Marin Bay, Possession Island, Crozet Archipelago - photo courtesy of F. Stephen Dobson



The Bulletin

ISSN: 0012-9623 Quarterly

Scope and Content

The Bulletin publishes letters, longer commentaries, and philosophical and methodological items related to the science of ecology. In addition, the Bulletin publishes announcements of meetings; reviews of meetings, of software useful for ecological research and teaching, and of other tools for ecologists; articles about the teaching of ecology; resolutions of respect for deceased members, winners of major awards, and certain other ecologists; announcements; and reports of official actions by the Society. Previously published items from other sources can be republished in the Bulletin if the contributor obtains permission of the author and the copyright holder and clearly identifies the original publication. Bulletin content is not peer reviewed and, therefore, the Bulletin does not accept articles that are too technical or specialized to be evaluated for publication without scientific review.

Types of contributions

Commentaries. The Bulletin publishes letters, longer commentaries, and philosophical and methodological items related to the science of ecology. There are no page limits, but authors may be asked to edit their submissions for clarity and precision. Previously published items from other sources can be republished in the Bulletin if the contributor obtains permission of the author and the copyright holder and clearly identifies the original publication.

Meeting Announcements. These consist of a brief prose description of the upcoming meeting, including title, a short paragraph on objectives and content, dates, location, registration requirements, and the meeting contact person's name, street address, and phone/FAX/e-mail address. Meeting brochures submitted in hopes the editor will use them to write a Bulletin announcement are not accepted. Publication deadlines of the Bulletin should be compared with the meeting deadlines to make sure the announcement will appear in time.

Meeting Reviews. The Bulletin publishes reviews of symposia and workshops at the annual ESA meeting, as well as important and appropriate meetings that are unrelated to the annual ESA meeting. The reviewer should strive for a synthetic view of the meeting or symposium outcome (i.e., how the various presentations fit or conflict with each other and with current scientific thought on the topic). Review length is open, although about four double-spaced pages should be sufficient to capture the essence of most meetings.

The following advisory items are provided to help focus your review.

a) Meeting title, organizer, location, sponsoring organizations?

b) What were the meeting objectives (i.e., what scientific problem was the meeting organized to solve)? Who cares (i.e., what was the relevance of this scientific problem to related ones under examination)?

c) How well did the meeting meet the objectives? Were there specific papers delivered or roundtables/discussion groups that were exemplary in reaching the objectives? You may concentrate the review on only the outstanding papers to the exclusion of all others, or give a comprehensive view of all presentations/meeting activities, or examine a selection of papers that neither describes all, nor focuses on a very few.

d) What new was discussed? What previously weak hypotheses were strengthened, confirmed or supported? Were any new or innovative hypotheses presented that forced participants to rethink current concepts?

e) Was there anything important that the meeting accomplished that may not have been part of its explicit objectives?

f) What subjects relevant to the meeting objectives were missing or left out? Did the scientific components of the problem that were included produce a strong slant or serious void by virtue of blind spots by the organizers, failure of invitees to appear, or similar difficulties?

g) Are there plans for a proceedings issue, web page, or meeting summary document, and if so who is editing it, who is publishing it, and when and where will it appear (i.e., where can interested folks learn more about the meeting)?

Resolutions of Respect.

Guidelines for Resolutions of Respect:

The length should be no more than 2500 words and the heading shall have the following format: Resolution of Respect: (Name of deceased followed by, e.g., 1925–2010)

Name of author(s)

Essential Information

Full name
Complete dates of birth and death
Place(s) of birth and death
Educational history and primary mentors
Pertinent work history
Summary of contributions to ecological science
Role(s) in ESA (if any)

Desirable Information

Suitable photograph of the deceased
Early personal history
Family information, such as spouse or partner, children, perhaps parents (if influential in career choice, for example).
Anecdotal insights into personality and accomplishments
Foreign travel or service
Honors and awards—name, sponsor, date(s)
Other scientific and professional activities (society memberships, for example)
The names of students mentored by the deceased who continued their careers in ecology or related disciplines
Name and location of the archives where the deceased's historically valuable documents or other relevant information can be found
A list of selected publications

These guidelines will be posted on the web site of the Bulletin. If questions arise, contact the editor or the chair of the Historical Records Committee.

Read More:

Photo Gallery submissions
The photo(s) should illustrate ecological processes or an ecological research design. Several photographs showing aspects of a study or steps in a process are welcome. Refer to recent Photo Galleries for examples. Photos should be connected to an article published in ESA journals. Please provide a caption for each photo including the photographer’s name, a brief paragraph describing the related study, the title and full names of all authors of the article, and the ESA manuscript number and or volume and date of publication. E-mail the file(s) as an attachment to the Editor of the ESA Bulletin at

Specialty Columns. The Bulletin includes several subject matter columns, each with its own Editor. The material in each column is either written by its Editor or is provided by contributors at the invitation of the Editor, although potential contributors may contact the Editors directly with ideas and proposals for articles. The columns include:

a. Technological Tools. Articles and reviews primarily focused on computer software and hardware relevant to research and teaching activities in ecology.

b. Ecology 101. Descriptions of approaches to teaching ecology, especially details of lab and field exercises designed to teach specific ecological concepts and principles.

c. Networks, Centers, Observatories, and Field Stations. This can range from descriptions of facilities to news and ongoing development to annual reports.

d. Public Affairs Perspective. Discussions of the links between ecology and public policy and how the aims and activities of the Ecological Society of America Public Affairs Office pursue those links.

e. Paper Trail. The idea is a brief essay on  paper(s) that have had particular influence on the ideas and approaches to ecology from ecology and related disciplines. The essay will both identify a paper or papers that were particularly important in catalyzing  future developments at least to the writer of the essay. The essay is a personal viewpoint.  The essay can include pictures or anything  that might make the essay more interesting, including a non-formal  picture of the author of the essay.

See Submitting to the Bulletin, for information on where to send contributions.

rev. 10/22/15


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