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25.01.13

New Year's Greetings from the IALE President Felix Kienast

The year 2012 was a busy year in landscape ecology, with numerous regional meetings and events. Landscape-ecological knowledge is increasingly used at many levels of education, government and private institutions, and we have a growing interest in South America, the Middle East, India and China. We are very proud that IALE Iran is the first Middle East region that was founded in 2012. In order to strengthen the input of landscape ecology in related fields, we also started talks with other professional societies. A formal collaboration with the Ecosystem Service Partnership (http://www.es-partnership.org) was established in 2011/12 and will strengthen IALE and its unique focus on landscapes. 

 

Despite this success, however, IALE membership is slightly decreasing, be it due to the financial crisis in many parts of the world, or the currently observed trend for short-term commitment by individuals to professional societies. Decreasing membership unfortunately means decreasing IALE funds available for regions, early career travel support, or loans. In the last Skype call in November the IALE EC discussed possibilities to increase income with a number of measures, including: (a) donations from larger organizations or private sponsors; (b) stronger participation in the financial success of IALE sponsored meetings, and; (c) increased membership fees. The last of these is currently being discussed among the IALE council members, and we are actively seeking ideas from the membership at large on how best to increase our funding base.

 

The IALE EC is proud to return 80-90% of our income to the regions in the form of early career support, loans or the support for newly emerging regions. Please consult the Bulletin or the Web Page to learn more about supported activities (see http://www.landscape-ecology.org/index.php?id=6). In this Bulletin we launch the third call for financial support for early 2013.

Thanks to a great effort by our Bulletin Editor, Benjamin Burkhard, the Web page has been reorganized and is constantly being updated. The Bulletin has considerably more contributions from meetings, reports from early career scientists, and reports from awardees, and now serves as one of the principal means by which information is shared among members.

In 2013 we will continue to invest time and energy to meet your expectations of an innovative professional society. Many regional conferences and workshops will take place, including: the US-IALE annual meeting in Texas in April 2013, the IALE-Europe meeting in fall 2013 in Manchester, and an inaugural scientific meeting of IALE Iran in fall 2013. Please consult the IALE web site (http://www.landscape-ecology.org/) for details.

I am convinced that with your efforts our Society will overcome the membership difficulties we face at the moment, and I kindly invite you to voice your needs both in terms of financial support and networking via email (felix.kienast(at)wsl.ch) or other forms of communication. We have a challenging mission and program – so please spread the word among your colleagues and encourage them to become member of IALE.

 

Yours, Felix Kienast

IALE President 2011 - 2015 

 

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