May 2008

ESA Governing Board 
May 15-16 2008
Washington , DC

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), Rich Pouyat ( VP for Public Affairs), David Inouye (Secretary), Juan Armesto (Member at Large), Ann Kinzig (Member at Large), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large), Emily Stanley (incoming Member at Large), Josh Schimel (Incoming 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, 9:01 AM

A. The GB unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
B. Minutes from the November, 2007 Governing Board meeting were ratified.
C. Biofuels position statement (vote conducted earlier by e-mail) was ratified.

II. Reports

A. Report of the President (Christensen)

President Christensen noted that it’s nice to have all of the ESA staff now comfortably ensconced in the new office, and expressed appreciation for the reception hosted by the staff yesterday afternoon. He appreciated an opportunity recently to spend time with the SEEDS students, and called attention to the Presidential award that the program won last year. The Southeast Regional Knowledge Partnership had a successful meeting this spring at the annual meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists, April 16-19, 2008, Spartanburg, SC.

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

The move to the new office was accomplished smoothly with lots of help from the staff. An ESA Google toolbar has been sent to all ESA members. (See the materials in the literature sent to the Board for more detail.)

Cliff Duke (Director of Science). See the Board reports for more detail. A few highlights: The ESA Millennium Conference planning is underway. “Water - ecosystem services, drought and environmental justice” was chosen from seven proposals. A meeting was held here in DC recently to work on logistical details. Venue will probably be University of Georgia, probably in fall 2009. President Christensen suggests that we should make this a biennial rather than annual event, given the amount of work that goes into the planning. Science Program is working with the Wildlife Society to help USGS plan a new national global warming and wildlife science center. Sue Hazeltine has asked for help in organizing some initial planning meetings. Around the end of this year there will be a comprehensive review meeting. ESA is also partnering with RTI International in a proposal led by Mary Barber to conduct a full program review of the biological sciences at USGS.

Sue Silver (Frontiers Editor). Submissions to Frontiers have been rising dramatically and acceptance rate has dropped to 20% (see graphs in Board materials). Most issues through next April are already filled. The special issue on continental-scale ecology is almost completely funded by contributions from several sources. The ecosystem services special issue will appear in November and also has existing and pending funding that may cover most expenses.

Teresa Mourad (Director of Education). This month there will be a SEEDS field trip to Alaska. The Chapter of the Year award will be given for the first time (now 43 chapters, and one more about to form). SEEDS has signed an MOU with SACNAS, and NSF will help fund participation by some SEEDS students at the SACNAS annual meetings for the next three years. EcoEdNet Digital Library and use of it has been growing well (see graph in Board materials). Educator Day at the annual meeting is shaping up well. There seems to be growing interest in partnering with SEEDS on REU and other grant proposals that could be strengthened by showing significant involvement with minority students. 

Liz Biggs (Director of Finance). Early registration is open for the annual meeting, and contributions for student travel funds are encouraged. Prediction is that it will attract about 3,200. Membership in the Society is expected to level off at about 10,300 in the coming years.

Ramona Crawford (Director of Development). See the Board materials for a comprehensive list of fund-raising efforts during the past year. This has been a year of review and re-evaluation. Program review will be discussed this afternoon.

David Baldwin (Managing Editor). Publications are now back on schedule (e.g., June issue of Ecological Applications was posted online today). There is an increased amount of use of color, and of open access material in ESA publications. By the time of the annual meeting there will be some updates to the journals website. We should have soon some good statistics on things like use of open access materials (number of downloads).

Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs). There’s been an increase in media activity related to Society publications. In June there will be a Capitol Hill briefing on cellulosic ethanol. Also next month an ESA grad student will be showcased in a program about NSF funding of ecological research, and in July there will be a briefing (co-sponsored with two other societies) about post-fire management that will include Norm Christensen. The new public affairs officer will start work next week.

C. Financial Updates (Parton/McCarter)

Third quarter financials are distributed and discussed. The financial picture for the rest of the year is good.

D. Report of the Audit Committee (Pouyat)

As required by Sarbanes-Oxley, we now have a separate Audit Committee. This year we served as guinea pigs for new auditing standards that will come into effect next year, and no problems were encountered. The Governing Board accepted the Audit Report.

E. Proposal for the 2008-09 budget (McCarter, Parton, Biggs)

Program managers are asked in April to start planning budgets for the coming year. A draft budget was developed by the staff and reviewed by Vice President Parton prior to being presented to the Board. The initial draft budget assumes that membership numbers will level off, that library subscriptions will continue to decline about 2% per year (with about 20% switching to on-line only), and that member subscriptions will continue the expected decrease of 20%. Revenues were estimated based on 2007 actual revenues and to-date figures for 2008. The Annual Meeting is expected to generate some income and includes an environmental offset donation of $5 per person (about $16,000 estimated total). No capital expenses are budgeted for the coming year, but there is a $100,000 commitment to the Publication Fund that supports Frontiers. A contribution of $50,000 is budgeted toward the goal of a $5 million reserve (which is less than a full year of operating funds). Print-plus-online subscriptions are being increased 9% for libraries, as are online-only subscriptions. Page charges are being raised after 8-10 years, from $60 to $70 per page. Membership dues will be increased 2% for all categories of membership.

