Constitution of the Meteoritical Society
Article 1: Name, Purpose, and Scope
- The name of this Society shall be The Meteoritical Society.
- The purpose of this Society shall be to promote research and education in planetary science with emphasis on studies of meteorites and other extraterrestrial materials that further our understanding of the origin and history of the solar system.
- This Society, in its membership and activities, shall be an international organization.
Article 2: Members and Fellows
- Those persons who joined this organization on or before August 22, 1933 shall constitute the charter members of the Society. The charter members and such other persons as may subsequently be elected to membership shall constitute the members of the Society. Persons interested in furthering the purpose of the Society may, on application, be elected to membership by the Council.
- Members who have distinguished themselves in meteoritics or allied sciences may be elected Fellows by the Council. Fellows shall be elected in even-numbered years. The number which may be elected during an even-numbered year shall not exceed one percent of the current membership of the Society, rounded to the next highest integer.
- Bylaws shall be adopted to regulate the nomination and the election of members and Fellows and any matters pertaining to them for which this Constitution does not expressly provide.
Article 3: Council (Officers and Councilors)
- The Officers of the Society shall consist of a President, the immediate Past President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer who shall discharge, in addition to the duties specifically assigned them by this Constitution and Bylaws, all the duties customarily pertaining to their office.
- The Council of the Society shall consist of the Officers and eight Councilors. The Council shall be charged with the administration of all the affairs of the Society for which the Constitution or the Bylaws do not otherwise provide. The President and the Secretary of the Society shall be respectively the chairman and the secretary of the Council; together with the Treasurer, they shall constitute a standing Executive Committee to act, ad interim, upon all matters affecting the welfare of the Society that, in their judgment, do not call for submission to the entire Council; but all the transactions of this Executive Committee except those expressly authorized by the Constitution or the Bylaws shall be reported to the Council at its next following meeting.
- An election of Officers and Councilors of the Society shall be held each even-numbered year. Nominations for Officers and Councilors shall be prepared by a Nominating Committee of six members. The members and chair shall be proposed by the President following consultations with other members of the Executive Committee and approved by Council prior to April 1 of each odd-numbered year and shall hold office until the close of the next election. For each office to be filled in a given election, the Nominating Committee shall nominate one candidate whom it has verified to be qualified and willing to serve in that office. The slate so nominated shall be mailed to all members of the Society before December 1 of an odd-numbered year. A nomination for any specific position may subsequently be made by at least 3% of the Society’s members in good standing who shall verify that the candidate is qualified and willing to serve in that office. Nominations by members must be received by the Secretary no later than February 15 of the even-numbered year. If no candidates are nominated other than those nominated by the Nominating Committee, the Secretary shall be empowered to declare these candidates elected by affirmation. If other candidates are nominated, then a ballot shall be prepared listing the names of candidates for contested positions and mailed to each member of the Society in good standing before April 15 of the even-numbered year. These ballots, if returned to the Secretary by June 15 in a way that allows the secrecy of the ballot to be preserved and identifies the voter as a member of the Society shall be counted. The new Officers and Councilors shall take office on January 1 of odd-numbered years.
- The Vice-President shall automatically accede to the Presidency upon the end of the President’s two-year term, or earlier if the office of the President should be vacated. The Council shall appoint one of its members to fill a vacancy in the Vice-Presidency; if a Vice-President appointed by the Council accedes to the Presidency, the appointee shall succeed themself only if nominated by the regularly constituted Nominating Committee and elected by the membership of the Society.
- The term of the Council shall be two years in length.
- No person shall hold simultaneously more than one position in the Council. The President shall vote only when necessary to break a tie.
- No person who has been elected to and has assumed the office of President shall ever afterwards be eligible for that office, nor for the office of Vice-President. No person who has served two terms as Councilor, or three terms as Secretary or Treasurer shall be eligible for the same position until the expiration of four years after the end of their last term in office.
- Vacancies in the position of Secretary, Treasurer or Councilor shall be filled by appointment by the Council.
Article 4: Publications
- The official journals of the Society shall be a. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, sponsored by the Society alone, and b. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, which is also sponsored by the Geochemical Society.
- The Council shall appoint an Editor for Meteoritics and Planetary Science who shall serve at the pleasure of the Council.
Article 5: Amendments and Bylaws
- This Constitution may be amended only at the proposal of the Council and by mail ballot. A ballot for each proposed amendment shall be mailed by the Secretary to each member of the Society in good standing. In order that it be adopted, each proposed amendment must receive at least two-thirds of all votes cast.
