Governance & Structure

 BYLAWS OF

THE NORTH AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY 

La Societé Nord-Americaine d’Endocrinologie Comparée 

La Sociedad Norteamericana de Endocrinologia Comparada

 

1. Name and Mission 

The name of the organization is the North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology (abbreviated NASCE; also known as La Societé Nord-Americaine d’Endocrinologie Comparée; La Sociedad Norteamericana de Endocrinologia Comparada). The purpose of the NASCE is to promote the comparative study of hormones and hormone action. This includes topics in evolutionary, environmental (including endocrine disrupters), general and biomedical endocrinology/neuroendocrinology. The NASCE will foster the study and conservation of diverse species, and of non-traditional animal model systems (i.e., invertebrate and vertebrate) to elucidate basic mechanisms of hormone action, the evolution of animal endocrine systems, and factors affecting the health of human and wildlife populations. Through our meetings and symposia, and participation in meetings of sister societies we will facilitate the exchange of ideas and collaborations among scientists worldwide, and encourage and foster career development of our junior members.

Although currently constituted of North American countries, the Society may in the future include countries in South America, at which time it will be renamed the Pan-American Society for Comparative Endocrinology (PASCE). At that time the bylaws will be modified accordingly.

2. Membership 

Membership in the NASCE is open to all interested in the comparative study of hormones and hormone action. Membership is acquired by application and payment of the membership fee to the NASCE Secretary/Treasurer.

3. Membership Fee 

Payment of the membership fee entitles the applicant to two years membership in the NASCE (except for the life membership category). The membership fee will typically be paid at the time of registration for the biannual NASCE conference. NASCE members who are not attending the biannual conference may renew their membership by paying the membership fee via the conference registration site. Individuals may join the NASCE and pay the membership fee at any time. Different categories of membership (e.g., full, trainee, emeritus, and life) are available.

4. Officers and Council 

a) The officers of the NASCE shall be the President, the Vice-President, the Past President, and the Secretary-Treasurer. The intention is that each of the three participating countries shall have representation among the officers. The aforementioned officers constitute the Executive Committee. There shall be twelve “at large” members of the Council elected from the membership and registered individuals, plus the North American Editor-in-Chief of the journal “General and Comparative Endocrinology” should be invited to be a voting member of Council. The NASCE Council should be broadly representative of the three participating countries (Canada, United Mexican States – Mexico, United State of America – USA). The President shall hold office for a term of two years; the Vice-President shall be elected from the membership for a two-year term and shall accede to the office of President; the most current Past-President will have a two year term on the Executive Committee, followed by a two year term as an ex-officio member of the Council, and as such, has the same rights as the other members of the Council. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected from the membership for a four-year term, and may be re-elected to the same office once. The twelve “at large” members of Council shall be elected from the membership for a term of four years each, and may be re-elected to the Council once. Special attention shall be given to the balance of geographic and research area representations. The chair and chair-elect of the Division of Comparative Endocrinology (DCE) of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology will be standing members of the NASCE Council.

b) If the President should resign or unexpectedly pass away, the Vice-President shall accede to the Presidency, for the balance of the term; Council shall elect a new Vice-President from among its membership. If the Vice-President or Secretary-Treasurer should die or resign, the Council shall elect a new officer from among its members for the balance of the term(s).

c) Candidates for NASCE officer positions will be nominated by a Nomination Committee, selected by the current NASCE officers and chaired by the NASCE Vice-President. The Nomination Committee will have three members (in addition to the Chair), one from each of the participating countries. Nominations for NASCE Council positions will be solicited from the NASCE membership (self-nominations are appropriate). The Nomination Committee is charged with insuring a wide geographical distribution of nominees as well as a balanced representation of nominees of both genders and of nominees with vertebrate and invertebrate scientific research backgrounds. Brief biographical sketches will be solicited from all nominees and distributed to the NASCE Council at least one month before the ballot is distributed. Elections will be held by electronic ballot at least one month prior to the biennial conference. The NASCE Council will be the voting body for all elections and the nominees for the different positions receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected. As the timing of the elections is dependent on the timing of the biennial NASCE conference, the length of the elected terms may vary accordingly.

