August 2019 Board Meeting Minutes

AZTWS Board Meeting

Conference Call Agenda

August 26, 2019

3:06–3:38 p.m.

[Download the PDF]

Present: Jessica Moreno (President), Andrew Jones (President Elect), Valerie Horncastle (Recording Secretary), Melissa Merrick (Board Member), Kinley Ragan (Historian), Marla Kostuk (Webmaster), Samantha Novotony (Conservation Affairs Chair), Brian Blais (Newsletter Editor), Tiffany Sprague (Past-President)

Board members absent: Holly Hicks (Board Member), Haley Nelson (Treasurer), Emily Scobie (Corresponding Secretary)

Marla Kostuk is our new Webmaster.

Action items

  • Jessica will send out a draft of the updated operations manual for the finance sections. The committee will review and vote on the changes at the September meeting.
  • Haley will send out the draft annual budget to board members and we will vote to approve the budget at the September meeting.
  • Tiffany will follow up on getting final dates and location for JAM 2020.
  • Marla will get the SWAG inventory and prices uploaded onto the online store.
  • Jessica will put together an announcement about species monitoring on State Trust Lands for the newsletter.
  • Andrew will check to see if Audrey is interested in planning a Fall Retreat this year.
  • Andrew will work on the announcement for the Awards and Board Nominations by the end of next week.
  • Samantha will send out an email to the executive board regarding the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
  • Brian will put together an announcement for next year’s BioBlitz for the newsletter.


  • Approval of July 22, 2019 board meeting minutes – moved by Andrew, seconded by Melissa; passed.
  • Meeting adjournment – moved by Valerie, seconded by Andrew; passed at 3:38 p.m.


Old Business/Previous Action Items

  • Jessica, Haley, and Andrew will update the operations manual to include a policy on check authorizations, check writing procedures, and other accounting practices.
    They are currently testing the draft check writing procedures. They will send to everyone and we will discuss at the September meeting and approve changes.
  • Jessica update on whether AZ State Lands are allowing wildlife monitoring.
    Close to the same status – Jessica confirmed that it is pretty wide spread and there is no species monitoring currently allowed. Game and Fish is currently in discussions about this issue. We will put an announcement in the next newsletter summarizing this information.
  • Tiffany will update the operations manual and send to Jessica and Andrew for review. Ongoing
  • Jessica, Emily, and Chris will set up MemberPlanet online membership and communication system for our chapter. Ongoing – Emily taking the lead
  • JAM Manual Edits (Jessica/Tiffany) Ongoing
  • JAM 2020 Planning (Tiffany/Jessica) – Tiffany will follow up on getting final dates and location for JAM 2020
  • Jessica will get the SWAG inventory and prices uploaded onto the online store. Ongoing – Marla will be taking over this effort.
  • Jessica, Haley, and Emily will review the new applications for the continuing education grants. Done – They approved two grants and notified the awardees. There are no pending applications.

Other Old Business? (All) – None

Current Business

  • Treasurer’s Report (Haley) – Not on call
    • Haley is working on the 6 month budget update and the annual budget. She will send out the annual budget and we will review and approve at the next meeting.
  • Newsletter Report (Brian)  
    • Two short pieces have been submitted for the newsletter. A graduate student is working on the “Our Neck of the Woods”. For the fall issue, do we want to announce a Fall Retreat for this year? Andrew will check to see if Audrey is interested in planning one again this year.
  • Board and Award Nominations (Andrew) – Ongoing
    • Need to get out an announcement soon for awards and board nominations. We should put something in the newsletter, send an email, and put it on the website.
    • Andrew will work on the email and announcement by the end of next week.
  • Diversity (Jessica) – Nothing new to report
  • Membership Report (Chris – not on call)
    • We have two new members. Jessica is currently tracking down information on who has access to our PO Box and whether anyone is regularly checking it since we do get new membership and other information delivered there.
  • Webmaster’s Report (Marla)
    • Jessica has updated Marla on the website process and Marla is currently researching the best way to implement the online store
  • Opportunities Report (Valerie )
    • We need a new chairperson. In the meantime, if anyone has any new opportunities send to Marla to post on the website.
  • BioBlitz (Tiffany)
    • Tiffany and Brian attended the Charlie Painter BioBlitz. It was a lot of fun, but there was not a strong AZTWS showing. They did set up a table with information, donated a t-shirt and hoorag for the silent auction. They also were selling SWAG, but didn’t end of selling anything.

For next year, there is talk of hosting one in the West Valley area near Vulture Mountain where the I-11 road will be going through. This would set up a baseline for what species are in the area. If anyone is interested in helping to coordinate let Scott know. Brian will put together an announcement for the newsletter.

Friends of Ironwood might be interested in hosting a BioBlitz the following year.

  • Conservation Affairs (Samantha)
    • The National Network is working on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act which would provide supplemental funds for fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need. They are currently looking for cosponsors. As a chapter we could push for more cosponsors and members could sign the action alert.
    • Usually the chairperson sends an email with information to the board and then the board agrees at the next meeting whether we want to sign on or draft a letter of our own. These are usually time sensitive, so we can also vote by email. We should also send out information to members when we sign on to one of the policy actions and post the information on the website or put an announcement in the newsletter.
    • Samantha will send out an email to the Executive Board about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. We should also mention this in the Fall Newsletter along with information on the I-11 road.
    • There are two other policies recently introduced at the federal level. One is related to Fish in the Southwest and is tied to the Extinction Prevention Act. The other one is the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act. Samantha will follow both of these and provide updates as needed.
  • Borderlands Foundation for Understudied Plants and Animals (Kay not on call)
    Nothing new to report
  • Techniques workshop (Holly – not on call) – No new updates
  • Student Liaison Report (Holly – not on call) – No new updates
  • Operations Manual (Tiffany/Jessica)
    Tiffany and Jessica are still working on updates.
  • Other Current/New business
    Andrew and Tiffany will be the leads for JAM planning for the AZTWS chapter.

Next meeting is Monday, September 23, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

3:38 p.m. adjournment

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