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Bylaws

Approved by the membership during the January 2009 Meeting.

BYLAWS OF THE GEORGIA ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.

Article I. Name

Section 1. The name of the Society shall be the Georgia Ornithological Society, Inc., which is a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Georgia. 

Article II. Objectives

Section 1. The objectives of the Society shall be as follows:

To obtain the cooperation of individuals, societies and clubs in encouraging the study of birds and the dissemination of knowledge about birds, primarily in Georgia.

To promote interest in, and appreciation of, the aesthetic, economic, ecological and scientific value of birds.

To ensure conservation of birds and their habitats by promoting an informed public opinion.

To provide opportunity for acquaintance and fellowship among those interested in the natural environment.

Article III. Membership

Section 1. Annual membership in the Society is available by payment of dues for one calendar year of membership in the membership class chosen, and includes membership for the spouse and dependent children of the member. Dues of new members received during the last quarter of the calendar year will provide for membership through the following year. Classes of annual membership and dues amounts shall be set from time to time by the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Life membership in the Society, for individuals or couples, is available by payment of life-membership dues as set from time to time by the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Membership may not be transferred or assigned to another person. 

Section 4. All classes of membership shall enjoy the same privileges:

Receive advance notice of all general and special meetings, field trips, and programs of the Society.

Receive a discounted rate on registration fees for Society meetings. 

Receive one copy of each issue of the journal and of the newsletter published during the year.

Exercise one vote in the elections of officers and in all other matters taken up in the general meetings of the Society.

Be afforded the opportunity to participate in members-only field trips. 

Have the exclusive opportunity to apply for GOS grant funds, if qualified (i.e., only graduate students can apply for some grants). 

Get discounts on the cost of some Society merchandise and publications.

Section 5. Subscriptions are available to libraries, institutions, and other organizations that desire to receive the quarterly journal of the Society at a subscription rate set by the Executive Committee. The business manager may add an additional amount to the subscription rate for postage to foreign countries. Holders of subscriptions are not entitled to vote in the business of the Society.

Article IV. Officers

Section 1. The elective officers, who must be members of the Society, shall be a president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary, and treasurer. 

Section 2. The elective officers shall be elected in odd-numbered years by the members present at the fall general meeting of the Society or other alternative gathering during that time of year. They shall take office immediately after the election and serve for a term of two years.

Section 3. In the event of an elective officer’s resignation, disability, or death, the president may appoint a successor, upon the approval of the Executive Committee, to serve until the next regular election. The first vice president shall succeed the president until the next regular election in the event of the president’s resignation, disability, or death.

Section 4. Elective officers shall be nominated by a Nominating Committee as prescribed under the duties of that committee.

Section 5. The business manager of the Society shall be an appointive officer selected from the Society membership by the president, upon the approval of the Executive Committee, for a term of four years, normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. In the event of this appointive officer’s resignation, disability, or death, the president may appoint a successor, upon the approval of the Executive Committee, to serve the remainder of the unfinished term.

Article V. Duties of Officers

Section 1. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Society, enforce a due observance of the bylaws, call for special meetings, make decisions on all matters of Society business not otherwise delegated to other persons, and perform such other duties as the office requires. See also Appendix 1.

The president shall determine when acknowledgments, gifts, memorial presentations, or expressions of appreciation are to be made on behalf of the Society and shall designate the person to represent the Society in these matters.

The president may sign checks in the absence of the treasurer.

The president shall make no motion or amendment, nor vote on any motion or amendment at meetings of the Society, unless the Society be equally divided, in which case the president shall cast the deciding vote.

Section 2. The first vice president shall assume the duties of the president in the latter’s absence. The first vice president shall be responsible for the programs at general meetings of the Society: obtaining presenters for the sessions, ensuring that presenters are properly received and accommodated, and introducing presenters to the audience.

The first vice president shall ensure that the field trips desired are arranged for and led and in this regard may seek the assistance of persons in the vicinity of general meetings. Following general meetings, the first vice president should acknowledge presenters and field trip arrangers, as appropriate. See also Appendix 6.

