Bylaws of the Geoscience Education Research (GER) Division of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Article I: Mission

The Geoscience Education Research Division (GER) is committed to the promotion of high quality, scholarly research in geoscience education that improves teaching and learning in K-12, higher education, and informal learning environments. The Division exists to:

  • Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, research methodology, resources, and concerns related to geoscience education research
  • Establish a network for those interested in engaging in scholarly geoscience education research and/or in implementing those research findings in their teaching
  • Facilitate relationships between the geoscience education research community and the broader educational research community
  • Be an avenue for the recruitment or organization of research teams that can address specific questions or respond to RFPs
  • Facilitate professional development events to increase the capacity of geoscience education researchers at various stages of their careers
  • Connect geoscientists to geoscience education researchers to improve geoscience teaching and learning

Article II: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Division shall extend from September 1 to August 31.

Article III: Governance

A. The Division shall be governed by an Executive Board consisting of officers elected by the Division membership.

  1. These officers shall include the President, Vice-President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Media Director, and Graduate Student Liaison
  2. Ex officio members may be invited to join the Executive Board by majority vote of the elected officers and may include a representative from the GSA Education Division, AGU's Education and Outreach, NSTA, NESTA, or similar organizations
  3. Only elected officers will have full voting privileges on the Executive Board
  4. All officers will be dues-paying members of the division, and maintain that status during their tenure on the Board

B. The Nominations and Election Committee will solicit nominations and communicate with the NAGT to elect the Executive Board.

  1. The one-year terms of the Division Vice-President, President, and Past President shall be consecutive, pending results of the annual election. At the end of their term, the Vice-President will be nominated by the Nominations and Elections Committee for the office of President, and the President will be nominated by the Nominations and Elections Committee for the office of Past President.
  2. Terms of office for the Secretary and Treasurer will be three (3) years. Terms for the Media Director and Graduate Student Liaison will be two (2) years. Officers will be given the option to end their term at the end of each year.
  3. The terms for any office with a term longer than one year shall be staggered to minimize the number of vacancies in any given election.
  4. In the event an officer must step down before the end of their term, the Executive Board may appoint a current member of the Division to fulfill the remainder of the vacated term.

Article IV: Officers and Responsibilities

A. Responsibilities of the President

  1. Leadership
    1. Provide overall leadership of the Division
    2. Represent the Division and the interests of geoscience education research on the NAGT Council
    3. Recruit Division members to serve as liaisons with education groups in external professional organizations, such as the Geological Society of America (GSA) and American Geophysical Union (AGU)
    4. Coordinate Division activities within NAGT and with liaisons to external organizations
    5. Communicate regularly with a liaison on the NAGT Executive Committee
  2. Communication
    1. Communicate regularly with Division members as directed by the Executive Board
  3. Meetings
    1. Prepare and distribute agendas, and preside at meetings of the Division and Executive Board
    2. Ensure that minutes of previous meetings are distributed by the Secretary within two (2) weeks after each meeting
    3. Attend all meetings of the NAGT Council or, if unable to attend, designate an alternate to represent the Division
  4. Finances
    1. Approve expenditures up to $500 total per year that are not a part of the yearly budget but align with established expense policies and the current budget and Mission of the Division as outlined in Article I. Large amounts must be approved by the Executive Board
    2. The President shall appoint two (2) members of the Division to audit the financial records of the Division at the end of the Treasurer's tenure. The auditors shall report the results of their audit to the Executive Board
  5. Administration
    1. File an annual Division report with the NAGT Executive Director
    2. Provide the Vice-President with copies of all significant business communications

B. Responsibilities of the Vice-President

  1. In the absence of the President, preside at meetings of the Division and the Executive Board
  2. Assume the duties of the President should they resign, become incapacitated or otherwise be unable to fulfill their responsibilities
  3. Chair the Long-Range Planning Committee
  4. Coordinate with the Media Director to recruit and maintain contact with Sustaining Members
  5. Recruit Division members to serve as liaisons to NAGT Sections
  6. Coordinate Division activities with NAGT Section liaisons and report on NAGT Section geoscience education research activities to the Executive Board
  7. Assume other duties as requested by the President

