a shrinking shortfall between income and expenses.

    1. Cost of Living Increase (Kinzig)

Present policy is that an annual pool of funding (5% of payroll) is available for merit increase and cost of living, with recommendations for allocation made from senior staff for their assistants and decisions made by Katherine for senior staff.  There are biennial evaluations for each staff member.  

A motion is proposed and subsequently tabled: The Executive Director is asked to recommend each year to the Governing Board a fixed-amount cost of living increase for all employees, which will be proportional to percentage of full-time employment and independent of the pool for merit increases.

    1. South American Chapter

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Governing Board recommends establishment of a new South American Chapter.  This proposal will be presented to the Council tomorrow, in preparation for a vote in 90 days.

    1. Science Program Review (Jackson/Duke)

VP Jackson and Director of Science Duke presented a short history of the Science Office Program, its membership, and its activities since the previous full program review in 2004.  Current projects can be categorized as:

      1. Advancing Visions initiatives.  Examples include:
          • Data sharing workshops

A Society summit was held in September 2004, and workshops on data registries (July 2006), data centers (December 2006), obstacles to data sharing (May 2007), and incentives for data sharing (fall 2008). Products from these efforts include a special session at this annual meeting, input into a National Academy of Sciences Board of Life Sciences briefing in April 2008, the ecology journals data sharing initiative (Whitlock 2007), editorials in ESA publications, and a manuscript in review in PLoS.

          • A biofuels conference and workshop in DC in March 2008, with articles about this work in progress for a feature in Ecological Applications, Issues in Ecology, and the Science Policy Forum. 
          • Issues in Ecology – there have been 12 issues to date, one on carbon sequestration is in progress, and five are in preparation on biofuels (with funding from the Energy Foundation).  The Advisory Board is considering additional ideas. 
          • The Millennium Conference: Water - Ecosystem Services, Drought, and Environmental Justice, to be held in Athens in fall 2009. 
      1. Maintaining responsiveness to the ecological science community (a service role for the Society). Examples include:
        1. A workshop in June 2007 on Assessment of Forest Decline in the SE United States. Products include a nontechnical summary, a workshop report on the ESA Web site, and posters at three conferences.
        2. An ESA panel on vegetation classification that already has a variety of products.
        3. Partnership with The Wildlife Society, and the Meridian Institute (a facilitation organization) to help with development of the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. 
      2. Sustainability Science agenda – an initiative begun by Gus Shaver during his tenure as VP for Science.  Activities have included a Special Session at the 2005 ESA annual meeting, a workshop at Brown University in March 2006, a symposium at the 2007 annual meeting, and a 2008 AAAS symposium.

Other activities (briefly) have included participation (this year by Aleta Wiley) in National Invasive Weeds Awareness Week, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (Devon Rothschild), the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (Cliff Duke), and Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable (Corrie Mauldin). 

Future directions include:

      1. General
        1.  Focus on ESA-initiated, longer-term projects
        2.  Look for opportunities to develop additional activities in climate change and sustainability
        3.  Continue to promote development of ecological science, e.g., data sharing, NEON
        4.  help lead international outreach
      2. Potential projects
        1.  Promoting integration of basic ecological research into policy and management (now being developed by J. Herrick and R. Pouyat for the Science Committee)
        2.  Workshop on co-effects of geoengineering (with Rob Jackson)
        3.  Proposed program review of USGS Biological Resources Discipline (with Mary Barber, RTI)
        4.  Workshop on how to reward participation (by academics) in large-scale research (with CEDD, NEON).
      3.  Collaborations
        1.  Millennium Conference will involve substantial collaboration among ESA offices
        2.  Science and Education offices are both working on proposal for SEEDS’ Mexico research and mentoring program
        3.  Biofuels project has involved Science, PAO, and Education staff
        4.  PAO prepares an annual policy priorities document that could help stimulate development of related Science projects.
      4. Potential International Outreach
        1.  SEEDS program’s Mexico project collaboration with Education
        2.  Follow-on to the biofuels conference
        3.  SCOPE or Diversitas workshop on sustainability science
        4.  Projects with the Federation of the Americas
      5. “Rebranding” project categories
      6. Consider renaming current project categories to improve understanding by new (or non-) ESA members and potential funders. For example, “Advancing Visions” is not clear to those unfamiliar with the project.  Possible alternative names include:


