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Who Manages NATL?
Lakes, Vegetation and Landscaping Committee (LVL)
LVL is the University committee responsible for the "management and well being of natural areas." This includes more than 20 conservation areas, two of which house the Natural Area Teaching Laboratory--viz. NATL-west and NATL-east.
Natural Area Advisory Committee (NAAC)
NAAC develops plans for NATL's development and management and seeks approval of these plans from LVL and other committees and from UF administration. Once plans are approved, NAAC seeks to implement these plans. NAAC members include faculty from departments and other units that use NATL, representatives of student organizations that are interested in NATL, the Chair of the Lakes, Vegetation and Landscaping Committee, and a UF Planner. The Committee meets at least once in Fall Semester and once in Spring Semester. Between meetings, business is handled by email.
Current NAAC management personnel
NAAC Chair: Emma Weeks
NATL Administrative Assistant: Tom Walker
NAAC management manuals
NATL Operations Committee
After 2005, as NAAC garnered greater support, NAAC Chairs found it necessary to have weekly meetings of those regularly working in NATL. This group, now known as the NATL Operations Committee, currently consists of the NAAC Chair and Vice Chair, the NATL Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching Assistants, and the NATL Administrative Assistant.
Who Funds NATL?
The Provost and the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Science provide the principal financial support for NATL. This support is supplemented with income from a small endowment (Appendix 2 of 26Apr2007 NAAC minutes.)
NAAC Operating Policies
The following operating policies were adopted by the Committee on 8 Dec 1995 and revised on 1 Apr 1999, 12 Oct 2001, 20 Mar 2002, and 28 Aug 2007.
Develop and help implement a plan to restore and maintain a variety of ecosystems in the University of Florida Natural Area Teaching Laboratory (NATL) while maximizing the use of the area for teaching and public education.
Early in the Fall Semester and during the Spring Semester, NAAC will meet at NATL to learn of NATL's problems and progress and to tend to NAAC business matters. Other meetings may be called by the Chair or upon request to the Chair by two or more members.
Meetings are open to all who are interested. Anyone who wishes to be notified of meetings will be put on the NAAC e-mail list.
NAAC will include at least one faculty member from each department, school, or other unit that makes significant use of NATL; one or more student members representing organizations interested in NATL; the Chair of the Lakes, Vegetation and Landscape Committee; the PPD Urban Forester; and a planner from UF Facilities Planning and Construction Division. In addition, anyone who wants to be a member can become one if approved by a majority of NAAC members.
Prior to the Spring Semester meeting, members who have not participated in NAAC affairs during the previous 12 months will be polled to see if they wish to continue as members.
At the Spring Semester meeting, NAAC membership will be discussed and plans made to insure that it remains representative of the units that use NATL.
Officers will consist of a Chair, elected by a majority of NAAC members for a term of two years, and a Vice-Chair, appointed by the Chair and confirmed by a majority of NAAC members. Voting may be by email.
The Chair and the Vice-Chair may serve an unlimited number of terms. New chairs may self-nominate and must have served on NAAC.
Committee business may be accomplished either at meetings or via email.
At meetings, a quorum of seven members (chair included) is required for issues to be decided. If a quorum is lacking, decisions will be made by email after issues have been discussed by those present at the meeting and the discussion summarized for those absent. A person designated by the Chair will be responsible for keeping minutes that include a statement of each motion for which a vote is taken and the count of yes and no votes unless the issue is decided by a voice vote. No later than one week after a meeting, draft minutes of the meeting will be emailed to the membership as information and for corrections. If no substantive changes are suggested within one week, the draft minutes (including minor changes) will be considered approved and posted on the NATL web site. If substantive changes are suggested, the issues will be resolved by those who attended the meeting. If substantive changes are needed, the minutes will be modified and posted on the web site and the membership notified.
For business via email, the Chair will propose an action and allow a week or more for discussion. The Chair will then call for a vote, drop the matter, or begin again with a modified proposal. When a vote is called for, members will have one week to respond with a yes, no, or abstention. For a vote to be final, half the membership must respond and at least seven must vote yes or no. The Chair, or a person he or she designates, will report the vote to the membership and maintain a record of actions proposed via email and how they were disposed of. This record will be an information item at each Fall and Spring Semester meeting and will be made an addendum to the minutes of the meeting.
Annually, the Chair will propose a spending plan that will be an action item at the Fall Semester meeting. Expenditures that exceed $200 and are not in the approved spending plan must be approved by a majority of NAAC members.
Duties of chair
- See that NAAC Operating Policies are followed (or updated).
- See that the long-term management plans for NATL are followed (or updated).
- Schedule the Fall and Spring Semester meetings at least 6 months in advance.
- Call special meetings on own initiative or at request of two or more members.
- Prepare and circulate an agenda prior to each meeting.
- See that minutes of meetings are kept, approved, and put on the NATL web site.
- Initiate proposals for actions via email and see that such proposals and their outcomes are recorded.
- Prepare a spending plan for the fiscal year to be acted on at the Fall Semester meeting.
- Oversee spending of NAAC funds.
- Select, with the approval of a majority of NAAC members, the NATL Graduate Teaching Assistant.
- Select, with the approval of a majority of NAAC members, a Vice-Chair and keep him or her apprised of NAAC and NATL affairs.
- See that the Graduate Teaching Assistant fulfills his or her NATL obligations.
- Keep the Physical Plant Division informed of NATL's maintenance needs.
- Report each Fall Semester to the Lakes, Vegetations and Landscaping Committee on issues important to NATL, on the previous year's uses of NAAC funds, and on the current year's NAAC-approved spending plan.
- See that the NATL web site and kiosks are kept current.
The Chair may delegate these duties to others but is ultimately responsible for their fulfillment.
Duties of Vice-Chair
- Serve as Chair when the Chair is temporarily unable to serve.
- Keep apprised of NAAC and NATL affairs.
- Assist the Chair in mutually agreeable ways.
If the Chair is permanently unable to serve prior to the end of his or her term, the Vice-Chair will serve as Chair until a new Chair is elected, which should occur no later than the next Fall or Spring Semester meeting.
NATL Operations Manual
The NATL Operations Manual [under development], developed by past NAAC Chairs, will be updated by the retiring Chair each time a new Chair is elected. The manual will explain the duties of the Chair and give details of how previous chairs have fulfilled their responsibilities.
Changes in committee operating policies or long-term management plans
Changes will be proposed in writing, sent to members prior to a meeting, discussed at that meeting, and acted upon no sooner than the next meeting.