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NAGT Constitution and Bylaws

As amended April 1, 1953; March 28, 1955; October 28, 1958; December 1962; April 1, 1966; November 1968; November 1969; November 1971, November 1976; November 1978; September 1982; August 1983; November 1987; October 1990; October 1991; October 1993; October 1995; October 1998; May 2009; and May 2011.

Article I - Name

The name of the organization shall be the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Inc.*, hereinafter referred to as the Association.
*Prior to October 1995, known as National Association of Geology Teachers.


Article II - Purposes

The purposes of this Association shall be, 1) to foster improvements in the teaching of the earth sciences at all levels of formal and informal instruction, 2) to emphasize the relevance and cultural significance of the earth sciences and 3) to disseminate knowledge in this field to educators and the general public.


Article III - Organization

Section 1. General

The affairs of the Association shall be carried out by elected officers who shall have the authority to hold general meetings, to issue publications, to collect dues, and to take other action as may fulfill the general purposes of the Association. No part of the net earnings of the Association shall inure to the benefit of any individual including, without limitation, the directors, officers, or members of the Association, except as reasonable compensation for services actually rendered to the Association in effecting one or more of its purposes. The Association shall not participate in, or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office (including the publishing or distributing of statements).

Section 2. National Officers

The National Officers of the Association shall be President, Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary/treasurer, Editor, Executive Director and six Councilors-at-Large. Duties, rights and responsibilities of the Officers are set forth in the Bylaws.

  1. Elections shall be held annually by ballot at least forty (40) days prior to the Annual Meeting with elections lasting no less than 30 days. At least sixty (60) days prior to the beginning of the election, the Nominating Committee shall present to the Executive Director a list of nominations to be sent to the membership of the Association. The ballots shall indicate one nomination for President (incumbent Vice-President), Vice-President (incumbent Second Vice-President), Second Vice-President, Secretary/treasurer (every third year), and Councilors-at-Large. There will be write-in privileges for all offices except President and Vice-President. The Executive Director shall serve as teller and report the results of the ballots at the Annual Meeting.
  2. The President and Vice-President shall serve one-year terms. A person that serves a full term as President, or Vice-President, or Second Vice-President, may not succeed himself/herself in that office. Upon expiration of the term of the President, or in the event the President were unable to complete his/her term, the Vice-President shall become the President and the Second Vice-President shall become the Vice-President. If necessary, an Acting Second Vice-President may be appointed by the President with the consent of the Executive Committee.
  3. The Secretary/treasurer shall be elected for a three-year term, and may be re-elected to one additional consecutive three-year term. If necessary, the President, with the consent of the Executive Committee, may appoint an Acting Secretary/treasurer.
  4. The Councilors-at-Large shall be elected for one-time renewable, three-year staggered terms. Two of the six Councilors-at-Large shall be elected each year, with concern for providing balanced representation of the membership. In the event that a position is vacated during the term, the President may appoint a member in good standing to fill it until the next annual election.
  5. Elected Officers shall serve from the Annual Meeting following their election to the beginning of the Annual Meeting occurring at the end of their elected term of Office.
  6. The Executive Director and Editor(s) are non-voting National Officers of the Association and are appointed by the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Executive Committee

The National Officers of the Association and the immediate Past-President of the Association shall constitute the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall have authority to expend funds and take other fiscal actions on behalf of the Association membership provided that no financial obligations are incurred that exceed the resources of the Association available during the current fiscal year. The Executive Committee will be responsible for such other actions as are delegated to it under the Articles of the Constitution and the Bylaws of the Association. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a year. Decisions will be made by a vote of a quorum consisting of at least six members of the Executive Committee.

Section 4. Council

The National Officers of the Association and the immediate Past-President (i.e. the Executive Committee), the President (or his/her representative) from each regional section, Official Representatives to other geoscience associations shall constitute the Council of the Association. The Council is advisory in function. It shall make recommendations regarding policy, and shall review activities of the Association at least once a year.

