Obituaries and Resolutions of Respect

The Historical Records Committee is charged with documenting the deaths of its members and those who have served the Society in accordance with the following policies adopted by the Executive Committee and published in the Bulletin Vol 72(2):157-158, 1991 (Jstor). Links to Resolutions of Respect and Obituaries are available in our table of notable ecologists.

Download a pdf of these guidelines.

See List of Resolutions and List of Obituaries for available biographical information about deceased ESA members.

General Policies

  1. All deceased members will be accorded an acknowledgment of their death upon submission of the information by a colleague. Any information about the death of a member should be communicated to the Historical Records Committee. A few sentences describing the person’s history (date and place of birth, professional address and title) and professional accomplishments are appropriate.
  2. Longer obituaries (up to three printed pages), referred to as Resolutions of Respect, will be published for all former officers of the Ecological Society of America (Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers and Business Managers) and recipients of Eminent Ecologist and MacArthur Awards. These should follow the Guidelines for Resolutions of Respect provided below.
  3. Resolutions of Respect may be published for other ecologists on approval of the President, following the same guidelines. The Historical Records Committee should take the lead in making recommendations to the President.
  4. It shall be the responsibility of the Historical Records Committee to be sure that such Resolutions of Respect are solicited and that the person who is solicited has the Guidelines. The Committee will notify the Bulletin Editor of their decision. The Resolution should be submitted to the Historical Records Committee for approval before being sent to the Bulletin Editor.
  5. Unsolicited Resolutions of Respect may be published if they conform to the guidelines (or can be amended to do so) and are for individuals for whom a Resolution would have been solicited anyway. If a Resolution has already been solicited, the unsolicited one cannot be published without the agreement of the person solicited.

Resolutions of Respect: Guidelines
ESA, as both chronicler and archivist of ecological history, needs to record biographical information on the practitioners of our science. ESA will regularly publish Resolutions of Respect for deceased ESA officers, Eminent Ecologists, and others for whom such resolutions are appropriate, as described in the Obituary Policy above. These guidelines are an attempt to insure that at least minimal biographical information is included in these Resolutions. Resolutions will be published in the ESA Bulletin, and should be limited to no more than three printed pages.

Essential information

  • Full name
  • Suitable portrait or photograph
  • Complete dates of birth and death
  • Place(s) of birth and death
  • College degrees with institution(s), dates and major professors
  • Significant work history—institutions, places, dates
  • Role(s) in ESA—with dates of service
  • Statement(s) of contributions to ecological science

Desirable information

  • Early personal history
  • Family information—spouse, children, perhaps parents (if they were influential in career choice, for example)
  • Anecdotal (lighter) material—(insights into personality)
  • Foreign travel or service—places and dates
  • Honors and awards—name, sponsor, date(s)
  • Other scientific and professional activities (society memberships, for example)
  • Bibliography—depending on space, full, selected, or information on where a full bibliography can be found.

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