- The Council may enact, annul and amend Bylaws as appropriate and necessary for carrying out the Society’s business. Any proposed amendment of the Bylaws shall be prepared in written form and circulated to the Council at least one month before a regular meeting. It shall then be deemed adopted if it receives the votes of two-thirds of the entire Council. Council members unable to attend may submit their votes in advance of this meeting.
Bylaws of the Meteoritical Society
Article 1: Nominations and Elections of Members, Councilors and Officers
- Any applicant who is in sympathy with the purposes of the Society may join by paying the full dues for the current year and agreeing to abide by the Code of Ethics of the Meteoritical Society.
- Any member who has made improper use of their membership, who has engaged in unethical behavior, or whose connection with the Society is regarded as detrimental to it may be expelled from the Society by at least a three-fourths vote of the entire Council. Formal complaints raised about violations to the Code of Ethics will be brought to the Ethics Committee and handled as described in the Code of Ethics. The Ethics Committee will be chaired by the Past-President of the Society and be composed of two other members appointed by the President to serve staggered four-year terms. The Ethics Committee will provide an annual report of its activities to Council.
- The Nominating Committee shall operate under rules approved by the Council. It shall submit to the Council its slate of candidates for Officers and Councilors prior to September 1 of the odd-numbered year. This deadline may be changed if the Committee Chair and the Society Secretary agree. When the Council is satisfied that the nominees were selected in accordance with the Constitution, Bylaws, and Committee rules, it shall authorize the Society Secretary to submit the slate of nominations to the members. Brief biographies of the candidates and a statement from the nominee for Vice-President shall be sent to members by December 1.
- Members of the Nominating Committee shall be selected from the membership to ensure balance with regard to age, area of expertise, and geographic representation. The Committee Chair should be an experienced member of the Society who understands the duties of the Officers and Councilors. Members of the current Council cannot serve on the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee cannot nominate any of its members to be Officers or Councilors.
- If ballots are mailed to members of the Society with three or more candidates for any office except Councilor, members shall rank those candidates in order of their preference. If no candidate has a clear majority of first-place votes, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes shall be eliminated. The second-place votes on ballots of members who gave their first-place votes to the eliminated candidate shall then be added to the first-place votes of the candidates still in contention. This process shall be repeated until one candidate has a clear majority.
Article 2: Duties of Members of the Council
- Members elected to positions in the Council are expected to attend official Council meetings.
- The President shall be responsible for appointing members of all standing committees, and filling any vacancies that occur. In even-numbered years, the outgoing President shall make committee appointments for the following year prior to the end of the Council term. The President may, at any time, recommend removal of any appointed committee member, which shall become effective upon a 2/3 majority vote of the entire Council. All provisions of this section apply unless otherwise specified in these bylaws.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for informing the Society membership of important actions of the Council. The Secretary shall conduct all elections and inform members of the results. The Secretary shall coordinate activities between the Council and those Society committees provided for in the Constitution and Bylaws. The Secretary, in coordination with the Treasurer, shall maintain the Society membership list, records of all official actions of the Council, and all changes made to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society.
- The Treasurer shall keep accounts showing all the receipts and expenditures of money belonging to the Society and all the financial transactions of his/her office. The Treasurer shall oversee the collection of membership dues and other income and for the payment of legitimate Society debts. The Treasurer will file appropriate US federal tax forms and state forms to maintain our nonprofit corporation. At the end of each fiscal year, the Treasurer will prepare a written annual financial report and a budget for the new fiscal year, both to be transmitted to the Secretary by July 15 or two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting, whichever is earlier. The budget should include all anticipated income and expenditures, including royalty payments and repayments of loans to the organizers of annual meetings, and must be approved by Council at the Annual Meeting. The Council may, upon request, obtain all detailed financial records from the Treasurer.
- At the beginning of each term, Council shall appoint a Deputy Treasurer who will temporarily assume the Treasurer’s duties when the latter is unable to perform them, continuing until the Treasurer is able to resume his/her duties or until a new Treasurer has been appointed by Council. The Deputy Treasurer is not a member of the Council.
Article 3: Finance
- The Society shall be a nonprofit organization.
- The property of the Society shall be irrevocably dedicated to scientific research and education and no part of its net income or assets shall ever inure to the benefit of any Officer, Councilor or member thereof or to the benefit of any private persons.
