A meeting was held at Columbus, Ohio, on December 28th, 1915, at which it was decided to organize the Ecological Society of America....The interests and activities of this society will be of the broadest character, embracing every phase of the relation of organisms to their environmental condition...
--The Geographical Review 1916--
About the Ecological Society of America
1914: The beginning
The first discussions on the formation of the Society took place in 1914 in the lobby of the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at a meeting of animal and plant ecologists organized by Henry Chandler Cowles. It became official on December 28th, 1915, in Columbus, Ohio, at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). A group of about 50 people voted to form the Ecological Society of America, adopted a constitution, and set the next meeting. Dr. Victor E. Shelford of the University of Illinois served as the first president.
The Society was founded for the purpose of unifying the science of ecology, stimulating research in all aspects of the discipline, encouraging communication among ecologists, and promoting the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. The Society has grown from the first interested few to over 10,000 members worldwide.
This photograph includes sixteen founding members of the Society. Click on the photo for more details. This photo and banner photos courtesy of the collection of the late Dr. Robert L. Burgess.