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Interview with Katherine McCarter, August 13, 2015

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:52 - Background and education

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Partial Transcript: Would you start please by describing how it is that someone like you became interested enough in ecology or environmental sciences or our organization to become the executive director?

Segment Synopsis: McCarter discusses receiving her bachelors degree in biology and doing her graduate work in environmental health. She was hired as the director of governmental relations for the American Public Health association and was later promoted to the Deputy Executive Director. She says that she realized that she would never progress beyond the Deputy Director position, so she applied for the Executive Director position at ESA (Ecological Society of America). She turned it down at first, but she was persuaded by Jim MacMahon to take the job.

Keywords: AIDS; American Lung Association; John Hopkins; association management; chemistry; health department

00:07:20 - First impressions of ESA / Financial leadership of the ESA

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Partial Transcript: What were some of your first impressions once you had been on the job?

Segment Synopsis: McCarter discusses some of her first impressions of ESA, saying that there was very little discussion of "what we should do" about environmental problems. She also talks about ESA's financial problems, saying that they were spending money half a year ahead. McCarter developed a budget plan to get them back on track and build up the reserve fund by turning the annual meetings into a source of revenue.

Keywords: Exhibitors; Ithaca office; Optical Society of America; Silverspring; Washington D.C; plant ecology

00:19:50 - Financial burden of the Open Access Movement

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Partial Transcript: Alright, well let's stay on finances a little longer.

Segment Synopsis: McCarter discusses how the movement toward online open access of journals and libraries entering multi-year contracts with providers was hurting societies like the ESA. The ESA had to enter a contract with Wiley, a large publishing company, in order to keep up with these changes.

Keywords: Education program; Ithaca Office; grants; retention bonus; severance package

00:32:25 - Highlights of time as Executive Director of ESA

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Partial Transcript: Well let's turn to other developments during your time.

Segment Synopsis: McCarter describes some of the highlights of her time as the Executive Director of ESA: expanding the education program, starting the Frontiers in Ecology and the Enviornment journal, and the SEEDS (Strategies in Ecological Education, Diversity and Sustainability) program. She discusses in detail how Frontiers was started and how the organization was able to fund it.

Keywords: Ecosphere; Bill Robertson; Cary Institute; JSTOR; Mellon Foundation; Sue Silver

00:48:53 - The Centennial Meeting

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Partial Transcript: I'm wondering if you would be interested in talking a little bit about the Centennial Meeting.

Segment Synopsis: McCarter discusses the Centennial Meeting of 2015 and describes her excitement for the President Barack Obama's video greeting that was presented during the meeting. She talks about how she had to keep the video a secret even from the ESA president, so it would be a surprise.

Keywords: Alan Covich; David Inouye; Historical Records Committee; Jane Lubchenco; Office of Science and Technology; Past Presidents Committee; Sharon Kingsland

00:57:54 - ESA Public Affairs Office

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Partial Transcript: Well this is one thing that's happened because I daresay ESA has developed a Public Affairs Office, a long time ago now.

Segment Synopsis: McCarter talks about the ESA's Public Affairs Office and how it works in the present day. She discusses the various coalitions the ESA partners with, including the Biological-Ecological Science Coalition. McCarter also says that the Public Affairs Office has developed its social media presence with the input of younger staff members.

Keywords: AIBS; Marjorie Holland; Nadine Lynm; Terrance Houston; fire management; graduate student policy board