Millennium Fund contributions will be made to the Development budget, Board Strategic Activities, and the Millennium Conference. Long Range Planning grants will be offered to Sections, Chapters, and Committees. Overall, expenses have been kept flat wherever possible so some requests by program managers for additional activities and staff have not been included in the proposed budget.

A sub-committee is asked to provide guidance to Katherine about how cost-of-living increases should be made equitably across staff with a range of salaries.

The Board concludes that the budget is ready for presentation to the Council for approval in August.

Suggestions were solicited for how to spend the Board Strategic Initiative funds. Much of the conversation focused on planning for ways to reduce the environmental impact of ESA activities, with ideas ranging from virtual meetings (e.g., using Elluminate software or maybe Skype) to reducing the frequency of Board or committee meetings. Perhaps the Board should invest in the software and hardware needed to support virtual meetings. ESA member John Gelbard may be willing to donate services as a consultant on how to green ESA. Another idea is a prize for best suggestions on how the ESA could reduce its environmental impact (including cost-benefit analysis). Meetings (virtual?) of the Development or Publications committees were also suggested.

F. Governing Board resolution about a cafeteria plan

Although the plan is already in place, IRS regulations require approval by the Board. 
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board approves the “cafeteria plan” that allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for payment of medical and child care expenses, to be administered by Benefit Analysis.

Lunch break – Sue Silver reprises a presentation she gave recently about the efforts that Frontiers and the Society are making to reduce their environmental footprint.

G. Finance / Development Program Review (Biggs, Crawford, Parton)

The Society’s portfolio has taken a loss (-4.4%) over the year to date and is slightly positive (0.7%) over the past 12 months, with a market value of just over $1 million. Unrestricted Net Assets are up, membership is up, and although library subscriptions have declined slightly the bottom line is that the Society is in good fiscal shape overall. Net asset value is comfortably in the positive range, which presents a positive picture to potential donors about the Society’s financial stability.

Ideas were discussed about how to encourage some subsets of ecologists who have drifted away from the Society to return, and how to be proactive about finding other groups who might benefit from (and vice versa) association with ESA. E.g., is there a way to tap into the growing interest on academic campuses in sustainability issues? For example, there is a new Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Development office. Ramona is at the end of her first year with the ESA. has some information about general trends in philanthropy that provide context for what the Society is trying to do. One estimate is that it takes 10 applications for funding to get one grant, so it’s important to keep up the flow of proposals. Ramona has been working with the list of corporations that the Board approved for soliciting for support. She also presented a list of milestones in the Society’s history of fundraising. Nationally, about 76% of dollars raised by charities come from individuals. 65% of organizations raised more in 2007 than in 2006, but projections are that gifts will be less in 2008 given the economic downturn. Foundations provide about 12% of philanthropy, corporations about 5%.

Results of the 2006-2008 Development Plan were reviewed; they included some successes and some opportunities to reorient future submissions.

Lessons learned:

Our efforts were thinly spread over numerous priorities
There was an imbalance of time spent on three large new projects
There is a need for a stronger role by the Development Committee
Strengthened program descriptions and evaluation methods are needed.

Proposed priorities for 2008-2011:

SEEDS support
Frontiers support
Unrestricted funds
Special projects

A proposed strategy: Over the next three years, grow the society’s external resources and increase the number of ESA members involved in supporting the organization.


Foundation relationships and grants
Corporate contributions and sponsorships
Non-member support through direct mail and electronic gifts (via the Web site)
Membership growth
Millennium Fund growth through major and planned gifts from members

One effort this year that was not very successful was a direct mail campaign targeting donors listed as having given to other environmental organizations. Although this list was culled in an attempt to refine targeting of potential donors, there was very little response. The Board has mixed feelings about the value of repeating the mailing.

H. Education and Diversity “Mid-Term program update (Mourad)

The SEEDS program costs about $450,000 per year. Funding has come from a variety of sources. Current initiatives include:

K-12 Initiatives: 
1. A professional development institute and support for participation by 6-12 teachers
2. Math and science partnership: A proposal to NSF to fund “The role of a professional society in fostering university faculty scholarship in K-12”

a) Form a cadre of leaders who will develop an appreciation of education as science with an in-depth understanding of the context of K-16 science education reform
b) Gain relevant communication and leadership skills
c) Have an annual leadership institute, education events at the ESA annual meeting, presentations at K-12 educator events, and a national Ecology Education Summit in 2010. 
d) K-12 educator events in Milwaukee

i. Ecological Literacy and Research Day
ii. A BioBlitz along the Milwaukee River corridor (part of a SEEDS field trip)

3. NEON-related education efforts

a. A faculty workshop 2-4 October

i. Explore the breadth and scope of continental-scale data
ii. Reflect on the use of continental-scale approaches in the classroom and in independent undergraduate research projects
iii. Generate recommendations to inform the development of NEON’s infrastructure from the perspective of education
iv. Generate recommendations to inform the development of Phase 2 that will include collaborative faculty and student activities

