Skip to main content

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESA has temporarily moved to a all-telework model. What this means ...

Meetings Committee

The ESA Meetings Committee seeks to advance the Society’s mission and goals through convening ecologists. The Committee is responsible for supporting the Governing Board and management in long-term strategy and planning for the Annual Meeting. The Meetings Committee is responsible for: 

  • Ensuring that the Annual Meeting remains relevant to scientists, meets the needs of Society members, and furthers the Society’s goals
  • Prioritizing the revenue targets established by the Governing Board when planning future Annual Meetings
  • Recommending guidelines related to the Annual Meeting
  • Annually reviewing the results of the Annual Meeting

Composition

  • Co-chaired by immediate past Program Chair (appointed by the President) and the Future Meetings Chair (appointed by the President to a three-year term)
  • Other designated members include:
    • Current and future designated Program Chairs
    • Current, immediate past, and future designated Local Hosts
    • Chair of the Student Section
    • Others as appointed
  • Ex officio (non-voting): President and Executive Director

Committee Members

  • Richard Pouyat, Future Meetings Chair, Co-Chair (2020-2021)
    Email
  • Ryan McEwan, Co-Chair, 2019 Program Chair
    University of Dayton
    Email
  • Kiona Ogle, 2020 Program Chair
  • Diane Pataki, 2020 Local Host Chair
  • Sarah Emery, 2021 Program Chair and 2019 Local Host
  • Ari Martinez, 2021 Local Host
  • Steve Kutos, Student Representative
  • Sarah Anderson
  • Steve Sheffield

Program Subcommittee

The Program Subcommittee is responsible for developing the current year’s Annual Meeting program over a 14-month planning timeline. The subcommittee works closely with the Associate Director of Conventions & Meetings. It is composed of the current, past, and future Program Chairs, and the current Local Host.

Responsibilities of the Program Chair

  • Propose a meeting theme to the governing board and offer feedback on a draft logo.
  • Select and invite the scientific plenary speaker (in even-numbered years).
  • Select and invite the Recent Advances speaker.
  • Participate in a committee to select the New Phytologist lecturer.
  • Approve calls for sessions and abstracts.
  • Read over all proposals for sessions.
  • Lead all Program Committee conference calls (goal to hold these monthly).
  • After peer review of paper sessions is completed, look over the reviews in consultation with the rest of the Program Committee
  • In consultation with the rest of the Program Committee, make acceptance decisions about all sessions based on the proposal guidelines.
  • Make acceptance decisions about contributed abstracts that have been reviewed by volunteers from the Section and Chapters.
  • Oversee the scheduling of sessions to minimize conflicts between similar topics.
  • Review the meeting evaluation.
  • Co-chair the Meetings Committee the year after the chaired meeting.
  • Attend Meetings Committee business meetings (Spring and on-site at the meeting) for three years (before, during, and after the chaired year).
  • Prepare a report on their chaired meeting as part of the Meetings Committee’s annual report to the ESA Council.
  • Attend the Sunday Governing Board meeting during the chaired year.
  • To learn about the meeting in advance and support the next chair, each program chair is copied on emails about important meeting milestones and tasks for three years (before, during, and after the meeting year). Reading these (infrequent) emails is important.

Qualities needed to be an effective Program Chair

  • Must be an ESA member.
  • Must be familiar with ESA annual meetings, with a history of attending recent meetings.
  • Must be an organized, logical thinker and able to focus on top priorities.
  • Must be willing to take a leadership role within a committee structure.
  • Must be able to meet deadlines.
  • Must be comfortable saying “no,” firmly but respectfully, to unfeasible requests.
  • Must have time to work on the meeting, particularly during periods of proposal review (October/November and January), abstract review (March/April), and scheduling (February and May).
  • Ideally has some experience organizing scientific meetings.

The Program Chair’s role focuses on the scientific content of the meeting. The Program Chair is not expected to manage the logistical details of the meeting or deal with vendors, including hotels, convention centers, or other service providers. ESA staff are responsible for managing logistics, dealing with service providers, and communicating with attendees.

Responsibilities of the Local Host

  • Serve as a member of the Meetings Committee for a 3 year term. The Meetings Committee meets in person at the Annual Meeting and engages in discussion over email and Zoom meetings throughout the year.
  • Serve as a member of the Program Committee for a 1 year term and participate in the decision-making process for scientific program content. This primarily involves looking over the proposals for meeting sessions and participating in two conference calls (one in November and one in January) to make acceptance decisions.
  • Encourage submission of field trip proposals, including reaching out to local contacts when the call for proposals is open.
  • Recommend a local organization to receive environmental offset funds. The recommendation should be submitted to the Governing Board in the fall of the preceding year.
  • Provide a realistic local perspective during the field trip proposal submission and review process. The program committee as a whole will review proposals, and a local perspective can be invaluable when checking to see if a trip’s planned itinerary is realistic. ESA staff will arrange for each trip’s logistical needs, and a local point of contact can be very helpful when looking for vendor recommendations.
  • Write a short narrative about the region (local history, culture, natural areas of interest, restaurants, family activities, and other resources) to help promote the meeting and provide attendees with a sense of place. This narrative will be posted on the meeting site in the fall of the preceding year.
  • Advise staff about local areas of interest that could be incorporated into the program, especially for social events.

Qualities needed to be an effective Local Host

  • Must be an ESA member.
  • Must be local to the area where the meeting will be held.
  • Must be familiar with ESA annual meetings, with a history of attending recent meetings.
  • Must be able to meet deadlines.
  • Must have time to work on the meeting, particularly during periods of proposal review (October/November and January).
  • The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about the area and encouraging attendees to experience local attractions.

The Local Host Chair’s role focuses providing a local perspective to meeting planning. The Local Host Chair is not expected to manage the logistical details of the meeting or deal with vendors, including hotels, convention centers, or other service providers. ESA staff are responsible for managing logistics, dealing with service providers, and communicating with attendees.