Bylaws

The Bylaws of

The Ecological Society of America Vegetation Classification Panel

BYLAW 1.  NAME. 

The name of this organization shall be the Ecological Society of America Vegetation Classification Panel, hereafter “Panel.”

BYLAW 2.  NATURE AND OBJECTIVES.

2.1.  Nature.  The Panel is a body of professional ecologists organized within the Ecological Society of America, hereafter “ESA.”

2.2.  Objectives. The Vegetation Classification Panel is responsible for (1) facilitating and supporting the development, implementation, and use of a standardized vegetation classification for the United States; (2) guiding professional ecologists in defining and adopting standards for vegetation sampling, analysis, and data archiving in support of the classification; (3) collaborating with partner organizations to maintain scientific credibility of the classification through oversight of a peer review system; and (4) promoting and facilitating international collaboration in the development of vegetation classifications and associated standards.

BYLAW 3.  MEMBERS AND OFFICERS.

3.1.  Members.  
3.1.1.  The Panel shall consist of three types of Members, Executive Members, Regular Members, and Ex Officio Members.  Hereafter “Member” when used alone shall refer to all types of Members collectively.

3.1.2.  Regular Members and Executive Members shall be considered equivalent in professional status, importance to the Panel, and potential extent of contributions to the Panel’s business.

3.1.3.  Members shall be limited to those persons who have had sufficient training, experience, and career positions in vegetation science to be considered by professional ecologists as peers.

3.1.4.  Regular members shall be invited to serve because of expertise and expectation of future contributions to the objectives of the Panel, rather than because of institutional affiliation.

3.1.5.  Affiliation with ESA is encouraged for all Members, but it is not required for membership on the Panel.

3.2.  Executive Members.  Executive Members shall number six, shall be recommended by the Chair to the Vice President for Science and appointed by the President of the Society to staggered three-year terms, and shall be eligible to serve up to three consecutive full terms. Nominations based on criteria of experience or perspective in vegetation classification shall be solicited from the full Panel.  The Executive Members shall constitute an Executive Committee.

3.3.  Regular Members. 
3.3.1.  Regular Members shall number between 9 and 18 and shall be appointed by the Executive Committee, subject to ratification by the ESA President, to staggered three-year terms, renewable at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

3.3.2.  Nominations based on criteria of experience or perspective in vegetation classification shall be solicited from the full ESA membership and Panel annually. Persons nominated should have sufficient training and experience in vegetation science to be considered professional ecologists, willingness to contribute to the classification’s ongoing development, and expertise in one or more focal areas of the United States National Vegetation Classification (USNVC), such as: plot data collection, analysis, and contributions to the NVC; database management and archiving approaches; communication and outreach to users and the public; or applications of vegetation science to conservation and land management.

3.3.3.  Appointments shall be effective on August 1 of the year of appointment, or on the date of the start of the annual meeting of ESA if that should occur earlier.

3.4.  Ex Officio (non-voting) Members. Ex Officio Members will consist of the Chair or Co-Chairs of the Federal Geographic Data Vegetation Classification Subcommittee and the National Vegetation Classification Implementation Manager.

3.5.  Officers.

3.5.1.  The Chair shall be recommended by the Executive Committee to the Vice President for Science and appointed by the ESA President[1] upon recommendation from the Executive Committee. The Chair may serve for a renewable term of three years and shall be an Executive Member.

3.5.2.  Other officers may be appointed, as needed, by a majority vote of the Executive Committee and shall be considered to be ad-hoc temporary appointments.

3.6.  Termination of Membership.  Membership may be terminated before a full term is completed due to: (a) incapacitation; (b) voluntary resignation; (c) resignation requested of a Regular Member by a majority vote of the Executive Committee (when such a resignation is requested and sent to the Member by any usual means of written communication, the resignation shall become effective 30 days from the date notification was sent); or (d) resignation requested of an Executive Member by the ESA President (when such a resignation is requested and sent to the Executive Member by any usual means of written communication, the resignation shall become effective 30 days from the date notification was sent).

BYLAW 4.  MEETINGS.

4.1.  Panel meetings.  The Panel shall meet at least once a year in conjunction with the annual meeting of ESA, or at a location and date determined by consent of a majority of Members. A quorum shall consist of one Member more than 50% of all Members. The agenda of the meeting shall be prepared by the Executive Committee, but may be amended by a majority vote of Members.  Members shall be notified of Panel meetings by any usual means of communication no fewer than 30 days prior to a meeting date.