Section 5. Committees of the Association

The Association shall have standing and ad-hoc committees as needed to conduct activities of the organization as set forth in the Constitution, Bylaws and as established by the Executive Committee. Procedures governing the establishment and activities of committees are set forth in the Bylaws.

Section 6. Regional Sections

The units of the Association are Regional Sections. Association members may propose to organize a Regional Section to represent a specific geographic area in which they reside. Procedures governing the establishment and conduct of the Regional Sections and for affiliation of active members there within are set forth in the Constitution and the Bylaws.

Section 7. The Corporation

The management of the property, affairs and businesses of the Association is vested in a corporation known as the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Incorporated, hereafter and in the Bylaws referred to as the Corporation. The Board of Directors of said Corporation shall be identical with that of the voluntary National Officers of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers.


Article IV - Membership

Members shall be persons who are or have been engaged in some aspect of geoscience education or who are or have been engaged in the gathering and dissemination of geoscience information. Membership in good standing is established through application and payment of current dues as specified by the Executive Committee. Categories, rights and privileges of membership categories are in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws.

Article V - Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by the Executive Committee or submitted to the Executive Director in writing by at least 25 association members in good standing. In either case, the Executive Committee shall submit such proposed amendments to the members, in writing, within one year of the date of the original petition, together with a ballot which must indicate the closing date for voting. The results of the vote shall be tabulated and announced to the membership. An amendment shall be considered adopted if favored by the majority of those voting, provided that such majority constitutes at least 1/5 of the entire membership of the Association.

Article VI - Bylaws

Section 1. General

The Executive Committee shall establish such Bylaws and Amendments to the Bylaws as may be needed to accomplish the purposes set forth in this Constitution. Members will be notified at least 60 days in advance of such proposed amendments to the Bylaws.

Section 2. Procedures

Bylaws as necessary for the proper governance of the Association may be enacted or modified by the vote of two-thirds of the members of the Executive Committee entitled to vote. Such changes become operative not less than 90 days after adoption provided that such Bylaws do not in any way modify or conflict with this Constitution and that each section shall have been advised of the amendment to the Bylaws within 30 days after its adoption. If a quorum of more than one active section objects in writing to the Executive Director within 90 days after its adoption, said amendment shall be held in abeyance until the next Annual Election, at which time a majority vote of the eligible members shall be required for its adoption and for it to become immediately operational. Bylaws or amendments to existing Bylaws that are required as a consequence of changes in the Constitution may be enacted by a majority vote of the Executive Committee at the time that the change in the Constitution is approved by the Association. The proposed changes in the Bylaws shall have received prior consideration by the Executive Committee and shall be presented to the sections with the relevant proposed amendment to the Constitution.


Article VII - Meetings

There shall be at least one Business Meeting of the Association each year, called the Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is open to all members in good standing, but must include a quorum from the Executive Committee. The agenda of the Annual Meeting shall include current business of the Association, matters of association policy, reports of committees, and the announcement of the ballot count on the election of officers. The President or a Vice-President shall serve as the presiding officer of the Annual Meeting. The presiding officer may limit debate for the purpose of maintaining the time schedule. Other meetings shall be held by direction of the President.

Section 1. Rules of Order

Meetings of the Executive Committee and Association shall be conducted in accordance with the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, except when in conflict with the Constitution or Bylaws, in which case the Constitution or Bylaws shall prevail.


Article VIII- Publications

The NAGT website and NAGT News are official publications of the Association. The Journal of Geoscience Education* is the primary scholarly publication of the Association. The Journal shall be managed by an Editor(s) in accordance with guidelines set forth in the Bylaws. The Association may sponsor other publications in the field of teaching of geosciences as circumstances and resources justify and permit.

* Prior to October 1995, known as Journal of Geological Education.


