August 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

AZTWS Board Meeting

Conference Call Agenda

August 27, 2018

2018, 3:00–5:00 p.m.

[Download the PDF]

Present: Tiffany Sprague (President), Jessica Moreno (President Elect), Holly Hicks (Corresponding Secretary), Valerie Horncastle (Recording Secretary), Audrey Owens (Board Member), Melissa Merrick (Board Member), Kay Nicholson (Past President), Scott Sprague (BioBlitz Chair)

Board members absent: Andrew Jones (Treasurer)

Action items

  • Jessica will discuss website options with Andrew (e.g., pointing our domains to WordPress rather than using GoDaddy).
  • Jessica will update the website with the new Continuing Education grant amounts.
  • Holly will work with Jessica on making an inventory of our promotional items (hats, tshirts, etc.), pricing, and photos for the website.
  • Tiffany will respond to the conference sponsorship request.
  • Jessica will participate in JAM 2019 planning calls.
  • Tiffany will contact some key people about participating on JAM 2019 planning calls.
  • Melissa will ask Brian Blais if he’s interested in being Newsletter Editor.
  • Jessica will track down photos and post non-board chapter leadership positions on the website.
  • After MemberPlanet is updated, Tiffany will ask Chris to download member names from the parent society monthly.
  • Tiffany will send a letter on behalf of the chapter to Jeff Flake about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
  • Melissa will reach out to professors at U of A to see if they would be interested in giving an informal talk at the fall retreat.
  • Scott will ask Jesse Lewis from ASU to see if he’s interested in teaching techniques during the retreat.
  • Audrey will look into group campsites in Payson area for the fall retreat.


  • Approval of July 23, 2018, board meeting minutes – moved by Jessica, seconded by Melissa; passed.
  • Increase annual Continuing Education available grant funds to $2,500; cap of $500 grant per person per year – moved by Holly, seconded by Audrey; passed.
  • Meeting adjournment – moved by Jessica, seconded by Melissa; passed.


  • Past Board Meeting Minutes (July) passed.

Old Business/Previous Action Items

  • Jessica will send out a google doc of a list of actionable items to help increase diversity. Ongoing – Jessica will do this today.
  • Jessica will send out the template for our online membership and communication system for people to review. Ongoing – Jessica will make sure this was done.
  • Andrew will check on whether funds to send students to the national conference needs to be in increments of $250. Done – Andrew said that this was not the case.
  • Andrew will schedule audit. Ongoing – not done yet
  • Tiffany will touch base with Jeremy on how long he will be editor of the newsletter. Done
  • Tiffany will explore setting up a Google Drive list of potential future newsletter articles and reserve of articles to use when needed. Ongoing
  • Tiffany will contact Holly about holding off on the call for continuing education until we set caps on max amounts. Done
  • Audrey, Kay, and Melissa will coordinate a fall gathering for members. Ongoing
  • Melissa will coordinate with the SARSEF winner on “day with a biologist” options. Ongoing – Andrew is waiting to hear from her on what she’d like to do.
  • Scott to review revised sections of JAM manual to determine what revisions are still needed; incorporate existing revisions into manual. Ongoing.
  • Tiffany will remind committee heads about reviewing revised sections of JAM manual. Ongoing
  • Tiffany to create bylaw wording for board member removal. Ongoing.
  • Jessica and Chris will work to set up an online membership and communication system for our chapter. Ongoing, but almost done. Should be launched by the next conference call.