- Any member in good standing may become a life member by the payment of a fee equal to twenty times the annual dues then in force. A life member shall be exempt from the payment of annual dues.
- The annual dues shall be fixed by the Council and payable prior to January 1 of each year. Payment of the life membership fee or of the annual dues shall entitle a member to all the rights of membership including that to receive the official notices and certain publications of the Society, free of charge or at a reduced rate.
- Any member who is more than three months in arrears shall be dropped from the Society. The Council shall, for cause, and on the recommendation of its Executive Committee, have the authority to suspend any part of this Bylaw in behalf of a defaulting member in the first year of his default.
- The fiscal year of the Society is from June 1 to May 31 of the following year.
- The Society should maintain a reserve fund amounting to at least 10% of budgeted annual expenditures for use in emergencies.
- Unspecified gifts to the Society should be transferred to the Meteoritical Society Endowment Fund. This transfer will take place after the Annual Meeting unless an alternative plan is approved by Council.
- Any surplus from a fiscal year (income minus expenditures) should be transferred to the Meteoritical Society Endowment Fund. This transfer will take place after the Annual Meeting unless an alternative plan is approved by Council.
Article 4: Meetings of the Society
- The Council shall determine the time and place of each meeting of the Society. If possible, at least one meeting shall be held each year, for the delivery of scientific papers, addresses and other communications, and for the transaction of business that may come before the Society. The Secretary will ensure that notice of each meeting shall be mailed to each member in good standing at least four months prior to the opening date of the meeting.
- Arrangements for each of the Society’s meetings shall be made by an Organizing Committee and a Program Committee, which are appointed by the Council. Both committees have the right to co-opt additional members. The Organizing Committee shall include a member from a previous year’s committee and the Vice-President of the Society (who will be President at the time of the meeting).
- The Society will ordinarily provide a loan to the Organizing Committee to meet expenses incurred in advance of the Meeting. The amount is to be set by vote of the Council after consultation with the Organizing Committee. The Organizing Committee shall attempt to raise additional funds, especially for student travel grants. The Organizing Committee shall submit a budget to the Council for approval at least one month before the Council meets in March of the year of the meeting. The Organizing Committee shall submit a final report including financial information to the Council at least one month before the Council meets in March of the year after the meeting. Any surpluses will be transferred to the treasury of the Society. Although meetings are expected to be self-supporting, the Society may cover deficits that it judges to be justified.
- At each meeting, fifty or more members shall constitute a quorum.
- Procedures during business meetings of the Society shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.
Article 5: Meetings of the Council
- A meeting of the Council shall be held in connection with each meeting of the Society.
- The President shall convoke the Council in special meeting, at a time and place to be determined by the Executive Committee whenever, in the judgment of the Committee, the affairs of the Society require it. The Committee can authorize mail, electronic, or fax ballots, preceded by informal discussion, in lieu of a special meeting. The vote on such a ballot is subject to review at the next regular Council meeting.
- A request in writing addressed to the President by four or more members of the Council shall render the convocation of the Council obligatory within three months after the date such request is received and at a time and a place to be determined by the Executive Committee.
- Advance notice of each special meeting, which shall include a statement of the nature of the business to be transacted at the meeting, shall be prepared at the direction of the President and transmitted by the Secretary at the earliest possible date to each member of the Council.
- If the President cannot attend a meeting of the Council, the President shall appoint from the Council a temporary Chair who will serve in his or her stead. Should the President fail to do this, the Council shall elect a temporary Chair.
- At each meeting, regular or special, five or more Council members shall constitute a quorum. The President, or in the absence the President, the temporary Chair, may invite other members of the Society to sit with the Council. Any action approved by fewer members of the Council than four shall be subject to ratification by at least a majority vote, taken by the Secretary, of the entire Council.
- Any notice required or permitted by the bylaws to be given to members of Council may be given by mail, facsimile, telephone, or other electronic means.
- Council members unable to attend a meeting of Council, or to participate in decisions without a meeting, may vote by proxy. The proxy, issued to another member of Council, may be general (all matters to come before the meeting) or specific (relate to one issue or topic) and is valid for three months. The proxy, signed and dated by the councilor delegating his or her vote, must be given to the Chair before the start of business.
- Procedure during Council meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.
Article 6: Leonard Metal
- The Leonard Medal of the Society shall be awarded to individuals who have made outstanding, original contributions to the science of meteoritics directly or through work in closely allied fields of research.
