May 2001

ESA Governing Board
May 18-19, 2001
Washington, DC

The May 2001 meeting of the Governing Board was attended by Diana Wall (Past-President), Steve Carpenter (President), Pam Matson (President-Elect), Lisa Graumlich (Secretary), Carol Brewer (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), James Clark (Vice President for Science), Timothy Schowalter (Vice President for Public Affairs), William Schlesinger (Vice President for Finance), Rodolfo Dirzo (Member-at-Large), Jim Gosz (Member-at-Large), Julie Denslow (Member-at-Large), Jill Baron (incoming Secretary), Sharon Collinge (incoming Member-at-Large, and Executive Director Katherine McCarter. Managing Editor David Baldwin, SBI Director Mary Barber, Director for Public Affairs Nadine Lymn, Financial Manager Elizabeth Biggs were present for parts of the meeting. The meeting was called to order by President Carpenter at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 18, 2001 and adjourned at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2001.

I. Roll Call

    1. The Governing Board unanimously adopted the Agenda and approved the minutes from the November 2000 meeting. 
    2. Ratification of votes taken since November 2000. The Governing Board ratified five votes conducted via email in the period after the November 2000 meeting. Schlesinger moved to affirm the email vote to 1) accept the report of the Publications Committee on White Papers and Issues in Ecology, 2) extend the term of office for the Bulletin Editor-in-Chief, Allen Solomon, for one year, and 3) approve a statement on Genetically Modified Organisms to be used with policy makers. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. Schlesinger moved to approve the nominees for ESA awards. The nominees are: 
      • Eminent Ecologist: Paul Ehrlich
      • Distinguished Service Award: Lou Pitelka
      • Eugene P. Odum Education Award: James H. Brown
      • William Skinner Cooper Award: Thomas Swetnam and Julio Betancourt
      • Corporate Award: Weyerhauser Corporation British Columbia Coastal Group and Forest Project Team
      • Honorary Member: Madhav Gadgil
      • George Mercer Award: Brian Enquist

The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. Schlesinger moved to approve the slate of nominations for ESA officers. The nominees are:

  • President-Elect (2002-2003): O.J. Reichman, William Schlesinger
  • Vice President for Finance (2002-2005): Norman Christensen, Jim McGraw
  • Vice President for Public Affairs: (2002-2005) David Lodge, Alison Power
  • Members at Large (two to be elected, 2002-2004): Evan DeLucia, Edward Johnson, Debra Peters, and Osvaldo Sala
  • Board of Certification (two to be elected, 1-02 to 12-03): Randy Balice, Susan Bicknell, Kevin Erwin, Ross Hinkle
    The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
  • Clark moved to confirm the appointment of Thomas Swetnam as Program Chair (2003-2004). The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
  • Wall moved to confirm the theme for the 2002 annual meeting in Tucson, “A Convocation: Understanding and Restoring Ecosystems”. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
  • II. Reports

    1. Executive Director McCarter presented a set of written reports to the Governing Board summarizing the activities of ESA staff. Highlights of these reports include the following:
      1. McCarter reported on a number of staff activities and accomplishments. 
        1. ESA staff spent significant time helping to refine the business plan and budget for the new publication and to develop a proposal that was submitted to the Mellon Foundation and the Packard Foundation.
        2. The Reslience Alliance has agreed to an ESA request to change its status with the Alliance. Under the new status, instead of dues, ESA will serve as a mirror site for Conservation Ecology and be regarded as a founding member of the Alliance.
        3. ESA and the Society for Ecological Restoration are planning to hold a joint meeting in 2002 in Tucson, Arizona. The joint meeting will add 400-600 participants to ESA’s meeting.
      2. Sustainable Biosphere Initiative (SBI) Director Barber reported on two activities. First, SBI is helping to organize the 2nd International Nitrogen Conference will take place October 14-18, 2001. Barber reports that interest in the Conference has exceeded expectations and that the total budget for the Conference has been secured. Second, Barber reported on a new symposium on Effects of Fishing on Benthic Habitats. The symposium is being organized in cooperation with the American Fisheries Society, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and the US Geological Survey.
      3. Director for Public Affairs Lymn reported on activities, including Governing Board approved ESA Statements on the Smithsonian Institution’s plan to close their Conservation and Research Center and a briefing paper on non-native invasive species. In addition, the Public Affairs Office has been active on Capitol Hill, including substantial efforts to organize and participate in Congressional Visits Day, an annual event to support science funding. ESA’s regular press releases on new research findings has helped to boost press coverage at national and international levels.
      4. Managing Editor David Baldwin reported that we are beginning to see the payoff from our efforts to publish more pages and issues annually. Newly accepted manuscripts are now being scheduled for publication with a publication lag that is well under a year. Baldwin anticipates that by sometime in 2002 ESA will be able to publish accepted papers within six months of receipt of the final manuscripts. 
    2. Vice President for Public Affairs Schowalter reported that the Public Affairs Committee and the Public Affairs Office have developed two activities for the Annual Meeting in Madison, in addition to the usual press activities. At the Meeting, there will be an evening discussion of Community-Based Stewardship of Natural Lands with representatives of several community stewardship organizations. In addition, the Public Plenary speaker will be well-known author Sara Stein. 
    3. Vice President for Education and Human Resources Brewer reported that the Education and Human Resources Committee participated in vision planning for the next three years as well as made progress on several current projects. Brewer reports that there is a trend towards more education-related events at ESA annual meetings. She noted that the growth in education sessions is creating pressure on scheduling that should be addressed with better communication and coordination. 
    4. Member-at-Large Denslow updated the Governing Board on the Vegetation Panel. The Vegetation Panel alerted the Governing Board in Novermber 2000 that it was exploring options for the future and would be requesting a permanent status within the ESA. The Governing Board asked the Vice President for Science to appoint a small ad hoc committee to evaluate the advisability and strategies regarding the potential establishment of a permanent Vegetation Classification Panel and secretariat at ESA. Denslow reported that the Vegetation Committee will develop a proposal for the Governing Board regarding a more formal association with ESA for the November 2001 meeting. 
    5. Announcements: President Carpenter announced that the development of a Past Presidents Forum to provide a greater degree of continuity between Society Presidents, funding agencies and large, ongoing projects. The Past Presidents Forum will be chaired by the immediate Past President.