Current Business

  • Treasurer’s Report (Tiffany for Andrew) –
    • General fund: 6399.24
    • Savings fund: 31194.15
    • Continuing education: 2148.31
    • Memorial garden: 734.82
    • WildHare: 3862.97
    • For next newsletter Andrew will write a brief article discussing the funds we have dispensed via continuing education, supporting students to attend the national meeting via the parent society, and thanking folks who donated money to supporting students to attend the national meeting.
    • Discussion about the website domains. Possibility of removing the .net domain since it doesn’t get many hits. Alternatively, we could point all the domains back to WordPress – fairly simple process that could save us money. Jessica will send a note to Andrew discussing this option.
  • Continuing Education (Tiffany for Andrew).
    • Spent about $4000 on Continuing Ed this year, much more than normal. Should consider not funding anymore Continuing Ed for rest of year.
    • Via email, Andrew recommended increasing total Continuing Ed available funds to $2000–2500 per year with a cap of $500 per person per year. The board decided these amounts were reasonable, considering we give money to the parent society to fund students to go to the national conference. Board reviews the grant applications quarterly, but we need to ask applicants to plan further in advance so we don’t have to turn it around so quickly.
    • Motion: Increase available Continuing Ed grant funds to $2500 per year. Each applicant can receive one grant up to $500 per year, and grant application period is Jan 1 to Dec 31 (calendar year). Holly motioned to moved forward with these changes, Audrey seconded – no further discussion, all voted in favor. Jessica will update the website to reflect those changes.
    • We asked Heather Bateman to discuss with her students who received awards to consider writing us an article or two on their on-going research and/or on the experiences etc. from the conferences we sponsored them to attend.
  • Online Shopping (Tiffany).
    • Holly will coordinate selling the current inventory through an online shopping platform. Once we see how sales go and get rid of some of our inventory, we can investigate including another platform such as CafePress. Neck/headbands have been ordered and should be in soon – will get these up on website. Holly will work with Jessica on making an inventory of the items, pricing, and photos for the website.
  • Conference Sponsorship Request (Tiffany).
    • Received request for a riparian conference sponsorship (Rivers Edge West – Riparian Restoration). Andrew prefers drawing the line to only sponsoring requests to local or national TWS conferences. More discussion – only have budget to sponsor students to go to conferences. Tiffany will respond to the request.
  • JAM 2019 planning (Tiffany).
    • NMTWS had initial planning call but did not invite AZTWS to be part of the planning. Tiffany sent a note to Bill Dunn requesting to be informed about future planning calls. We need someone to represent our chapter on those calls. Discussion of having Jessica since she is President Elect or someone from general membership. Should have two people. Jessica will be on the calls and be a liaison even if not committing to tasks. Tiffany will check with Rachel Williams, Tony Bush, Sharon Lashway, and others to see if anyone is interested in helping.
  • Newsletter Report (Tiffany).
    • Jeremy is no longer our editor. Kay willing to fill this rolein the interim. Need someone ASAP. Melissa will ask Brian Blais if he wants to do it.
  • Jessica suggested adding our chairs and other positions to our website – board thought it was a good idea. Jessica will track down information and photos of our other leads.
  • Membership Report (Jessica for Chris).
    • Our member list has not been updated since February. Jessica is working on getting names into MemberPlanet currently. Once this is done, we will need to periodically download names from the parent society to include. Downloading from the parent society should be done by Chris monthly, particularly after the JAM when we have an influx. Wait until after MemberPlanet to download again. Tiffany will contact Chris and make him aware of this, after MemberPlanet is updated.
  • Webmaster’s Report (Clarissa – not on call)
  • Opportunities Report (Callie – not on call)
  • BioBlitz (Scott).
    • BioBlitz at Petrified Forest National Park went well. AZTWS chapter pulled in 10 of 20 Subject Matter Experts. A total of 122 people signed in – 75 pre-registered participants, 25 of them were AZTWS. More than 800 observations of approximately 250 species logged as of the meeting; that number likely to increase as people were still uploading observations. The blitz included 40 different excursions, mostly biology, but some paleontology related. No accidents/injuries. Rainy and cool weather may have decreased observations. Tiffany, Scott, Andrew did much of the work given to AZTWS ahead of time. Valerie helped at the registration table. Will see how many people join the chapter from the BioBlitz.
    • Next year, our chapter will help organize the Charlie Painter BioBlitz. Scott envisions the key positions for our chapter to be a Blitzer coordinator chair; excursion/SME coordinator; iNaturalist coordinator; GIS lead/area coordinator; liasions that work with SME coordinator – each would focus on a different taxa; technology liaison (cameras, anabats, drones, frog loggers); web person to facilitate registration of excursions and get info out there. The HDMS coordinator could help identify areas where species have been seen in the past but haven’t been observed in a while. Might also do an education workshop at the blitz (Eric Proctor and Jeff Myers spearheading). Would be good to have 20 people help coordinate and maybe have a monthly phone call. Email Scott if you are interested.
  • Conservation Affairs (Tiffany for Jon).
    • We sent an email to chapter members asking them to contact their senator(s) about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Tiffany will send a letter from the chapter to Jeff Flake.
  • Borderlands Foundation for Understudied Plants and Animals (Kay).
    • Not much to report.
    • Jackrabbit surveys upcoming.
  • Student Liaison Report (Holly).
    • Nothing new to report.
  • Youth Engagement.
    • Melissa and Andrew are waiting to hear back from SARSEF winner and day in the field with biologist.
  • Fall mixer (Audrey).
    • Discussion about having it be a retreat/planning meeting – brainstorm ideas on newsletter, bioblitz, etc. Focus on 2–3 issues, try to get involvement. Payson is central for everyone. Could do it in late Oct/early Nov. Melissa will reach out to professors at U of A to see if they would be interested in coming and giving an informal talk. Scott will mention it to Jesse Lewis from ASU to see if he’s interested in teaching techniques during the retreat. Audrey will look into group campsites in Payson area.
  • Diversity (Jessica).
    • Jessica will send out a Google spreadsheet with ideas she’s gathered from other organizations on ways to increase diversity and reach new audiences. We can then decide which ideas we want to implement/try out.

Jessica motioned to adjourn, Melissa seconded. 4:42pm adjournment


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