C. Responsibilities of the Past President

  1. In the absence of both the President and Vice-President, preside at meetings of the Division and Executive Board
  2. Assume the duties of the President or Vice-President for the remainder of their term, should they resign, become incapacitated, or otherwise be unable to fulfill their responsibilities
  3. Chair the Nominations and Elections Committee which is responsible for the annual nomination and election of officers. The Past President shall ensure that all candidates and the Executive Board are informed of the results of the election prior to a general announcement of those results

D. Responsibilities of the Secretary

  1. Act as recording secretary for meetings of the Division and Executive Board. Upload minutes of Division and Board meetings to the Division's electronic workspace within two (2) weeks following the meeting
  2. Document necessary changes to the Division bylaws and coordinate with the Media Director to post changes to the bylaws to the Division website 60 days prior to voting at the annual GSA meeting
  3. Maintain the archives of important documents and records for the Division on the NAGT Division private workspace. This shall include, but not be limited to annual lists of officers and award recipients, meeting times and locations, programs and handouts/flyers of sponsored activities and meeting agendas, meeting minutes, copies of Division communication such as newsletters or other publications, workshop materials, and photographs of Division events and sponsored activities
  4. Coordinate with members of the Executive Board to ensure that important communications, documents, photographs, and records are retained for the archives
  5. Coordinate with the Media Director to archive documents on the Division private workspace
  6. Coordinate with the NAGT national office to:
    1. Maintain an accurate and current list of all members of the Division
  7. Upon completion of their term in office:
    1. Transfer all archival material to the incoming Secretary
    2. Provide the incoming Secretary with support and job training as needed

E. Responsibilities of the Treasurer

  1. Maintain accurate records of all aspects of the Division finances including the Division budget
  2. Receive and promptly deposit funds in checking and savings accounts as appropriate and manage them in accordance with guidance from the Executive Board
  3. Disburse funds to pay for budgeted expenses incurred in the normal activities of the Division. If funds are requested for expenditures that are not part of the yearly budget, the President may approve amounts up to $500 total per year. The Executive Board must approve amounts above $500 total
  4. Review requests for division sponsorship and evaluate submitted sessions to solicit division sponsorship for professional conferences.
  5. Produce the Treasurer's Report at the end of the fiscal year and submit this report to the President for inclusion in the agenda of the next Executive Board meeting
  6. File an annual Division financial report with the NAGT Executive Director
  7. Upon completion of their tenure in office:
    1. Provide copies of all financial records to auditors appointed by the President
    2. Transfer all Division funds and financial records to the incoming Treasurer
    3. Provide the incoming Treasurer with support and job training as needed

F. Responsibilities of the Media Director

  1. Newsletter
    1. Prepare and produce a Division newsletter
    2. Distribute the newsletter regularly (at least four (4) times per year) or at intervals directed by the Executive Board
    3. Prepare and publish an annual calendar for the production and distribution of the Newsletter.
    4. Submit an electronic copy of the Newsletter to the Secretary for archiving.
    5. Submit articles and announcements to NAGT national and sectional publications, and to publications of other organizations
  2. Website
    1. Keep the Division homepage updated with information about activities of the Division, NAGT, and other geoscience professional societies, and with announcements relevant to geoscience education research
    2. Coordinate with Division members to keep information on the web site current, and make updates promptly when new information is provided
    3. Provide links to current and past newsletters
    4. Coordinate web site content with the NAGT Webmaster
  3. Provide the incoming Media Director with:
    1. Copies of all files, records, and other data relating to the newsletter and website
    2. Support and job training as needed

G. Graduate Student Liaison

1. Represent GER graduate students' interests on the Executive Board

2. Attend monthly Division meetings

3. Participate in the Communications Committee

4. Coordinate two annual meetings, virtual or in-person, of GER graduate student members to solicit input about activities of interest and report these to the Executive Committee

5. Contribute a summary of the graduate student meetings to the Division newsletter

6. Encourage, plan, and help advertise social gatherings of GER graduate students attending geoscience and/or education conferences

Article V: Membership

The categories of membership are as follows:

A. Regular membership: Any Active Member of NAGT who is interested in geoscience education research. A regular member of the Division may vote, hold office, nominate candidates for office, and serve on committees.

B. Student membership: Any Student Member of NAGT who is interested in geoscience education research. Student members have all the benefits, privileges, and rights accorded regular members.

