ESA Updates Related to COVID-19

Updated September 9, 2020

ESA continues normal operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information below answers frequently asked questions we've received about operations, meetings, and programs. If you have a specific question that is not answered here, please contact the ESA staff.



What is ESA doing to help members during the COVID-19 pandemic?

ESA continues to serve as the primary source for many of the professional needs of entomologists. Through our journals, blog, ESA eNews, Twitter and Facebook, and other online resources, we are seeking to maintain as much stability as possible and to continue to provide members with high-quality information. Additionally, we are seeking ways to help members adapt to these uncertain times. As an example, ESA recently organized two webinars to assist with the transition to distance learning: "Helping Educators Adapt to Online Entomology Education" and "Helping Students Adapt to Online Learning."

ESA has also created the ESA COVID-19 Member Support Fund to grant membership dues waivers for 2021 for members affected by COVID-19. ESA will donate up to $10,000 USD in matching funds, allowing us to provide for our members in their time of need.

What is being done to maintain operations at headquarters?

Annapolis, Maryland, declared a state of emergency on March 13 and the following Monday, March 16, ESA quickly transitioned to remote operations, with all staff working from home. If staff must visit the office, only a small group may be in the office at a time.

We are grateful that ESA already had extensive experience with telework and had systems in place that made for an easy transition. Staff will continue to work remotely likely through the end of 2020, or until national, state, and local guidance indicates that it is safe to return. 

Daily operations are largely unaffected, though some slowdown of response is to be expected due to some staff needing to coordinate childcare with their professional responsibilities. To reach anyone on staff, please consult the staff directory.

Are the ESA journals still publishing during the coronavirus outbreak?

Journal submissions are still being received, reviewed, edited, and published as normal, and the ESA editorial office remains open.

Our publishers at Oxford University Press are experiencing some slowdowns in production due to stay-home orders affecting their copyeditors and typesetters in India; we ask authors for patience as our typesetters work as quickly as they can.

Is the ESA annual awards program affected by COVID-19?

ESA's annual awards process moved forward with minor delays in 2020, and award recipients were announced in late August and September. See the full list of 2020 professional and student awards and ESA Fellows. Award winners will be honored during the ESA Professional Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, November 18, during the Entomology 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.

How is the pandemic affecting the ESA Science Policy program?

ESA continues to focus on its top policy priorities. ESA has responded to inquiries about funding priorities related to the COVID-19 stimulus bills, in addition to the regular appropriations requests ESA and its coalition partners all have submitted for fiscal year 2021. Since Congress was not in Washington, DC, due to the pandemic, the Spring 2020 Science Policy Fellows visit to Capitol Hill was canceled.

We are also continuing to respond to requests for information from federal funding agencies on a range of topics and helping to disseminate information agencies are sharing as guidance and deadlines change during this challenging time. 

In August, ESA hosted Entomology Advocacy Week, August 15-21. The week featured daily webinars and conversations with thought leaders and policymakers, and ESA encouraged its members to use Entomology Advocacy Week as a means to engage in outreach by attending virtual events, writing op-eds, speaking out on social media, and contacting their senators and representatives to raise awareness of the important ramifications that advances in entomological science have on public health, the environment, food security, and other issues of national importance. Learn more about Entomology Advocacy Week.

How can individuals interested in the ACE, BCE, or PHE exam take the test while social distancing rules are in place?

ESA is offering vouchers for a remote proctoring service that can work with test takers. To request a voucher, contact ESA's certification programs manager, Willet Hossfeld, at

Alternatively, prospective ACEs and BCEs whose deadline for testing is approaching who wish to wait and take the test with a live proctor once social distancing is no longer in force may request an extension.



Will ESA hold its Annual Meeting this year?

The Entomology 2020 Program Committee and the ESA Governing Board have been closely watching developments with COVID-19 and scientific society meetings around the country. After careful consideration of the options available, the Governing Board has voted to move Entomology 2020 to a fully virtual format.

ESA is excited to embrace the virtual format and build an exceptional meeting that will truly embody the spirit of Entomology for All—a meeting where all insect scientists can participate and share their work, regardless of location, specialty area, or ability to travel.

Learn more about plans for Entomology 2020

Will the Grand Challenges summit occur this year at the Annual Meeting?

The Grand Challenges planning committee has decided to postpone the summit focused on pre-border prevention of invasive species until the 2021 ESA Annual Meeting in Denver.



How were the ESA Branch meetings affected by the coronavirus?

All in-person ESA Branch meetings planned for 2020 were canceled or postponed due to the impacts of the coronavirus. All registrants will receive a full refund. Read more on specific Branch meeting cancellations and postponements.

ESA's International Branch held its Virtual Symposium as scheduled from April 27-29. The International Branch reopened submissions to its symposium to allow poster submissions from members who were unable to present at the in-person Branch meetings this year; ESA is grateful to the International Branch for its flexibility.

How will the Entomology Games competition move forward this year, since no competitions were held at the Branch level?

The national Entomology Games Committee has unveiled a new, virtual format for the Entomology Games in 2020, featuring two formats for competition. The preliminary rounds will take place online via WikiQuiz on Thursday, November 5, and finalists will compete live via Zoom on Monday, November 16. See further details and rules on the 2020 Virtual Entomology Games. Teams and individuals needing to be matched with a team must sign up by Thursday, October 1. (Note that the "Entomology Games" is the new name of the Linnaean Games; learn more about the name change for the Games.)



Will ESA's leadership and elections be affected by the pandemic?

The rotation of Branch officers is unaffected by the canceled and postponed Branch meetings. Each Branch has held a business meeting webinar to inform members about Branch business and to transition to the next set of leaders.

At the national level, the Society held its elections in the summer as it usually does, and elected leaders' terms will not change. Voting opened on July 20 and closed August 19. Election results were announced September 2.