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International Affairs Committee


Business
SRM INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ANNUAL MEETING
Louisville Meeting Minutes
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Taylor Room, Galt House Hotel and Suites, Louisville, KY

Members Present: Leslie Stewart-Phelps, Jim O'Rourke, Ben Wu, Humberto Perotto, Gabriela Gutierrez , Poncho Ortega, Layne Coppock, Bruce Fox, Mary Moser, Lora O'Rourke, Joe Wagner, Herman Garcia, Gerardo Bezanilla, Feng Liu, Guodong Han, Mengli Zhao, Candy Mollnau, Yongzhi Liu, Zhang Yingjun, Aijun Liu, Alicia Melgoza, Carlos Morales Nieto, Andres Cibils.

Reno meeting minutes: Were approved unanimously.

Report on publication status of papers from previous symposia: Poncho Ortega indicated that all materials on the Mexico symposium are now ready for publication. Poncho is in the process of contacting Allen Press about printing. Ben Wu reported that China symposium papers were in the process of being reviewed for publication as a special feature in Rangeland Ecology and Management. Andres reported on progress toward submitting English version of Argentina symposium papers to Rangelands. Spanish version of these papers will be published by an Argentine technical publication (IDIA).

2008 Symposium: Humberto reported on this year's symposium dealing with "Livestock Management in Shrub-Dominated Semi-Arid Rangelands: A Comparison of Landscape Histories and Use Patterns in the Mediterranean and Southwestern North America" co-organized by Humberto Perotto and Maria Fernandez Gimenez. Prestigious scientists from Spain, Italy, Morocco, Israel, and the United States will give an international perspective on this topic, followed by a panel discussion moderated by the organizers. This effort was mostly funded by a grant from Dow Ago-Sciences. Humberto discussed the need to request that IAC symposia be scheduled earlier during the week. Efforts will be made to ensure that the symposium held in Albuquerque is scheduled for the Tuesday rather than the Thursday of the SRM meetings week.

2009 Symposium (Albuquerque): The theme will be associated with Mexico-US cross border issues. Herman Garcia and Poncho Ortega will co-organize the symposium and tap into an NRCS-sponsored program on borderland conservation. The agenda will possibly include speakers from either side of the border. Due to the fact that Herman will be taking the lead on the ABQ symposium, Layne Coppock kindly offered to consider collaborating with Maria on the Denver 2010 symposium.

2010 Symposium: Herman reported on plans to conduct pre-congress field trips beginning in San Antonio and San Francisco. These tours designed for international attendees will eventually converge on Denver.

IAC Co-chair for 2009-2010: Herman Garcia accepted the nomination.

SRM- Board of Directors report: Bruce Fox, SRM board representative provided an update highlighting the following items from the 2007 State of the Society Report (a document included in the registration packet): a) Membership (retention challenges); b) Financial situation; c) Publications (planned improvement to Rangelands); d) Annual meetings; e) CPRM (Website-based initiative); f) Search for a new EVP.

2008 IRC/IGC: Jim O'Rourke and Mengli Zhao provided an update on the 2008 China IRC. To date, 1,700 papers have been received, 2/3 from non-English speaking countries. Also, 170 delegates have registered on line. Mengli reported problems with the registration software which may be responsible for the low numbers. Mengli and Jim answered IAC members' questions regarding Chinese tourist visas, the need for an additional Mongolian visa for delegates who wish to do the post-congress Mongolia tour was also discussed. Details were also provided about purchasing air tickets to fly within China. Jim and Mengli discussed the need to recruit reviewers to help editing submitted papers (mostly editing English). The IRC/IGC committee will develop a sign-up form that will be posted on the SRM website. It was suggested that volunteers indicate their area of expertise and languages spoken.

SRM-IAC display for 08 IGC/IRC: Joe Wagner discussed the importance of the SRM display to recruit potential members from Asia. IAC will develop a small poster that will be included on the SRM's display. This poster plus an IAC brochure needs to be sent to Mary Moser by April 1st. Humberto volunteered to produce the graphics of the brochure.

2011 IRC: Two bids were received, one from India another from Argentina. The bid from Argentina was selected. Jim reported that the newly formed Argentine organizing committee was making good progress. The congress will be held in Rosario (center of the country). Mid-congress tours will only cover central -east area of the country. Pre congress tours will cover several regions.

IAC Website: Leslie Stuart Phelps circulated a hand out with the proposed structure for the IAC space on the SRM website. Leslie requested minutes from 2007 (Ben) and 2008 (Andres) IAC meetings as well as the 2008 report to the BOD (Andres). Leslie also requested an electronic copy of IAC's bylaws. It was suggested that Leslie contact Maria, Urs or Don Beldunah about this. Leslie requested photographs from previous symposia (Poncho, Herman, Andres), as well as pdfs of the Argentina symposium talks (Andres). Leslie will work with Ann Tanaka to post all this information on SRM's website.

2007 International Travel Fellowship: Poncho reported that the 2007 ITF was awarded to Dr. Alicia Melgoza from the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, who was present at the meeting. It was agreed that IAC would request that the BOD renew funding for this program for two additional years (2009-2010). Also, given that air fare prices have increased considerably in the recent past it was agreed that IAC would request that the ITF be increased to 1,250.00$ (total = 2,500.00$).

International Membership Funds: Approximately $1,100 were raised through voluntary $25 donation by SRM members (a mechanism proposed by the IAC in 2006). Part of these funds was used to cover membership of undergraduate students from Mexican teams who will be competing in the 2008 Plant ID Competition. Discussions on future allocation of these funds included pondering the possibility of requesting that the BOD expand current criteria to include funding institutional online REM subscriptions for libraries at universities or research institutes in developing countries. It was felt that this action would synergize the effect of current membership subsidies in increasing awareness about the SRM abroad. The IAC proposes using 60% of funds for institutional REM online subscriptions ($360.00 ea.) and 40% for memberships. It was agreed that membership subsidies would only be awarded to non-members from developing countries that register for SRM annual meetings and submit a request to be considered for this subsidy. A subcommittee of the IAC will evaluate applications and award membership subsidies in coordination with the Denver office, possibly using a quota by continents. This subcommittee could also receive nominations and evaluate potential recipients of institutional REM online subscriptions which will also be awarded in coordination with the SRM Denver office.

Action Priorities for 2008:

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