BYLAWS

ARTICLE 1. NAME

The English name of the organization shall be "SINO-Ecologists Club Overseas". The short form "SINO-ECO" can be used where appropriate. The Chinese name of the organization shall be "Zhong1 Hua2 Hai3 Wai4 Sheng1 Tai4 Xue2 Zhe3 Xie2 Hui4".

ARTICLE 2. PURPOSES

The purposes of this organization shall be:
(a). To promote the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and scientific development in Ecology and related sciences, among Chinese ecologists overseas as well as between ecologists overseas and those in China.
(b). To provide an efficient channel between Chinese and foreign ecologists, through which mutual understanding and cooperation can be enhanced.

ARTICLE 3. INCORPORATION

The organization shall be incorporated as an academic and non- profit one in the United States of America, as of (date/month/year).

ARTICLE 4. MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1.  Grades 

The grades of Sino-Eco membership are

(a) Regular Member

(b) Student Member

(c) Honorary Member

(d) Associate Member

SECTION 2. Qualifications 

Membership qualifications pertain to designated fields of interest to Sino-Eco, including all fields of Ecology, and the allied branches of Biology and related arts and sciences. 

All but Honorary Sino-Eco membership pertain only to those of Chinese origin, and of at least one year of overseas professional (undergraduate and graduate education, research and practical) experience.  

1. Regular Member. The grade of Member is limited to those who have demonstrated professional competence in Sino-Eco designated fields.  For admission or transfer to the grade of Member, a candidate shall be either

(a) An individual engaged in Sino-Eco-designated fields (1) who shall have received a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in those fields from a “recognized educational program”.

(b) A teacher of a subject in a Sino-Eco-designated field who shall have received a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in those fields from a "recognized educational program".

(c) A person regularly employed in Sino-Eco-designated fields has demonstrated competence in work of a professional character. 

2. Student Member.

(a) A Student Member must carry at least 50% of a normal full-time academic program as a registered undergraduate or graduate student in a regular course of study in Sino-Eco designated fields.

 (b) Student Members, upon graduation with at least a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a "recognized educational program," shall be transferred to regular Member grade. 

3. Honorary Member.  Honorary membership shall be conferred on persons/institions who have made outstanding contributions to the organization. Nominations for honorary membership shall be submitted to and approved by the Chair Committee 

4. Associate Member. The designation "Associate of Sino-Eco" refers to individuals who are entitled to participate in certain activities under provisions established by the Board of Directors.  

5. Member Obligations. Membership in Sino-Eco in any grade shall carry the obligation to

 (a) Abide by the Sino-Eco Constitution, Code of Ethics, Bylaws, and Policies and Procedures; and,

 (b) Support the enhancement of Sino-Eco principles, objectives, and activities. 

SECTION 3. Rights and Privileges

(a)    Regular and Student Members shall have right to vote and hold office in Sino-Eco, and to be featured in Web Member Profile and Publications and possible financial support for academic activities organized by the Association.

(b)   All members are entitled to the web directory (name, contact information, affiliation, and member status), the newsletter, and e-mail discussion group. 

SECTION 4. Dues and Fees

1. Definitions.

(a) Institute Dues. Sino-Eco Dues are the basic (core) costs for membership in the Sino-Eco and must be paid by all members.

(b) Organizational Unit Dues. Organizational unit Dues are "member choice" payments for membership in an organizational unit, e.g. a Sino-Eco affiliated non-profit organization, to which it is not mandatory for a Sino-Eco member to belong.

(c) Other fees, including fees for meetings and other activities organized by Sino-Eco. 

2. Annual Dues Period; Billing Cycle; Probation Schedule; Waiver or Reductions; Methods of Payment. The annual dues period shall be from 1 August to 31 July of the following year. The procedures, billing schedule, probation schedule, waiver or reduction of, and acceptable methods of payment related to the collection of member dues, are specified as follows: 

For NEW memberships, all applicable dues and fees shall apply as follows:

If payment is received in the period 16 March to 31 July, inclusive, membership shall continue until 31 July of the following year. 

If payment is received in the period 1 August to the last day of September, inclusive, membership shall continue until 31 July of the following year. 

If payment is received in the period 1 October to 15 March, payable shall be one-half of the annual dues and membership shall continue until 31 July of the current year. 

