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A Dynamic Professional Scientific Society

In 2019, a working group of ESA Governing Board members under the leadership of then President-elect Osvaldo Sala worked on defining the core statements and values of the Society, and on developing strategic goals through 2022. The following statements and goals were endorsed by the Governing Board in May 2019 and shared with the membership at the Annual Meeting in Louisville.


The Ecological Society of America advances the science and practice of ecology and supports ecologists throughout their careers.


The Ecological Society of America envisions a future where people embrace science to understand and foster a thriving planet.


  • Integrity: ESA is a trusted source of scientific knowledge that serves as a foundation for understanding and action.
  • Inclusion: ESA provides the community of ecologists of diverse backgrounds, heritage, and career paths with a supportive home that advances their aspirations.
  • Adaptability: ESA responds creatively to continuous change in our natural and social environments.

Strategic Goals

Advocate for ecological science

  • Promote the value and importance of ecology
  • Advance the visibility and quality of ecological education
  • Give voice to the needs and aspirations of ecologists

Nurture the vibrant community of ecologists

  • Expand the ecological community in number and in human diversity
  • Encourage and support a variety of career paths for ecologists
  • Work toward fully inclusive participation of diverse people in science

Foster the creation and dissemination of ecological knowledge

  • Organize ecologists to identify emerging areas of inquiry
  • Sustain and enhance the journals to attract the best work in the field and serve the information needs of the ecological community
  • Host forums for the exchange of scientific research, discovery, and application

Promote the use of ecological science to address environmental challenges

  • Convene thought leaders and subject matter experts to identify the most pressing environmental challenges and their solutions
  • Engage with diverse stakeholders from all sectors on environmental topics
  • Communicate ecological knowledge relevant for decision-making to policy-makers, resource managers, and the public

Build and maintain a dynamic professional scientific society

  • Expand ESA’s reach locally and globally
  • Strengthen governance and management processes

Concurrently, others from the Governing Board and senior staff were led by Vice President for Finance Evan DeLucia and Secretary Jessica Gurevitch through an effort to identify challenges in ESA’s governance — the old constitution and bylaws — and seek to modernize those documents so that the Society could be well-equipped to address modern challenges. Following months of work, this ad hoc Board subcommittee presented their vision to the ESA Council at the Annual Meeting in Louisville and sought input from the membership, who voted in favor of dissolving the old constitution and adopting a new, modern set of bylaws pending approval by the Council in 2020.