4. EcoEdNet Digital Library. One staff person is working part-time on this community-driven effort to create thematic collections. 
5. Resources for Ecology Education * Fair & Share (REEFS) is a new undergraduate teaching session to debut at the 2008 Annual Meeting in Milwaukee. Bring a lab, lecture, or field activity to share (abstracts due in early June). 
6. SEEDS Mexico. Working with the Science Office to make the case for building a community of students and mentors who can communicate across borders on ecological research, encourage mentor participation in international ecological research, foster a new generation of leaders in international research, and increase effectiveness of mentoring by increasing cultural competency. 
7. SEEDS high school: a student education and outreach initiative begun at the annual meeting last year in San Jose will be expanded to Milwaukee. Project Learning Tree provided a small service learning grant for this.
8. Collaboration with SACNAS on recruiting students for SEEDS field trips.

VP Lowman reviewed a range of activities that the Education and Human Resources Committee has identified for the 2007-2008 action plan.

I. Proposal from TIEE

TIEE has been funded for four years through Hampshire College, with TIEE Editor Charlene D’Avanzo as PI for four NSF grants totaling $750,000. Funding will end in November and D’Avanzo would like ESA to consider taking over the publication of TIEE. She proposes establishment of an advisory committee that would be charged with preparing a recommendation about the issue, including a business plan. The Publications Committee is asked to form a group that includes educational expertise to consider the issue. The committee is charged to: 1) consider the value and worthiness of the publication, 2) determine whether ESA is the proper home, and 3) develop a business plan that may include other alternatives. The Committee will make a recommendation to the Governing Board, preferably by the November Board meeting. Options to explore could include partnering with a publisher (e.g., Island Press).

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Governing Board requests the Publication Committee to form a subcommittee which includes educational expertise, to conduct a feasibility study of having the Society take over publication of Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology. The subcommittee shall consider the three elements of the charge mentioned above.

J. Recommendation of the Awards Committee

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the recommendations of the Awards Committee for recipients of ESA annual awards. The Board expresses its appreciation of the Committee’s efforts.

K. Consideration of the Corporate Award

The Board discussed the message from Corporate Awards Subcommittee chair Margaret Palmer about how the Society should solicit nominees for the Corporate Award. An announcement about the winners in the Economist or Business Week would help to attract attention about the award. Other environmental groups might be a good source of nominations. Making the award for a specific program by the nominee rather than a corporation or business as a whole would be preferable.

L. Regional Policy Award (Pouyat/Lymn)

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the recommendation of the Public Affairs Committee to name Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle as winner of the Regional Policy Award to be presented at the Milwaukee Annual Meeting.

M. Report on the Biofuels Conference and Workshop (Pouyat, Parton, Duke)

The consensus is that the both the conference and workshop were successful. Products from the events will include a special issue of Ecological Applications featuring the plenary speakers, a policy piece to submit to Science, and a paper from each of the breakout groups that may go into Frontiers (or possibly a larger synthesis paper). Compliments are given to the staff for all the support that made the meeting run so smoothly.

N. 16 May, 7:30 AM meeting at the Heinz Center with the NEON Board

Dave Schimel suggested the idea of a collaboration with ESA (or a broader consortium) to get graduate students involved with NEON in an IGERT-like professional training opportunity. Fifteen slots per year seems like a good target, and NSF seems like a likely source of funding. Training of the next generation, by funding graduate students and postdocs, is critical for success of a long-term project like NEON. A workshop for Deans and Department heads is another idea to help educate the broader community about NEON, its opportunities and cultural implications. Jim MacMahon suggested ideas about how to broaden support for NEON as a vehicle for bringing funding that would otherwise not be available to the ecological community. NEON’s public image with the ecological community has been hindered in part by constraints placed by NSF on making public some of the funding progress (e.g., education program, until a cooperative agreement is finalized). A joint editorial from NEON and ESA for Frontiers might be a way help make the point about the importance for the broad ecological community of getting NEON funding. NSF’s Bio Directorate does seem to have a concrete plan for providing the funding. Concrete examples of how individual researchers will benefit from NEON would be a good way to increase support.

There is broad support among the Boards for the ideas of a graduate training program based on NEON and for a statement of joint support/education, and also for getting the Boards together again soon (maybe at the Milwaukee Annual Meeting).

O. Executive session (ESA headquarters)

P. Report of the Publications Subcommittee and Publications Committee (Belnap)

Seven recommendations were presented (see the Board materials sent before the meeting), many of which have already been implemented, and a few of which were addressed at the meeting. Discussion of the long-term vision for the publication portfolio needs to be an ongoing process. A mechanism is needed for funding Issues in Ecology, because important topics come up without the lead time that may be required for raising funds for them (perhaps the Millennium Fund could be used for this purpose). Ecological Monographs needs to have a clearer identity and current (relatively new) page length limitations should be relaxed. Appointment of an Editor or sub-editor for Ecological Monographs would help to develop the identity of the journal; this topic will be suggested to the current Editors and discussion continued at the August meeting. To help strengthen areas of ecology that have moved away from ESA publications, we could solicit invited papers from leaders in those fields. Open access to Society publications should be encouraged within the constraints of not jeopardizing library subscriptions; 25% of articles set as Open Access would be a target.

