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Fees & Process Timeline

Application Process

Applications must be complete and must include all information required in this Requirements Checklist and on the application form. Incomplete applications may be rejected, or additional information may be requested of the applicant to clarify incomplete application information.

Applications submitted without full payment or late applications will not be reviewed.

Certification is valid for 5 years. After 5 years, all certified ecologists will be notified and reminded to apply for re-certification via email, so it is important to keep one’s personal information up to date.

Certification expires on June 30 of the final year (so if certification is awarded in 2020, it expires on June 30, 2025). After that date, there is a 1-year grace period to apply for re-certification or an upgrade to the next level. After that point, applicants must re-apply as if for a new certification, including providing all requisite supporting materials; applicants may still apply for an upgrade in such an instance, provided that they meet all requirements for the next level.

All certifications are retroactive to June 1 of the year they are reviewed and expire June 30 five years thereafter.

For more information, please visit the FAQ page.

Application Fees

Certification Category and Level ESA Member Non-Member
New and Upgrade Ecologist in Training (EiT) $100 $215
Associate Ecologist (AE)  $120  $245
Ecologist (CE)  $180  $360
Senior Ecologist (SE) $200 $385
Re-Certification EiT / AE / CE Level Only EiT $100 EiT $215
AE $120 AE $245
CE $180 CE $360
Streamlined SE Only: to recertify as SE or to apply for ESE $200 Not applicable (member only)

Certification Process Timeline

November The ESA certification opens for applications.
January Application Deadline: January 31, 2020.
Please note that payment must be submitted with your application or it will not be considered. Late applications will not be considered. Please note that degrees awarded and years of experience will only be counted up to the application deadline.

The Board of Professional Certification meets to review all applications. The Board will determine which applications are accepted or rejected, and which require additional information.

Applicants may be requested to submit additional information prior to this meeting; additionally, the Board may request more information or documentation from some applicants as a result of their review.

Notifications of certification status for most applicants will be sent as soon as possible following the conclusion of this meeting.

August The Board of Professional Certification will finish its final review of incomplete applications. All applicants who have not already been so will be notified of their certification status; questions regarding the results and/or appeal requests may be submitted.

Appeals Procedure

A decision of the Board of Professional Certification may be appealed in writing to the ESA executive director, who will initiate the appeals process through the ESA Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee. The Board of Professional Certification may be engaged in discussion of a potential appeal prior to its official submission to the PEAC.

Disciplinary Procedure

The Board of Professional Certification, with approval of the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee, shall have the authority to censure a certification, to suspend certification for a stated period, or to revoke certification on the finding that an individual has willfully violated the Code of Ethics or misrepresented the facts at the time of certification. Such a finding may be reached by concluding that an allegation of improper deportment is true. Such an allegation may be presented to the Board in writing, by any member of the Ecological Society of America. Anonymous allegations will not be entertained. Anyone named a party to such proceeding shall be informed in a timely manner of the evidence brought forward and be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

The Board will forward all material to the Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee. After review of the case by the Committee and the Board, the Board will render a written decision informing the certified ecologist, the individual who initiated the allegation, and the Governing Board. Any such action of the Board may be appealed to the Governing Board, whose decision will be final.