For Continuing members:

a) Annual Dues Period-Billing Cycle. A billing covering dues shall be emailed to every member not later than the beginning of the annual dues period.  Except for Student Members and members eligible for special considerations, this bill shall be paid in full due on 1 August.  The due for the members residing in the US shall be paid not later than two months (30 October); the due for the members residing outside of the US shall be paid not later than four months. 

b). Nonpayment/Arrears. After prior notification, if the bill for annual dues, if any, shall not have been paid on or before the time specified in (a) it shall be the duty of the Treasurer to notify the member that, in accordance with the Bylaws of the Sino-Eco, his/her right to vote in any Sino-Eco election has been suspended and that, if the dues, if any, remain unpaid on 31 July of the then following year, his/her membership shall be terminated. Accompanying this notice shall be a final bill, with the suggestion that the member pay his/her dues, if any. The suspended membership privileges shall be restored upon receipt of such payment if received prior to 31 July of the then-following year. 

c). Membership Resumption. Membership so terminated may be resumed, with no loss of continuity, upon payment of all dues and assessments, if any, in arrears. Membership may be resumed after a lapse, without continuity of membership, upon payment of current dues and assessments, if any. 

3. Sino-Eco Dues: The Sino-Eco dues for Regular member shall be ten dollars ($10.00) for each membership year for those residing in developed countries (Region 1), and five dollars ($5.00) for members residing in developing countries (Region 2).  Donations are optional.  The dues shall be paid by either American dollars or any other residing country currency. 

There shall be no dues for Honorary Members.  

4. Student Dues. The Institute dues for Student Member shall be five dollars ($5.00) per year for Students in Region 1; and waived for the Students in Region 2. 

SECTION 5. Resignation 

1. Written Notice. A member in good standing may resign by submitting a written resignation to the Sino-Eco Secretary. 

2. Approval to Resume Membership. Subject to the approval of the Admission and Advancement Committee, a resigned member may resume membership upon payment of the current dues, and fees, as appropriate. Continuity of membership(s) may be obtained by payment of the dues and any fees pertaining to the lapsed years.

ARTICLE 5. OFFICERS

SECTION 1. Officers and Term
The officers shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The official term of the officers shall commence the first day of January and shall continue for two years.

SECTION 2. President
The President shall be elected by mail ballots once every other year. The President shall appoint other officers and take such actions as deemed appropriate to complete goals as President of the organization and further the interests of the organization. The President shall preside at meetings of the Executive Committee. The President shall deliver an address to the membership in the beginning and by the end of his or her term. The President is not eligible for reelection.

SECTION 3. Vice President
Vice President shall assist the President in association affairs. If for any reason the President shall be unable to carry out the duties, the duties will be filled by the Vice President for the remainder of the term.

SECTION 4. Secretary
The Secretary shall record the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee, maintain close contact with all committees, report to the Board of Directors, and conduct daily affairs with the President.

SECTION 5. Treasurer
The Treasurer is the chief fiscal policy officer of the organization responsible for the development of the fiscal policy and annual budget report, maintenance of the financial records, and collection of membership dues.

ARTICLE 6. ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT

The Election Committee shall prepare a list of not less than two candidates for the perspective President. It shall conduct authorized mail ballots in which an introduction and a statement of each candidate shall be included. Four weeks shall be allowed for the return of the ballots.

ARTICLE 7. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, immediate Past President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The President shall be Chairperson of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall conduct affairs of the organization not delegated to the Board of Directors, other committees or to specified officers, and shall reach its decisions by a majority vote.

ARTICLE 8. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors shall be the governing body of the organization. It shall consider proposals from any member. It shall receive and act upon reports from various Committees. It shall appoint an Election Committee to select a President for the coming year.
The President shall be the Chairperson of the Board of Directors. The members of the Board of Directors shall be nominated by the President and approved by the members. The Board of Directors shall consist of Executive Committee and not more than eleven representatives from different geographical regions and various disciplines.
The actions of the Board of Directors may be amended by a majority vote of the members.

ARTICLE 9. SPECIAL COMMITTEES

If necessary, special committees may be set up by the President, or by the Board of Directors. By the end of the term, the committees should report to the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE 10. NEWSLETTER

The Newsletter shall be the main communication medium among members. The Newsletter shall cover business news of the organization, book/paper review, member introduction, meeting news, classifieds (position and admission information etc.), and other information beneficial to members. The Newsletter shall be edited by Editorial Board of SINO-ECO Newsletter and led by an Editor-in-Chief directly.

