2004 ESA Annual Report

Lanham, Maryland
February 10, 2005

The Entomological Society of America benefited from a very busy and rewarding year in 2004. A dedicated team of Society leaders and volunteers, working with the Headquarters staff and vendors, provided professional products and services to our members, customers, and the general public. In keeping with our Vision and Mission Statements and the Governing Board’s Decision Matrix, periodicals, meetings, and the web site were the primary areas where resources were dedicated. 

Membership. For the first time in over five years, individual membership categories grew. We finished the year with 5,714 members, a 3% increase over 2003. This growth was evidenced in nearly all membership categories, from Regular to Students. The Society welcomed 811 new members and experienced a renewal rate of 89% (most professional associations have an 83% renewal rate). In addition, the number of companies supporting ESA through the Sustaining Associates Program grew from 9 to 13, with Leica Microsystems, ISK BioSciences Corporation, Megaview, and Ento-Vision joining for the first time. Three Honorary Members were elected by the membership and 9 new Fellows were named.

Certification Programs. There continues to be strong interest in ESA’s certification programs. The number of Board Certified Entomologists grew by 2% over the prior year and online testing for the basic qualifying exam is now complete. In May 2004, our Associate Certified Entomologist program, designed to certify those in applied entomology, was launched. By year’s end, 15 ACEs had been certified. 

Publications. On the publishing front, our journals continued to thrive. The number of pages printed increased in all four journals, and the number of subscriptions sold to institutions and through agents increased as well. Two new Editors-in-Chef were appointed -- Joe B. Keiper for Annals of the Entomological Society of America and David L. Kerns for Arthropod Management Tests. We continue to be an active participant in the BioOne online journal collection to which a good number of universities subscribe.  The Journal of Economic Entomology had the #1 ranking for Total Cites in entomology as recorded by Science Citation Index 2003, and all of our journals continue to be ranked among the highest in the field. In addition, American Entomologist, ESA’s quarterly science magazine, received the Bronze Prize in Association Trend’s 2004 All Media Contest, Category 2 -- Professional Society Magazine. Our Insect Handbooks continue to sell strongly, with a reprinting of the Handbook of Turfgrass Insect Pests in 2004. In addition, three new handbooks will be published through an agreement with the American Phytopathological Society.

Meetings. ESA conducted a successful Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT in November, with five branch meetings in New Haven, CT, Charleston, SC, Kansas City, MO, Tucson, AZ, and Oklahoma City, OK. These events attracted a total of more than 3,000 attendees. Format and schedule changes made the Annual Meeting more flexible for attendees and highlighted student achievement to a greater extent than before. More and more technology has been introduced, and, for the first time, many of the scientific presentations in Salt Lake City were recorded and made available electronically to meeting attendees after the event. In addition, we sponsored, through a federal grant, 21 junior scientists at the International Conference of Entomology in Brisbane, Australia.

Member Services. After many years of “wish-list thinking,” ESA introduced an electronic commerce capability whereby its members and customers could join the Society or register for the Annual Meeting. First deployed for the 2004 Annual Meeting, registrants could complete their registration form and make a secure credit card payment through the ESA web site and new members could join the Society as well. By year’s end, the dues renewal form for current members was also in the e-commerce “inventory.” 

Affiliations and Associations. ESA continued its membership in the American Institute for Biological Sciences, the Council for Scientific Society Presidents, and the Plant Management Network. In addition, the Society lent its support to the DC Principles Coalition, a voluntary coalition of nonprofit scientific publishers that advocates allowing publishers to make their own decisions on open access to research based on editorial and business criteria. And, at the Annual Meeting, our Society leaders met with the heads of other scientific societies to share concerns, discuss common issues, and lend support to each other.

Laws and Regulations. The Society continues to be concerned about FCC regulations with regard to “Do Not Fax,” FTC regulations on CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003), and NIH open access directives. As a small society of individual members, our ability to conduct business and remain financially stable could be imperiled by these restrictions. Thus, while we do not have any lobbying activities, we do participate with other societies in the debate and have, on occasion, written members of Congress.

Strategic Planning. The governance of the Society continued a journey of strategic planning by describing the capabilities, characteristics, and commonalities within a future ESA that would better enable us to achieve our Vision. Concepts for how to organize ESA for greater and broader programmatic influence have been developed and characterized through feedback with Branch and Section leadership, students, and the membership at large. Efforts in 2005 will focus on assemblage of specific organizational design options.

Administration and Finance. The Society continued on its road to financial recovery -- keeping revenue up and controlling expenses. The Governing Board exercised restraint in its spending so that the Society’s reserves would continue to be replenished after several years of significant draw-downs. [The 2004 Financial Statement will be available after the audit is complete.] At the end of 2003, the property at 9301 Annapolis Road was sold and the Headquarters Office relocated in January 2004 to a rental suite not far from the previous location.