August 14th, 2008
The Constitution and Mission of the International Paleolimnology Association (IPA) as agreed by the Committee on 29th July, 2006 (Duluth, Minnesota)
1. The official name of the organization shall be the International Paleolimnology Association and shall be abbreviated IPA.
2. The overall aim of the IPA shall be the promotion and advancement of the science of paleolimnology and its applications.
III. Activities and functions
The function of the Association will be to promote the interests of paleolimnology globally by a variety of activities, including, but not restricted to:
(i) holding regular (currently every three years) international conferences;
(ii) providing an effective means of communication among paleolimnologists and other scientists and users of paleolimnological information in the form of a web page, the listservice titled the Paleolimnology Forum, and other communication media;
(iii) providing other general support and coordination to the international paleolimnological community (such as exploring ways to assist scientists from countries with currency exchange problems to attend conferences and workshops).
Facilitating the success of the International Paleolimnology Symposia will constitute the main activity associated with the IPA. Although the organization, local arrangements, and financial accounting of the international symposia will rest fully with the local organizers, the IPA will assist in providing coordination between different symposia and ensuring that viable host candidates will be available for future symposia. The IPA Executive Board will solicit and screen proposals for symposia that will be put to a vote at the conference.
The goals of the association are also linked with the goals of the main publication vehicle for paleolimnologists, the Journal of Paleolimnology (currently published by Springer). As the Journal of Paleolimnology is a privately owned journal, the link with the association will be indirect. Nonetheless, the goals of the journal will continue to serve the overall goals of the association as a scholarly publication dedicated to paleolimnology. For example, it is anticipated that Springer will continue to offer much discounted personal subscription rates for members of the association. However, many other journals and other publication media are also available to paleolimnologists, and the association will encourage the development and growth of all high quality publications that serve their members’ needs.
Additional activities and goals of the IPA will be to provide a more formal link to other societies, provide a more structured link to global programs, and facilitate opportunities for strategic thinking and planning. Other activities may include other association functions, such as award sponsorship and various types of publication and education services.
IV. Membership and dues
At the current time, membership will be available to anyone with an interest in paleolimnology. Dues are collected every three years by making an additional charge for attendance at International Symposia. Membership can be achieved by registering their contact information via the Association web page and joining the Paleolimnology Forum. Each member will have full voting rights on all issues brought forward by the Association.
Governance of the IPA shall be by an Executive Board, which will be elected by majority vote (secret ballot) at the Association’s conference. The Executive Board will also be advised by an International Advisory Committee. All members will serve as volunteers.
If insufficient candidates are put forward for an election for the Executive Board, members can be acclaimed. In order to provide some continuity in the Executive, members can be re-elected to subsequent terms. Each term will be for 3 years.
The members of the Executive Board will consist of: 1) the Chairperson; 2) the Vice-Chair; 3) the Chair(s) (or their delegate) of the previous International Symposium; 4) the Chair(s) (or their delegate) of the next International Symposium; 5) a student or other young scientist member; and 6) the Treasurer.
Serving as ex officio members of the Executive Board will include: one of the editors of the Journal of Paleolimnology (publications); and the listservice moderator for the Paleolimnology Forum (communications).
In addition, governance of the association will be assisted by advice from an International Advisory Committee, serving under the Chairperson. The International Advisory Committee will be representative of the global paleolimnological community and would consist of approximately 10 members.
The Chairperson shall preside over all meetings of the Association and shall ensure that records are kept of the Association, including the minutes of all meetings, by either the Chairperson or their delegate from the Executive Board, who will act as a secretary for the IPA.
The Executive Board may appoint committees to carry out the objectives of the Association.
Any alteration to these statutes can be proposed at the business meeting, held in conjunction with the International Paleolimnology Symposia. Amendments to this constitution must be submitted to the Executive Board, who will arrange a meeting at the forthcoming Symposium to discuss the amendments and set the vote on the amendments. The membership must be notified at least one month prior to any vote. Amendments may be adopted by a 67% majority at the general meeting.
Draft prepared for discussion by John P. Smol (Nov 25, 2005)
Agreed at 10th International Paleolimnology Symposium, Duluth (Jul 29, 2006)