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Governance Working Group Proposes Updates to LTER By Laws

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Issue: 
Spring 2006

- Karen Baker (PAL/CCE)

Governance is the process through which a group makes decisions that direct their collective activity. The results of work by the LTER Governance Working Group (GWG) that was formed as part of the Planning Grant activities were presented at the 2005 March LTER Executive Committee meeting. The GWG presentation was titled "An Evolving LTER Network - Requires Changes to Governance". The group's charge was to consider modifications to the existing LTER Network structure to catalyze, embrace, and accommodate

  • The conduct of synthetic inter site research on the grand scientific challenges
  • The constructive interaction with other research networks
  • The growth of the Network that has and will continue

GWG members present at the March06 meeting in Denver included Ann Zimmerman (Chair; Univ. Michigan, Social Scientist), Karen Baker (California Current Ecosystem and Palmer Station, Information Manager), Dan Childers (Florida Coastal Everglades, Lead PI), Chelsea Crenshaw (Sevilleta LTER, Graduate Student), Peter Groffman (Baltimore Ecosystem Study & Hubbard Brook, PI), Katherine Lawrence (Univ. Michigan, Organizational Behaviorist), John Magnuson (North Temperate Lakes, Interim LTER Network Chair), Larry Weider (Univ. Oklahoma, Organization of Biological Field Stations), and Bob Waide (LTER Network Office, Executive Director).

Specifically, the Executive Committee discussed changes that the GWG proposes to the LTER Network bylaws and the rationale behind those recommendations. One change is that the Executive Committee is being renamed to be Network Board. Another change in the by-laws is that there is a formalization of the participation of an information manager on the Executive Committee (that is, the Network Board).

The LTER By Laws section about the Information Management Representative currently reads as follows:

V 2.5 Information Management Representative

The LTER Information Management (IM) Committee shall select one member from among them to serve as the Information Management Representative to the Network Board. The IM Committee shall determine the method by which the Representative is selected. The Information Management Representative shall serve a single three (3) year term. In addition to the responsibilities shared by all Network Board members, the Information Management Representative shall serve as the liaison between the Network Board and the Information Management Committee providing insight on informatics, technology implementation, and human-technology infrastructure issues as well as on design and implementation of federated information system activities. In the event that an Information Management Representative is removed or not able to fulfill his or her term, the IM Committee will choose a replacement to complete the term.

The proposed changes to the By Laws will be considered at the 2006 Spring Coordinating Committee Meeting.