Get Involved with ESA
ESA provides a wide variety of opportunities for its members to get involved in the work of the Society, with ways to grow as a scientist and leader connected to many of our programs and the core work of the Society. If you’re an ESA member and interested in supporting our work, you can learn more about these activities below, and tell us about your interest using this short interest form.
Your generosity helps ESA meet the challenges of the future and inspire a new generation of leaders with the skills to shape the agenda for ecological science in next decade. This year, we raise money for the Opportunity Fund to continue to provide Annual Meeting attendance support to students and scientists who face financial barriers to attend.
If you’re interested in helping shape the policies of the Society and don’t mind putting in a fair amount of time and energy, consider running for a position on the Society’s Board. The Board meets three or four times a year and charts the Society’s course in all realms, from administration to publications to education and policy. Discuss your interest with a member of the Governing Board.
Every section and chapter of ESA has a chair, but many also have active vice chairs, secretaries, webmasters, treasurers, team leads and more. A strong team of volunteers filling various roles means that sections can advance their specialties; chapter leads can coordinate events that bring ecologists of all stripes together for regional events. And that’s just the beginning! If you’re interested, get in touch with your section or chapter chair, or connect with ESA’s membership team.
ESA Committees focus on a host of different activities undertaken by the Society. For instance, the Public Affairs Committee works with staff in the Public Affairs Office to raise awareness of ESA and ecological science among members of the media, lawmakers, resource managers, and others who need ecological expertise; the Committee on Education and Diversity focuses on enhancing the Society’s education and outreach and advancing minority participation in ecology. There are many other committees, some standing and some temporarily created for a particular ESA project. While we do periodically put out calls for nominations to committees as vacancies emerge, it’s helpful to know of interested members at other times as well.
A substantial body of ESA’s members are students, or early career ecologists, or ecologists in career or academic transitions. If you’ve been down at least one of those roads (and you have), you can help others navigate their way to success. The SEEDS program, for instance, needs mentors. You can also help out at the Diversity Forum, lead a SEEDS event, or more. Your section may even be looking for mentors! Get started by contacting the ESA education and diversity staff.
There are lots of ways to get involved in policy and advocacy around ecology!
Help ESA raise awareness about ecological science in the policy world. Policymakers continue to say they don’t see scientists often enough in the Halls of Congress. Consider visiting, writing, or calling your Senators and Representatives either when you’re in Washington, DC, or in your home district when Congress is in recess. The ESA Public Affairs Office can help you every step of the way and you’ll find how-to tips and legislative updates at Public Policy & Media homepage. For more information, email Alison Mize, Director of Public Affairs.
ESA routinely provides virtual opportunities for members to learn from each other, share their science, and network about topics that are important to them. We have long hosted webinars on various topics, and in 2020 introduced the less formal Water Cooler Chats to help colleagues connect around shared interests. If you’re interested in leading one of these sessions, just use the form at the top of the page.
One of the most important content types that we provide online is career exploration webinars in our Career Central series. These can be solo presentations but more often than not feature small panels of ecologists working in different industries and performing different kinds of work. If you’d like to share your story, let us know on the form on this page. We’re also always interested in hosting other kinds of career content, such as new technologies, or how to work through a challenging scenario, or even how to make transitions from one pathway to another. If you have a good idea, share it with us!
We particularly enjoy highlighting the successes of our members and the various ways that they contribute to the science and their communities. If you (or a colleague) are the recipient of an individual honor for your scientific work, or your work supporting the science of ecology, tell us about it!