Comments on the present status of the society:
The South Carolina Entomological society is suffering from a lack of its most important resource professional entomologists who still work in South Carolina. With the down-sizing of our college at Clemson, the rash of retirement incentives and buy-outs, and the closing of USDA facilities, we probably have the fewest entomologists working in the state since the society was founded. We are dangerously close to losing the critical mass that any society needs for long term survival.
With the dwindling number of active members, responsibilities are shifted to a smaller group, and most of us have so many other responsibilities that we tend to put the SCES duties on the back burner. So, as meeting time approaches, there is a flurry of activity that continues through the luncheon on the second day, and then subsides until the next meeting.
The society also suffers from a lack of financial resources due, in part to the high cost of publishing the journal. This lack of funds restricts the number of activities, such as support of students, in which the society can be involved.
The society needs to re-establish or re-define its reason for existence what it wants to accomplish over the long term. This committee suggests the SCES should be rededicated to promoting Entomology in state to a broader audience. To meet this goal, the committee presents the following six issues and proposed actions:
1. Expand the membership base. When the society was established, membership was restricted to individuals with a degree in entomology. Although this requirement no longer exists, there seems to be a carry-over of this "exclusive society" appearance that may be hindering our recruitment of new members. We need to have more contact with groups such as PIN and the Clemson University Entomology Club and establish ways that we can interact with these groups.
Action item 1. Invite representatives from the PIN and CU Entomology Club and other similar organization to speak at the SCES 2004 annual meeting to learn how they enjoy and promote entomology.
2. Reach a broader audience. The SC educational radio show Got Bugs, has a weekly listenership of over 30,000 people. This indicates the interest level of many South Carolinians in insects. The society would benefit with out-reach programs and project that reach the general public.
Action item 2. Team with other organizations with entomological interests in supporting exhibits and programs. For example, in 2004 the Clemson University Entomology Club is planning an insect festival. The society could help develop some of the activities and provide individuals with expertise during the program.
The society could also develop a web based newsletter. In general, members could be notified by email when the newsletter is available on our web site. Other organizations could also be notified of the newsletter to promote awareness of entomology in the state.
3. Incorporate more activities at the annual meeting. Many individuals, both professional entomologists and amateurs enjoy aspects of the science outside of their regular work. Incorporating more entomological activities at future meeting may increase attendance.
Action item 3. Plan the 2004 at a state park or similar facility with a relaxed atmosphere. Incorporate time for collecting, photographing or doing other outdoors, hands-on activities at the annual meeting.
4. Improve communications. We need to have a society newsletter. Except for the meetings, the society does not communicate often its members and general aspects of entomology are not promoted by the society.
Action item 4. Develop a web based newsletter. In general, members could be notified by email when the newsletter is available on our web site. Other organizations could also be notified of the newsletter to promote awareness of entomology in the state.
An e-mail/web page combination of newsletter could be very effective encouraging members to communicate with each other.
5. Clarify committee responsibilities. Some committee tasks for the society do not get accomplished in a timely manner. Many committee chairs or members are not clear as to their duties to the society.
Action item 5. Develop a procedural manual for the society. Include a general description of the duties expected to be accomplished by each committee within a suggested timeline for each year.
6. Reassess our support of the JAUE. The society has had a history of marginal financial solvency. A major drain on the society has been the Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology.
Action item 6. Establish a committee to review the need of the JAUE in relation to the needs of the SCES. Explore options for the Journal that would be less costly to the SCES.