August 4, 2002

ESA Governing Board: Council Meeting
August 4, 2002
Tucson, AZ

The ESA Council Meeting was attended by Council Members or their representatives: Kay Gross (Awards Committee), Steve Chaplin (Future Meetings Committee), Rick Boyce (Rocky Mountain Chapter), Ray Dueser (Western Chapter), Niki Nicholas (Southeastern Chapter), Michael J. Mappin (Education Section), Louis Gross (Theoretical Ecology Section), Craig Osenberg (Aquatic Section), Deborah Goldberg (Vegetation Section), Dave Breshears (Rangeland Ecology Section), Alexander Gershenson (Agroecology Section), Alison Brody (Plant Population Biology Section), Rob Jackson (Physiological Ecology Section), Jack Williams (Paleoecology Section), Jayne Belnap (Soil Ecology Section), Jacoby Carter (Asian Ecology Section and International Affairs Section), Faith Kearns (Student Ecology Section), Rick Wetzler (International Affairs Section). Editors-In Chief David Schimel (Ecological Applications), Don Strong (Ecology and Ecological Monographs), Sue Silver (Frontiers in Ecology and Environment), Allan Solomon (Bulletin), and Managing Editor David Baldwin were present. Members of the Governing Board included: President Pamela Matson, President-elect Ann Bartuska, Vice-President for Finance Bill Schlesinger, Vice-President for Science Jim Clark, Vice-President for Education and Human Resources Carol Brewer, Secretary Jill Baron, Members-at-Large Jim Gosz, Julie Denslow, and Sharon Collinge, Members-at-Large-elect Oswaldo Sala and Ed Johnson, and Executive Director Katherine McCarter. ESA Staff members included Public Affairs Director Nadine Lymn, SBI Acting Director Lori Hidinger, Director of Finance Elizabeth Biggs, and Director of Education Jason Taylor.

I. Report of the President 

  1. President Matson reported that ESA is in excellent condition, both financially and organizationally. New initiatives, including the new magazine Frontiers, funding for a Congressional Fellow, and the Assessment and Strategic Planning Effort Needs Assessment about to be launched were mentioned as among the many ESA successes. She thanked the Washington staff for their support and promotion of ESA efforts. 

II. Report of the Executive Director and Staff

  1. Executive Director McCarter and Staff presented a set of written reports to the Council summarizing the activities of ESA staff over the past year, including the many accomplishments of the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative (SBI/Science Office), the Public Affairs Office, and the Publications Office. She highlighted initiatives and accomplishments, including: Frontiers; the health of the other journals and plans for the Bulletin to go online this fall; the establishment of a full-time Office of Education, with Jason Taylor as Director; continued streamlining of electronic dues, meeting registration, and subscription transactions, and an ESA operating budget with revenues substantially over expenses.

    Executive Director McCarter announced the availability of Long-range Planning Funds of up to $2500 for sections and chapters that propose to use it for activities that enhance the goals of the Society.

III. Reports of the Officers

  1. Written reports were distributed to Council from the Vice-President for Public Affairs Schowalter and from the Vice-President for Science Clark. Highlights include the paper on research directions for the ESA written by the Research Committee in 2002. Vice-President for Education and Human Resources Brewer’s written report announced the recipients of ESA awards and highlighted the many education and diversity activities occurring at the meetings. 
  2. Vice-President for Finance Bill Schlesinger reported on the positive cash flow to the ESA over the 2001-2002 budget year, stemming mainly from greater than expected revenues from the Madison annual meeting and the International Conference on Nitrogen in Washington, as well as careful management of ESA operations. Restricted and endowment funds managed by Townley Capital Management, Inc, and J. Bush, Inc. Continue to reflect the dismal stock market of the past year. The ESA portfolio now includes 12.6% of stock in socially responsible mutual funds.

IV. Presentation of the Budget: Vice-President Schlesinger presented the proposed operating budget for 2002-2003, that includes $50,000 continued repayment of unrestricted funds. Assumptions include a loss of ~2% in the number of members who subscribe to journals, an increase in the subscription revenues derived from institutions, significant revenues from grants from the Mellon and Packard Foundations for support of the new magazine Frontiers, a 4% increase in overall expenses for salaries and office space for the new magazine, and a savings accrued from elimination of printing and mailing costs associated with the Bulletin and NewSource. A motion to approve the budget was made and seconded, and passed by unanimous vote.

V. Dues for Chapters and Sections: Dues have been $2.00/year for many years, and some sections and chapters requested an increase. After discussion a motion was made and seconded to increase Chapter and Section dues to $3.00/year. The motion passed with a vote of 19 for, and 2 against, with no abstentions.

VI. Introduction of the new ESA Publication Frontiers in Ecology and Environment: Sue Silver presented the format and layout of the new magazine, whose first issue will be launched in February 2003. All ESA members will receive a copy of Frontiers as part of their membership. Editor-in-Chief Silver formally requested papers from Council members that meet the rigorous criteria for the new magazine.

VII. Future Meetings Committee: Future Meetings Committee Chaplin announced that locations of future annual meetings: Savannah GA in 2003, Portland OR in 2004, Montreal in 2005, Memphis in 2006. He also introduced the idea of re-structuring and combining the Program and Future Meeting Committees, for which a proposal will be submitted to the Governing Board in November 2002.

VIII. New Business : Secretary Baron introduced the idea of developing five year charters for each section and chapter. The charter will set goals and objectives to be accomplished, and at the end of each five year interval, will be reviewed and renewed.

IX. Recognition of Governing Board Members Leaving the Board: 
President Matson thanked Vice President for Public Affairs Schowalter, Vice President for Finances Schlesinger, Members-at-Large Jim Gosz and Julie Denslow, for their contributions to the Governing Board.

X. Statement of the Incoming President: 
Incoming President Bartuska expressed her gratitude to the past presidents, past Governing Board members, and the ESA staff, especially Executive Director Katherine McCarter, for putting the Society on a solid financial footing and moving the Society forward. She discussed her interest in strengthening the role of non-academic (federal, state, and NGO) ecologists in Society and ecological affairs over the coming year, and to enhance Society efforts in the policy arena.

XI. Section and Chapter Discussion: Secretary Baron led a discussion of the role of sections and chapters in the ESA. Sections and chapters are important parts of ESA in that they provide a community for interaction with colleagues in specific topic areas. Presentations of highly successful activities were given by Nichole Barger of the Rocky Mountain Chapter on the annual Front Range Student Ecology Symposium, by Rob Jackson on the goals and activities of the Physiological Ecology Section, by Michael Mappin on the Education Section, and by Jack Williams on the Paleoecology Section. Editor-in-Chief Schimel (Ecological Applications) requested names of people willing to serve as associate editors for the journal, and requests were also made for Sections and Chapters to nominate their deserving colleagues for awards. Sections and chapters were asked to prepare a Five-year charter to be incorporated into section bylaws by next year, and renewed every five years. A number of services provided by the Society for Sections and Chapters were mentioned, including the availability of long-range planning funds, website maintenance, providing a home server for section and chapter websites, development of standard portals to Sections and Chapters from the ESA Homepage, software for website development, and advice.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jill Baron, Secretary