Minutes of the Meeting of the Southeastern Chapter of the Ecological Society of America, April 11, 2003 at the ASB meeting in Washington D.C.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Paul Schmalzer at around noon. Twenty-three members were present.

The minutes of the April 12, 2002 meeting in Boone, NC were approved.

Vice Chair Pat Parr presented the list of candidates for election of a new vice-chair (2003-2005). We had two excellent candidates: Joan Walker, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station and Nicole Welch, Middle Tennessee State University. Dr Walker was elected. Terms of the new officers will begin after the 2003 Ecological Society of America (ESA) Meeting in August.

Report of the Chair (Paul Schmalzer)

The chapter sponsored Scott Franklin's symposium during these ASB meetings: "Forest fragmentation and biodiversity in the Southeastern United States". At the ESA meeting in Savannah, we will sponsor a symposium organized by Diane De Steven and Beverly Collins entitled "Ecological Forces and Land Management Challenges for the Southeastern Landscape".

We would like to thank Pat Parr for her service, which will end at ESA in August. Also, please thank Mike Helm for serving on the Odum Award Committee.

The upcoming ESA meeting in Savannah will be the first meeting in our region in quite a while, so I encourage our members to attend. It should be a good meeting.

ESA is no longer publishing the Bulletin, where we used to publish our chapter newsletter. The bulletin is now disseminated electronically. I encourage you to make sure you are receiving the bulletin, to register to be notified about updates, and to look for our newsletter each quarter.

Here is some news from ESA: The board approved three new sections: (1) Biogeosciences, (2) Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and (3) Urban ecology. In addition, one chapter was approved (Mexico) and the Quebec chapter was discontinued.

The Washington DC chapter was changed to the Mid-Atlantic chapter, which has some geographic overlap with our southeast chapter and encompasses (among other states) WV, VA, DE, NJ, eastern NY. We encourage those in the region of overlap to belong to both. We will post the Mid-Atlantic newsletter on our website. During discussion, Dean Cocking indicated that he attended the Mid-Atlantic chapter meeting in March. He reported that the chapter decided to focus on graduate and undergraduate education, including a student meeting. Their first meeting will be in March 2004 at Franklin and Marshall College.

ESA has asked for each chapter to submit a five-year charter to establish the purpose of the section, with specific goals and objectives. The purpose of this exercise is to help keep each chapter vibrant and focused.

Symposium proposals are due in early September for both 2004 meetings. Please start to think of ideas you might be interested in submitting. We need the symposium proposals by the ESA meeting in August to discuss them.

Report of the Secretary-Treasurer (Yetta Jager)

The financial report for the period 7/1/2002 to 12/31/2002 were handed out, with numbers based on information from Elizabeth Biggs at ESA. We noted that the Odum Award fund is getting close to its goal of 10,000. Balance as of Dec. 31, 2002: General - $2,389; Odum Award - $8,748. Expenses during this period included a plaque for the Odum Award - $124. We have been paying the Odum Award itself ($500) out of the general fund to help build up the Odum fund and because of carryover restrictions, which have now been removed. The estimated number of members was 273, but a better count will be forthcoming.

The deadline for the next chapter newsletters is coming up soon. If you have anything you would like to submit for inclusion in the newsletter, please send it. In addition to the usual information about upcoming scientific meetings in the Southeast, I would like to include notice of political or regulatory changes that influence southeastern ecosystems if they are of general interest to members of the chapter.

Committee Reports

Odum Award Committee (Mike Held, committee member)

There were 13 candidates for the Odum Award this year but only 3 met the requirements layed out in the bulletin. Please make sure that candidates send their information to the Odum Award committee chair when they apply, and apply by the deadline. We hope for dozens of applicants and scores of judges next year. Thanks to Debbie Moore, Joe Winstead, and Paul Schmalzer for judging nominations. It was noted that the carryover restriction on the general fund has been removed.

Poster Award Committee (Jim Hall presented report by chair, Jim Fralish)

Jim presented ideas for a new student Poster Award that may be implemented in the next few years. Members of the committee are Debbie Moore, Jim Hull, Jake Weltzin, and Phil Robertson. The committee is proposing that the award be named after two female plant ecologists, Elsie Quarterman and Katherine Keever. Restrictions on the award that the committee suggested included (1) only field projects; (2) on a topic in (plant or animal) community ecology; (3) by graduate students who are members of ESA.

Discussion: There was discussion of the accomplishments of the ecologists, and whether it was better to name the award after one or both. The consensus was that both was appropriate because of the joint nature of their work - i.e., the inclusion of two names is not just a merger of two unrelated candidates because of an inability to choose one. There was discussion of a desire to make the poster award as parallel as possible to the Odum (best student paper) award. The consensus of the group was to make the following changes to the requirements: 1. Drop the requirement for ESA membership 2. Drop the restriction to graduate students (include undergraduates) 3. Add a requirement for the candidate to be first author 4. Add a requirement for the candidate to be present at the meeting Unlike the Odum award, the proposal is to restrict the topic of posters either to field work in plant ecology or community ecology, with some dissenters. Two reasons were advanced for restricting the topic: (1) focusing on the area of science practiced by Quarterman and Keever, and (2) the difficulty of judging a great many posters.

Paul Schmalzer indicated that he will prepare a change to the by-laws implementing the new award. These changes will be discussed at the August meeting and posted in September, 2003. They will then be voted on in spring 2004.

The Committee of Southeastern Naturalists

The committee did not have much activity this half-year and will report at the next meeting.

New Business

Andy Ash: The chapter has a long history of participating by sponsoring symposia. Proposals for next year are encouraged.

Dean Cocking: The main goal of the Mid-Atlantic chapter is to develop a student meeting in the region that is inexpensive.

Terry Richardson: ASB will be hosted at Mussel Shoals in 2 years. ESA-SE members are encouraged to develop symposium proposals relevant to ecosystems around Mussel Shoals. Field trips will be planned, including one to the Sipse Wilderness where there are relic populations of Eastern hemlock and wintergreen.

Attendance: Southeastern Chapter of the Ecological Society of America, April 11, 2003, Business Meeting:

Yetta Jager, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dean Cocking, James Madison University
William H. Martin, Eastern Kentucky University
Terry D. Richardson, U. of North Alabama
Cliff Hupp, USGS
Mike Baranski, Catawba College
Pat Parr, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Eloise Carter, Oxford College of Emory University
Tom Wentworth
Stephanie Jeffries
Jim Hull
J. Dan Pittello, Western Carolina University
Frank Day, Old Dominion University
Neil Billington
Joe Winstead, Southern Arkansas University
Paul Schmalzer, Dynamac/Kennedy Space Center
Mike Held, St. Peter's College
Andy Ash, U. North Carolina at Penbroke
and 2 undecipherable names