SCBNA Policy Update

Although the results of the recent US elections will bring major changes in US federal government policies that affect biodiversity conservation, SCBNA is committed to remaining a strong voice for promoting the application of rigorous science to conservation management and policy. We are working to strengthen our network of contacts in DC in order to join in solidarity with the larger scientific community on emerging issues, via sign-on letters (SCBNA recently signed onto a letter to the Trump administration led by AIBS) and more substantive efforts.

SCBNA will continue to constructively partner with and support government initiatives where doing so advances conservation science and practice, but will also work to inform our members and the public where we see policies that do not appropriately incorporate conservation science or negatively affect biodiversity. We will continue to focus on three priority policy areas (defense of scientific integrity in government decision-making, conservation of endangered species, and landscape planning for climate change adaptation), where we can provide value that is additive to the work of larger scientific societies and NGOs. With the likely political pressure that will be coming to bear on the US Endangered Species Act and public lands, SCBNA can play a key long-term role in important policy issues in both a reactive (defensive) and proactive manner.  Despite the current turmoil around the incoming administration, we believe that effective policy work is still a marathon and staying focused is important to long-term success.

SCBNA is represented in DC policy circles by our policy committee co-chair, Brett Hartl, who is the former SCB Senior Policy Fellow. Brett ’s involvement allows SCBNA to participate as a member of coalitions with like-minded DC-based groups, such as the new Integrity in Science Working Group co-chaired by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. ISWG is a coalition of scientific societies and good government, public health, environmental, and other public interest organizations working to create a movement around defending the role of science in a democracy. The invitation to join ISWG came out of a successful symposium on scientific integrity organized by SCBNA at the NACCB2016 meeting.

Call for nominations to the SCBNA board of directors

The Society for Conservation Biology’s North America Section (SCBNA) invites you to nominate SCBNA members to stand for election to the following offices on the SCBNA Board of Directors. Every board member attends one in-person meeting and several virtual meetings per year. Historically, most nominations have been self-nominations. Before you nominate someone other than yourself, please ask that person if she or he is willing to be considered. Please indicate the office(s) for which you seek consideration. Each nominee must be a current member of SCBNA. After reviewing nominees, the SCBNA Nominations Committee will put forward the slate of candidates for each office and announce the start of voting. The term of each elected officer will begin July 1, 2017.

The call for nominations is open now through Wednesday March 1.
The open seats are:
• President-Elect (6 year term: 2 years as President-Elect, 2 years as President, 2 years as Past-President)
• Treasurer (3 year term)
• VP for Policy and Programs (3 year term)
• VP for Education and Chapters (3 year term)
• Student representative (2 year term; must be a student in conservation biology or a closely related field and attending an accredited university or college)
• Chapters representative (2 year term; must be a member of one of SCBNA’s local chapters).
To submit a nomination, or to request additional information, please email the SCBNA President Carlos Carroll <klamathconservation@gmail.com>. Please indicate ‘SCBNA elections’ in the subject line.

Meet SCBNA’s new Administrative Director, Jamie Hogberg

SCBNA recently finalized the hiring of an Administrative Director (AD). Jamie Hogberg, the new SCBNA AD, was chair of the recent NACCB meeting in Madison. Jamie’s background is in both conservation science research and administration. Her work in human-wildlife interactions led to her to become active in SCB’s Social Science Working Group. More recently, she helped develop a successful Environmental Conservation MS Program at University of Wisconsin’s Nelson Institute. Since Jamie is SCBNA’s sole staffperson, her job entails a lot of different aspects, including administrative, finance, conference management, governance, and outreach duties. Part of her job will be to improve communication between SCBNA and members through regular newsletters and social media updates. Jamie will also be closely involved in organizing the NACCB2018 meeting. NACCB2018’s theme is Conservation Science, Policy, and Practice: Connecting the Urban to the Wild. NACCB2018 will be held at the Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from July 21-26, 2018. Planning for NACCB2018 is well under way, and we will have materials to share soon. Toronto is a diverse and exciting city which will make a great location for the 2018 meeting.

SCBNA members: your vote needed on bylaws revisions!

The bylaws of the SCB North America Section have been updated and approved by the SCBNA Board of Directors in March. In order for these changes to take effect, they must be voted on by the membership. To do so, please visit the SCB website (www.conbio.org) and log in to your member homepage. In the blue box on top of the page you will see a link to the voting page. The voting page will have more information of the proposed changes and rationale. Please cast your vote before 1 August 2016.

Why do SCBNA’s bylaws need to be amended?

Bylaws are the legally binding rules that outline how the board of a nonprofit will operate. Carefully crafted bylaws and adherence to them can help ensure the fairness of board decisions. They can protect the organization from potential problems by clearly outlining rules around procedures, rights, and powers. SCBNA creates bylaws at the time the organization was established in 2002. The board of a non-profit should regularly review the bylaws to ensure that they accurately reflect how the organization works. The board periodically amends the bylaws to ensure that they remain relevant. When amending its bylaws, SCBNA follows a two-stage process: the board first approves any amendments to the bylaws, and then the amendments must be approved by the membership.

