YESS Terms of Reference

These Terms of Reference are intended to describe the principles, structure, and organization of the Young Earth System Scientists community (YESS). The Terms of Reference can be modified to respond to changing needs of an evolving YESS. This version of the Terms of Reference has been agreed upon by the YESS Council members on February 2, 2016.

1 General framework

1.1 Mission Statement

The Young Earth System Scientist community unifies international and multidisciplinary early career researchers in a powerful network, providing a voice and leverage for a better future to serve society.

1.2 Principles
  • YESS provides a valuable international platform for early career researchers. We welcome members from a range of scientific backgrounds, creating a synergy between researchers in natural and social sciences who represent the future of Earth system science.
  • YESS serves as a powerful partner with prominent international organizations to give young researchers a collective voice.
  • YESS sets an example for the scientific community through an incorporated online network, reducing our carbon footprint and enabling interaction across diverse regions and cultures.
1.3 Vision

As young researchers, we have a critical role in shaping the future of Earth system science. We lead new endeavors in the frontiers of science, seamlessly integrating international research across multiple disciplines. Within YESS we seek to pioneer crucial areas of research which provide solutions to benefit society.

1.4 Objectives
  • YESS helps early-career researchers (ECR) integrate and collaborate more widely within the scientific community and serves as a forum for the discussion and communication of science and career development issues.
  • YESS enhances interactions between ECR to facilitate exchange of scientific ideas and findings through
    • operation and maintenance of the YESS online communication platform,
    • formal and informal ECR events organized in parallel with large scientific meetings,
    • science workshops specifically for ECR,
      work in concert with other global ECR networks to promote career and science development opportunities.
  • YESS promotes scientific collaboration and exchange between ECR and more experienced researchers. Such interactions should occur, e.g., through
    • inclusion of ECR on panels and working groups,
    • specific feedback of information from meetings of research programs (such as WCRP, WWRP, GAW) to the ECR community, and
    • development of a formal process whereby the ECR community can propose science and workshop ideas to the programs (such as WCRP, WWRP, GAW) for endorsement.

2 Structure

The YESS community is focused on early career researchers (PhD candidates, Postdocs within 5 years after PhD, or Masters students) in the Earth system sciences. YESS consists of the YESS members, the Council, Working Groups, Regional Representatives, the Executive Committee, and the Office / Directorate.

2.1 Members

  • YESS membership is acknowledged once registration on the YESS website has been approved by a YESS Council member responsible for membership approval. YESS members can end membership by deleting their profile in the YESS website’s member area. YESS leadership can also terminate YESS membership.
  • YESS members can participate in YESS events and their organization.
  • YESS members get access to the YESS website’s member area with its searchable database of YESS member profiles and communication platform.
  • YESS members should keep their profile updated.
  • YESS members should spread the word about YESS, provide information about career opportunities and relevant events like conferences, workshops, seminars, courses, or summer schools.
  • YESS members can nominate themselves for membership in the Council.

2.2 Council

  • The Council consists of active YESS members contributing to the activitites and development of YESS. It provides a link between the members, the Executive Committee, and the Regional Representatives.
  • Council membership is available to all active YESS members. Self-nominations for the Council should be addressed to the Executive Committee. After the Executive Committee has approved the Council membership, new Council members should introduce themselves to the whole Council.
  • Council membership will be renewed once a year. The next renewal of the Council will take place in January 2017.
    Council members are encouraged to participate in regular online meetings (e.g., monthly teleconferences).
  • Council members have the right and responsibility to participate in the vote to elect members of the Executive Committee and the Regional Representatives.
  • Council members can nominate themselves or other Council members for membership in the Executive Committee and to become Regional Representatives.
  • Council members are encouraged to shape the development and activities of YESS.
  • Council members are encouraged to suggest new ideas and directions for YESS and give feedback to the Executive Committee on all YESS activities.
  • Council members should recruit new YESS members and advertise YESS.
    Council members are encouraged to host YESS events or help with YESS events during conferences (once a year).
  • The Council will meet in an annual online event. This event shall include a review of the current YESS structure and activities, keynote lectures, virtual poster sessions, etc. and shall be organized by the Working Group Online Events together with the Executive Committee.

2.3 Working Groups

  • Working groups are subgroups of the Council who collaborate on a subset of YESS activities.
  • Every Council member can be part of a Working Group.
  • Each Working Group should have a contact person to ensure smooth communication with the full Council and the Executive Committee.
  • New Working Groups can be suggested to the Council at any stage.

2.4 Regional Representatives

  • Regional Representatives will develop strategies to grow YESS, represent YESS, and coordinate YESS activities in their region, as well as represent their region within the Council.
  • Each of the six WMO regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, South-West Pacific) have their own representative.
  • Council members can nominate themselves or other Council members for the position of Regional Representative. To be eligible to become Regional Representative, one needs to have served on the Council.
  • Every year all positions of Regional Representatives are voted on by the Council.
  • Unfilled positions for Regions Representatives will be advertised on the website.

2.5 Executive Committee

  • The Executive Committee maintains an overview and guides YESS activities. It consists of up to six members.
  • Council members can nominate themselves or other Council members for membership in the Executive Committee. To be eligible for membership in the Executive Committee, one needs to have served on the Council.
  • Every year all positions in the Executive Committee are voted on, it is recommended that two to three of the six positions will be filled with new members.
  • The Executive Committee will work on a strategy for further development of YESS activities and structure, manage the YESS Office, prepare the Council teleconferences, coordinate the Working Groups, keep relevant documents up to date, take care of communication within the YESS community as well as with new YESS members and YESS partners, manage the website and online infrastructure, lead the organization of events at conferences and meetings, keep track of past experiences and best practices, manage funding resources, and keep track of partners (supporters, advisors, and sponsors) of YESS.
  • The Executive Committee will meet at least once a year.

2.6 Elections

  • Elections for the Executive Committee and the Regional Representatives will be held every year in the first half of March. Nominations are possible throughout February.
  • The elections are led by an election leader. The election leader is agreed upon by the Council and shall be a Council member who is not nominated as a candidate for the following election.
  • Nomination or self-nomination for the Executive Committee and the Regional Representatives will be communicated to the election leader who will collect nominations and communicate the list of nominees to the Council before the elections start.
  • Every Council member has six votes for the Executive Committee candidates and one vote for each Regional Representative position. A minimum number of votes is not required for an Executive Committee member to be elected.
  • The election leader will inform the Council about the election results by announcing the members of the new Executive Committee and the Regional Representatives, i.e., the results of the elections shall not be communicated in the form of a ranking.