Chapters and Sections
The Ecological Society of America encourages its diverse community of members to become more involved in the Society. Many opportunities exist beyond the ESA Annual Meeting and the ESA journal publications to communicate and exchange ideas with fellow ecologists within the U.S and around the world.
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- Sections are organized to promote the various special interests of the Membership. Activities are intended to encourage research, exchange idea, and facilitate communication between ecologists with similar disciplinary interests.
- Chapters may be organized on a regional basis to encourage interest in the field of ecology to enhance communication among ecologists regionally and between the parent Society and its members. Each Section and Chapter Chair serves as a member of the ESA Governing Council.
Chapters and Sections List
Applied Ecology Section: The Applied Ecology Section seeks to encourage research and the sponsorship of meetings to facilitate communication of results in all phases of the application of ecological principles to the solution of practical environmental problems associated with providing for the needs and requirements of our increasing human population. The Section specifically encourages active and sustained relationships with and among those specialists in public policy, public administration, law, engineering, education, urban and regional planning, public health, political science, agriculture, and natural resources who use ecological principles in the resolution of their problems.Each year the Section awards travel money to students who are traveling to the ESA Annual Meeting to make presentations in applied ecology.
Agroecology Section: The Agroecology Section will promote an understanding of the importance of the application of ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable Agroecosystems among ecologists, agriculturists, and members of related disciplines. Other objectives include encouraging education and research in Agroecology, sponsoring meetings and publications for the communication of research and educational activities in Agroecology, and increasing student participation in the Society.
Aquatic Ecology Section: The purpose of the Aquatic Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America is to advance, coordinate, and assist research and dissemination of theoretical and applied knowledge in all branches of aquatic ecology and to act as a liaison agency between investigators, societies, or any groups interested in this discipline and other scientific fields. The Section offers student travel awards to offset the expenses of students who are attending the ESA Annual Meeting to present a talk, paper or poster.
Asian Ecology Section: The objectives of the Asian Ecology Section are to (1) promote communication and collaboration among ecologists who are interested in the advancement of ecology in Asia, and (2) promote ecological research and education in Asia.
Biogeosciences Section: The purpose of this Section shall be to promote research and education in studies of the influence of biology on the chemistry of the surface of the Earth, the processing of energy and materials in Earth’s ecosystems, and the impact of humans on Earth system function. The Section shall act as a liaison between investigators, societies, and other groups interested in these subjects. The purpose of the Section shall be reviewed and renewed by a vote of the membership every five years.
Black Ecologist Section: This section was established in August of 2016.
Communication and Engagement Section: promote and support the practice of traditional and emerging science communication approaches by ecologists and science communicators within ESA’s membership (2) sponsor science communication training opportunities for scientists, professional development activities for science communicators, and facilitate collaboration among members through symposia, organized oral sessions, special sessions, and social events at the annual meeting and regionally; (3) support ESA’s endeavors including but not limited to interdisciplinary initiatives, policy statements, regional and national conferences, and activities of the Public Affairs Office, (4) work with other sections (e.g. Student, Education, and Policy Sections) to facilitate student participation in science communication training and exploration of communication career opportunities; and (5) formalize a community of members that have science communication experience.
Disease Ecology Section: The Disease Ecology Section seeks to promote research and education regarding epidemiology, evolution, and ecology of host-pathogen and host parasite interaction and disease. The section will 1) encourage research regarding the ecology of parasites and pathogens, 2) will foster interaction among ecologists with interests in host-parasite and pathogens, 3) facilitate collaborative links among members through symposia, organized oral sessions, special sessions, and social events, 4) promote the integration of host-parasite and disease ecology into the general study of interaction with their parasites, and 6) educate scientists and the general public regarding the pivotal role parasites and pathogens play in ecological systems. The section will act as a liaison among investigators, practitioners, societies, and other groups interested in these subjects, including but not limited to the One Health Initiative, EcoHealth Alliance, and the American Society for Parasitologists.
Early Careers Section: The Early Career Ecologist Section will include but not limited to individuals who currently have less than 8 years of full-time employment in an ecology-related position, or otherwise self-identified as “early career”. Such individuals may include postdoctoral researchers, assistant professors, lecturers, adjunct faculty members, and employees of government, non-profit, advocacy, university, and industrial scientific entities, though Section membership will be open to any member of the Society. The overall purpose of the Section is to provide support to this sizeable demographic of the Society in the transitional period of their professional development (i.e. from student to professional). Topics of interests include job search process, tenure and promotion, securing research funding, course development, and fulfilling committee and other service responsibilities.