SCBNA’s bylaws have not been revised since 2004, shortly after SCBNA was first established (see attached copy of 2004 bylaws). In March 2016, the SCBNA board voted unanimously to approve changes to the bylaws and place these changes before the membership for a vote. These changes were necessary due to several factors. Firstly, several aspects of how SCBNA currently operates (such as the existence of a Chapters Representative and a Policy Committee) are not reflected in the 2004 bylaws. Additionally, recent revisions of the SCB-Global bylaws in conjunction with a governance reform process have suggested bylaws revisions that may be beneficial for SCBNA as well, in that they would strengthen the capacity of SCBNA’s board to achieve its mission. This includes changes such as establishment of vice-president positions to manage specific committees. Lastly, SCB-global now allows regional sections to incorporate as SCB affiliates (with their own non-profit status) in order to increase their ability to manage staff, finances, and long-term strategic planning. SCB-Oceania and SCBNA are the first 2 sections to incorporate under the new affiliation policy. The IRS requires organizations seeking non-profit status to include certain standard clauses in their bylaws.

A few news items from SCBNA

News from the North America Section of SCB

  • North America Section to Sponsor Conference on Science and Management
    The North America Section is proud to sponsor the 13th Biennial Conference of Science & Management on the Colorado Plateau & Southwest Region. The meeting theme is Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Assess and Respond to Climatic, Social and Technological Changes. The meeting runs from October 5-8. Click here to register and to learn more about the meeting.
  • Bring NACCB 2018 to Your Area
    Interested in bringing the next North America Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB) to your neck of the woods? Contact us to learn how to prepare a bid. NACCBs require a venue that can hold 1,200 attendees. We prioritize meetings in cities that have active SCB Chapters or who are interested in forming a Chapter. Hosting a meeting is a great way to further development of the science and practice of conservation biology in your region.
  • Strength in Numbers: Join SCB NA
    Did you know that all members of SCB can join up to two Sections for free? If you’re not already in the North America Section, please join us. It’s easy to do. You’ll get access to our newsletter and opportunities available to Section members and elevate the voice of conservation science in North America. Join today!
  • SCB NA Board Welcomes New Board Members 
    As of the 2015 Section election, SCB NA has added a greater variety of expertise to our board as well as more representation from Canadian members. See who is on the board here.
  • SCB NA Wants your input on the Section’s Strategic Plan
    SCB NA is preparing it’s first-ever Section strategic plan to guide its work through 2020. Section leaders are seeking comments from SCB NA membership on the draft plan. View the plan here. Submit your feedback via the email forumon the NA Section Blog.

SCB and ESA receive NSF Award to seed new Network for Next Generation Careers

The Ecological Society of America, in partnership with the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), will create a new network of prospective employers, faculty and professional societies over the next eighteen months with a $48,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The Next Generation Careers – Innovation in Environmental Biology Education (NGC) incubator project will explore undergraduate college career progression into environmental biology, including fields such as ecology, evolution, conservation, and natural resource management. Source: ESA receives NSF Award to seed new Network for Next Generation Careers | Ecological Society of America

Peer review, preprints and the speed of science

Stephen Curry: Peer review, supposedly the guarantor of the quality of scientific papers, is in trouble. Preprints offer a way out

Source: Peer review, preprints and the speed of science

SCBNA co-sponsors biennial southwest science conference in Flagstaff, AZ

SCB North America is co-sponsoring the Biennial Conference on Science in the Colorado Plateau, which occurs Oct 6-8 in Flagstaff Arizona. This is a great opportunity for learning about the latest conservation science in the southwest and meeting conservation practitioners from many sectors (agency, academia, and non-profits).

The 13th Biennial Conference Agenda is now available and includes sessions organized by SCBNA.

REGISTRATION: Discounted Early Registration ends September 15, 2015! Special discount for students. REGISTER NOW!

MONDAY EVENING SPEAKER: Curt Stager, author of Deep Future and more recently Your Atomic Self, will give the long-term view of climate change impacts in his talk, “Climate Whiplash: What Happens After Global Warming?”– An evening with Curt Stager is made possible by the generous support of the NAU School of Forestry (Admission is free and the public is welcome)! PRESENTATION

MONDAY WORKSHOP: Fighting Drought with Fire. Organized by Phillip van Mantgem, USGS, and Donald Falk, University of Arizona, this workshop will provide information on current and planned research, gather manager research on planned projects, and identify key knowledge gaps ! WORKSHOP

COLORADO RIVER FIELD TRIP: Learn about the Colorado River & adaptive management while enjoying the company of experts on a float trip! FIELD TRIP

COME SAY HI: If you attend the conference, please drop by the SCBNA booth to say hello!

This is shaping up to be the BEST Biennial Conference yet and we hope to see YOU in October!

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Why should you vote in SCB’s elections?

When you pay your annual membership dues to SCB, do you wonder whether you are getting your money’s worth? Do you see ways in which SCB could be doing more to advance conservation science and practice?  One way to influence the future of SCB is by voting in elections for members of the SCB Board. Unfortunately often only 10% of the SCB membership votes in an election, so your vote can make a difference.

Elections for the SCB president and vice-presidents are open through March. As a member, you can vote by logging on to www.conbio.org and clicking the link to vote in the blue box on your member homepage. Read the candidate’s CVs giving their goals and track record of involvement with SCB, and consider which candidate can best advance the activities of the section, chapters, and global organization.

Elections for the SCBNA section board are also now open! Vote now through April 12.

SCBNA in the news: Bridging the shifting scientist–journalist cultural divide

A new article in Bioscience features SCBNA’s efforts, at the 2014 NACCB conference in Missoula, to bring together scientists and journalists and promote communication of conservation science to a broader audience. The paper, which is open access, can be accessed here.

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David Malakoff from Science was one of the many science journalists participating in NACCB2014. Photo: COMPASS.