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the report of the Publications Sub-Committee and the Publications Committee and thanks them for their efforts.
We will continue discussion at the next Annual Meeting about the idea of requiring data deposition in a public archive for papers published in ESA journals, and will encourage Michael Whitlock to attend by speakerphone.

Q. PrePrint option for Ecological Applications, Ecology, Ecological Monographs (McCarter/Baldwin)

There is pressure from some authors to speed up the publication process, and posting of raw, un-copy-edited (but accepted) manuscripts would be one way to do this. It could be offered as an opt-in choice for authors (some may prefer to wait until after copy editing). Cost of posting manuscripts at this stage would be about $25.
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board recommends that the Editorial Office offer authors the option of posting preprints of accepted manuscripts, with the cost to be borne by the authors.

R. Report of the Nominations Committee (Covich)

The following individuals have accepted nominations for positions to be filled in 2009:
President Elect: Terry Chapin, Rob Jackson
VP for Education and Human Resources: Diane Ebert-May, Meg Lowman
Member at Large: Steve Chaplin, Debra Peters
Board of Professional Certification: Carmen Cid, Louis Iverson, Lawrence Kapustka, Niki Nicholas, Nathan Stephenson, Kimberlyn Williams

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the recommendations of the Nominations Committee for candidates for the 2009 elections and thanks the Committee for their work.

S. Carbon/Environmental Impacts (Christensen)

The original discussion focused on carbon footprint but it was recognized that the impact of Society impacts is greater than that so the entire environmental footprint was addressed. The $5 surcharge on registration costs will generate about $16,000 this year, and the committee considering this issue has recommended that $10,000 be put at the disposal of the local host committee to use in a manner that recognizes the environmental impact of our annual meeting on the local community. The local host committee will be asked to suggest how this money should be allocated locally.

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee to use the funds collected from meeting registrations to provide $10,000 to distribute in recognition of the Society’s environmental impact on the local community, and to use the balance toward offsetting carbon dioxide production. An Ad Hoc Committee will be appointed to consider the future of this program.

T. 2015 Annual Meeting sites

The Board appreciates the efforts of the Meetings Committee in considering potential sites for our 100th Anniversary Annual Meeting. 
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the recommendation of Boston as a Tier 1 option, Fort Lauderdale and Minneapolis as Tier 2 options, and asks the Meetings Committee to consider Baltimore and contact Denver again as possible options for the 100th Anniversary Meeting site.

The Meetings Committee is asked to make a recommendation in November.
The idea of a meeting in Latin America, perhaps in 2016, received support.

U. ByLaws Change – Meetings Committee

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board accepts the recommendation to change the ByLaws to make the immediate Past Program Chair the Chair of the Meetings Committee. The Board will recommend this change to the Council for approval.

V. Recommendation to discontinue the Western Chapter (MacCarter and Inouye)

A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board recommends that the Council vote to discontinue the Western Chapter. The Council is asked to choose an option for distributing accumulated dues (e.g., to all chapters, to the Rocky Mountain Chapter, Southwest Chapter, as an inducement for someone to reinstitute the Western Chapter, or (see item Y below) to help with funding of the Mexico chapter or another Latin American chapter).

W. New Business

a. Program Chair for the 2010 meeting
The Board discussed a list of potential program chairs for the 2010 annual meeting. President Christensen will contact the individuals and name the 2010 Program Chair.

b. Local Host for the 2010 meeting
A motion is moved, seconded, and approved unanimously: The Board recommends that Steve Tonsor be appointed as Local Host for the 2010 annual meeting in Pittsburg.

X. Owens Valley science-based conflict resolution (Christensen and Duke)

The Inyo County (California) Water Department (ICWD) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) have crafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ESA that calls for ESA to manage scientific peer reviews of the water management methods, applications, and conclusions in the Owens Valley (the LADWP has not as of this date formally signed this MOU). A local ESA member who is associated with the California Native Plant Society’s Bristlecone Chapter has expressed concern that the ESA did not take advantage of local members’ knowledge about the politics of the water issue before signing the MOU. 

The discussion was broadened to consideration of how to take advantage of regional expertise among the membership (i.e., Chapters) for efforts such as the Owens Valley MOU and the Southeast Regional Knowledge Partnership. The Board of Professional Certification and other ESA members who have expertise working on applied ecological issues could be another potential resource. 

We can proceed to contribute to this MOU with the understanding that ESA is not required to take on all issues that arise (e.g., they may not all be scientific issues). President Christensen would like to continue with the process under the auspices of the Science Committee. VP for Science Rob Jackson has been involved to date and the ESA Science Office will continue to contribute. Christensen will ask Jackson to work with the Science Committee to draft a set of principles to guideESA’s future involvement in regional and local scale endeavors. 

