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Governance and By-laws

We, Diamondback Terrapin Working Group officers and regional representatives, have recently approved our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and are moving forward with submitting an application to be incorporated in the state of Florida.

Below is a summary of our governance structure and organization of the DTWG

Working Group Offices: The DTWG governance will consist of a two Co-chairs, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and up to two Representatives from each of five regions.  The Co-chairs will have the responsibility of conducting meetings and leading all discussions of the group and contributing to the administrative duties of the DTWG including communication among the working group, maintaining accurate records in a forum available to all members, and participating and guiding in the maintenance of a website.  The Secretary will maintain the membership list, record, maintain and distribute minutes of all meetings, and handle the general correspondence of the group.  The Treasurer will maintain the bank account and keep accurate financial records which will be available to DTWG members.

Officer and Representative terms and elections: As outlined above, each region may have up to two Regional Representatives that may include one of the above officers.  Regional Representatives will be elected by members of the DTWG representing that region.  It is recommended that Regional Representatives be selected from among researchers, interested individuals from regulatory agencies, or individuals from non-governmental organizations involved in terrapin conservation or management.

General Membership: General membership is open to all individuals with a genuine interest in terrapin research, management, conservation and education.  Membership is secured by sending your full contact information along with the applicable membership fee (see below) to the secretary of the working group.  General members will be invited to the triennial meeting, will receive all mailings (primarily via e-mail), and will have applicable voting rights. 

Fees: The annual membership fee for the DTWG is $20 for regular members and $10 for students. Fees will be used for the general administration of the working group, maintenance of the website, Workshop expenses, and production of public outreach and educational materials.  If funds allow, competitive grants for undergraduate and graduate student terrapin research will be awarded

Triennial Workshop: The working group will hold the triennial Workshop on the Ecology, Status and Conservation of Diamondback Terrapins.  The meetings will consist of paper and poster presentations contributed by scientists, resource managers, conservationists and educators working with diamondback terrapins or issues concerning them.  A local host committee (to be appointed) with the support of the Co-directors will plan the Workshop.  Part of the Workshop will be a business meeting of the DTWG.  All attendees of the Workshop are encouraged to participate in the meeting, however, voting is restricted to members in good standing.  The business meeting will be open to all interested individuals and will be an opportunity to bring new or old concerns and issues to the working group.  At each Workshop, the next Workshop venue will be will be announced.  Issues relating to governance, group structure, function, and direction of the DTWG must all be discussed and voted on according to Robertís Rules of Governance.

Website: A website dedicated to terrapin research, management, conservation and education will be maintained by the DTWG. The website will provide general information about terrapins and the working group.  It should be the purpose of the website to serve as a source for those interested in terrapin research as well as a forum to present effective and sound conservation and management strategies for terrapins.  The website will also serve as a general information source for the working group, including copies of all documents and by-laws related to the group and a membership list (restricted to members only).