November 2008

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

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

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

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

I. Roll Call & Agenda

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

II. Reports

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

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

    • Investment Update (Parton)

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

III. Discussion / Action Items 11:15 AM

  • Ethics Complaint. 

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

  • Presidential Centennial Committee (Christensen)

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

  • Studies involving ESA members (President Power)

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

  • Vegetation Panel (Jackson/Duke)

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

  • Millennium Conference Series (Duke) 2:03 PM

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

  • Principles for Involvement in Extramural Programs (Duke)

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

  • TIEE

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

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

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

  • Site Selection 2013/2015  3:30 PM

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

  • Program Chair 2011 (Christensen) 3:56 PM

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

  • Broader Environmental Impacts for ESA Annual Meetings (Huenneke)

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

  • 2010 Annual Meeting Theme 4:10 PM

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

  • Ecological Monographs

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

November 19, 2008
Executive Session 8:30 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking ahead:  PAC wants to:

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

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

  • Bioenergy Policy Paper Proposal 11:03 AM

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

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

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

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

  • Corporate Award

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

  • May Meeting Dates

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

  • New Business

No new business.

Meeting is adjourned at 12:16 PM. 

Submitted by David W. Inouye, Secretary

August 8, 2008

ESA Governing Board 
August 8, 2008 
Milwaukee, WI

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

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

I.  Roll Call, 8:45 AM

II. Information

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

III. Discussion/ Action Items

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meeting is adjourned at 10:22 AM.

Submitted by David Inouye, Secretary

August 3, 2008

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

I. Introductions of Council Members and others present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IV. Discontinuing the Western Chapter (Inouye)

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

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

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

V. Meetings Committee By-Law Changes (Inouye)

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

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

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

VI. Board of Professional Certification (Hunsaker)

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

VII. Reports from Long-range Planning Grant Awardees

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

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

VIII. Information Exchange (Inouye)

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Inouye, Secretary

August 2, 2008

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


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

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

I.  Roll Call, 9:01 AM

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

II.  Reports

    1. Report of the President (Christensen)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Financial Updates (Parton/McCarter)

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

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

III. Discussion/Action Items

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

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

      1. Committee Funds

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

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

      1. Board Strategic Initiative Funds

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

      1. Discussion of Council Presentation

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

      1. Frontiers Funding

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

    1. Cost of Living Increase (Kinzig)

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

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

    1. South American Chapter

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

    1. Science Program Review (Jackson/Duke)

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

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

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

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

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

Future directions include:

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


        • Advancing Ecological Science
        • Building Ecology

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

        • Applying Ecological Science
        • Ecology for Community

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

        • Ecology for Sustainability
        • Sustainable Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Millennium Conference Series (Christensen)

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

    1. Yearly Public Policy Priorities (Pouyat/Lymn)

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

    1. Carbon/Environmental Impacts (Christensen)

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

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

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

Executive Session (5:30 – 6:15)

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

    1. Milwaukee Annual Meeting (Gross)

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

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

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

    1. Board of Professional Certification (Hunsaker, guest)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. New Business

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

Meeting adjourned at 12:32. 

David Inouye, Secretary

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