ESA’s Strategic Plan

By ESA President Osvaldo Sala,

The landscape of science is changing, and the Society strives to be flexible and evolve to serve its members. Over the past year, I was charged as President-Elect to lead the Governing Board members and staff to thoughtfully craft the ESA’s Strategic Plan for 2019-2021 to meet the needs of ecologists.

In-person and Zoom meetings ensued over multiple time zones where we asked ourselves, “What does ESA do best and what do we hope to achieve?” and “What is our aspirational view of the world because ESA exists?”

If any of you have ever embarked on a strategic planning process, you know that people feel strongly about which words to keep and which to discard. Every goal under consideration seems important, but realistically deciding what ESA can do with its resources ruled the day. Like a sculpture’s first stroke of the knife into the clay, we crafted ESA’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values before the goal setting process began.

Mission: ESA advances the science and practice of ecology and supports ecologists throughout their careers.

Vision: ESA envisions a future where people embrace science to understand and foster a thriving environment.

Core Values: ESA staff and Governing Board members identified values to guide interactions  with members.

  • Integrity: ESA is a trusted source of scientific knowledge that serves as a foundation for understanding and action.
  • Inclusion: ESA provides the community of ecologists of diverse backgrounds, heritage, and career paths with a supportive home that advances their aspirations.
  • Adaptability: ESA responds creatively to continuous change in our natural and social environments.


Once the outline and shape of the plan became apparent, the five Strategic Plan goals filled in the details that brought the mission, vision, and core values to life:

  1. Advocate for ecological science
  2. Nurture the vibrant community of ecologists
  3. Foster the creation and dissemination of ecological knowledge
  4. Promote the use of ecological science to address environmental challenges
  5. Build and maintain a dynamic professional scientific society

Over the next three years, ESA staff and its Governing Board members will be working with our dedicated members, Sections, and Chapters as we work toward achieving these goals.

Read more about the Strategic Plan.

Author: ESA Public Affairs

Share This Post On