C. Honorary membership: A candidate for honorary membership shall be a long-standing member of the Division or a distinguished individual whom the Division wishes to honor. A nomination for honorary members may be made by any member and shall be awarded by unanimous vote of the Executive Board. Honorary members have all the benefits, privileges, and rights accorded regular members, except that they shall not vote nor hold office in the Division. The total number of honorary members shall not normally exceed one (1) percent of the total membership.

D. Sustaining Membership: A candidate for sustaining membership shall be a college, university, learning center, publisher, retailer, manufacturer, or similar entity that supports the mission of the Division. Sustaining members shall have rights and privileges accorded by the Executive Board.

E. Retired membership: Any Retired Member of NAGT who is interested in geoscience education research. Retired Members of the Division shall have all the benefits, privileges, and rights accorded regular members.

Article VI: Dues

The dues of the Division shall be established by Executive Board action, according to the needs of the Division, with appropriate notice to be published in the Division newsletter or other appropriate venue in which the Executive Board regularly communicates with the membership. Dues are to be paid by December 31 and cover the succeeding year; they shall become delinquent on January 1 with suspension of privileges in the Division. All members of the Division shall pay the annual dues using procedures approved by the Executive Board.

Article VII: Standing Committees

A. Nominations and Elections Committee: This committee shall be chaired by the current Past President of the Division and consist of the two immediate past presidents of the Division, if available. The President shall appoint a long-standing Division member to substitute for any past president that is unavailable to serve. This committee shall solicit nominations for positions on the Executive Board and shall oversee the annual election of officers. Elections shall be held annually by ballot or secure website. At least sixty (60) days prior to the beginning of the election, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall present to the President a list of nominations to be sent to the membership of the Division. The ballots shall indicate at least one nomination for Past President, President, and Vice-President. At least one nomination for secretary and treasurer will be included at the completion of each person's three year term. Nominees for officers of the Division shall be currently engaged in geoscience education research or have conducted geoscience education research in the past. There shall be write-in privileges for all offices. The Committee Chair shall serve as the teller and report election results to the Division.

B. Long-Range Planning Committee: This committee, chaired by the Vice-President, shall identify and develop resources to achieve the Division's mission as specified in Article I. This shall include identifying and soliciting potential sustaining members.

D. Communications Committee: The committee shall be chaired by the current Media Director and consist of interested Division members. This committee shall oversee communication and publicity for the Division, which may include but are not limited to: a Division website, listserv, appropriate presence on social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). The Committee will:

  1. Provide input to the Media Director regarding the content for the newsletters, ensuring the newsletter is relevant for the Division membership.
  2. Facilitate communication of relevant information to and from various outlets to share Division activities with outside entities relevant to geoscience education research to support the community of geoscience education researchers and promote the activities of the Division

E. Ad Hoc Committees: The Executive Board shall establish Ad Hoc Committees, and appoint their Chair as may be in the interests of the Division. The specific purpose, number of members, and terms of office shall be specified at the time of the creation of the Ad Hoc Committee. Such stated conditions may be altered only by direct action of the Executive Board. The Chair of an Ad Hoc Committee will provide regular updates to the Executive Board on the committee's activities.

Article VIII: Quorum

The number of Executive Board members necessary for a quorum to conduct a meeting of the Executive Board shall be sixty (60) percent of the officers.

Article IX: Conflict of Interest

All Board and Committee members, including the President, shall abstain from any decisions that may result in a conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, on the part of the individual.

Article X: Amending the Bylaws

The Executive Board shall establish such amendments to the Bylaws as may be needed to accomplish the mission set forth in Article I. Members shall be notified at least sixty (60) days in advance of a proposed amendment to the Bylaws, and notified within thirty (30) days after an amendment has been adopted by the Executive Board. At least sixty (60) percent of the Board members must approve an amendment before it is adopted. An amendment to the Bylaws shall go into effect ninety (90) days after adoption unless the President receives written objections from a quorum of twenty (20) percent of the voting membership of the Division. If a quorum objects in writing to an amendment, then the amendment shall be held in abeyance until the next annual election of officers, at which time a majority vote of the eligible members shall be required for its adoption and for it to become immediately operational.