Constitution and Bylaws
Permafrost Young Researchers Network
The Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) is formally constituted to provide an international service for early career permafrost scientists and engineers. PYRN itself works with and reflects the views our members to the International Permafrost Association (IPA).
The Permafrost Young Researchers Network functions under the following Bylaws:
ARTICLE I - Name
The name of this organization is the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) and will herein be referred to as PYRN.
ARTICLE II - Territory
The Permafrost Young Researchers Network shall include and be limited to all of the nations that its membership represents.
ARTICLE III - Location
The Headquarters of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network shall be the address designated by the elected President (see Article VI).
ARTICLE IV - Mission Statement and Objectives
PYRN is an international organization which fosters collaborations and seeks to recruit, retain and promote future generations of permafrost researchers. PYRN supports the multi-disciplinary talents of its members as a long-term approach towards meeting global awareness, knowledge and response of permafrost challenges in a changing climate.
● To encourage the dissemination of knowledge concerning permafrost and promote cooperation between young researchers and local, national, and international organizations engaged in scientific investigations or engineering work on permafrost.
● To provide a common forum in which to communicate and exchange ideas related to permafrost science and engineering.
● To foster a network which supports early career development, mentoring and academic advancement for permafrost related employment.
● To facilitate co-operation for the benefit of young permafrost researchers between government agencies, educational institutions, and organizations including private and non-profit ventures, as well as with local, national and international organizations concerned with permafrost science and engineering and polar issues.
ARTICLE V - Membership
Membership is free and open to anyone interested in permafrost science and engineering. However, several of PYRN activities are restricted to young researchers, as defined in section 2. Membership is acknowledged by website registration and does not require affiliation with an organization.
Definition of Young Researcher
A young researcher is defined as early in their career and is any individual currently enrolled as a post-secondary student or having completed their most recent post-secondary degree within the last six years. Memberships can be provided to motivated high school students seeking to collect information on careers in permafrost research.
Definition of Senior Researcher
A senior researcher is any individual who has completed their most recent post-secondary degree more than six years ago.
Rights and Duties
PYRN members are entitled to participate in PYRN activities, to nominate themselves or be nominated for any position within the PYRN organizational structure, and to propose new activities by contacting any member of the Executive Committee. Members shall not speak on behalf of PYRN, or claim their views as a representative of PYRN without explicit approval from the Executive Committee.
Termination of Membership
Members have the right to terminate their membership at any time. The Executive Committee by majority vote reserves the right to terminate individual membership.
ARTICLE VI – Executive Committee
The Executive Committee, also referred to as ExCom, shall consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of twelve young researchers. Within the ExCom the following roles may be allocated: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Web manager, and during selected time periods an International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP) representative. The individual “jobs” are to be handed flexible and can alternate among the ExCom members.
Rights and Duties
The Executive Committee shall manage the affairs of the PYRN including administration, program development, supervision and recommendation of financial affairs. Individual members of the ExCom can serve as liaisons between PYRN and other national and international organizations with complimentary focuses and objectives. All positions expire after two years, with the opportunity for renewal. All terms may be renewed with the consensus of the current ExCom.
The President shall call, set the agenda and chair ExCom meetings; shall, in agreement with the ExCom members, appoint all committees; and shall perform all other duties incident to the office. The President shall in collaboration with the other committee members prepare an annual report of the PYRN’s activities to be presented to the annual meeting of the International Permafrost Association (IPA). The President shall be a regular member and act as the primary point of reference for maintaining dialogue and coordination with the IPA.
The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the temporary absence or disability of the President, and serve as the President’s principal assistant in conducting the business of the network. The Vice-President will customarily succeed the President at the expiration of the President term. The Vice-President shall also maintain dialogue and coordination with Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and to promote long-term stability in the leadership of the Executive Committee.
The President and the Vice-President are responsible for an active exchange between PYRN and IPA/APECS. At least one of them should be a regular members of the organization and represent PYRN in the Council of IPA/APECS. The goal of the cooperation is to maintain dialogue and coordination with IPA/APECS.
3.3 Secretary/Newsletter Editor
The Secretary may edit and oversee the regular production of the PYRN newsletter that shall be published at least every three months. The Secretary shall co-ordinate regular updating of the meeting calendar and job openings at the PYRN website. It is recommended that the Secretary subscribes to the major list serves serving Arctic and young researcher communities to gather pertinent information.
The Treasurer is the fiscal officer for the ExCom when required. They may be responsible for ensuring that budgets are followed in an appropriate manner and coordinating with funding agencies and other sponsoring parties to ensure all conditions of the funding are followed. This role may also include working with national chapters of permafrost organizations to assist in coordinating events and activities which benefit the PYRN community.
3.5 Web Manager
The Web Manager shall perform major updates of the PYRN website and associated data which requires knowledge in excess of completing day to day activities. The Web Manager is not required to attend Excom meetings however this is with the expectation that they stay up-to date with the meeting minutes.