Ecological Restoration: promotes theoretical and applied research, teaching, communication, grant development, and collaboration on ecological restoration.
Education Section: The purpose of the Education Section is to promote and enhance ecology education for students of all ages and for the general public; to facilitate the development an dissemination of ecology curricula, published educational materials, pedagogic ideas and education programs and projects of the highest quality; to provide information, encouragement, and assistance to anyone who teaches ecological concepts and principles; to advocate an appropriate emphasis on ecology education at all levels; and to recognize those who provide outstanding instruction in ecology.
Environmental Justice Section: The Environmental Justice (EJ) Section of ESA promotes the engagement of ecologists in addressing environmental injustice issues through education, research and outreach.
Human Ecology Section: The goal of ESA’s Human Ecology Section is to guarantee intellectual exchanges on the role and the interpretation of humans’ relationship to their environment, as well as an enrichment of ecological thought itself.
Inclusive Ecology: encourages and supports ecologists from underrepresented groups, as well as supporting all ecologists striving to make ecology more inclusive through their research, teaching, outreach, and engagement with policymakers ,managers, and other ecologists.
Invasion Ecology Section: promotes research, teaching, communication, and collaboration on the ecology of biological invasions.
Long-Term Studies Section: The objectives of the Long-Term Studies Section are to (1) encourage research on long-term processes ecological science; (2) exchange ideas on techniques, procedures, and selection of parameters; (3) facilitate communication of the results of research; and (4) enhance public understanding of the relevance of long-term ecological data to identification and resolution of societal problems.
Microbial Ecology Section: The purpose of the Microbial Ecology Section is to promote research and education regarding the ecology of microorganisms. This shall include (1) encouragement of research regarding the ecology of bacteria, archaea, microeukarya, and viruses, (2) sponsorship of meetings concerning such research, (3) promotion of the integration of microbial ecology into the general study of ecology, and (4) education of scientists and the general public regarding the pivotal role microorganisms play in ecological systems.
Natural History Section: The Natural History Section will promote the value, improve the practice, grow the community and increase the application of natural history within and beyond the Ecological Society of America. Specific objectives include encouraging the inclusion of natural history in research and education at all levels; sponsoring meetings, awards, and publications for the communication of research and educational activities in natural history, and increasing student participation in the section, and in Ecological Society of America, through outreach and assistance to student participants.
Open Science Section: To encourage and support ecologists who are striving to practice Open Science principles in their research, teaching, outreach, and engagement with, policymakers managers, and other ecologists.
Paleoecology Section: The Paleoecology Section strives to promote, coordinate, and otherwise assist research in all branches of theoretical and applied ecology that use paleoecological methods or historical documentary sources to gain insight into long-term ecosystem dynamics; and to help disseminate the knowledge gained through this research to investigators in other scientific disciplines, to other learned societies, and to the general public.
See also: A Survey of Paleoecology Literature
Physiological Ecology Section: The Physiological Ecology Section is one of the largest sections in the Ecological Society of America. Its primary purpose is to promote research, teaching, and communication in physiological ecology of both animals and plants. The section sponsors symposia at the annual ESA meetings, holds meetings of its members, and facilitate communication through mailings and the electronic newsgroup bionet.ecology.physiology. Contributing to career development of new people in the field is also a goal. The section is establishing links with physiological ecologists of the British Ecology Society and the Geselschaft fur Okologie (the ecology society of German speaking countries).
Plant Population Ecology Section: The Plant Population Ecology Section encourages research and communication in plant population ecology and related fields. Activities include programs at the Annual Meeting, and travel awards to encourage student participation in ESA funded through the Section’s hallmark Silent Auction of member handicrafts and other donated items. Further information on these and other Section activities, including applications for the travel awards, can be found on the section website: https://esa.org/plantpopulation/.
