Ecological Society of America through the years

"A meeting was held at Columbus, Ohio, on December 28th, 1915, at which it was decided to organize the Ecological Society of America...." Join us as we chart the Society's progress in its first century. This interactive timeline lets you explore events from 1915 up to the Centennial, to be celebrated in 2015.

"The interests and activities of this society will be of the broadest character, embracing every phase of the relation of organisms to their environmental condition...;xNLx;;xNLx;The Society was founded for the purpose of unifying the science of ecology, stimulating research in all aspects of the discipline, encouraging communication among ecologists, and promoting the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems." (Geographical Review, 1916)

In a Hotel Lobby

The first discussions on the formation of an ecological society took place in 1914 in the lobby of the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at a meeting of animal and plant ecologists organized by Henry Chandler Cowles.

It's Official!

The Ecological Society of America started December 28th, 1915, in Columbus, OH, at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Western Chapter Created

ESA's earliest chapter was formed with F.A. Pitelka as Chair. The Chapter was dissolved in 2008 (for a third time).

Eminent Ecologist Award

The Eminent Ecologist Award was established. The first official recipient was Henry Shoemaker Conard (1874-1971) in 1954, however...

George Mercer Award

This award is given to ecologists at the beginning of their careers. Edsko Jerry Dyksterhuis ( ) received the first award in 1949.

Historical Records Committee

The Standing Committee on Historical Records was established. W.A. Dreyer was the original chair and remained so until 1975.

Agroecology Section

The Agroecology Section will promote an understanding of the importance of the application of ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable Agroecosystems among ecologists, agriculturists, and members of related disciplines.

Local Arrangements Committee

First founded in 1956, this committee has gone by various names in its 50-plus year history. Historical info at link below; more details coming soon!

Program Committee

Formed in 1953 as the Program Committee, this has also been known as the Local Arrangements Committee and, since 1987, as the Future Meetings Committee.

Early Meeting at Cornell

This photograph includes sixteen founding members of the Society. These were plant ecologists attending the Botanical Congress. Click on the link below to find out who's who. Courtesy Dr. Robert L. Burgess collection.

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