Article IX- Dissolution

Upon dissolution or termination of the existence of the Association, all of its property and assets shall, after payment of the lawful debts of the Association and the expenses of its dissolution or termination, be delivered, conveyed, and paid over to the American Geological Institute provided it exists and is, at the time, exempt under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Should the American Geological Institute be ineligible to receive such assets, those remaining assets will be distributed to a 501 (c)(3) qualifying organization as determined by majority vote of the Executive Committee.




NAGT Bylaws

Bylaw I - Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Association shall extend from September 1 to August 31.


Bylaw II - Dues and Subscriptions

Section 1.

The dues of the Association shall be established by Executive Committee action, according to the needs of the Association, with appropriate notice to be published in the Journal of Geoscience Education. For each paid member of a section which has been designated by the Executive Committee as active and which has filed an annual financial report with the Executive Director, the Association will remit a sum of money to the section for carrying out its functions. For purposes of this remission, a Section shall be declared "active" if it has a full slate of elected officers and the Section has done at least one of the following during the previous year:

Section 2.

Dues are to be paid by December 31 and cover the succeeding year; they become delinquent January 1 with suspension of the Journal beginning with the next issue. All members of the Association, whether affiliated or unaffiliated with a regional section, will pay the annual dues using procedures approved by the executive committee.

Section 3.

The Executive Committee may, in response to an appeal from a new or small section or division, authorize small grants to such section or division to supplement section or division dues.

Section 4.

The subscription price for the Journal of Geoscience Education for non-members shall be established by the Executive Committee, according to the needs of the Association.

Section 5.

The Executive Committee may authorize the concurrent collection of division dues with the dues of the Association.


Bylaw III - Membership Categories and Privileges

Section 1. Active Members

Active Members are those persons who meet the provisions of Article IV of the Constitution. Active members will automatically be affiliated with the regional section in which they reside unless they request transfer to another section or request not to affiliate with any section. Active members participate in the governance of the Association in the manner and to the extent set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2. Student Members

Student Members shall be persons who meet provisions of Article IV, but whose primary enterprise is studying toward any degree in the geosciences, or those whose primary employment is as a teaching assistant or fellow in a graduate geoscience program. Student members have all the benefits, privileges and rights of other active members.

Section 3. Adjunct faculty

Adjunct Faculty Members shall be persons who meet provisions of Article IV, whose only academic appointment is a part-time faculty member at a college of university. Adjunct faculty members have all the benefits, privileges and rights of other active members.

Section 4. K-12 Teacher

K-12 Teacher Members shall be persons who meet provisions of Article IV, but are or have been engaged in some aspect of teaching of the geosciences at the K-12 levels. K-12 members have all the benefits, privileges and rights of other active members.

Section 5. Honorary Members

Honorary Members shall be members of long standing in the Association or other distinguished individuals whom the Association wishes to honor who meet provisions of Article IV. Honorary members may be nominated by any active or honorary member, and are elected for life by unanimous vote by of the Executive Committee. Honorary members are not required to pay dues and shall have all the rights and privileges of active members, except that they shall not vote nor hold office in the Association. The total number of honorary members shall not normally exceed 1% of the total membership.

Section 6. Retired Members

Members in good standing who meet provisions of Article IV, but have retired from their primary career shall be, upon their request to the Secretary/Treasurer, entitled to all the rights and privileges of active members, and these (retired) members shall pay dues at a reduced rate set by the Executive Committee. Retired members have all the benefits, privileges and rights of other active members.


Bylaw IV – Officer and Editor Responsibilities

Section 1. President

The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Association and shall preside at all business meetings of the Association and the Executive Committee. He, or she, shall be an ex officio member of all committees.

Section 2. Vice-President

The Vice-President shall be the President-Elect, the succession to President being automatic. The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President in the event of the absence or disability of the President. The Vice-President shall also be an ex officio member of all committees.

Section 3. Second Vice-President

The Second Vice-President shall be Vice-President Elect and shall assist the Vice-President. The Second Vice-President shall assume the duties of the Vice-President in the event of absence or disability of the Vice-President, and shall assume the duties of the President in the event both the President and Vice-President are absent or disabled. The Second Vice-President shall also be an ex officio member of all committees.