        • Advancing Ecological Science
        • Building Ecology

“Maintaining Responsiveness” must address a range of stakeholders, not just the ecological science community. 
Possible alternatives include:

        • Applying Ecological Science
        • Ecology for Community

“Sustainability Science Agenda” could be usefully broadened to encompass a greater range of activities, e.g., climate change.  
Possible alternatives include:

        • Ecology for Sustainability
        • Sustainable Solutions

Laura Huenneke brought up the point that huge amounts of money will be spent soon on replacing aging infrastructure across the country, but there has been no discussion among engineers about minimizing ecological impacts or trying to adopt a sustainability perspective.

Ecological implications of nanotechnology is another issue in which NSF and EPA are developing a great interest and in which ESA could get involved.
Ecological repercussions of energy development in the western US (e.g., 20 million acres of solar panels) are another opportunity for ESA involvement in the future.

ESA could consider collaborating with Sigma Xi to provide ecologists for their speaker series.

    1. Principles for Involvement in Local and Regional Initiatives (Jackson)

At the May meeting VP Jackson and the Science Committee were asked to draft a set of principles to guide ESA’s future involvement in regional- and local-scale endeavors.  The principles suggested are: that there should be consistency with the ESA Constitution, Bylaws, and Long Range Plan; maintenance of independence of analysis and judgment; transparency of products; and the freedom to decline projects that are not consistent with the principles. The Governing Board Meeting Materials have additional details about each of these points. The Board recognized that these principles could apply more generally and asked the Science Committee to reword the statement so it would apply to ESA initiatives at all levels and share the revision with the Education and Public Affairs committees.  The revised version will be considered in November.

    1. Millennium Conference Series (Christensen)

Although the initial proposal was to make this an annual conference, the expense and work involved are such that it would work better as a biennial event. 
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Millennium Conference will be a biennial event.
In addition, the Board asked that a proposal for the process of conducting the Millennium Conference in the long term be brought to the November meeting.

    1. Yearly Public Policy Priorities (Pouyat/Lymn)

Some of the proposed priorities are continuing topics, but one new one is water quality and quantity.  The PAO would like to work more closely with the Rapid Response Teams to generate statements on these topics as they come up in the news and as policy issues. A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Governing Board approves the proposed list of Public Policy Priorities for the coming year.

    1. Carbon/Environmental Impacts (Christensen)

The Board decided last year to use $5 per registrant at the annual meeting as a donation to be split between a local organization/project (recommended by the Local Host Committee) and a carbon offset activity.  This year we anticipate about $16,000 will be available, to be allocated as $10,000 in recognition of environmental impact on the local community and the balance to carbon offsets.  President Christensen will confer with the chair of the local host committee (Gretchen Meyer) about how the local organizations were chosen and report to the Board during the Friday August 8, 2008 meeting.

    1. Broader Environmental Impacts of Annual Meetings (Kinzig/Armesto)

In recognition of the broader environmental impacts of the Society’s annual meetings, a proposal was made that we include in the cost of registration an amount to be used to offset these impacts.  The Board agreed to continue the current practice of donating an amount based on the number of registrants at the meeting.  The local committee would be asked to recommend local organizations/projects and the Public Affairs Committee is asked to bring a recommendation in November for national and international places to contribute.  In addition, a voluntary check off for individual donations will be provided for meeting registrants. 