Federation of the Americas (Armesto)
Progress is being made in development of ecological societies in Latin America. One way to encourage this growth would be to have an award for a Latin American ecologist at the Annual Meeting. This would be an opportune time to follow up on the achievements of the jointly sponsored 2006 meeting held in Merida, Mexico (Ecology in an Era of Globalization). Juan is planning to petition ESA to establish a Latin America Chapter and hopes to have the paperwork ready for the Board to review in August.

Meeting adjourned at 12:38.

David Inouye, Secretary

November 2007

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
November 6-7, 2007 
Washington, DC


Members Present: Norm Christensen (President), Alan Covich (Past- President), Rob Jackson (VP for Science), Rich Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs), Meg Lowman (VP for Education and Human Resources), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Jayne Belnap (Member-at-Large), Ann Kinzig (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 (Development), David Baldwin (Publications).

Liz Blood (Program Director, NSF)

Tuesday 6 November 2007

I. Roll Call & Agenda

  1. The GB unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.
  2. The minutes from 4, 5, and 10 August 2007 were unanimously adopted with one minor change.

II. Reports

  1. Report of President Christensen
    • Was in DC last month to meet with the ESA staff, learned a lot about the office and their commitment to the organization. 
    • Millennium Symposium proposal deadline was 31 October, and the review committee chaired by Nancy Grimm will select from seven proposals, announcing a decision by 21 December.
    • Much attention has been focused recently (e.g., Wall Street Journal article) on carbon offsets, and ESA is in a position to play an important role.
    • We will make November the meeting when conflict-of-interest statements will be collected (auditor says that once/year is sufficient).
  2. Report of Executive Director McCarter and the Office Staff
    • Katherine was in Rio recently speaking at a conference and while there, met with the company that distributes scientific journals in Brazil.  We hope to make an arrangement to enable 210 universities to have access to ESA’s journals on-line.
    • She will attend the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives meeting in Detroit tomorrow.
    • Sue Silver – Frontiers e-view preprint backlog is now cleared, with 24 papers available there now. 
    • Ramona Crawford – has been working with the SEEDS education program on grant possibilities, and has worked on regional initiative proposals with Alan Covich. Members are being encouraged to donate to the Millennium Fund (whose 10th year anniversary is coming up soon).  She’s working on corporate donations too. 
    • Cliff Duke – the seven Millennium Symposium proposals have been sent to the review committee.  Full funding for the Biofuels Conference and workshop has been committed by various donors. Forest Health Initiative is proceeding, with preparation of reports for publication. Data sharing workshop is progressing. Vegetation classification panel has submitted their report for publication.
    • Nadine Lymn – the focus on environmental education is continuing on the Hill. A statement on climate change is being prepared, with help from Rapid Response Team members.  A statement on economic growth is being planned, with some committee members chosen.  The Biofuels statement is ready for Board review at this meeting.
    • Elizabeth Biggs – membership is up to 10,228.  Institutional subscriptions are remaining steady, and increases in international consortia have helped to offset any decreases in domestic subscriptions..  Individual subscriptions are dropping, as expected (see data in table in staff reports). 
    • David Baldwin – Visitors to the publications office have included Katherine and Elizabeth, and Scott Collins.  He has been appointed to the advisory board for the National Science Library of Canada.  Canadian journals have been made open access to all Canadian e-mail addresses. 
    • Teresa Mourad – her office is now fully staffed.  SEEDS field trip to Santa Barbara was a success.  There may be a project in Mexico soon.  She has set up and gone to a lot of meetings, drawing in part on her previous connections with the environmental education community.  She has an upcoming visit to NOAA education program, and had a recent one to the Forest Service. Working with Project Learning Tree (K-12 curriculum development), which is interested in developing an MOU with us.  Also working with SACNAS; president and 30 students were in town recently (a group going to Antarctica soon as part of the International Polar Year).  TIEE volume 5 CD is now available, and a call for volume 6 submissions has gone out.  A call for images for EcoEdNet is out. The Mellon Foundation funding for Phase 3 of the SEEDS program has been received. She and Katherine met last week with about 15 NSF staffers about education programs, and she plans to pursue with Liz Blood a proposal for an education program related to NEON.  There will be a SEEDS Leadership Meeting at Duke in February about SEEDS.
  3. Report of Vice President for Finance Parton
    1. First Quarter Financials (McCarter)
      The budget is in good shape at present—revenue and expense projections are on target for the year            . 
    2. Investment Update (Parton)
      Last month’s return was good (about 12% in past year, good for our 40% bond, 60% equities mixture. 