3.6 ICOP Representative
The Executive Committee shall during the two years prior to the International Conference of Permafrost (ICOP) contain an additional role entitled the ICOP Representative. The ICOP Representative will represent PYRN and serve as the principal contact to the ICOP organizers. The ICOP Representative will lead the co-ordination of PYRN activities during the ICOP conference. The ICOP representative will serve as the primary representative for the country hosting the ICOP conference.
3.7 Additional of Roles ExCom Members
Additional of roles ExCom members may be assigned as needed and will expire at the end of the event or ExCom term, which ever is more appropriate. It is recommended that at least one outgoing Executive Member makes themselves available as an ex-officio advisor to the Executive Committee.
Selection, Renewal and Termination of ExCom Members
The President shall biennually announce the opening of the pertinent Executive Committee positions, including their descriptions as found in the ByLaws before May 1 of the years containing the ICOP or the official regional conferences on permafrost.
Applicants shall compose a short statement of interest aimed for the Nominating Committee, which will consist of at least three members of the current ExCom and be chaired by the President. Before a name is placed in nomination, the Nominating Committee shall be assured that the nominee will agree to serve if elected. The Nominating Committee will conduct itself fairly and equitably. If necessary nominations may be confirmed by a vote, and if the Nominating Committee contains an even number the current President shall have two votes.
Any nomination after public announcement to the PYRN community can be withdrawn for one month if there is sufficient cause. Sufficient cause should be determined by a majority vote of all current ExCom members.
The ExCom may also jointly appoint members until the maximum quota has been met. In the event of an ExCom resignation, an interim member may also be selected to serve until the next election.
The ExCom may also be formed through volunteers at ICOP or similar regional events. A nominating committee may be suspended in lieu of an open vote or acclamation of a single candidate by PYRN members. Official terms begin at conclusion of the event.
Individual ExCom memberships may be terminated by a 2/3rds vote of all current ExCom members. An appeal and second vote of the ExCom may be granted in conditions of undue stress and hardship. Notification of the termination vote must be sent to the ExCom member at least 14 and 7 days in advance.
ARTICLE VII - Council
The Council shall consist of PYRN members including National Representatives and the current ExCom.
Rights and Duties
The Council is responsible for the providing feedback between regular members and the ExCom and participating in organizing both local and international events. It meets in person at ICOP meetings to assist in determining the direction for PYRN during the next four year cycle. Meetings may be conducted at more regular intervals via telecommunication. Formal recommendations from the Council to the ExCom must be supported by a majority vote of all members who are not current ExCom members.
Selection, Renewal and Termination of Council members
Individual members can be nominated (including self-nomination) and approved by a majority vote of the ExCom and the current Council. Councilor terms are two-years in duration and end at either the next ICOP or the official regional conference on permafrost. They are open for renewal. Efforts will be made to ensure that the Council provides broad and effective representation of PYRN members. Individual Council memberships may be terminated at the request of the individual or by 2/3rds vote of all current Council members.
ARTICLE VIII - National Representatives
A National Representative, also referred to as NR, shall be any PYRN member who represents his or hers country during the organization of PYRN related activities. Countries can have multiple NRs.
Rights and Duties
National Representatives are the point of reference for PYRN in the NR’s own country. NR’s are encouraged to facilitate and organize PYRN activities in collaboration with the ExCom when permafrost meetings and conferences are located in the NR’s country. It is the ExCom’s responsibility to secure a NR to represent PYRN during any conference that is anticipated to have large attendance by the PYRN community. The NR shall produce a brief report to the ExCom following the event which will be distributed to PYRN members via the website and/or newsletter.
Selection, Renewal and Termination of National Representatives
The ExCom shall if available, collaborate with a retiring NR to identify a NR to represent PYRN during a particular conference. The ExCom has the right to terminate a NR at all times. The NR is appointed on a need-basis and the appointment is valid for either the year of the particular conference/event or if desired until the next ICOP or official regional conference on permafrost.
ARTICLE IX - National Organizations
A National Organization is a group of PYRN members within a country who wish to facilitate activities and events within a local or national region.
Rights and Duties
National Organizations may govern themselves under their own bylaws provided that they follow the PYRN mission to facilitate the development of young permafrost researchers. The PYRN constitution and bylaws shall supercede those of a National Organization if there is a discrepancy. The National Organization should identify itself as the country or region it represents, and provide an annual report of activities to the ExCom.
ARTICLE X - Ex-Officio Members
An Ex-Officio member is a past ExCom or NR that continues to participate and provide feedback on activities and events as requested by the current ExCom.
Rights and Duties
Ex-Officio members are observing members in all PYRN decisions, and may not participate in consensus or voting procedures. At the invitation of the current ExCom they are welcome to attend meetings. Their primary role is to provide feedback and advice on PYRN procedures and activities.
Termination and Renewal of Ex-Officio Members
The term of an Ex-Officio Members can begin at any time provided they do not hold an additional role on the ExCom. An Ex-Officio Member can be active for several years. The ExCom/Council has the right to terminate an Ex-Officio membership at any time through a majority vote.