Section 3. The second vice president shall be responsible for general meeting arrangements, as the primary contact person between the Society and the meeting sites, and in this regard may seek the assistance of persons in the vicinity of general meetings.

The second vice president shall negotiate for suitable lodging and meeting accommodations at the meeting site, and ensure that Society members receive timely notification of date, place, prices, and other particulars. Following general meetings, the second vice president should authenticate all bills related to the meetings for payment by the treasurer and acknowledge those persons who helped with meeting arrangements, as appropriate. See also Appendix 6.

Section 4. The secretary shall be responsible for the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings and of the general and special meetings of the Society, and shall keep a record of these minutes.

The secretary shall provide minutes of all of these meetings to the members of the Executive Committee. Minutes of the general meetings shall be provided to members of the Society upon request. The secretary shall keep on file the articles of incorporation, the bylaws, and any formal agreements entered into by the Society.

The secretary shall also keep a record of the expiration dates of the terms of all officers, editors, and other committee members of the Society, and advise the president when appointments are due. The secretary shall serve on the Education Committee, assisting with the evaluation of applications submitted for the Parks’ scholarship, as well as the development and implementation of programs designed to teach the public about birds and conservation.

Section 5. The treasurer shall receive and manage all moneys belonging to the Society, keep an account of all receipts and expenditures, and serve as a designated person in signing checks, paying bills, and filing tax returns as required. As directed by the Executive Committee, the treasurer shall maintain certain designated and special funds as separate entities on the books of the Society.

The treasurer shall prepare a detailed income statement and a balance sheet listing all assets and fund balances of the Society. The treasurer shall present this report at each meeting of the Executive Committee and shall keep a record of these reports. See also Appendix 10.

Section 6. The business manager shall be responsible for the business activities of the Society, including dealing with printers and the management of production, sales, and distribution of publications, insignia, and various other items. The business manager shall maintain an inventory of back issues of The Oriole, The GOShawk, sales copies of the Occasional Publications series, and other sales items, and shall fill and ship orders for these items.

Section 7. The past president shall serve one one-year term and shall act in an advisory capacity to the president.

The past president shall provide assistance at Society meetings, entertaining guest speakers if the first vice president is otherwise engaged, providing assistance at the registration desk and greeting meeting attendees.

The past president shall serve on the membership committee, assisting the chair of that body with efforts to recruit new members and shall assist other chairs with special projects, at the request of the president.

Article VI. Meetings.

Section 1. General meetings of the Society shall be held at least semiannually at locations and times selected by the Executive Committee, but normally spring and fall.

Section 2. General meetings of the Society should be financially self-sufficient by adjustment of registration fees to cover costs directly related to the meetings, including meals, honoraria, and lodging for speakers and invited guests if necessary. Travel expenses and increases in honoraria rates for speakers must be approved in advance by the Executive Committee, as must any foreseen exceptions to the intention for self-sufficiency.

Section 3. A special meeting of the Executive Committee may be called on the president’s own initiative in the event that unusual problems or circumstances arise. A special meeting of the Executive Committee shall also be called by the president if requested in writing by five or more members of the Society who have an issue or concern to present. 

Section 4. The Executive Committee shall meet at least semi-annually. Executive Committee meetings shall be open to all members of the Society. 

Article VII. Publications

Section 1. The Society shall issue two quarterly publications as a means of furthering the objectives of the organization. They shall be known as The Oriole and GOShawk. In addition, the Society may issue and sell publications known as Occasional Publications, each to be reviewed by the Editorial Committee and approved for publication by the Executive Committee.

Section 2. The major quarterly publication shall be The Oriole, a permanent scientific journal, to record observations, publish research, and inform members about ornithology, primarily in Georgia. This publication shall be the responsibility of an editor recommended by the Editorial Committee for appointment by the president. The editor may be assisted, if desired, by an assistant editor appointed in the same manner.