4.2.   Executive Committee meetings.  The Executive Committee may meet separately as often as the Executive Members agree to by majority vote, or as requested by the Chair. Executive Committee decisions shall be by majority vote of the full Executive Committee.  Executive Members shall be notified of Executive Committee meetings by any usual means of communication no fewer than 15 days prior to a meeting date.

BYLAW 5.  COMMITTEES.

5.1.  Standing Committees.  The Panel may, from time to time and by majority vote, choose to create standing committees with chairs, vice-chairs, long-term objectives, procedures, and regulations, at any Panel meeting.

5.2.  Ad-hoc Committees.  The Executive Committee may, from time to time and by majority vote choose to organize some Members into temporary committees advisory to the Panel with chairs, vice-chairs, and short-term objectives.

BYLAW 6.  DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

6.1.  The Panel.  The Panel has responsibility for advancing the objectives of the Panel identified in BYLAW 2 and establishing standards for vegetation classification including, but not limited to, field sampling, data archiving, data analysis, type description, peer review, and publication.  Furthermore, the Panel shall collaborate with partner organizations to maintain scientific credibility of the classification through oversight of a peer review system for proposed changes in the U.S. Vegetation Classification.

6.2.  The Members. Members shall endeavor to attend annual meetings of the Panel during their tenure and contribute substantially to the work of the Panel.

6.3.  The Executive Committee.  

6.3.1.  The Executive Committee shall manage the work of the Panel and shall have responsibility for implementing the objectives, activities, and decisions of the full Panel.

6.3.2.  Executive Committee Members shall participate actively in the work of the Panel and its regular and special activities.  Executive Committee Members are expected to share equally in management tasks and may do so by dividing responsibilities, such as fund management and fundraising, coordination with and outreach to outside groups, and leading specific activities.

6.4.  The Chair.

6.3.1.  The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and the Panel. In the event that the Chair is unable to be present, those members of the Executive Committee who are present shall elect an interim Chair.

6.4.2.  The Chair shall serve, or appoint other Executive Members to serve, as liaison between the Panel and the ESA and any other organizations that may have interests or objectives that intersect those of the Panel.

6.4.3.  The Chair shall facilitate all activities of the Executive Committee and the Panel.

6.4.4.  The Chair shall lead the Panel in long-range planning, and shall in general provide executive leadership.

6.4.5.  The Chair shall be chief executive officer, empowered by the Panel and ESA to sign agreements on behalf of the Panel as approved by the Executive Committee and the Executive Director of ESA.

6.5.  NVC Review Board.

6.5.1.  The NVC Review Board conducts review and updates of the NVC on behalf of the Lead Chair (USFS) of the FGDC Veg Subcommittee. It is composed of an Editor-in-Chief, Regional Editors, Associate Editors, and a Proceedings Managing Editor.

6.5.2.  NVC Editor-in-Chief. The NVC Review Board is overseen by the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) who is responsible for managing the Review Board and updates to the NVC. The EIC serves three-year terms and is nominated by the Executive Committee and appointed by the Panel by majority vote. The EIC may serve multiple terms or be removed at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

BYLAW 7.  CONTRACTS, GRANTS, AND FINANCES.

7.1.  Contracts and Grants.  The Panel may enter into contracts and receive grants subject to approval of the Executive Director of ESA.

7.2.  Deposits.  Funds supporting Panel activities from contracts and grants shall be deposited in the ESA treasury and managed by ESA.

7.3.  Expenditures.  Necessary expenses of the Panel shall be paid from the treasury of ESA, but in no year shall the total expenses of the Panel exceed the sum of the amount allotted for this purpose in the annual budget of ESA, plus the amount available from contracts and grants obtained on behalf of the Panel. The Chair shall authorize expenditures of funds on behalf of the Panel following procedures established by the Executive Director of ESA. No officer or member of the Panel shall have the authority to incur expenses in the name of ESA, except as specified above.

BYLAW 8.  REPORTS AND RECORDS.

8.1.  Reports.  The Executive Committee shall provide an annual written report of activities and plans to Panel Members and the ESA Governing Council on or about 1 July.

8.2.  Records.  The Executive Committee shall maintain minutes of Executive Committee and Panel meetings and records of actions without meetings.  Such minutes and records shall be sent to Panel Members in a timely manner, using any usual means of written communication.

BYLAW 9.  AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS.  
These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of total Panel members at any remote or in-person meeting, providing that details of the intended amendments have been sent by any usual means of written communication to Members at least 30 days prior to the date of the meeting.

[1] Re: ESA Bylaw 11