Levi Wickwire, Program Manager, introducing the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER)
When was your association founded?
Where is your association based, how many members do you have & in how many countries?
SER is based in the United States, with approximately 3,000 members from 76 countries.
Who are your members?
Ecological restoration researchers, practitioners, policymakers, industry professionals, and students with backgrounds in natural and social sciences, environmental engineering, urban and regional planning, natural resource management, and public policy, among other disciplines
What is your mission & aim of the association?
SER advances the science, practice and policy of ecological restoration to sustain biodiversity, improve resilience in a changing climate, and re-establish an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.
What are the major challenges facing your association?
Limited staff and volunteer resources to maintain engagement in all of the areas critical to advancing our mission.
What kind of events are organised by your association?
Biennial international conference; biennial continental conferences in Europe, Australasia, and beginning in 2020, North America; annual meetings with a regional focus organized by our North American chapters
What is the decision process behind the selection of a destination/venue?
Open RFP targeting locally based professionals in our field who can anchor a Local Organizing Committee and provide the support needed for a successful conference.
Can you share your insights about the latest trends within the association community?
How to be a small, member-based association in a digital world? On the one hand, resources are now freely available online, and providing unique value for members is a continuing challenge. On the other hand, there are so many tools and technologies to leverage in order to build and engage a truly global constituency.
What does your association do in terms of legacy, do your meetings have a societal impact on the destination?
Legacy aspects of our international conference include: 1) an environmental offsets component to address carbon emissions and other adverse impacts generated by the meeting; 2) a one-day volunteer event giving attendees the opportunity to get directly involved with a local ecological restoration project; and 3) a strong policy component whereby we seek to engage stakeholders from the global community to discuss the most pressing environmental and societal challenges facing the world and generate solutions.
Are you looking to forge collaborations with other associations? If so in what areas of expertise?
We routinely collaborate with other organizations working on issues related to conservation and environmental management.
For more information please check their website: http://www.ser.org