At the inception of the International Nannoplankton Association, in The Netherlands in 1977, it was considered that actions were more important than structures and so an ad hoc committee was formed with different members taking on loosely defined responsibilities. As the association has grown so has the list of committee members but we survived without a formal constitution until 2002, when men took over. The present set of officers and their field of activity is informally outlined here, the bylaws explain more formally how we ought to do things. Contact addresses are given on another page.
This page was written Oct 2002, last updated October 2019, I wrote it and it has not been formally approved by the INA Council or anyone else. (Jeremy)
According to our constitution the Council (a defined subset of 12 officers) is legally responsible for the Association. However, in practice, the committee has always been able to reach decisions by consensus, without needing a formal vote of Council.
The President makes sure everything is working smoothly and has overall responsibility for the running of the association, promoting its activities and developing new initiatives. It was decided in 1992, when Katharina stepped, down that in future Presidents would be elected for not much more than four years. Giuliana started office in Sept 2017 so should remain in office until Sept 2021.
For continuity the former President stays on the INA committee and keeps a benevolent and encouraging eye on developments.
The editor receives scientific copy for the journal, arranges refereeing of research articles, edits and collates copy, arranges type-setting, and sends it off to the printers. Or such is the theory, in practice the editor has often had to hassle for, write and rewrite copy, sort out miscellaneous problems and even act as a default chief executive officer.
The Membership Secretary maintains the database of members, produces address labels, collects membership dues, reminds late payers, and (reluctantly) strikes off very late payers. He has also been given the job of organising email/web ballots.
The treasurer is responsible for the INA finances including the bank accounts and PayPal account, paying bills (mainly for printing), producing annual accounts, restraining the officers from indulging in foolish expenditure, and making sure that the association remains solvent. He is assisted by Stacia Spauliding as US Treasurer, who maintains the $US account and makes payments from it.
The public outreach officer develops resources to aid communication about nannofossils. [NB this post evolved from that of the bibliographer - we used to produce a comprehensive "Bibliography and Index of Calcareous Nannoplankton". Unfortunately this has become increasingly impractical as research on or involving living coccolithophores and calcareous nannofossils has expanded and diversified. Moreover literature searching gets ever easier to do via the web.]
The coccoliths email list was set up by Helen Gillespie to assist communication between nannoplankton workers, including many who are not members of the INA. The mailing list organiser has to make sure the list is functioning smoothly, sort out technical problems, fend off junk mail etc.
To try and drag INA into the modern world a new post of Social Media Officer was created at INA14 (in 2013). This has resulted in the development of a facebook page which has been very popular as way of swapping photos from meetings, and other news.
Conference organisation is primarily entrusted to the local convenor, however, to encourage continuity of practice between conferences and to assist the convenor the Council has also now designated a Conference Liaison Officer to help things along. Abstracts are usually published as a special issue of the Journal of Nannoplankton Research, distributed to all members as a PDF via the website.
We now run the INASSET INA Summer School in Evolution and Taxonomy. This is run in Lyon hosted by Emanuela Mattioli. This will be biennial event from 2020.
Whilst the European founders of the INA believed in just doing good
stuff for nannofossil science our American colleagues know that money
is necessary to achieve anything worthwhile. The Director of the INA
Foundation is responsible for finding it and the INA Foundation has
established a very useful fund for suporting the educational objective
of the society and particularly for sponsoring student attendance at
INA conferences. The Foundation is legally separate from the INA and has a separate board of trustees (Mike Styzen, Jean Self-Trail and Richard Howe, as of March 2015).
Was INA run by a narrow Anglo-Dutch clique? That is not the way it ever felt from the inside, but broadening the spread of committee participation was something we have long felt was important. Woody Wise greatly increased US involvement but the INA council was still far from representative of the membership, hence the new bylaws provided for these posts. They give nannoplankton specialists who are committed to the objectives of the association but do not have the time to take on major tasks a chance to influence and guide us. The members at large have also been proactive in raising sponsorship for meetings and in producing items for sale such as the INA calendars (Giuliana Villa and Ric Jordan - with Denise Kulhanek), some beautiful nanno ornaments (Alyssa Peleo-Alampay) and the amazing coccolith in a glass cube (Ric Jordan).