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Name Change to the Society for Freshwater Science

General Messages
Posted: 6/02/2011
Expiration Date: 6/02/2021

1 June 2011

Dear Colleagues:

Our 2011 meeting in Providence, R.I. was an historic moment for our Society. We voted to change our name to the Society for Freshwater Science (vote count: 386 'yes' [77.8%], 100 'no', and 12 'abstentions') and our journal title to Freshwater Science (398 'yes' [80.9%], 82 'no', and 12 'abstentions'). The vote was the culmination of a 14-month long, open process, guided by Sherri Johnson, Chair of the Name Evaluation Committee (members: Steve Francoeur, Randy Fuller, Joe Holomuzki, Lucinda Johnson, John Kominoski, Pamela Silver, Len Smock, Bern Sweeney, and Nancy Tuchman). Implementation of the Society name-change will take nearly a year, and will be spearheaded by an ad hoc committee chaired by David Strayer. Implementation of the journal title change, led by Journal Business Manager Irwin Polls, might take longer (~1.5 yrs), in part, because we do not want to change the journal title in the middle of a volume. The Executive Committee (26 May 2011 meeting) unanimously agreed to retain our 'stonefly' logo, except 'Society for Freshwater Science' will replace 'North American Benthological Society'.

We also changed the Society's Constitution and Bylaws to increase business transparency, accountability, and efficiency and to better comply with IRS guidelines for non-profit organizations. In brief, the Executive Committee will be replaced by a Board of Directors that will include 5 elected Delegates representing the 1) academic employment sector, 2) non-academic employment sector, 3) international members, 4) the young professional member category, and 5) students. Nominations for Delegates will be sought in the autumn. It will take 4 years to transition the 22 member Executive Committee to the new 15 member Board. Last, we voted to create a new standing committee, the Publications Committee (Jack Feminella, Chair), which will provide long-range planning and broad oversight of all of the Society's publications.

In some sense, our Society is in a stage of punctuated equilibrium, as we redefine, update, and broaden who we are. President Lucinda Johnson and Executive Committee Chair Randy Fuller have steadily led us through much of this change with tireless dedication. But, let's not change 3 constants that have always defined our Society--1) we are highly collegial; a collegiality that is especially expressed at our annual meetings, 2) we care about our students, and 3) we are passionate about freshwater science. The Executive Committee, the transition teams, and I look forward to implementing these important changes over the coming year.


Joe Holomuzki
President, Society for Freshwater Science

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