- The Leonard Medal Committee shall consist of five members serving five-year terms, which are staggered such that one term expires each calendar year. No member of the Council may serve on the Committee. Vacancies on the Committee shall be filled by appointments made by the President. Each year the President shall designate one member of the Committee to serve as Chair. The Committee shall operate under rules approved by the Council.
- Six weeks prior to the annual meeting of the Society, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary documented nominations for its first and second choice for recipient of the Leonard Medal to be awarded at the next following annual meeting. The Secretary shall distribute copies to Council members at least one month prior to the Council meeting. Final selection of the Leonard Medalist shall be made by Council, with at least a two-thirds vote of all Council members present who are eligible to vote.
Article 7: Publication Committees
- There shall be two committees to oversee publications of the Society. The Society Publications Committee shall oversee the publication of Meteoritics and Planetary Science. The Joint Publications Committee shall be constituted jointly by the Meteoritical Society and the Geochemical Society for the purpose of overseeing the publication of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
- The Society Publications Committee shall consist of six appointed members who serve staggered three-year terms and the Society Treasurer who is an ex-officio member. Incumbent members shall be eligible for renomination.
- The six appointed members of the Society Publications Committee shall be selected by the President after consultations with the Committee Chair.
- One of the appointed members shall serve as Committee Chair for a two-year term. The Chair shall be selected by the President following consultation with the Editor of Meteoritics and Planetary Science and approved by the Council.
- The Society Publications Committee shall have the following responsibilities:
- To monitor Meteoritics and Planetary Science on a continuing basis and to advise the Council on any decision involving the journal that requires the approval of the Council. In particular, the committee shall monitor the finances of the journal, report to the council on its activities prior to the Society’s Annual meeting, and make budgetary recommendations to the council so that library rates can be established in March for the following year and annual dues for members at the Annual Meeting.
- To negotiate a contract between the Editor of Meteoritics and Planetary Science and the Society to ensure the continued successful publication of the journal. This contract and subsequent changes therein must be ratified by the Council.
- To negotiate contracts with the journal’s publisher. Such contracts and subsequent changes therein must be ratified by the Council.
- To approve new Associate Editors following their nomination by the Editor.
- To advise the Editor of Meteoritics and Planetary Science when requested by the Editor.
- To help resolve any conflict involving the journal that cannot be resolved by the Editor and Board of Associate Editors.
- To review the state of Meteoritics and Planetary Science every four years in conjunction with the nomination of an Editor.
- The Joint Publications Committee shall consist of six appointed members who serve three-year terms and five ex-officio members.
- The appointed members of the Joint Publications Committee shall serve staggered three-year terms. Members of the Committee shall be jointly appointed by the Presidents of the two Societies, in consultation with the Editor and the Chair of the Committee. One of these appointed members shall be appointed the Chair. No later than four months before the expiration of the Chair’s term, an ad hoc Nominating Committee that is chaired by the Executive Editor and includes the Geochemical Society and Meteoritical Society Presidents shall proceed to nominate a successor to the Chair of the Joint Publications Committee for approval by the Councils of the Geochemical Society and the Meteoritical Society. Incumbent Committee members shall be eligible for re-nomination. The term of each appointee shall begin on January 1 of the year immediately following the date of their appointment.
- The ex-officio members of the Joint Publications Committee shall be the Executive Editor of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, the Editor of Meteoritics and Planetary Science, the Special Publication Series Editor of the Geochemical Society, the President of the Geochemical Society and the President of the Meteoritical Society. The ex-officio members shall take part in all discussions and their views should be included in decisions made by the Joint Publications Committee. However, the ex-officio members shall not have formal voting rights, except for the Executive Editor when the issue directly concerns Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
- At all times, both the Geochemical Society and the Meteoritical Society must be represented on the Joint Publications Committee by at least two persons.
- The Joint Publications Committee shall have the following responsibilities:
- To advise the Executive Editor of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta and to monitor the journal on a continuing basis.
- To approve new Associate Editors following their nomination by the Executive Editor.
- To negotiate contracts with the journal’s publisher. Such contracts, and subsequent changes therein, must be ratified by the Councils of the two Societies.
- To advise the two Societies on any matter concerning publication.
- To mediate conflicts between the Executive Editor and authors. Such mediation may be initiated at either the author’s or the Executive Editor’s request, but the recommendation shall take the form of advice and not be binding.
- To review the state of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta every three years in conjunction with the nomination of the Executive Editor.