5. Meeting of the NASCE Council 

a) The Council shall meet in person during the biennial NASCE Conference.

b) Any business of the Council may be transacted at a “virtual meeting” provided it has been called in accordance with the NASCE Bylaws. The President shall preside over the meeting. In the absence of anyone eligible to perform the duties of President according to these Bylaws, those present at the meeting who are eligible to vote shall elect from among themselves a person to preside over the meeting.

c) Call to, and conduct of, a “virtual meeting”. A “virtual meeting” may be called by the President at any time. The Council shall set policy for the conduct of a “virtual meeting”. This policy shall ensure that a reasonable time is allotted, given the current and widely available communication options, to notify Council members of the meeting, receive background information, present and receive opinions and conduct a vote, and shall also provide a mechanism to refer items to an “in person meeting” when a majority of the Council so desires.

d) Quorum. At any Council Meeting, the presence of at least fifty percent of the voting members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the case of a “virtual meeting”, the presence of a member shall be determined by that member casting a vote on the motion under consideration. However, the question of a quorum will be raised only when matters of Society policy are being discussed.

6. Annual Report 

An annual report by the Secretary/Treasurer of NASCE and official notices shall be included in the records of the NASCE. The report shall include statements about the biennial meeting, finances, and membership status.

7. The Biennial Conference of the North American Society of Comparative Endocrinology 

a) The biennial conference of the NASCE (started in 2011) should be preferably held alternating in the three North American countries. In a year when the NASCE conference coincides with the International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology (ICCE), the Council will vote on whether to hold the conference in conjunction with the ICCE.

b) Proposals to host the next NASCE conference will be solicited by the President in advance of the biennial meeting. Proposers will present their proposal to the Council during the Council meeting at the NASCE. The Council will decide who will host the next NASCE.

c) The President of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) shall be appointed by the Council, and the members of the LOC shall be appointed by the President of the LOC in agreement with the Officers of the Council.

d) The LOC is responsible for organizing the NASCE biennial meeting, with the exception of the scientific program that will be organized by the Program Committee (PC) in conjunction with the LOC.

e) The Chair of the LOC shall submit a detailed budget estimate for organizing all aspects of the NASCE conference to be approved by the Council.

f) The budget for the NASCE conference is the sole responsibility of the LOC. The Chair of the LOC may request seed funding for the NASCE conference (e.g., to make commitments to plenary speakers). Residual funds remaining after the NASCE conference will be deposited in the NASCE bank account.

g) The Council shall appoint the PC. Members of the PC will include the officers and the members of the Council, the Chair of the LOC for the upcoming NASCE, and up to six additional members appointed for a two-year term. Membership shall be broadly representative of the geographical and scientific diversity of NASCE.

h) The Council will appoint the Chair of the PC. The Chair of the LOC and the President of NASCE will serve as Vice-chairs of the PC.

8. Finances 

a) All NASCE funds will be maintained by the Secretary/Treasurer in a non-interest bearing account.

b) All expenditures must be approved by the NASCE officers. The NASCE Council will be consulted for expenditures over US$1000. The primary type of expenditure will be to provide support for the biennial NASCE conference and research scholarships. The size of the scholarship grants will be determined by the officers in consultation with the Council.

9. Lectureships and Awards. 

The Gorbman-Bern Memorial Lectureship will be awarded in recognition of significant and continuous contributions to the area of comparative endocrinology and the associated scientific community.

The Gorbman-Bern New Independent Investigator Award will be awarded to a young investigator (defined as 5 years or less in an independent faculty position or equivalent) in recognition of significant and novel scientific contributions to the area of comparative endocrinology.

Trainee awards for best oral and poster presentations will be awarded at the NASCE conferences.

An Awards Committee appointed by the President will evaluate the submitted nominations, and oversee the administration of the awards. The committee will consist of two representatives each from Canada, Mexico, and the USA. These six members may recruit additional postdoctoral/faculty judges during the NASCE conference for evaluation of the trainee awards. In the event that a member of the Awards Committee is the supervisor of a trainee, the potential conflict of interest shall be declared. The member will not participate in the evaluation of his or her own trainee’s submissions.

10. Amendments 

These Bylaws may be changed or amended at any Council meeting by two-thirds vote of those present, or by at least two-thirds of the Council members responding to a mail or electronic ballot, provided that notice has been given to all members sixty (60) days in advance.

11. Other matters 

In all matters where these bylaws do not foresee, the officers of the NASCE will decide.

Approved by the NASCE Council on May 24, 2013 in Querétaro, Mexico
Amendments approved by the NASCE Council on June 22, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada
Amendments approved by the NASCE Council via electronic ballot, April 17, 2018.