Article XI - Meetings
Rules of Order for ExCom Meetings
The President of the ExCom shall be responsible for ensuring that the meetings are run in a fair and efficient manner. ExCom members may overrule any particular decision of the President (or her/his designee) in this regard by majority vote. Unless otherwise specified by these By-Laws, each decision shall be made by the consensus of the ExCom. The quorum requirement is that at least ⅔ rds of the ExCom be present for consensus decisions. In the event that consensus cannot be reached, the fallback decision-making procedure shall be a majority electronic vote by all ExCom members. The vote must be initiated within 24 hours of the meeting time, and concluded within 7 days. Meeting minutes should be sent out electronically to all ExCom members for approval within 24 hours of the termination of the meeting. Feedback will be incorporated for the following 24 hours, unless this falls on a weekend when it will be extended to 48 hours, after which the minutes will be considered approved. ExCom meeting should be convened at one to two month intervals. Electronic communications (email, Skype conferences) will be the main form of communications.
Rules of Order for Council Meetings
The President of the ExCom shall be responsible for ensuring that the meetings are run in a fair and efficient manner. Unless otherwise specified by these By-Laws, each decision shall be made by the consensus of the Council. The quorum requirement is that at least 1/2 of the Council be present for consensus decisions. In the event that consensus cannot be reached, the fallback decision-making procedure shall be a majority electronic vote by all Council members. The vote must be initiated within 24 hours of the meeting time, and concluded within 7 days. Meeting minutes should be sent out electronically to all Council members for approval within 24 hours of the termination of the meeting. Feedback will be incorporated for the following 24 hours, unless this falls on a weekend when it will be extended to 48 hours, after which the minutes will be considered approved.
The PYRN Constitution and Bylaws shall contain the details of the organization structure of PYRN. They shall contain information sufficiently important to require some form of ExCom approval to change, but sufficiently malleable that the rigidity of the PYRN Bylaws modification procedure would be inappropriate. The PYRN Policies shall govern in all cases where they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with these Constitution and Bylaws. PYRN Policies may be modified by a consensus of the ExCom. Any such decision may be overridden by a majority vote of the Council members.
Addendum 1: Discrimination and Harassment
Rules of conduct set in this addendum apply to all members of PYRN, all attendees at PYRN events and all people and institutions that wish to cooperate with PYRN.
PYRN does not tolerate any form of discrimination within the organization, at its events or its activities and will not cooperate with organizations or institutions that promote any form of discrimination. Discriminatory practices can be explicit or implicit, intentional or unconscious. PYRN rejects discrimination by any means, based on factors including (but not limited to):
- ethnic or national origin
- political or other opinion
- gender identity
- sexual orientation
- physical appearance
- economic class
Discrimination is defined here as any unequal or unfair treatment in professional opportunities, education, benefits, evaluation, and employment (such as hiring, termination, promotion, compensation) as well as retaliation and various types of harassment.
All PYRN members in general as well as attendees, speakers, guest at PYRN events and possible staff of any PYRN event location are to be treated with respect and consideration.
PYRN values a diversity of views, opinions, and cultures among its members. PYRN is a diverse network with members of many different cultures and languages. Members may communicate with other members in their non-primary language, and certain expressions may be understood differently in other cultures. Any communication should demonstrate respect for others; critique should be aimed at ideas rather than individuals.
Harassment is a type of discrimination. It consists of acts that are unwanted, unwelcome, demeaning, abusive, threatening, or offensive. Harassment can happen as a single intense and severe act, or as multiple persistent or pervasive acts. The occurrence of harassment is defined by the person being harassed; whether someone has been harassed or not is not a debate, however harassing someone can be an intentional act, or born from ignorance (the harasser doesn't realize that what she/he is doing is harmful).
Examples include (but are not limited to):
- any form of degrading comments, verbal or otherwise, related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin
- the inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images
- unwanted touching or other hostile acts
- the circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates an individual or a group
- minimizing or intentionally taking actions to reduce the credibility of a harassment victimrace
PYRN is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming community for all its members. Any instance of harassment within the organisation or its activities will not be tolerated and will result in consequences.
PYRN is committed to creating a safe environment where victims of harassment or discrimination as well as witnesses feel empowered to report on such activity. For this reason, a system has been put in place in which anyone who feels that they have been subject or witness to harassment has multiple reporting mechanisms to choose from, depending on their preference.
A1.4. Consequences of violating the code of conduct
All violations of the Code of Conduct will be addressed by the PYRN Executive Committee, and penalties relative to the infraction will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Penalties can include:
- Membership revocation
- Removal from the PYRN Mailing List
- Ineligibility for grants administered by PYRN
- Ineligibility for opportunities advertised and administered through PYRN
- Ineligibility to attend PYRN International or National Committee organised events
Reports of a violation of the code of conduct reaching one or more members of the Executive Committee will be dealt with in the following way:
- Reports have to be shared with the other Executive Committee members
- Incident will be discussed within the Executive Committee and shared with the Council
- Executive Committee sets appropriate consequences