Policy Section: The objectives of the Policy Section are to (1) foster interaction among ecologists that have worked or currently work in public policy positions, or have the desire to communicate with those members that do have public policy experience; (2) form a database of members that have policy experience that can be utilized by the Governing Board, ESA Sections and Chapters, Public Affairs, Science, and Education Offices, and standing ESA committees; (3) facilitate collaborative links among members through symposia, organized oral sessions, special sessions, and social events in Washington DC and regionally; and (4) work with the PAO to facilitate the participation of students in training exercises and one-on-one interactions with policy makers
Rangeland Ecology Section: The objectives of the Rangeland Ecology Section are to facilitate communication of all aspects of rangeland ecology and management among applied and basic ecologists, natural resource managers and interested members of the public. Activities will include sponsorship of symposia and publications.
Researchers at Undergraduate Institutions Section: The section supports faculty members at undergraduate institutions in their work as researchers and scientists, and in facilitating their participation in the larger community of ecological researchers. This is done by developing structures for networking and collaboration among ecologists at undergraduate institutions, promoting linkages between these scientists and the larger ecological research community, providing resources and information for undergraduate faculty in working with their home institutions to build support for research activities, helping researchers at undergraduate institutions connect with funding agencies, and providing support in development of grant proposals.
Soil Ecology Section: The Soil Ecology Section seeks to promote an understanding of the importance of soil biota among ecologists, soil scientists, and members of related disciplines, to encourage education and research in soil ecology, to sponsor meetings and publications for the communication of research and educational activities in soil ecology, and to increase student participation in the Society.
Statistical Ecology Section: The Statistical Ecology Section seeks to encourage research in statistical theory and methodology applied to ecological problems; to sponsor forums for presentation of advance in statistical ecology; and to facilitate communication between the disciplines of statistics and ecology so as to enhance statistical design and analysis in ecological research.
Student Section: The purpose of the Student Section is to facilitate communication among all student members of the Society, enhance interaction between students and the Society as a whole, and to provide an effective way for students to communicate their needs to the Society.
Theoretical Ecology Section: The Theoretical Ecology Section of ESA was formed in 1993 to (1) foster theoretical research in all areas of ecology; (2) sponsor meetings for the presentation of results; (3) foster communication and research collaboration between theoreticians and experimental/field ecologists; (4) encourage the application of ecological theory to the resolution of societal problems.
Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section: The purpose of this Section is to 1) promote the understanding, dissemination and respectful use of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological research, application and education, 2) to encourage education in traditional ecological knowledge 3) to stimulate research which incorporates the traditional knowledge and participation of indigenous people and 4) to increase participation by indigenous people in the Ecological Society of America.
Urban Ecosystem Ecology Section: The objectives of this Section shall be to promote an understanding of the importance of urban ecosystems among ecologists, and members of related disciplines, to encourage education and research in urban ecosystem ecology, to sponsor meetings and publications for the communication of research and educational activities in urban ecosystem ecology, and to increase student participation in the Society. The Urban Ecosystem Ecology Section shall be a sub-division of the Ecological Society of America and shall be governed in all of its operations by the Constitution and By-Laws of that Society. Renewal of this purpose shall be conducted by a vote of the members of the Section every five years.
Vegetation Section: The Vegetation Section seeks to encourage research and to sponsor meetings for the communication of results in all phases of vegetation science.
Canada Chapter: The objective of this Chapter shall be to encourage education and research, to sponsor meetings for the communication of ecological education and research activities, to facilitate access to the Society for graduate students, and to provide scientific information to those interested in the ecology of Canadian ecoregions. The Canada Chapter is a subdivision of the Ecological Society of America.
Latin American Chapter: The objective of this Chapter shall be to encourage education and research, to sponsor meetings for the communication of ecological education and research activities, to provide scientific information to those interested in the ecology of Latin America and to facilitate access to the Society for graduate students with interest in Latin America. The Latin American Chapter is a subdivision of the Ecological Society of America.
Mid-Atlantic Chapter: The goal of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter is to encourage communication among professional ecologists of the metropolitan areas of the Mid-Atlantic and vicinity.
Southeastern Chapter: The objectives of the Southeastern Chapter shall be to encourage education and research and to sponsor meetings for the communication of ecological education and research activities of special interest to ecologists in the Southeastern United States.
Southwestern Chapter: The chapter has a two-fold vision: To promote, develop and coordinate regional-to continental-scale research and education activities, and to promote ESA’s relevancy to existing and emerging ecological issues in the Southwest, including Mexico.
Involvement in Sections and Chapters is limited to members of Society. ESA members may join a section or chapter by indicating their choice on the membership form and submitting dues.