Executive Session (5:30 – 6:15)

III. Sunday, 3 August. Discussion Items/Actions (continued)

    1. Milwaukee Annual Meeting (Gross)

Two meetings are taking place this weekend before (but in conjunction with) the ESA meeting; one on pollination biology, and another on assisted migration. The pollination meeting brought in about 150 people, including a lot of international participants, and the program committee has put some pollination-related sessions at the beginning of the regular agenda. 

Due to the theme of the meeting there are more education-related activities.  One of the three concurrent symposia has an education theme and there is an Educator’s Day when local teachers are invited to attend.  The second Recent Advances talk (Diane Ebert-May) is scheduled for the Educator’s Day. 

A few changes this year in the way the meeting is run: Abstract review policy was changed to require explicit statement of results and conclusions.  Cancellation policy was changed so that if you cancel after 15 May you may not be permitted to present a paper next year; if you are a no-show, you may not be permitted to present a paper for the next two years (in addition to the $50 cancellation fee).  Lou has organized a contra dance (first time since Knoxville meeting). 

    1. Board of Professional Certification (Hunsaker, guest)

The certification program was started in 1981, had 74 certified ecologists in 1982, 450 in 2007, 492 as of 2008.  I.e., now about 5% of the total membership.  To encourage certification, the application process was streamlined, the benefits were advertised in Frontiers in October 2007, students have been notified about the program, etc.  Certification can help to advance the profession and image of the ESA, and provide mentors and role models for future ecologists.  The Board of Professional Certification proposes that the ESA Governing Board and Council members should be certified ecologists.  Advantages and disadvantages of such a requirement were discussed at length. It appears that several current Board members would not qualify for certification under the current criteria (they have not taken – although they may have taught – ecology courses).  The issue of certification will be considered at a greater length in a future meeting, and will be brought up at the Council meeting. 

    1. Issues in Ecology – Rapid Response Fund (Belnap)

The current process for identifying and then finding funding for topics for Issues in Ecology is rather lengthy.  It would be advantageous to have resources to make a more rapid response possible.  An estimate of the cost of putting together an issue is $16,000, and it might rise to $24,000 to bring together at a meeting a group of authors and a science writer for a few days.  There are other avenues for the ESA to respond quickly to issues that arise suddenly, such as the Rapid Response Teams and the new Public Policy Paper process adopted by the Board in 2006.

    1. Meetings with Editors in Chief and Chair, Publications Committee

1.  Data Archiving Policy (Michael Whitlock – editor of Am. Nat., by phone)

            David Baldwin reviewed briefly the history of this issue. Last year in San Jose Michael Whitlock organized a meeting of all Ecology journal editors.  The proposal about a data archiving policy was brought to the Governing Board last November, where the principal received support.  Whitlock’s hope is that all non-profit ecological journals will adopt a policy so that authors won’t be driven to commercial publishers as an alternative. NCEAS has established an archive where authors can register or archive data. 

            Six evolution journals have agreed to adopt a policy requiring data registration and encouraging data archiving by January 2009, and making this mandatory in January 2010.  Genbank is held up as an example of a required policy that has demonstrated it works well and provides a lot of value. Concerns by authors have included the time required (addressed by making the metadata requirements relatively minimal; e.g., a 1-page description of spreadsheet columns), and intellectual property rights (addressed by acknowledgement of data ownership and an optional one-year embargo (can be extended by the editor) on the archived data, but also by NSF’s requirement of data sharing for grant-funded data). 

            A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Governing Board requests the Publications Committee to develop a policy proposal on data registration/archiving for consideration by the Board at the November meeting. 
(See minutes from August 8, 2008 for additional action on this issue.)

NSF is taking this issue seriously, has just funded DRYAD with $2 million to help develop the capability for data registration and archiving.  DRYAD would like a statement of support for this policy change by ESA publications.  The ESA could also approve other places for data archiving, and could extend the default embargo time (e.g., to five years).

2. Publications Committee (Collins, guest)
There has been some turnover in the committee recently and new members are being identified for the committee. 

