August 11, 2006

Minutes of the ESA Governing Board 
11 August, 2006


Members Present: Alan Covich (President), Nancy Grimm (Past-President), Norm Christensen (President-Elect), Gus Shaver (Vice President for Science), Meg Lowman (Vice President for Education and Human Resources), Richard Pouyat (VP for Public Affairs), Bill Parton (VP for Finance), David Inouye (Secretary), Jayne Belnap (Member at Large), Dennis Ojima (Member at Large).

Staff Present:
Katherine McCarter (Executive Director), Cliff Duke (Director of Science), Elizabeth Biggs (Director of Finance), Sue Silver (Editor), Nadine Lymn (Director of Public Affairs), Fran Day (Development), David Baldwin (Managing Editor), Jason Taylor (Director of Education).

  1. Roll Call, 8:36 AM
  2. Welcome from the new President (Covich)

Feedback about the meeting program and venue has been favorable.  Just about 2,800 people registered; he has had some feedback that people liked the smaller size. Some of the ideas brought up at the meeting have helped set the stage for the 100th anniversary.  NEON appears to be back on track, we’ll see what else ESA can do to help facilitate it.  One suggestion heard was to schedule more talks by icons (e.g., one each day).  What could we do to make the meeting more welcoming to members who teach at small schools that don’t emphasize research? There may be a move to create an environmental justice section, and to do more at the meeting site (e.g., student volunteers working on a local project). 

Organizing for the coming year: Jayne Belnap has agreed to chair the publications review committee, which will also include, Scott Collins, and others still to be appointed.  Liz Biggs, David Baldwin and Sue Silver will serve as staff resources to the committee.

Meeting dates: 16-17 November in DC, and the 15th for new Board members.  Suggested spring meeting dates 7 and 8 May.  Climate change science program office is one possibility for an agency meeting, also DOE Office of Science, Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, TNC, etc. Next year’s annual meeting in San Jose, CA, 4-10 August. 

100th year (2015) anniversary preparations: Historical Records Committee is being involved, encourages archiving of Society records.  What can we and others learn from our history? The contributions of individuals coming up with important ideas from their familiarity with natural history is one important theme – how can we ensure that this will continue? And what is the future role of big science projects?  Will its budgets create problems for funding smaller-scale research?  Don Shure played an important role at the 75th annual meeting, and should be contacted regarding the 100th.  A showcase exhibit on Capitol Hill and for the media would be appropriate.  Last year Nadine presented a history of the Public Affairs Office; perhaps other VPs could work on similar summaries. Perhaps we could collaborate with other agencies to highlight previous efforts such as the International Geophysical Union.  Maybe try for a postage stamp? Society for Environmental History might be interested in collaborating (Nancy Langston at Wisconsin might be a contact; headquarters is in Durham). 

Steering committee for the southeast Regional Knowledge Partnership will meet in early November.  Members include:  Michael Binford, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Norman Christensen, Duke University, Durham, NC; Alan P. Covich, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Virginia Dale, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN; Dr. Frank S. Gilliam, Marshall University Huntington, WV; Margaret D. Lowman, New University of Florida, Sarasota, FL; Jerry Melillo, The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA; Robert R. Twilley, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; Peter S. White, University of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC.  An outreach effort will be an important component. 

EcoSummit: This will be the third one, the first in China.  The Asian Section will play an important role.  Elsevier is sponsoring it, Ecological Society of China has taken a major role (e.g., in terms of financial risk).  Our role is to serve on the Program Committee and help (through our membership) suggest symposia, and help organize/award student funding.  Several Board members will attend the summit.  In addition, Katherine McCarter and Sue Silver will exhibit at the meeting and publicize ESA’s journals.  Editor of Ecological Complexity, Bai-Lian (Larry) Li, is the point person for Elsevier.  They may publish a set of symposium volumes from the meeting.  

  1. Audit Committee

 This group reviews the audit, and participates in a conference call with the Auditors.  Norm Christensen was appointed to the committee.

Meeting feedback.  Some donors to funds other than Millennium Fund were unhappy because they weren’t invited to a reception and didn’t get DONOR tags for their name tags.  Some postdocs and recently appointed faculty members asked for graded registration fees (similar to membership fees).  Maybe a young-scientist network would be a good idea.  The student section activities attracted a lot of participants and went well, although there were some complaints about the student mixer (expensive, not enough food). SEEDS went well; Nancy encouraged Board members to participate in the Diversity Mixer.  Katherine encouraged more Board members to attend the Bagels with the Board breakfast in the future.  The public outreach session (community presentation) on Wednesday evening featured Ann Bartuska talking at the Anointed Temple of Praise; a mixed success due to a conflict at the church (a service that evening).  Press Office report:  The reporter from Nature was busy sending out reports, and about 15 other media representatives were present.  Ecological Society of Mexico will have their first meeting in November; Rich Pouyat will attend as they are hoping to establish a public affairs committee modeled after ours. 

Meeting was adjourned at 10:34 PM on Friday, August 11, 2006.

David Inouye, Secretary