Nominate your colleagues (or yourself!) for the 2020 ESA Governing Board and the Board of Professional Certification

A letter from Rich Pouyat, ESA president 2017-2018 


As ESA Past President, part of my role is to ensure the continuity of governance in the Society, which means stewarding the election process as chair of the Nominations Committee. While part of the committee’s work is to identify promising candidates for roles in ESA’s volunteer leadership, we cannot be aware of every qualified member and feel that it is important to canvass our members to identify future leaders who can help us become more inclusive and relevant.

The volunteer members of the Governing Board are the fiduciaries for the organization. They are ultimately responsible for our success or failure. In practice, they help shape the Society’s direction, provide oversight of management, and ensure compliance with legal requirements. They are also responsible for outreach and member engagement. This means that members of the Governing Board need experience developing strategies and overseeing finances in addition to being demonstrated leaders among their peers. Ideally, they also connect with some area of the Society’s work—education, publishing, advocacy, public affairs—as well.

The Governing Board meets three times per year for 1.5 days. Generally speaking, board members also serve on at least one board or standing committee and are also available for additional meetings and calls as needed by the board and/or management.

The volunteer members of the Board of Professional Certification (BPC) review renewal and new applications annually and determine eligibility of candidates, and work with ESA staff to provide technical support to certified individuals and those seeking certification. The BPC elects a chair from among its own membership.

We seek nominations of candidates with a passion for the mission and time to dedicate to ESA, who are concerned with the needs of the ecology community, can put the best interests of ESA above their own or those of their institutions, and are team players.

To lead the Society, the Governing Board and Board of Professional Certification should also reflect the Society—not just the Society that we have today, but the Society that we desire to have in years to come. The Extending the Tent membership initiative, for example, aims to create a more inclusive home for racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with mobility and sensory disabilities, and international individuals, among other underrepresented populations within our science. It also seeks to go beyond academics and foster relationships with government and non-government organizations, as well as consultants and the business community.

I invite you to nominate individuals for the 2019 Governing Board and Board of Professional Certification elections, to begin service in 2020. Positions eligible for nomination are:

  • President-Elect
  • Vice President for Finance
  • Vice President for Public Affairs
  • 2 Members-at-Large
  • 2 Members of the Board of Professional Certification

You can use this form to submit a nomination. Below is a brief position description of each volunteer role up for nomination. We request that prior to submitting a nomination, you first obtain the consent of the nominee. Self-nominations are also welcome. Submissions are due Feb. 1, 2019. Email gro.asenull@qhase with any questions.


All Governing Board Members

  • Act on all matters of the Society except final approval of budget, and final approval of changes to Constitution and By laws
  • May terminate an individual’s membership
  • Consider proposals from members
  • Receive and act on reports from Officers, Executive Director, Sections, Chapters, Committees
  • Designate time, place and theme of Annual Meeting
  • Hire, fire, and evaluate the Executive Director
  • Appoint committees as needed
  • Appoint and evaluate Editors-in-Chiefs of Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs, Ecosphere and the ESA Bulletin
  • Approve special Society reports
  • Approve Section and Chapter By-laws and amendments, and approve dues
  • Approve awards, grants, and fellowships
  • Request investigation of ethical misconduct
  • Act on recommendations to sanction members for ethical misconduct
  • Review and decide appeals of those denied certification
  • Serve as members of ESA Council


  • Chair the Governing Board
  • Serve as Primary Spokesperson for the Society
  • Appoint three members to the Nominating Committee
  • Appoint standing committee chairs (from nominations from Vice Presidents)
  • Charge standing committees through Vice President or Secretary to whom the committee reports
  • Appoint special committees
  • Appoint selection committee for Executive Director
  • Oversee with President-elect setting of criteria for Executive Director and evaluation process
  • Maintain Executive Director’s personnel file
  • Appoint monitors for special Society reports
  • Serve as voting, Ex-officio member of the Public Affairs Committee
  • Serve as voting, Ex officio member of the Committee on Diversity and Education
  • Receive reports from “whistleblowers” and coordinate investigation
  • Receive and investigate complaints of ethical or sexual harassment concerning the Executive Director


  • Assume duties of the President if President is not able to do so
  • Chair the Governing Board if President is not able to do so
  • Oversee with President setting of criteria for Executive Director and evaluation process

Vice President for Finance

  • Develop fiscal and investment policy
  • Review annual budget
  • Conduct long term fiscal planning
  • Oversee business, finances and management of Society
  • Receive the annual audit from the Audit Committee
  • Recommend Chair for committees reporting to the Vice President
  • Arrange meetings at the annual meeting for committees reporting to the Vice-President
  • Nominate chair and other members, charge and represent Development Committee
  • Appoint, charge and represent Audit Committee
  • Receive reports from “whistleblowers” and coordinate investigation

Vice President for Public Affairs

  • Oversee public affairs, international affairs, and public policy activities
  • Chair Public Affairs Committee
  • Recommend chairs for committees reporting to the Vice-President
  • Arrange meeting at the annual meeting for committees reporting to this Vice-President
  • Nominate chair, appoint, charge and represent:
    • Public Affairs Committee
    • International Relations Committee
    • Representatives to other scholarly societies as designated by the Governing Board

Members at Large

  • Serve on the Nominations Committee
  • Represent the diverse views, goals and objectives of the members
  • Chair special committees if requested
  • Serve as monitors for reports if requested
  • Serve on committee to review Long Range Planning Grants

Board of Professional Certification

  • Review and approve or reject applications for certification
  • Work with ESA staff to establish certification criteria and application processes
  • Advise staff on requirements
  • Provide oversight for communication with applicants and certified individuals