Section 3. The other quarterly publication shall be GOShawk, a newsletter, to carry current information about group activities, plans of the Society, issues and events of concern to the membership, news of individuals, and timely observations of interesting birds, primarily in Georgia. This publication shall be the responsibility of an editor recommended by the Editorial Committee for appointment by the president. This editor may be assisted, if desired, by an assistant editor appointed in the same manner.

Section 4. The editor(s) of The Oriole shall serve a four-year term. The editor of the GOShawk shall serve a two-year term. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms.

Article VIII. Committees

Section 1. The Executive Committee shall meet at least semiannually and shall consist of the elective and appointive officers, the past president, the chairpersons of the membership, editorial, education, conservation, Earth Share of Georgia, and checklist and records committees, and the editor of the GOShawk. Any seven of these Executive Committee members together in an announced meeting shall constitute a quorum for conducting the business of the committee. The president shall preside at meetings of the committee, each member of which shall have one vote. Occasionally, decisions requiring Executive Committee approval will need to be made between scheduled meetings of that committee. Business requiring immediate attention may be presented to, and voted upon by, the Executive Committee by e-mail. Business approved by e-mail will be presented to the Executive Committee at the next formal meeting for inclusion in the minutes, thereby establishing a permanent record of the issues and associated decisions.The Executive Committee shall coordinate the work of all other committees and advise the president and other officers as needed. Upon an affirmative vote of at least 10 members of the entire Executive Committee, this committee may remove for cause at any time any officer, editor, or other committee member, and appoint a successor to serve the remainder of the unfinished term.The Executive Committee shall also maintain current the October 29, 1963, agreement of the Society with the University of Georgia to provide for use, display and storage of records and publications of the Society to achieve the desired objectives of the Society. Amendments to the agreement may be made as necessary.

Section 2. The Membership Committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the president for a two-year term, and at least two additional committee members selected by the chairperson with the concurrence of the president. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. This committee shall be concerned with the recruitment and retention of Society members. This committee shall promote activities and programs of the Society which might accomplish that objective, and publicize those activities and programs through contacts with appropriate groups and individuals throughout the state. This committee shall also keep a record of the names of persons attending the general meetings of the Society. This committee shall also maintain membership records, send notices when dues are payable, prepare membership lists as needed and insure that new members receive a new member packet.

Section 3. The Editorial Committee shall consist of two to four persons appointed by the president. The committee members shall serve two-year terms, these terms to be staggered so that half of the members of the committee are appointed annually by the president, terms being on a calendar year basis. The Editorial Committee shall advise the editors of The Oriole and GOShawk concerning editorial matters, shall serve as referees for manuscripts being considered for publication, and shall edit the “From the Field” sections for publication in the journal. Upon request of the editor(s) of The Oriole, the Editorial Committee shall correspond with authors of manuscripts, and shall correspond with members of the Checklist and Records Committee to ensure that sightings of review species reported in the draft “From the Field” sections have been reviewed and approved by the latter committee. The Editorial Committee shall also be responsible for the receipt and review of manuscripts for consideration for publication in the Occasional Publications series. See also Appendix 8.

Section 4. The Conservation Committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the president, and at least two additional committee members selected by the chairperson with the concurrence of the president serving a two-year term. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. This committee shall work for the protection of birds and their habitat in Georgia. In keeping with this goal, this committee shall keep abreast of legislative activities that may impact bird conservation in Georgia, as well as the management and research goals of state and federal agencies that are charged with managing birds and their habitats in the state. The Conservation Committee shall develop an annual list of GOS conservation objectives to be reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee, and shall develop position statements and write letters concerning conservation policies and management issues on behalf of GOS. This committee shall collaborate with other organizations around Georgia and the U.S. to ensure that appropriate legislation and policy is supported to promote its stated objectives. In addition to the many bird clubs and organizations within the state, the committee shall work on projects in cooperation with the National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, the American Bird Conservancy, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the American Birding Association.

