The Board maintains a collegial rapport with business carried out through respectful dialogue, with decisions made by consensus when possible. General Board business is focused on promoting the vision and mandate of the Society, which includes outreach and networking, developing member benefits, organizing Society business meetings held during the biennial congresses, and – when possible – supporting regional conferences in the years in between the congresses, and assisting in raising funds to support these activities.

Find out more about each of the following positions:

Executive Board Members

While everyone on the Board is copied on business items and invited to participate in all (email and conference call) discussions, the Executive Board members (President, President-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer) are expected to work more closely with ISE staff and provide direction as needed on the daily operations of the Society as well as on the Society business items addressed during the congresses. This may also include fundraising or collaborating with fundraising experts for core (and other) support and being named as key personnel on grant applications. This is, in part, because Executive Board members serve 4-year terms and function to provide stability and continuity for the Society over time.

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Regional Representatives

The Regional Representatives are often best poised to take leading roles in outreach and membership activities; the Regional Representative serving the region of the biennial congress may also play a larger role in coordination with the congress organizers.

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Student Representatives

The primary role of the Student Representatives is to keep the Board in touch with a student’s perspective on topics under discussion, materials under development or issues being decided and to support and promote the development of emerging ethnobiologists.  Additionally, since 2010, Student Representatives have organized a pre-congress workshop for emerging ethnobiologists with the assistance of an advisory committee and ISE Staff; these workshops have been very well received. If the Board has the capacity to support the students in fundraising and organizing a Workshop, Student Representatives are encouraged to be involved in developing the workshop during their Board term. They are welcomed to provide an update of the Workshop for publication on the ISE website.

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ISE Programs and Congresses

Program Leaders

The general Board business (described above) is distinct from the activities of the three ISE programs and the Congress planning. Due to the specific skill sets and expertise required to run these core programs, program leaders are appointed by the Board, and are considered full Members of the ISE Board. These positions include two Co-Directors of the Global Coalition, two Co-Chairs of the Ethics Program, and two Co-Chairs of the Darrell Posey Fellowship Program.

These appointed Board members are tasked with specific duties associated with their respective programs, which includes providing direction, vision, fundraising assistance, outreach and networking. Program leaders need to work closely with ISE staff, and with other members of the Board, the Council of Elders, and ISE Members, as appropriate.

While all Board members are encouraged to be informed and integrally involved in these core ISE programs, the programs are under the direction of the appointed persons who have been determined to have the expertise required to maintain them such that they continue to embody and implement the vision of the ISE.


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Congress Organizers

The congress organizers are guided by the ISE’s vision to facilitate an ‘ethical space’ where different worldviews can interact and share information across geographical and cultural boundaries, and by the memorandum of understanding as agreed to at the onset of congress planning.

Planning and hosting the biennial congresses are also separate from general Board business, as congresses are hosted by distinct organizations/institutes, even though Society business is conducted as an integral part of the congress program. One representative from the Organizing Committee of the upcoming ISE congress is an ex-officio member of the Board. Additionally, one representative from the Organizing Committee of the most recent past congress is an ex-officio member of the Board, and serves to provide advice on congress planning.


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