3. Bulletin Editor Review (Collins, guest)  
The review and Governing Board are supportive of the job being done by Editor-in-Chief Johnson. 

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Governing Board approves reappointment of Ed Johnson as Editor-in-Chief for a term from January 2008 to December 2010. 

Although there are concerns about lack of readership, the Bulletin is important for providing a document of record for Society activities as well as a way of conveying information to members. Ideas for how to improve readership were discussed. 

Johnson has suggestions about changes for the Bulletin.  He suggests that White Papers should be published in the Bulletin, as should symposium reports, and that abstracts from the annual meeting be published in the July issue.  Issues in Ecology could also be published in the Bulletin as soon as they are ready, and reports of workshops and conferences sponsored by the Society should be archived in the Bulletin. Presidents and Vice-Presidents could provide information about their plans as they join the Board, as a way of facilitating input from members. Extended book reviews might be appropriate for the Bulletin. No ESA journal currently covers instrumentation, instrument arrays, cyber-infrastructure, and related topics, and refereed articles on those areas would be appropriate for the Bulletin.

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Governing Board requests that the Publications Committee investigate current use of the Bulletin by the ESA membership and consider future directions that the Bulletin should take, and present a report to the Board at the Annual Meeting next year. 

4. TIEE Update (Collins)
TIEE  has been supported by a series of NSF grants and spearheaded by Charlene D’Avanzo, who has now requested the Society consider taking over the process of continuing the electronic publication.  The Publications Committee was asked at the May 2008 meeting to consider the issue.  There are about 1500 downloads per month.  Charlene estimates the annual cost of production about $20,000/yr (Katherine’s estimate is about $27,000).  The Education Section of ESA is growing (now about 400 members), and the Undergraduate Institution Section has about 65 members.  A voluntary check-off for these section members could help to provide support for publication costs.  There are no page charges or cost for downloading at present, and D’Avanzo would like to continue this policy, but there could be a small subscription charge.  TIEE could be tied to a journal, such as Ecological Applications or the Bulletin. Finding another institution’s digital library to take over production and hosting is another option.  Expansion to K-12 (from just undergraduate) education would also be a way to expand TIEE.  The Publications Committee will make its recommendations in November.

5. Ecology/Ecological Monographs (Strong, guest)
When Strong took on the job of Editor his mission was to “cut the flab” and try to make the journals more interesting.  The (unwritten) policy became to require more concise papers, which caused some agony on the part of authors but now seems to have succeeded. There was a perception that something was wrong with Ecological Monographs and that it was not well supported by the Editor in Chief, but that (mis-) perception seems to have passed.  His perception is that there is not a distinct difference between Ecology and Ecological Monographs, as the latter can have essentially longer Ecology papers, but the emphasis for EM is on multi-faceted, truly complex studies.  How can we take better advantage of that?  Length alone is not a sufficient criterion for; there is no upper limit to EM articles, and perhaps this should be better advertised, but a long mono-faceted paper is not appropriate for EM.  Speed of publication has been greatly improved, and should be maintained. 

6. EiC/Associate Editor of Ecological Monographs (Belnap/Collins)
Strong suggests that a change in name to Ecological Monographs and Reviews would be appropriate, and that a new Editor would be appropriate. There are some financial implications, and a financial analysis should be done (in the context, e.g., of declining library budgets).  The Publications Committee is asked to investigate the implications and mechanics of this recommendation..

7. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (Silver)
The concern about speeding up publication has been addressed in part by the E-View option, where papers can be made available as soon as they are ready for publication, and then put into print as possible given constraints on number of print pages and the need to minimize the time lag between the two versions. Papers that will not appear in print until the following year will have that year’s date on them, even though they appear electronically the previous year; this will not cause any problem for citations.

    1. New Business

1. President Christensen will continue to work on appointments for the Program Chairs for 2010 and 2011, having had a few possible candidates decline. 

Meeting adjourned at 12:32. 

David Inouye, Secretary