Article 8: Editor of Meteoritics And Planetary Science
- The term of the Editor of Meteoritics and Planetary Science normally shall begin January 1 and be for four calendar years. In the case of a mid-year appointment of a new Editor to fill a vacancy, the term shall be the remainder of the year of appointment plus four years. An Editor may succeed himself/herself.
- The Society Publications Committee shall evaluate the record of the current Editor, nominate an Editor for the next term, and report this evaluation and nomination to the Council. Final selection of the Editor shall be made by Council 18 months prior to the expiration of the current term.
- The Editor of Meteoritics and Planetary Science shall seek the advice of the Society Publications Committee before proposing to the Council any major changes in the operation or format of the journal.
- The Editor of Meteoritics and Planetary Science shall seek the advice of the Board of Associate Editors in deciding whether or not to publish memorials for specific individuals.
Article 9: Executive Editor of Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta
- The term of the Executive Editor of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta shall be three years. An Executive Editor may succeed himself/herself.
- The Joint Publications Committee shall evaluate the record of the current Executive Editor, nominate an Executive Editor for the next term, and report this evaluation and nomination to the Council no later than one year before the expiration of the incumbent Executive Editor’s term. Final selection of the Executive Editor shall be made by the Councils of the Meteoritical and Geochemical Society.
- The Executive Editor of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta shall seek the advice of the Joint Publications Committee before making any substantive changes in the operation or format of the Journal.
Article 10: Election of Fellows
- Article 2.2 of the Constitution describes the election of Fellows. The Leonard Medal Committee is charged with preparing a list of Society members whom they propose for election as Society Fellows.
- The means of selecting candidates for Fellow shall be determined by the Leonard Medal Committee. To aid the Committee in identifying candidates, the Secretary shall publish yearly a solicitation for Fellow nominations from the Society membership. The Committee shall prepare a slate of Fellow candidates, which may be of any length, but normally will be a length equal to one percent of the Society membership rounded up to the next highest integer. This slate [of fellows] shall be submitted to the Council by April 1 in even-numbered years.
- Members of the Council and of the Leonard Medal Committee are not eligible for election as Fellows during their term of office.
- The Council shall elect Fellows only from the slate of candidates submitted by the Leonard Medal Committee. Election as a Fellow shall require at least a two-thirds vote of all members eligible to vote. The number of Fellows elected shall not exceed the number of candidates submitted by the Committee or one percent of the Society membership (rounded up), whichever is the smaller number.
- Announcements of Fellows who have been elected shall be made during the annual meeting of the Society and transmitted to all members by the end of the year.
Article 11: Barringer Medal
- The Barringer Medal and Award were created by the Barringer Crater Company in memory of D. Moreau Barringer Sr. and his son D. Moreau Barringer Jr. The program is administered by the Meteoritical Society and funded by an endowment from the Barringer Crater Company, which is managed by the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University. The Barringer Medal shall be awarded to an individual (either a member or a non-member) or to a small group of collaborating scientists (maximum 3) for outstanding work in the field of impact cratering, and/or work that has led to a better understanding of impact phenomena. The Medal shall be presented during the annual meeting of the Society.
- The Barringer Medal Selection Committee shall consist of four Society members appointed by the President, one of whom shall be nominated by the Barringer Crater Company. The Committee members shall serve staggered, four-year terms. The Chair is appointed by the President for a one-year term.
- Nominations for the Barringer Medal can be made by members or non-members and shall be solicited by the Secretary through annual announcements and independently by members of the Barringer Medal Committee. The means of selecting a candidate for the Barringer Medal shall be determined by the Selection Committee. Six weeks prior to the annual meeting of the Society, the Committee shall present to the Council its candidate for the Medal along with supporting documentation for the first and the second place candidates. If the Committee concludes that no worthy candidate has been nominated, it may recommend that the Medal not be awarded that year. Concurrence with the selection by the Council requires a two-thirds vote of all Council members present who are eligible to vote.
Article 12: Meteorite Nomenclature Committee
- The Meteorite Nomenclature Committee shall be responsible for establishing guidelines for the naming of meteorites, for the approval of new names, for decisions regarding pairing or separation of meteorites previously named, and for dissemination of this information in the Meteoritical Bulletin and the Meteoritical Bulletin Database.
- The Meteorite Nomenclature Committee shall consist of nine to twelve members appointed by the President in consultation with the Chair of the committee, plus three ex officio members, the latter being the Vice-President of the Society, the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin, and the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin Database. Ex officio members shall have full voting privileges. Appointed members shall serve a three year term and may be re-appointed for additional three year terms without limit. A minimum of three terms shall expire each year. The membership of the Committee shall be chosen to provide a balance among researchers, curators and field workers, and to provide representation from those countries having high meteorite recovery rates.
