About AESS

The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) is an independent faculty-and-student-based professional association in higher education, designed to serve the needs of environmental scholars and scientists who value interdisciplinary approaches to research, teaching, and problem-solving.  Founded in 2008, the Association seeks to provide its members with the latest environmental information and tools to create better courses, strengthen research, develop more satisfying careers, harness the power of a collective voice for the profession, and enjoy each other’s company at national and regional meetings.

A major aim of AESS is to encourage interdisciplinary understanding of environmental science, policy, management, ethics, history, and all of the other vital contributions of traditional disciplines.  From its beginning, the Association has been envisioned as a community of environmental scholars and scientists, not a confederation of disciplines. Fundamental to its members’ embrace of higher education is the notion that broad advances in environmental knowledge require disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches to research and learning.

AESS Visioning Retreat 2016

AESS is committed to achieving its goals by

  • enlarging the capacity for cross-campus collaboration, mentoring, and shared scholarship;
  • creating a collegial process for networking, sharing ideas, publishing, and promoting both disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs and conferences;
  • developing model curricula and professional standards, and guidelines
  • supporting the career development of student and faculty members;
  • providing professional advice and public outreach on important matters of environmental science, policy, and management.
  • AESS provides identity, collective voice and continuing education for individuals in higher education engaged in environmental research, teaching, problem solving, and service to society. The Association promotes the development of these collective concerns by

    • enlarging the capacity for cross-campus collaboration, mentoring, and shared scholarship;
    • creating a collegial process for networking, sharing ideas, publishing, and promoting interdisciplinary programs and conferences;
    • developing professional standards and guidelines for environmental scholars and scientists;
    • supporting the career development of students and faculty members;
    • promoting research, discussion, and outreach that expand public knowledge about the environment and improve environmental science, policy, and management.

    AESS is envisioned as a community of environmental scholars and scientists, rather than a confederation of disciplines. Fundamental to this vision is a conviction that broad advances in environmental knowledge require disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches to research and learning.

    AESS looks forward to working with existing disciplinary associations and with organizations such as the National Council for Science and Environment, the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, and others engaged in the vital task of linking academia, government, business, and the public on matters of environmental sustainability.

    The Association employs a variety of media and venues to carry out this mission, including this web site (www.aessonline.org), professional newsletter, a flagship journal, and national conferences. Additional information about these communication channels are available on the this website.

    Participate in the development of a society that will help you make vital connections – professional connections, disciplinary connections, connections between theory and practice, and connections between complex adaptive natural systems and even more complex human social systems.

  • The Board shall consist of the Officers (as defined below) and six other directors elected at large by the members of the Corporation pursuant to the procedures set forth in Article VII of these Bylaws (the “Non-Officer Directors”). At all times, at least one director shall be a student member of the Corporation. All directors shall be members in good standing of the Corporation.

    The Board is made up of four officers:

    • President (2 year term)
    • President-elect (2 year term, then 2 years as president)
    • Secretary (3 year term)
    • Treasurer (3 year term)

    For full description of duties and powers, review the AESS Bylaws.

  • AESS members are encouraged to contribute actively to the organization’s development through participation in important AESS committees which presently include:

      • Awards –  to recognize and honor the contributions of environmental leaders in higher education and beyond
      • Membership – to expand and diversify the membership base
      • Nominations – to recruit and nominate candidates for elective offices in AESS
      • Professional Development – to improve the quality and institutional
      • Program – to oversee development of the program for the annual meeting
      • Publications – to supervise publication of the official journal and other professional publications of AESS
      • Site Arrangements – to solicit proposals for hosting the annual meeting and other official meetings, and to coordinate local arrangements and services

    Click here for the current list of AESS Board Members and Committee Members.

  • Elections occur annually each spring. The following timetable is followed for all election cycles:

    • Candidate nominations are solicited in January.
    • Once the Board approves a slate of candidates (by March 15th) and online ballots are created, voting opens to members.
    • Election opening notification is sent to all members using the email address provided when they registered as members through our online sign-up.
    • Candidates are notified following the close of voting, and results are announced to members at large by May 20th.

  • Since its first conference in Madison in 2009, AESS has promoted diversity through the following initiatives:

    • Panel sessions on topics related to the concerns of racial and ethnic minorities.
    • Inviting prominent scholars from minority communities to serve as keynote speakers (eg Julian Agyeman in 2010).
    • Publicizing AESS to HBCUs, tribal colleges, and professional associations devoted to scholars of color.

    In addition, an informal Caucus of Color has held regular roundtable discussion at the AESS conferences, resulting in recommendations to the Council to improve our outreach. Following their recommendations, in the future AESS will seek to:

    • Hold conferences in racially diverse cities.
    • Include the Environmentalists of Caucus Roundtable in the program.
    • Include scholars of color on the program committee.

    AESS continues to work on several additional initiatives, the most important being our effort to develop a travel grant program that would help students and scholars from under-resourced institutions attend the conference. We are also working to develop workshops on grant writing and mentoring that will give special attention to the needs of minority scholars.

    We welcome additional suggestions for improving our efforts to promote diversity in ESS. Please send all comments to support@aessonline.org.

  • To review our bylaws, we invite you to read through this file AESS revised bylaws 07_22_2016.

    AESS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.