Section 5. The Checklist and Records Committee shall function in accordance with the Checklist and Records Committee Handbook (1996). (See also Appendix 2) This committee shall consist of a chairperson and at least five voting members, one of whom shall serve as secretary, serving two-year terms. The terms are renewable with service on the committee not to exceed six consecutive years. The terms are staggered to ensure that experience is maintained on the committee. The president shall appoint a chairperson. The president shall also appoint voting committee members usually from the nominations presented by the committee chairperson. The secretary is elected by vote of the committee.This committee shall monitor the literature for additions to the list of birds properly credited to Georgia, provide for depository or documentary evidence such as voucher photographs or specimens, and keep abreast of changes in extreme dates and distribution within the state. This committee shall work closely with the editor of The Oriole to help screen records and to encourage publication by observers. This committee shall, from time to time, revise for publication an annotated checklist of the birds of Georgia in an appropriate manner. This committee shall maintain criteria for acceptance of a bird to the state list and shall be the arbiter on the acceptance of records to be included in that list. This committee may not veto publication of records in The Oriole, but may append a comment about a published account of questionable occurrence, if the editor so desires. This committee may also publish supplements in The Oriole regarding changes to the state list and currently accepted taxonomic order.

Section 6. The Earth Share of Georgia (ESG) Committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the president for a two-year term, and at least two additional committee members selected by the chairperson with the concurrence of the president. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. This committee shall be concerned with the maintenance of affiliate membership of the Society in ESG. See also Appendix 9.

Section 7. The H. Branch Howe, Jr., Graduate Student Research Grant Committee shall consist of a chairperson serving a two-year term, and at least two additional committee members selected by the chairperson with the concurrence of the president. The Executive Committee shall set the amount of the grants. Grant applicants must be enrolled graduate students in Georgia, or must be from Georgia if enrolled out-of-state. The grant is to support ornithological research under faculty direction. The grantee(s), if any, selected by the grant committee, shall be announced at the spring general meeting of the Society. See also Appendix 3.

Section 8. The Earle R. Greene Memorial Award Committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the president serving a two-year term, and at least two additional committee members selected by the chairperson with the concurrence of the president. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. This committee shall consider nominations for this award to be given to persons for outstanding contributions to ornithology or birding either in Georgia, or having some connection to Georgia and/or for outstanding service to the Georgia Ornithological Society. The honoree, if any, selected by the award committee shall be announced at a general meeting of the Society.

Section 9. The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least three persons, other than current elective officers. This committee shall be appointed by the president prior to the spring general meeting of the Society in odd-numbered years. This committee shall consider nominations for elective-officer candidates, and publish a slate in GOShawk prior to the fall general meeting or other alternative gathering at that time of the year. After allowing additional nominations subsequent to publication of the slate, this committee shall present the slate for election by a majority vote of the Society members present at the fall general meeting or other alternative gathering at that time of the year.

Section 10. A historian shall be appointed by the president with the concurrence of the Executive Committee to insure that the activities, accomplishments and the history of the Society are recorded and maintained for future administrations, interested scholars, and our members. The historian shall be invited to attend meetings of the Executive Committee as an observer and a resource person, and will assist officers and committee chairs to screen their working files periodically for documents of possible historical value. The historian shall archive at least one copy of each publication, membership list, formal documents, and meeting notice of the Society. The historian shall assist in making periodic deposits of GOS materials to the archives at the University of Georgia Library, and will maintain a record of what is on deposit. The historian shall serve an indefinite term at the pleasure of the Executive Committee.

Section 11. A webmaster shall be appointed by the president with the concurrence of the Executive Committee to provide the Society with a presence on the Internet in the form of a user-friendly web site. The webmaster shall be responsible for creation, maintenance and continued development of the web site pages, and shall insure that the web site maintains technical compatibility with the predominate web browsers in use. It shall be the webmaster’s responsibility to protect the “gos.org” domain name, and to see that the required renewals for the domain name lease are filed. The webmaster shall serve an indefinite term at the pleasure of the Executive Committee.