III. Discussion / Action Items

  1. ESA office move – a potential new office has been identified and negotiations are nearly complete with the landlord of the current space to assist financially in the move (that they are requesting). This move to 1990 M Street will provide 7,118 square feet and allow the consolidation of ESA’s Silver Spring (Frontiers and Education) and downtown (headquarters) operations.
  2. Frontiers financials – Katherine reviewed the history of the creation of the journal and the initial business plan.  The impact factor for the journal was high in its first year of rating (2004) and has continued to increase.  Membership has increased steadily each year since the journal was launched.  Submissions and rejection rate are increasing each year.  Authorship is becoming more international (now 41%).  New sections have been added each year (ethical issues, pathways to scientific teaching, concepts and questions, pathways to effective communication, fresh perspectives).  There have now been four special topic issues.  
    Liz Biggs described a phone call from a high-school teacher whose school has purchased 25 memberships in order to get copies of Frontiers for use in a class.  The Society’s annual contribution to publication costs has increased from an original $30,000 to $50,000 to (this year) $75,000/year, and will be $100,000 next year.  Institutional subscription income has increased regularly ($72,851 for 2007; 321 subscriptions), as has income from ads and reprints ($130,603 in 2007), and agency contributions ($110,000 projected for 2007). Interest income on the publication fund was $42,000 in 2007. The shortfall between income and expenses has ranged from $181,026 (in 2002) to $475,123 (2003), and is $186,081 this year. A sales person is working on increasing advertising revenue (although there is a limit to how much advertising can be included in each issue).  The publication fund has a balance of $680,649; if revenues and expenses remain constant, we have funding for another 3.8 years in the fund. We expect, however, to continue to build revenue in future years.
  3. 2008 annual meeting education plans (Mourad).  198 teachers have already indicated an interest in attending the annual meeting to participate in K-12 education activities on 6 August. A committee has been formed to plan activities such as field trips, workshops, etc.  We need to find a good way to tap into the local educator community at future annual meeting venues, and figure out the best schedule for them (e.g., an evening social before a day of activities). 
    Lunch with Liz Blood, Program Officer, NSF
    A NEON office in Boulder, which will be the primary office, will open soon. NSF is signing MOUs with other agencies that are funding NEON (NASA, USGS).  Workshops are ongoing as building blocks for developing the program (e.g., a recent one on modeling. R&D on observations of animal (where remote sensors don’t work) is ongoing. The NEON office is working closely with cyber infrastructure development.  Research Coordination Networks (e.g., one through the US – National Phenology Network) have been funded as examples of large multi-investigator projects that can interface with NEON.  NEON is also participating in the US global earth observation initiative, an inter-agency project to provide 24/7/365 geographic coverage of the country.  Think about how you (and other ecologists) could take advantage of the large-scale programs that NEON will be putting into place.  ESA could play a strategic role in preparing the research, education and policy communities to take advantage of NEON through its publications (e.g., Frontiers), meetings, educational programs and special workshops.
  4. Long-range planning grants. It’s been suggested that we need a better way to make decisions about these awards to Chapters and Sections.  Norm will ask some Board members to help with thinking about how to accomplish this. 
  5. Editor in Chief review.  Motion:  A motion is made and seconded to reappoint Dave Schimel as Editor-In-Chief of Ecological Applications for a three-year term (January 2008-December 2010) , to send him the recommendations made in the review document, and to ask for him to report in a year on how they were addressed. Passed unanimously.  The Governing Board expressed its gratitude to the members of the review committee for their thorough and thoughtful review.
  6. Data archiving policy (Baldwin).  There has been an underwhelming response to the suggestion that authors in Society journals provide metadata for their papers.  And there is concern that data are being permanently lost because they are not being archived. Following the lead of a group of evolution journals led by Michael Whitlock, ecology journals are being asked to adopt a policy for data archiving.  How to strike a balance between the large demands of following the NCEAS metadata/data archiving procedure and something more manageable (and more likely to be accepted by authors)?  Should there be a different policy for graduate students (who may be more dependent on a particular data set for a longer period of time)?  The Board consensus is that this is an important issue that we should continue to consider, in part through a workshop, for which we will seek funding; we encourage this idea of a policy on data archiving, but don’t have a good understanding yet of constraints on some authors (e.g., federal employees can’t release data until after they are peer reviewed (i.e., after acceptance for publication)).  We will have a lunch meeting about this topic at the next Annual Meeting, and will encourage Michael Whitlock to attend.
  7. Carbon/Environmental offsets (Christensen).  Numbers of people volunteering to offset CO2 production for attendance at the annual meeting are increasing ($4,529 in voluntary contributions this past year).  The issue of sustainable behavior is particularly relevant to this Society, and is being addressed by the Meetings Committee.  Other societies may look to us for guidance on this issue. Should we be focusing exclusively on carbon, or on other impacts also associated with travel and with holding a large annual meeting (other pollutants, habitat destruction, wasting food, etc.)?  ESA could be a leader by thinking more holistically about impacts of Society activities; an environmental footprint and not just carbon footprint. Can the Governing Board make one of its meetings a virtual meeting each year?  Do we need a Rapid Response Team to focus on this topic, and could they be asked to help develop the Society’s position/plan? We need to have some decisions made before registration for the Annual Meeting opens next May.  

