There are six general principles that RCs are required to comply with:
- Engage with the general ESA membership in ways that are meaningful and relevant
- Be inclusive – RC are open to every member of ESA, as well as non-members.
- Deliver a minimum level of activity that is consistent across RCs
- Encourage ongoing discussion and debate about ecology, policy, etc.
- Encourage participation from students and discuss RC initiatives at undergraduate/postgraduate events where possible.
- Encourage people to expand existing RCs rather than create new ones, unless there is a clear need for a new theme.
In order for RCs to remain a part of ESA there are also four Minimum Standards that RC must meet:
- Ensure that the relevant RC web page is consistent and up-to-date. This should at least include an introduction to the RC, the details of the RC Convenor and information about how to join the RC. Please refer to current RC web pages (e.g., Urban Ecology).
- Run at least one symposium topic or other activity (workshop, fieldtrip, etc) every three years at the ESA conference.
- Provide occasional articles to the ESA Bulletin to share information about the activities of the RC. Contribute content for RCWG communications such as ESA Bulletin articles or promotional material or events at the ESA annual conference.
- RC convenors must communicate with the RCWG, and provide an annual update (via an online template) of RC activities via an online survey. This needs to be completed by February each year and will contain information on RC activities for the previous 12 months. The report must include:
- The number of people in the RC as well as the RC leadership group. Ideally each RC should have a Convenor (identifiable go-to person that are actively engaged with the RCWG), Co-convenor, media communications manager (including web content management) and student convenor.
- Activities that the RC engaged in.
- Resources applied for from ESA (or externally) and the funds/resources that were provided.
- Feedback on the RC experiences over the past year, and potential tips and tricks that would help facilitate the operation of other RCs (e.g., what worked and what didn’t work when developing an activity).
- Recommendations to the RCWG on areas for improvement, adjustment or noting things that work well.
RCWG will follow-up if this these minimum standards haven’t been met and where possible provide support to the relevant RC. In the future, there may be a small annual fee for RC members to help subsidise RC activities and/or RC social events at the ESA conference. This fee would be administered by ESA, and is unlikely to be implemented before 2018.