Your Arabidopsis Representatives

MeyerowitzE MeyerowitzE at STARBASE1.CALTECH.EDU
Mon Jun 21 04:30:06 EST 1993

To North American Arabidopsis Researchers:

Perhaps you recall that, about a year ago, we elected (by E-mail secret ballot)
a North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (NAASC), to deal with the
issues that come up from time to time and require input from the community of
Arabidopsis researchers.  Examples of these issues over the past year were
deciding to have a National Arabidopsis meeting and accepting Roger
Hangartner's and Randy Scholl's offer to host it; and deciding who should
represent North America in the steering committee for the Multinational
Arabidopsis Genome Research Project (of which more below).  NAASC is also
beginning to serve as the representative of our research community to various
U.S. funding agencies, as exemplified by the recent NAASC meeting in Dallas to
advise the NSF and others of our community's needs for database services (the
report of the committee on databases will be sent out by E-mail when we have it
finished).  Additional roles will no doubt evolve.  

Because we all envision NAASC as a representative group, it is important that
members be elected, and that some form of rotation of membership be organized
so that the work and responsibilities can be broadly shared.  At the Dallas
database meeting we took time out to establish some rules for NAASC membership.
 NAASC consists of the original six members, Elliot Meyerowitz (chair), Fred
Ausubel, Joanne Chory, Joe Ecker, David Meinke and Chris Somerville.  We
decided that two members will rotate off of the committee each year (at the end
of December), and that their positions will be filled by two members who are
elected for three-year terms each fall.  The nominations and elections will be
by E-mail, as before.  The nomination and election procedures will be posted on
the E-mail network later this year.  The two members who will leave the
committee at the end of 1993 are Elliot Meyerowitz and Chris Somerville.  Fred
Ausubel and Joe Ecker will leave at the end of 1994, and Joanne Chory and David
Meinke will leave at the end of 1995.  The chair will be elected by the
committee each year, Fred Ausubel has been elected to be chair in 1994.   

The Multinational Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Research Project Steering
Committee is an international committee similar to NAASC, but with an
international scope and representation.  It has as its responsibility to
"annually review scientific progress and identify needs and new opportunities
for the Arabidopsis research community," and to "act in an advisory capacity to
various national funding agencies."  It is the Multinational Committee that
writes the annual progress reports of the Arabidopsis Genome Project (the
yellow-covered reports published each year by the US National Science
Foundation).  These reports have so far served as a basis for new funding
programs for Arabidopsis research in the US, UK, France, Germany and the
European Community.  The rules of the Multinational Committee are that each
represented region (Europe not including the UK., United Kingdom, Australia,
Japan, North America) has a fixed number of representatives (2, 2, 1, 1, 3,
respectively), and each region arranges its own rules of succession.  Since one
job of NAASC is to select members for the North American positions on the
Multinational Genome Project Steering Committee, we have established rotation
rules for the three North American representatives to that committee.  The
present North American representatives, who have served since the Multinational
Committee was formalized in 1990, are Howard Goodman, Elliot Meyerowitz, and
Chris Somerville.  NAASC decided to have one North American member step down
each year, and NAASC will elect a replacement who will serve a three-year term.
 Chris won the coin toss on this one; he will step down at the end of this
year, to be replaced by David Meinke.  Elliot steps down at the end of 1994.  

NAASC has also started thinking about putting the North American Arabidopsis
meetings on some sort of regular footing.  We have not yet agreed on the
frequency with which meetings should be held: the general idea seems to be to
have one either every other year, or every third year, and to alternate them
with meetings in other continents at one-year or 18-month intervals.  We would
be happy to hear from anyone about their feelings on the issue of meeting
frequency.  We are exploring various options for the organization of the
meeting.  One is to have the Genetics Society of America run them for us, as
they do for the yeast, Caenorhabditis and maize meetings.  Any ideas on this
(or anything else) are also welcome.

Elliot Meyerowitz, for the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee

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