    The Governing Board agreed that some amount (yet to be determined) of revenue from the ESA annual meeting should be set aside to offset the variety of environmental impacts associated with the meeting.  This would include some allocation to offset carbon emissions, but also include contributions to other programs (e.g., environmental education, conservation and/or restoration efforts) in recognition of the variety of impacts associated with our meeting. The Board agreed that priority should be given to projects near annual meeting venues.  Christensen and Parton will work with staff on a financial formula to be presented at the Board’s May meeting.  An Ad Hoc Committee should be asked to advise the Board on the appropriate allocation of this fund. The Science Committee is encouraged to look at the science related to carbon offsets.

  8. Publication changes (McCarter and Baldwin)
    1) the moving wall with JSTOR has been changed from four to two years
    2) the preprints for Frontiers are now in place
    3) The Bulletin is now being hosted at Allen Press; JSTOR will include the Bulletin in its archive; a request has been made to Thomson Scientific to include it in Web of Science, etc.
    4) Annual Meeting abstracts may be posted on the Allen Press web site (cost quote has been requested)
    5) there is a plan to include forthcoming annual meeting abstracts as a digital supplement to the Bulletin.
    6) Ecological Applications will be included in the JCR Environmental Science category (in addition to the Ecology category)
    7) Request has been made to Allen Press to post articles online more quickly after sign-off on final proofs
    8) New look for online and print Reports (Ecology) and Communications (Ecological Applications), effective January 2008
    9) Open access for Reports and Communications as of January 2008
    10) No charge for color figures in Reports and Communications as of January 2008
    11) Planned “splash pages” to announce these changes in Reports and Communications in the January 2008 issues
    12) Planned Editorials for January 2008 issues to highlight changes and publication statistics (faster publication times)
    13) Further refinement of journals “landing pages” to include statistics on acceptance rates, times to publication, impact factors, etc.
    14) Continuation of new issue frequency for Ecological Applications and adjustments in page budgets
    15) Continue to make one article per issue open access (in addition to Reports/Communications)
    16) Ongoing refinement of “new look” for online journals and associated features (pay per view, Blocks of Docs, reference downloads, etc.)
    17) Continued publication of open-access Special Issues (supplements; 2 in 2008)
    18) Allen Press has decided to partner with Atypon (hosts JSTOR; principal competitor for Highwire).
    [The Board is impressed with how much has gone on!]
  9. Ad Hoc Publications Subcommittee (Belnap)
    An editorial in the next issue of Frontiers will summarize results from the Subcommittee.  It’s recommended that the Publications Committee meet more often than in the past. 
  10. Student travel support.  Recognized as an issue of great need, probably greater than we can meet fully.  47 awards totaling $15,600 were made this year, and about 100 students had registration fees refunded in exchange for volunteering 14 hours each at the meeting (all of the students who ask were accepted).  Ideas are suggested for how to increase endowment funding for student travel, including using the Millennium Fund and targeting donors (e.g., authors of ecology books who could donate royalties as Brown/Real have). Remember that profits from the next Portland meeting will go toward an endowment for student travel (Board action from last August).  The Board also suggested that there be an option to contribute to student travel on the annual meeting registration form.
  11. Southeast Knowledge Partnership (Covich).  Plans are progressing.  A recent focus has become water availability/use issues due to the ongoing drought in that area.  Ramona is working on corporate and foundation funding possibilities.  There are already quite a few activities going on as a consequence of the ESA initiative; e.g., ESA is in contact with the Georgia Conservancy which represents 150 groups that focus on water issues. 
    5:07 PM, Adjourn for the day
    9:00 AM, 7 November, resume meeting
    Members Present: Norm Christensen (President), Alan Covich (Past- President), Rich Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs, Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Jayne Belnap (Member-at-Large). Ann Kinzig (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 (Development), David Baldwin (Publications).
  12. Executive Session
  13. Policy Award (Pouyat/Lymn 
    Politicians and other policy makers like to be recognized for their efforts, and we could also use this as a way to help educate them about the Society.  Awards would focus on the state/regional level and give the PAC, the local meeting committee, the Student Section, and regional Chapters, an opportunity to nominate an awardee to be recognized in the opening plenary. A motion is proposed and seconded that the PAC Committee bring to the Board in May a proposal for local/regional and national awards for policy makers. Passed unanimously. 
  14. Biofuels Conference update (Parton/Pouyat/Duke) 
    All but one of the conference speakers is now confirmed.  The invitee list is being worked on for the two-day workshop following the conference. Extended abstracts will be presented to participants and posted on the Web site, and there will be a survey of attendees with results to be presented to the workshop participants.  There is a very diverse group of sponsors, and the original fundraising goal of $180,000 has been met. The budget includes funding for an Issues on Biofuels.
  15. Biofuels Position Statement (Pouyat/Lymn)
    Rapid Response Team members for biofuels helped to put together the statement, with input from a member of the Biofuels Steering Committee, Public Affairs Committee, and Science Program Director Cliff Duke. Comments are suggested for how to improve the statement, and a revision will be circulated to the Board for approval via e-mail.
  16. Certification Appeal
    The Board supports (unanimously) the decisions by the Board of Professional Certification and the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee to deny an application for certification as a Certified Ecologist that was appealed by the applicant.  We will point out to the applicant that he can reapply (soon) after having met the criterion of five years of professional experience.
  17. INTECOL – update (Covich/McCarter) 
    The INTECOL Board has expressed support for the idea of having the ESA take on administrative responsibilities, but is still deliberating. 
  18. Human Ecology Section proposal 
    Motion: It was moved and seconded that the proposal for a Human Ecology Section be recommended to the ESA Council for approval. Passed unanimously. The proposers will be asked to add to their proposed Bylaws a regular five-year review by the Section to confirm that there is still enough activity to warrant continuing the Section. The Board will review the list of current Sections at the May meeting. 
  19. Southwest Chapter proposal. 
    Motion: It was moved and seconded that the proposal for a Southwest Chapter be recommended to the ESA Council for approval. 
    Passed unanimously. The proposers will be asked to add to their proposed Bylaws a regular five-year review by the Chapter to confirm that there is still enough activity to warrant continuing the Chapter. At the May meeting we will consider whether to discontinue the defunct Chapter (one other Chapter – Quebec – has been dissolved previously).  We will consider encouraging members in the Northwest area to form a chapter.  We are enthusiastic about the prospect of a Southwest Region Knowledge Partnership. 
  20. New Business