Section 4. Secretary/Treasurer

The Secretary/treasurer will be entrusted with the financial welfare of the association. The Executive Director will send periodic reports to the Secretary/treasurer. The Secretary/treasurer will assist the Executive Director in the preparation and presentation of financial reports and the proposed budgets. With the assistance of the Executive Director, the secretary/treasurer will prepare and present the financial report and the proposed budget for the following year at the annual meeting. The Secretary/treasurer is also responsible for taking and distributing minutes for all regularly scheduled meetings of the NAGT Council and Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall have the authority to expend funds in accordance with the adopted annual budget or for other business of the Corporation by direction of the Executive Committee.

Section 5. Executive Director

The Executive Director works closely with the Executive Committee to promote and serve the mission of the NAGT and coordinates its major programs and functions for essential annual operations. With the assistance of the Secretary/treasurer, the Executive Director prepares and presents the financial report and the proposed budget for the following year to the Executive Committee for approval prior to the start of the fiscal year. The Executive Director shall have the authority to expend funds in accordance with the adopted annual budget or for other business of the Corporation by direction of the Executive Committee

Section 6. Councilors-At-Large

Six Councilors-at-Large normally bring a variety of expertise and professional backgrounds to the Executive Committee. Councilors shall attend all Executive Committee meetings and be responsible for specific administrative tasks mutually agreed upon in the Executive Committee.

Section 7. Editor, Journal of Geoscience Education

The Editor shall be appointed by the Executive Committee for a three to five-year term coinciding with the editing of three to five volumes of the Journal of Geoscience Education. The Editor may be re-appointed for additional terms without limit. Associate editor(s) and/or editorial board are appointed by the Editor.


Bylaw V- Organizational Representation

Section 1.

All the Association's organizational representatives shall be appointed by the President, subject to approval by the Executive Committee. No terms of office shall be designated except those specified by the reciprocal organization.


Bylaw VI - Standing Committees

Section 1. Robert Christman Distinguished Service Award Committee

The Executive Committee administers the selection of the Robert Christman Distinguished Service Award to recognize individuals who have provided exceptional service to the Association over a significant period of time. The service may have been at the national and/or section level. Awardees are selected by the Executive Committee. The frequency of award presentations is left to the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Neil Miner Award Committee

This Committee administers the selection of the recipient of the annual Neil Miner Award for "exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the geosciences". The Committee is composed of the President of the Association, who serves as Chair, the immediate Past-President; the Secretary/treasurer; and two members recommended by the Executive Committee. No one may serve as an appointed member for more than two years in succession. The Committee shall select the recipient of the Neil Miner Award.

Section 3. Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award Committee

This is a Committee to administer the annual Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Awards for "exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the earth sciences at the secondary school level", and for excellence in teaching at the secondary level. Candidates for this award are nominated in each section annually. Nominations will be made to the President of each section who will arrange for the Section Selection Committee. This Committee shall then select the recipient of the Award for the particular section. The presentation of the awards to each section recipient will ordinarily be made at a section meeting and/or before an appropriate audience by one of the section officers. In addition, sections may hold individual state competitions to select OEST State Winners. The Chair of the Outstanding Earth Science Teachers Awards Committee shall see to the preparation of all awards. The Chair is appointed by the Executive Committee. Two other members are recommended by the Executive Committee. Their term of office is two years. The remainder of the Committee consists of one representative from each section which participates in the OEST program. Section Representatives shall be selected by their section and their term of office shall be specified by their section.

Section 4. Nominating Committee

This Committee shall present to the Executive Director a list of nominations to be sent to the membership of the Association. There shall be at least one nomination for President (incumbent Vice-President), Vice-President (incumbent Second Vice-President), Second Vice-President, Secretary/treasurer (every third year), and Councilors-at-Large. The Committee shall be composed each year of the five most recent available Past-Presidents of the Association, the immediate Past-President serving as Chair. Tenure will begin each year following the Annual Meeting. Should it become necessary to depart from this committee composition because of emergency or other difficulty, the current President of the Association shall make necessary appointments from the membership.