- The President shall designate one of the appointed members to serve as the Committee Chair. The term of the Chair shall be three years or the remainder of his or her current term as member, whichever is less. The Chair may serve two consecutive terms, and may be subsequently reappointed after a hiatus of three years.
- The term of the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin shall be four years and may be renewed without limit. One year before the end of an Editor’s term the President shall nominate an ad hoc committee to nominate an Editor for the next term. Final selection of the Editor shall be made by Council.
- The term of the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin Database shall be four years and may be renewed without limit. One year before the end of a Database Editor’s term, an ad hoc committee comprising the Chair of the NomCom, the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin, and one or more additional persons selected by the Chair shall nominate a Database Editor for the next term. Final selection of the Database Editor shall be made by Council.
- The Committee shall formulate rules appropriate to its function. These rules shall be official following ratification by the Council.
Article 13: Nier Prize
- The Nier Prize honors the memory of Alfred O. Nier and is supported by the Nier Fund, originally endowed by Mrs. Ardis H. Nier. This award shall be given for a significant research contribution in the field of meteoritics and closely allied fields of research; the award recognizes individual research or research done in a small group in which the awardee played the leading role. The recipient will be a scientist who has not yet reached his or her thirty-fifth birthday at the end of the calendar year in which he or she is selected by the Council, or whose doctorate was awarded no more than seven calendar years before the year of selection by the Council.
- Nominations for the Nier Prize will be solicited by the Leonard Medal Committee. Six weeks prior to the annual meeting of the Society, the Committee shall present to the Council documented nominations for its first and second choices for recipient of the Nier prize to be awarded at the next annual meeting. Final selection of the Nier Prize recipient shall be made by the Council with at least a two-thirds vote of all Council members present who are eligible to vote.
Article 14: Endowment Committee
- The Endowment Committee members shall serve as trustees for the investment fund, which consists of the Endowment Fund and the Reserve Fund. The Endowment Fund is composed of the General Endowment Fund, the Nier Fund, the Gordon A. McKay Fund, and other funds that may be established by the Council.
- The Committee shall consist of five members who are appointed by the President and one ex officio member, the Society Treasurer. At least four of the appointed members must be Meteoritical Society members. Appointed members serve three-year terms and may be re-appointed without limit. The President shall designate one of the members to serve as chair.
- The responsibilities of the Committee include managing the investment fund, fundraising, ensuring that contributions are appropriately acknowledged, encouraging submission of proposals, issuing a report to the Council, and recommending expenditures from the General Endowment Fund. Final approval of expenditures will be made by the Council
- Unless otherwise specified, all gifts to the society will be transferred to the Endowment Fund. A small percentage of the General Endowment Fund not to exceed 5% may be used each year to support projects that have been approved by the Council. Contingent on approval by the Council, the Reserve Fund will provide funds for unanticipated exigencies that otherwise would exhaust or seriously deplete the Operating Fund.
- The Committee shall formulate rules appropriate to its function. These rules shall be official following ratification by the Council.
Article 15: Paul Pellas-Graham Ryder Award
- The Paul Pellas-Graham Ryder Award for for the best student paper in planetary sciences is administered jointly by the Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America. It is given to the graduate or undergraduate student who, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, the Meteoritical Society Council, and the Management Board of the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America, submitted as first author the best planetary science paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal during the previous year. Any paper published in multiple formats (online and/or in print) cannot be considered for the award more than one time. The topics included for this Award are asteroids, comets, craters, interplanetary dust, interstellar medium, lunar samples, meteors, meteorites, natural satellites, planetary and satellite surfaces, tektites, and the origin and history of the solar system.
- The Selection Committee for this Award shall consist of three members from each of the two sponsoring societies serving staggered three-year terms, which begin on January 1. The Committee members from the Meteoritical Society shall be appointed by the President of the Meteoritical Society. Nominations for the award shall be solicited from members of both societies through annual announcements. The Committee shall operate under rules approved by the Council. The Committee shall elect a Chair from its own membership. If possible, the Chair should alternate from one year to the next between a member appointed by the Meteoritical Society and one appointed by GSA Planetary Geology Division.
- The Committee shall present its candidate for the Award, along with supporting documentation to the Council no later than April 1 of each year. Council shall vote electronically on the selection by May 1; concurrence requires a two-thirds vote of all members eligible to vote.