Section 12. The Education Committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the president for a two-year term, and at least two additional members selected by the chairperson. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. This committee shall administer the Richard Parks Birding Conference Scholarships, establish programs designed to teach people about birds and conservation, network with nature centers and other organizations to disseminate birding information to the public, and arrange for scientific poster and paper sessions at general meetings. See also Appendix 7.

Section 13. The Finance Committee shall consist of the treasurer, who shall serve as chairperson, the president, and at least three additional members to be recommended by the treasurer and approved by the Executive Committee. Committee members shall serve two-year terms unless reappointed or reelected. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. The goals of the committee shall include reviewing and making recommendations for all financial matters pertaining to the society, including tax matters, investments, budgets, cash flow and requests for financial donations. The committee shall monitor the budget, make investment decisions (with approval of the Executive Committee), review treasurer’s reports, conduct searches for a new treasurer when necessary, decide when audits are necessary, and ensure that tax reports are filed in a timely manner.

Section 14. The Bill Terrell Graduate Student Research Grant Committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the president, and at least two additional members selected by the chairperson. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. The Executive Committee shall set the amount of the grants. This committee shall receive and review applications from graduate students for grant money, ensure that the applications are in concert with the guidelines established for this funding, and make recommendations to the president on an annual basis concerning deserving recipients. Announcement of the recipients will be made at the Society’s spring meeting. See also Appendix 4.

Section 15. The Opportunity Grants Committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the president for a two-year term, and at least two additional committee members selected by chairperson with the concurrence of the president. These terms are normally effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms. This committee shall receive and review applications for grant funds, ensure that applications are in concert with grant guidelines, and make recommendations to the Executive Committee on a biannual basis concerning deserving recipients. The Executive Committee shall make the final decision concerning awards of grant funds. See also Appendix 5.

Section 16. Committee chairpersons must be members of the Society. Committee chairpersons should present committee reports to the Executive Committee at least annually, as directed by the president.

Additional committees may be established by the president, upon the approval of the Executive Committee, and filled by presidential appointment.

Committee terms should normally become effective when the Society’s new officers begin their terms and continue until new appointments or reappointments are made, unless otherwise specified.

Vacancies caused by resignation, disability, or death of any committee members shall be filled by presidential appointment so as to complete the unfinished terms of the persons replaced.

Article IX. Amendments

Section 1. These bylaws may be amended at any general meeting of the Society by a two-thirds vote of the Society members present.

Section 2. Every proposed amendment to the bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the president. The president shall present the proposed amendment to the Executive Committee, and upon the approval of this committee, publish the proposed amendment to the Society. At the next general meeting of the Society following such publication, the proposed amendment shall be placed before the Society members for action.

Approved by vote of the Society membership at Jekyll Island, Georgia, October 9, 1993.

Article VIII, Section 1 amended by vote of the Society membership October 3, 1998.

Article VIII, Section 1 further amended by vote of the Society membership February 5, 2000.

Article VIII, Sections 11 & 12 added by vote of the Society membership, April 28, 2001.

Article VIII, Sections 1 & 7 amended by vote of the Society membership, October 6, 2001.

Article II, Article III, Sections 3 & 4; Article IV, Sections 2 & 5; Article V, Sections 5 & 6; Article VI, Sections 1 & 3; Article VII, Section 4; Article VIII, Existing Section 5 deleted, Sections 1 through 10 & 12; Article IX, Section 2; amended by vote of the Society membership, April 24, 2004.

Article VI, Section 4 added; Article VIII, Section 1, amended; existing Section 12 renumbered Section 16 and new Sections 12, 13, 14 and 15 added. Various Society operating policies and procedures added as Appendices. Reference to Appendices inserted in appropriate bylaws sections. Approved by vote of the society membership, April 29, 2006. 

Article III, Sections 1 & 2 amended; Article VI, Section 3 amended; Article VIII, Sections 3 & 4 amended. Approved by vote of the society membership, April 21, 2007. Article VIII, Section 6 appendix added, June 17, 2008.