1. Theme for the 2009 Annual Meeting in Albuquerque.  Motion: It was moved and seconded that the Board approves the proposed theme but suggests dropping the colon and subsequent text, making it “Ecological Knowledge and a Global Sustainable Society.” Passed unanimously

Meeting is adjourned at 11:15 AM. 

David W. Inouye, Secretary

August 10, 2007

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

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

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

Kiyoko Miyanishi, Steve Chaplin

I. Roll Call, 9:01 AM

Welcome to new members, installation of Norm Christensen as President

II. Agenda items for the coming year (Christensen)

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

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

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

V. Discussion/Action items

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned at 10:20 AM.

David Inouye, Secretary

August 5, 2007

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

I. Introductions of Council Members present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IV. Approval of a new section

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

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

V. Reports from recipients of long-range planning grants

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

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

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned at 3:45 PM

David Inouye, Secretary 

August 4, 2007

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

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

Staff Present:

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

I. Roll Call, 9:00 AM

A.  The Governing Board unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.

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

II. Reports

A.  Report of the President (Covich)

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

International activities.

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

National Activities

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

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

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

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

Regional Activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

III. Discussion/Action Items

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Executive session, followed by adjournment.

5 August resumption of meeting

K. Meetings issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Larger issues discussed by the Subcommittee include:

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

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

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

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

M.  New Business

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

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

Meeting adjourned at 12:00, 5 August 2007

David Inouye, Secretary

May 2007

DRAFT Minutes of the ESA Governing Board

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


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

Staff Present:

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

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

I. Roll Call, 9:00 AM

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

II. Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Some journal statistics and trends: 

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

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

    Frontiers “Mid-Term” Program Update (Silver) 

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

    Frontiers Publication Budget:

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

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

  6. Public Affairs Issues (Lymn) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned at 12:00.
David Inouye, Secretary

November 2006

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

Draft Minutes

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

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

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

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

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

II. Reports

A. Report of the President (Covich)

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

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

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

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

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

B. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C. Financial Reports

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

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

III. Discussion Items / Actions

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

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

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

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

D. Publications Issues

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

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

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

Issues warranting further exploration include:

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

Questions deferred to the Publications Committee:

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

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

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

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

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

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

D. Publications Issues (continued)

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

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

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

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

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

F. Integrative Science for Society and Environment (Grimm)

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

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

Meeting adjourned for the evening at 4:55 PM.


III. Discussion Items / Actions (continued)

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

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

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

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

3. Meeting Appointments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Inouye, Secretary

August 11, 2006

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
11 August, 2006


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Audit Committee

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

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

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

David Inouye, Secretary

August 5, 2006

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


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

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

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

I.  Roll Call, 9:02 AM

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

II.  Reports

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

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

II. Discussion Items /Actions

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

    1. Approval of Proposed Budget.

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


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

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

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

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

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

Executive Session

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

    1. 2011 Annual Meeting Site

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


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

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

    1. Ecology/Ecological Monographs (Strong, guest)

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

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

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

  7. Position Paper / Position Statement Updates

    1. Fire Management (Ojima)

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

    2. Nuclear Energy (Pouyat)
    Currently in revision.

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

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

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

David Inouye, Secretary

May 2005

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

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

Staff Present:

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


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

Thursday, 19 May 2005

I. Roll Call & Agenda

  1. The GB unanimously adopted the proposed agenda.

II. Ratification of votes taken since the October 2004 meeting

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

III. Reports

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

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

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

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

B. Report of Executive Director and staff

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

IV. Discussion/Action items

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

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

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

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

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

E. Publications Issues

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

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

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

Friday, 20 May 2005

Executive Session.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 AM .

Respectfully submitted by David Inouye, Secretary