Article 16: Political Limitation
- No substantial part of the activities of the Society shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation.
- The Society shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign (including the publishing or distribution of statements) on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Article 17: Dissolution
- In the event of the dissolution of the Society, the Council shall convey all the assets of the Society after payment, or provision for payment, of all debts and liabilities to another nonprofit scientific organization that is closely allied to planetary sciences and has tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
Article 18: Membership Committee and Service Award
- The duties of the Membership Committee are: a) To recruit new members and retain current members; b) to suggest ways to improve the public image of the Society; c) to advise the Council on membership issues; d) to administer the Service Award.
- The Membership Committee shall consist of at least 5 members appointed by the President and chosen to represent the current geographic distribution of the membership. Committee members will serve staggered three-year terms, and may be reappointed for up to two additional consecutive terms. The Committee shall operate under rules approved by the Council.
- The President shall designate one of the members to serve as the Committee Chair. The term of the Chair shall be for the remainder of his or her current term on the Committee.
- Service Award:
- The purpose of the award shall be to honor members who have advanced the goals of the Society to promote research and education in meteoritics and planetary science in ways other than by conducting scientific research. Examples of activities that could be honored by the award include, but are not limited to, education and public outreach, service to the Society and the broader scientific community, and acquisition, classification and curation of new samples for research.
- Nominations for the award shall be solicited from Society members through annual announcements in Meteoritics and Planetary Science or the Society newsletter; nominations should be sent to the Committee Chair. Candidates may also be nominated by members of the Membership Committee at any time.
- Six weeks prior to the annual meeting of the Society, the Membership Committee shall present to the Council documented nominations for its first and second choices for recipient of the Service Award to be awarded at the next annual meeting. Final selection of the Service Award recipient shall be made by the Council with at least a two thirds vote of all Council members present who are eligible to vote.
- The award shall be lifetime membership in the Society, effective January 1 of the year following the presentation of the award.
- The award may be given annually, and should be given at least every two years. The presentation shall be made at the next Annual Meeting following the Council vote.
- Members of the Council and the Membership Committee making the selection are not eligible to receive the award. The award also should not be given to former officers of the Society for activities conducted in the performance of their duties.
Article 19: Audit Committee
The Audit Committee is responsible for producing an audit of the Treasurer’s annual report at the end of each fiscal year. The committee will consist of three Society members. Committee members cannot be Council members and cannot be affiliated with the institution of any Treasurer who served during that fiscal year. Members will serve staggered, three-year, renewable terms, with one member acting as Chair. The appointment of new members of the Audit Committee and the selection of the Chair will be made by the President. If possible, the report of the Audit Committee should be transmitted to the Secretary for distribution to the Council prior to the Annual Meeting; otherwise, the report should be transmitted within 4 months of receipt of the Treasurer’s report.
Article 20: Gordon A. McKay Award
- This award honors the memory of Gordon A. McKay and is supported by the McKay Fund, established in 2008 as a part of the society’s endowment. The award shall be given each year to the student who gives the best oral presentation at the annual meeting of the society. The recipient must be a full-time student, a member of the society, and must not have won the McKay Award before.
- The McKay Award selection committee shall consist of a chair, a vice-chair, and at least four other members, all of whom serve for one year. The chair is appointed by the president. The vice-chair shall be, ex officio, the person serving as chair of the program committee of the annual meeting at which the selection is made; if this person is unable to serve, the program committee may delegate a replacement. The other members of the committee are selected by the chair, in consultation with the vice-chair.
- The selection committee shall report its first and second choice candidates for the McKay Award to council by October 1 or two weeks after the annual meeting, whichever is later. Final selection shall be made by the Council promptly after receiving the report of the selection committee. Concurrence requires a two-thirds vote of all members eligible to vote.
Article 21: Elmar K. Jessberger Award
- The Elmar K. Jessberger Award honors the memory of Elmar K. Jessberger and is supported by the Jessberger Fund, endowed in 2019 by the Jessberger Family. The Award recognizes outstanding research in the field of isotope cosmochemistry by a female scientist in the middle of her career. The recipient will be a woman who has received her doctorate at least 10 years and not more than 20 years before the year she is selected by the Council and whose scientific track record shows great promise. The award is presented every other year beginning in 2021. The award comes with prize money of USD 1,500.