Section 5. James H. Shea Award Committee

The James H. Shea award is given annually by the Association for exceptional contributions in the form of writing and/or editing of geoscience materials (broadly construed) that are of interest to the general public and/or teachers of geoscience. It is given only for outstanding work. The Committee consists of five members, four of whom are appointed by the Executive Committee for staggered four-year terms (one new member is appointed each year for a four-year term. The Editor of the Journal of Geoscience Education is an ex officio, voting member of the committee. The senior member of the Committee (that member who is in the last year of his/her term) serves as the Chair of the Committee. The Committee is responsible for reviewing nominations, selecting the recipient and arranging for appropriate recognition.

Section 6. Investment Committee

The Investment Committee is responsible for reviewing the performance of investments and recommending changes to the Executive Committee in accordance with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers endowment policy. The Committee is composed of a chair and three other members as directed by the Executive Committee. The membership of the Investment Committee will include the Second Vice President and two NAGT at-large members appointed by the Executive Committee to 3-year staggered terms.

Section 7. Ad Hoc Committees

The Executive Committee shall establish such Ad Hoc Committees, and appoint their Chair, as may be in the interests of the Association. The specific purpose, number of members, and terms of office shall be specified at the time of the creation of the Ad Hoc Committee. Such stated conditions may be altered only by direct action of the Executive Committee.


Bylaw VII. Regional Sections

Section 1. Procedures

A Regional Section shall be organized upon petition of 20% of membership of the proposed section, and approval by the Executive Committee. Each section shall operate under the Constitution of the Association, but may adopt its own bylaws so long as they are compatible with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association. Section officers, chosen by vote of the members of the section, are President and Treasurer and other appropriate officers, such as Vice-President, Secretary and Editor, according to the individual needs of each section. Section meetings and other activities are arranged independently of the national organization. Section dues, as provided in the Association Bylaws (Bylaw II, Section I) are retained by the Section Treasurer. The National President of the Association may appoint an Acting Section President, if for any reason the office becomes vacant, until an election can be held and a new president elected.

Sections shall normally meet at least one time each year to conduct current business and elect officers. Sections are encouraged to hold additional meetings, field trips, symposia, and other events each year.

Section 2. Regional Section Areas


Bylaw VIII. Divisions

A Division, consisting of members with a shared professional interest, shall be organized upon petition of 30 or more members and approval by the Executive Committee. Divisions whose membership drops below a critical number will be reviewed by the Executive Committee for the purpose of reauthorization of the Division. Each Division shall operate under the Constitution of the Association, but may adopt its own bylaws so long as they are compatible with the Constitution and the Bylaws of the Association. Division Officers, chosen by the vote of the members of the Division, are President and Treasurer and other appropriate officers, such as Vice-President, Secretary and Editor, according to the individual needs of the Division. Division meetings and other activities are arranged independently of the national organization. Division dues, as provided in the Association Bylaws, are retained by the Division Treasurer. The National President of the Association may appoint an Acting Division President, if for any reason the office becomes vacant, until an election can be held and a new Division President elected.

A Division President shall be an ad hoc member of the Council of the Association and shall have all rights and privileges accorded to other members of the Council.

Divisions shall normally meet at least one time each year to conduct current business and elect officers. Divisions are encouraged to hold additional meetings, field trips, symposia, and other events each year.


Bylaw IX. Amendments to Bylaws

See Constitution, Article IX, Section 2, and Article XI, Section 2.

This document is the May 2011 version, which was approved by the NAGT Executive Committee and submitted to the membership for ratification with the May 2011 ballot. The document is based on the 1998 version with the addition of the revisions passed by the membership on the ballots of 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2011. It was finalized in May 2011 by Janis Treworgy, NAGT President.

Download the NAGT Constitution and Bylaws (Acrobat (PDF) 105kB Jan28 14)


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