    III. Discussion/Action Items

      1. Financial Updates. Executive Director McCarter reported that the operating budget is showing revenues over expenses, due to the positive revenue from the Snowbird Annual Meeting as well as the continued efforts to monitor expenses at the Washington office. The positive revenue in the budget will allow a substantial repayment to ESA unrestricted funds at the end of the fiscal year. Vice President for Finance Schlesinger reported that ESA’s reserve (restricted) funds have suffered losses associated with the decline in the stock market. 
      2. Report from EiC, Ecology and Ecological Monographs. Don Strong, the Editor-in-Chief for Ecology and Ecological Monographs submitted a request for funds to support two Associate Editors-in-Chief to help in handling manuscripts and in working with editors during the review process. Gosz moved that the Governing Board approve the request for two two Associate Editors-in-Chief for Ecology and Ecological Monographs to be appointed through the current term of the Editor-in-Chief. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. President Carpenter will solicit further information from the Editor-in-Chief regarding potential pay scales as well as a model of how the Associate Editors-in-Chief will be involved in overall decision making for the journals. 
      3. Proposed FY 2001-2002 budget. Schlesinger and McCarter presented a proposal for the FY 2001-2002 budget. Key assumptions included that inflation will be 2%; membership numbers will be the same as in the previous year; the number of library subscriptions for Ecology and Ecological Applications will decrease by 4%; member subscriptions will be the same as in 2000; and there is no growth in ESA’s core funded programs. Revenues are calculated conservatively and expenses are calculated precisely based on end of year 2000 and year to date 2001 accounting information. The proposed budget includes the commitment to repay $50,000 to unrestricted funds. Library print subscription rates are raised. Schlesinger moved that the Governing Board accept the budget proposal as a working budget for presentation to ESA Council. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. 
      4. Membership Categories. During the November 2000 meeting, the Governing Board accepted the report of the Ad Hoc Membership Committee. In response to the report, the Governing Board voted to seek a Constitutional Amendment to allow the Board to establish membership categories and to accept the Committee’s proposals for several new membership categories. The ESA membership approved the Constitutional Amendment and the Governing Board now has the authority to establish membership categories. Incoming President Matson moved to revise the membership categories and associated dues as follows:
        • $50 per year for members with annual salaries of <$40,000;
        • $75 per year for members with annual salaries between $40,000 and $60,000; 
        • $95 for members with annual salaries of >$60,000;
        • $25 for student memberships; and
        • $15 for student memberships for developing countries.

    The motion passed by a majority vote.

    1. ESA Powerpoint Presentation. Member at Large Dirzo suggested that the ESA develop a Powerpoint and an audiovisual presentation, which can be used by Governing Board members and other ESA members to inform others of ESA’s activities at scientific meetings, particularly those outside the USA. President Carpenter requested that the Washington office staff develop such a presentation.
    2. New Publication Update. Board members and staff updated the Governing Board on activities related to the new publication, including the name, subcommittee meetings, grant proposals to the Mellon and Packard Foundations, SPARC Partnership, and possible market survey. A proposed job description for the Editor-in-Chief was presented. Schlesinger moved that the Governing Board accept the EiC job description as presented with minor editorial changes. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. 
    3. Position Papers. 
      1. Invasive Species. Vice President Schowalter asked David Lodge to lead the effort to develop a position paper on invasive species. The Governing Board received a proposal for a position paper on Ecological Principles and Tools to Guide Policy and Management of Invasive Species. Schowalter moved that the Governing Board accept the proposal for the position paper on invasive species. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
      2. Fire Management. Schowalter asked Ed Johnson to head the effort to develop a position paper on fire as an issue in ecosystem management. The Governing Board received a proposal for a position paper on fire management. Graumlich moved that the Governing Board approve the proposal for a position paper on fire management. The motion failed. President Carpenter instructed Schowalter to reconsider the needs and opportunities for ESA to develop a position paper on ecological consequences of 20th century fire management.
      3. Other Position Papers. The Governing Board was updated on progress on three other position papers: genetically modified organisms, Balancing Human and Ecosystem Needs for Freshwater, and The Ecosystem Function of Biodiversity. 

      H. The ESA Public Affairs Committee, chaired by Vice President Schowalter, has recommended that ESA develop a Resolution on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). President Carpenter asked Schowalter to gather background information on the ANWR issue. Carpenter also asked Schowalter to explore possibilities for a position paper on the ecological consequences at local to global scales of US Energy Policy. 

      I. New Business.

      1. Member at Large Dirzo moved that ESA send a letter of commendation to Professor Julia Carabias of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México for her work in promoting ecological awareness with the federal government of Mexico. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. 
      2. Past President Wall moved that the Governing Board commend Robin Chazdon for her work in completing the membership survey and making the results available on the ESA website. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

    Respectfully Submitted, 

    Lisa J. Graumlich, Secretary