ARTICLE 11. HONORS/AWARDS

The organization shall authorize and sponsor honors and awards to recognize contributions to the organization. Candidates for honors and awards shall be approved by the Board of Directors from a list of nominees submitted by the Honors/Awards Committee. The Honors and Awards of the organization, which may be added in the future, shall be:
(1). The Distinguished Service Award, given to the member who has made outstanding contributions to the organization.
(2). The Honorary Member Award, given to person/institution who is not a regular member but has made outstanding contributions to the organization.

ARTICLE 12. ENDOWMENT FUND

The Endowment Fund shall consist of the permanent investment of the organization. Donation shall be announced in the Newsletter unless the donor does not want to do so. If the donation amount reaches appropriate amount, a certain award may be established in the name of the donor or in the name that the donor specifies. The income from the Fund shall be used at the discretion of the Board of Directors to further the objectives of the organization or may be added to the principal of the Fund. In each annual budget the income from the Fund for the past year shall be listed and its disposition shall be specified.

ARTICLE 13. AMENDMENTS

The bylaws may be amended, or repealed by a majority of those voting (charged by the Board of Directors), providing notice of the proposed action shall have been sent to each member at least four weeks before the due date of the vote.

ARTICLE 14. LIMITATIONS

Notwithstanding any provision of the Bylaws that might be susceptible to a contrary construction:
(1). The Sino-Ecologists Association Overseas shall be organized and operated exclusively for scientific purposes;
(2). The Sino-Ecologists Association shall not be organized or operated for profit;
(3). No part of the net earnings of the Sino-Ecologists Association Overseas shall, or may, under any circumstances inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

ARTICLE 15. DISTRIBUTION UPON DISSOLUTION

Upon dissolution of the Sino-Ecologists Association Overseas, the Board of Directors shall distribute the assets and accrued income to one or more organizations as determined by the Board of Directors, provided that stated organization(s) shall meet the limitation prescribed in ARTICLE 14.

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(1) Sino-Eco Membership Bylaw amendment

The Sino-Eco membership bylaws was revised recently.  Many thanks to Dr. Dali Guo and his Membership Team including Drs. Zhong Chen, Quan Dong, Yude Pan, Hong, Qian, and Jianguo Wu for their diligent and excellent service.  The highlights of the Membership bylaw amendment are:

  1) The Association should collect membership dues to support basic association activities (such as fees for  website and organization registries).

  2) Four grades of membership are defined: Regular Member, Student Member, Honorable member, and Associate Member.  The dues for Regular and Student members in developed countries will be $10 and $5, respectively; for those in developing countries dues will be $5 and waived, respectively.  Associate members will not pay the dues.

3) Member rights and privileges differ between members who pay the dues and those who do not.  Only Regular and Student Members shall have the right to vote and be voted for, to be featured in the Web Member Profile, and to be considered for possible financial support for academic activities organized by the Association.  Associate members are only entitled to the web directory (name, contact information, affiliation, and member status), Publications, the newsletter, and the e-mail discussion group.  

4) The membership dues will start on August 1 each year and can be paid by cash or check of resident country currency.  For new memberships, if payment is received in the period 1 March to 31 July, membership shall continue until 31 July of the following year.

(2) Sino-Eco English Name Bylaw amendment (February 1, 2005)

The SINO-ECO English name bylaw was recently revised. The new English name of "SINO-Ecologists Association Overseas" for the abbreviation of SINO-ECO is effective on February 1, 2005. Others stay the exactly same.

Many thanks to the SINO-ECO Name Amendment Committee (including Drs. Shili Miao, Xioahua Wei and Changhui Peng) for their great effort and excellent service.

(3) The following changes Bylaw amendment (May 2009)

"Any individual with Chinese origin and at least one year of overseas professional experience in ecological fields, willing to recognize and follow the bylaws and paying the membership dues, shall be deemed to be eligible as a member has been replaced by "Any professionals or students in ecology or related fields who suppor the missions of Sino-eco"

(4) The following changes Bylaw amendment (Feburary 2016)

"The candidate for the Sino-Eco president should be a Sino-Eco member who has lived overseas for more than a year, and works and lives oversea at the time when the election is held. If a president-elect during his/her tenure moves back to China and there is longer than one year period left, the vice president or a senior executive committee member will move up as the president."

Presidential Eligibility Bylaw Amendment Committee Yushun Chen, Adam Wei, and Wei Ren, posted by Zewei Song