2012 Proposed Bylaw Changes

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

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Discuss and vote on the following three proposed Bylaw changes at the Winter 2012 ESIP Meeting:

January 2012 Bylaw Change Proposal

1. Change Type 3 Member Definition

Category 3 ESIPs shall be engaged principally in the development and provision of Earth science applications.development, use or dissemination of Earth science information and applications for the purpose of commercial use, decision support, outreach, advocacy, or education.

Comments: This proposed change has been amended based upon comments received at last year’s Winter Meeting.
Public Comments:

2. Define replacement criteria for binding resolutions

Add II.2.7: Any resolution imposing a binding requirement on any ESIP shall require a two-thirds approval vote of the Assembly for passage.

Comments: This proposed change replaces the original wording in which unanimous consent was required for resolutions that imposed requirements on its members.
Public Comments:

3. Add new Data Stewardship Committee [proposed name amended and adopted]

Add VI.4.1: The ESIP Federation shall include a Standing Committee for Data Stewardship. Its roles are:

a) To develop, evolve, foster, and adopt best practices and standards that ensure continued and reliable information content, quality, and usability of Earth system science data for as long as they are deemed to be of value.
b) To facilitate the long-term preservation and stewardship of Earth system science data.
c) To facilitate reference to and access to Earth system science data.
Comments: This proposed change effectively elevates the role of the Preservation and Stewardship Cluster to recognize its importance. The change also expands its scope to encompass data quality, metadata, and other data-specific topics. This Committee provides an analog to the Information Technology Committee for data-related issues. Committees can receive funding and make formal recommendations.
Public Comments:
I agree with everything about this except the proposed new name. "Data Science", as the term is commonly understood (see, for example, the Journal of Data Science, or Mike Loukides's "What is data science?") is quite outside the scope of the current P&C Cluster and proposed committee. "Data Stewardship" by itself covers all the roles noted in the proposal, except for those parts of "access" that are more properly the concern of IT&I. Frew 15:56, 19 December 2011 (MST)

Discuss and refine the following proposals at a Breakfast session at the 2012 Summer Meeting, but vote upon them at a later date.

Proposed Membership Structure Changes

Continuing Challenges to be Addressed Through C & B Recommended Changes

  1. Ongoing difficulty with quorums at annual business meeting. Dealt with partially through changing the definition of a quorum, but still a concern; slows down business meetings.
  2. Related to the first bullet, a number or ESIP organizations are inactive (e.g. defunct or unfunded) and cannot be removed from membership list. Constitution is vague on how to remove members.
  3. There is a recognition of a potential need to clarify level of engagement for a 'Sponsor (Type 4) to reflect their level of support.
  4. Suggestions have arisen to create additional membership categories to more fully represent breadth of members as well as to support other types of engagement.

Proposed Solutions

Challenge 1 & 2: Quorum and Inactive Members

  • A member organization which does not register and participate in two consecutive meetings shall be moved to inactive status; participation shall include participation in a business meeting or other voting opportunity such as a partnership election.
    • Members who are moved to inactive status will not be counted towards quorum or other voting requirements.
    • An inactive member will remain on the inactive list for one year from the time they were placed on the list. After one year, the inactive member organization will be moved to a list of former ESIP partners.

Sponsors (DRAFT)

Challenge 3: Not all sponsor organizations contribute monetarily.

  • Sponsors contribute at different levels, in different ways.

New Member Types

Challenge 4: New Member Types

  • Redefine Type 5 as any multi-function or umbrella entity, not limited to funders (N.B.: January 2012 - Type 3 Definition amended to include data users)
  • Allow Individuals to join the Federation as an Associate Member.

Rationale: There are ESIP members who are comprised of a number of other entities many of whom may also be ESIP members. Individuals participate in ESIP via their member organizations. However, there may be individuals, such as graduate students or researchers not affiliated with a current member who may like to participate. Also would we charge? I'd pay $20 a year to be an Associate Member so I can put it on my resume. Would we offer any other group benefit?

What an Improved Membership Structure Can Support

Expectations of Being a Member
New Member Types
Individuals (including students and retirees)
Data Users (e.g. decision/policy makers; engagement for understanding context for data use, workflow, data formats, etc.)
Multi-function/comprehensive umbrella organizations/ consortiums
Easy Member Termination (i.e. inactive or defunct orgs)
Some ESIPs become defunct after their funding ends. We currently have no method to remove them from membership list


Executive Committee sets requirements to attain Full or Sustainer status, e.g. Full status requires paying for 2 Meeting registrations in the past year
Data Users (Type 5) restricted to Associate status
Associate memberships expire after specified period, e.g., 5 years
Associate members can participate fully in ESIP activities, with the exception of Assembly voting.

Impacts on Type Representation

Type 4 and 5 gain full representation on Administrative Committees
Type 4 reps provide Administrative perspective
Type 5 reps provide Data User perspective
Several existing and pending ESIPs may choose to switch to Type 4 status (USGS, NCAR, etc.)
Although Associate members cannot vote in the Assembly, they retain representation via their Type Representatives in Administrative Committees