- Nominations for the Award will be solicited by the Jessberger Award Committee. The Committee shall consist of a chair and at least four other members. At least one member will rotate off every two years, beginning in 2023. At least one of the members shall also be members of the Leonard Medal/Nier Prize Committee. The chair is appointed by the president. The chair selects the other members of the Committee with approval of the president. There should be at least one, and preferably two, members with specific expertise in the field of isotope cosmochemistry.
Six weeks prior to the annual meeting of the Society, the Committee shall present to the Council documented nominations for its first and second choices for recipient of the Jessberger Award to be awarded at the next annual meeting. Final selection of the Jessberger Award recipient shall be made by the Council with at least a two-thirds vote of all Council members present who are eligible to vote.
Article 22: Impact Cratering Committee
The Impact Crater Committee shall be responsible for approving and maintaining a database of terrestrial impact craters (including confirmed craters, impact structures and associated impactite deposits), defining and regularly updating the criteria used for identification of impact craters/structures and their related deposits, and for evaluating new submissions for approval and inclusion in the database.
The Impact Crater Committee shall consist of eight members appointed by the President in consultation with the Chair of the Committee, plus two ex officio members, the latter being the Vice-President of the Society and the Editor of the online database. Ex officio members shall have full voting privileges. Appointed members shall serve a three-year term and may be re-appointed for additional three-year terms without limit. The terms of at least two members shall expire each year. The membership of the Committee shall be chosen to provide a balance among researchers representing the diverse disciplines contributing to impact crater and impact deposit recognition.
The President shall designate one of the appointed members to serve as the Committee Chair. The term of the Chair shall be three years or the remainder of his or her current term as member, whichever is less. The Chair may serve two consecutive terms, and may be subsequently reappointed after a hiatus of three years.
The term of the Database Editor shall be four years and may be renewed without limit. One year before the end of an Editor's term the Committee shall nominate an Editor for the next term. Final approval of the Editor shall be made by Council.
The Committee shall formulate rules appropriate to its function. These rules shall be official following ratification by the Council.
The Constitution was last revised in March 2001 (Article 1.2, 3.3, and 5.2) and March 1993 (Article 3.3).
Between 1994 and 2007 the Bylaws were revised as follows: Article 1 (September 2001). Article 12 (March 1999), Article 13 (July 1995), Article 14 (July 1996), Article 15 (August 2000); Articles 3, 7-9, 16, 17 (March 2002); Article 12.3 (March 2003, and again in August 2004); Article 7.7 and 15 (August 2004); Article 8.1 and 18 (September 2005); Articles 2.3, 3.6-3.9, 4.3, 14, 15, and 19 (March 2007); Article 18.4 (August 2007).
Since the Constitution and bylaws were last published in the Newsletter in November 2008, the following bylaws have been changed:
Article 1.1/1.3/1.4 (July 2009), 1.3 (March 2011)
Article 2.2 inserted and 2.3 (which became 2.4) revised (August 2010)
Article 3.4 (July 2009), Article 4.1 (July 2009)
Article 4.3 (February 2012)
Article 5.2/5.4/5.5/5.6/5.7/5.8 (July 2009)
Article 6.2 (July 2009), 6.3 (June 2011)
Article 7.5c (inserted July 2009)
Article 10.2/10.5 (July 2009), 10.2,4 (June 2011); 10.2 (March 2012)
Article 11: 11.2/11.3 (July 2009), 11.3 (June 2011); 11.1-3 (August 2012); 11.1 (Dec. 2020)
Article 12.1/12.2/12.4 (July 2009), Article 12.5 (inserted July 2009), 12.1,2,3 (March 2011); 12.2,5 (December 2011), 12.2,3 (March 2015)
Article 13.1 (July 2009), 13.2 (June 2011), 13.1 (July 2013)
Article 14.1b (July 2009), Article 20 (March 2009), 14.1-4 Name change (March 2012)
Article 15.3 (June 2011), 15.1,2 (March 2012), 15.1 (March 2015)
Article 18.4 (June 2011)
Article 19 (February 2012)
Article 20.3 (June 2011)
Article 21 (May 2019)
Article 22 (January 2023) - added at this date to the online document though the committee had been approved in March 2020
Article 12.2 (February 2023) - expanded committee to include between 9 to 12 members
Article 21.1, 21.2, 22.2 (July 2023) - minor changes to correct start year of Jessberger Award and members of these two committees and how many terms end each year
Article 1.1, 1.2 (August 2023) - added text to include the Code of Ethics into the bylaws and establish the creation of an Ethics Committee.