Privacy Policy

Privacy Statement


The Ecological Society of America

ESA is committed to protecting the privacy of our users. We strive to provide a safe, secure user experience. 


We value our contacts’ right to privacy and will do what we can to protect and preserve it. We do not intentionally “spam” contacts by fax, e-mail, mail, or telephone. ESA does not hire telemarketing firms nor do we hire fax broadcasters.  We provide our contacts with information that we feel is of importance or urgency. Examples of this include impending meeting deadlines, election announcements, action alerts, course information, certification communications, dues and renewal notices, member updates and donations appeals. While some of this might be done online, others might be e-mailed or mailed directly to the contacts (collectively described as “users”.

ESA maintains a database of all current Society members and Certified Ecologists. Additionally, the same database might contain editors, authors, past members, prospective members, and non-member customers, including advertisers, vendors, subscribers, exhibitors, and others with whom ESA has or has had a business relationship.

Our Privacy Policy addresses the online data collection and usage policies and practices that apply to ESA websites and content on the domain (collectively described as “ESA websites”).  It also includes the order forms and member services accessible from ESA websites. ESA websites contain links to external websites over which we have no control. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of other websites that you visit through a link on ESA websites.

Specifically, ESA makes every effort to conform to data regulations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including:

  • Collected personal data
  • With whom personal data will be shared
  • Retention of your personal data
  • What safeguards are in place to protect your personal data
  • The transfer of your personal data outside ESA
  • Your rights with regards to your personal data
  • Where to address your questions or complaints


“Personal data” refers to any information about a person that can be used to identify that person.  Examples include name, email address, postal address, location data, and browsing behaviors.   This may also include (optional) social, economic, ethnicity and demographic information.   Examples of personally identifiable information can typically be found on pages where you can sign up to use a service, post professional or educational information, subscribe to publications, take a course, or purchase a product.

The United States Federal Government, as defined by the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003” (CAN-SPAM), identifies three types of e-mails, only one of which is subject to the restrictive provisions of the Act (those identified as “commercial messages”). Relationship or transactional messages are excluded from the Act. The vast majority of communication between the Society and its contacts is considered to be transactional in nature. Despite this fact, ESA filters messages in-house and only sends notices to contacts that we deem to be significantly important. In addition, ESA works to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the National Do Not Call Registry, CAN-SPAM, and all other federal guidelines.

Information we collect

Contact Information

Some ESA websites may request that you provide personal information, including your name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number.

Purchaser Information

For donations, member dues and other monetary transactions, we will request that you provide your credit card number, contact information, and billing information. Electronic financial transactions are saved for ESA’s internal tax and financial purposes.

Demographic Information

Demographic information such as your age, career focus and discipline, preferences, gender, educational degrees, student status, certification levels, ethnic background, interests, and household income range may be collected. Sometimes, we collect or may collect a combination of information types. An example of an ESA website which may collect personal or combined personal and demographic data is a webpage which requires the user to be logged into an authorized account .

Technical Information

We also gather or may gather certain information about your use of our site, such as what areas you visit and what services you access. Moreover, there is information about your computer hardware and software that we collect or may collect. This information can include, without limitation, your IP address, browser type, domain names, access times, and referring website addresses. Some of this information is collected using cookies.

List of digital partners:

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • WordPress
  • Google Analytics Suite,
  • Constant Contact email handling,
  • iMis member services,
  • Survey Monkey,
  • Confex annual meeting systems,
  • Bluehost hosting and domain registrar,
  • Amazon Web Services for public cloud services,
  • John Wiley & Sons Inc,
  • Sucuri firewall and intrusion prevention and disaster recovery,
  • Elavon and PayPal for transaction processing.

Retention of Personal Information

We retain indefinitely all the personal information we gather about visitors or subscribers as necessary to fulfill our contract with you. We retain indefinitely certain anonymized information we gather about visitors or subscribers for the legitimate purpose of performing website analytics and providing use of our website to all visitors in an efficient, practical, and relevant way. If there is no legal basis or other requirement for keeping your data AND after there has been no activity from you for forty-eight (48) months, your data that is no longer required will be purged.

Sharing of Personal Data

We do not share or disclose your personal information to third parties except as set forth below:

Personal Information Purpose of Sharing
Technical information With ESA business partners for the legitimate purpose of understanding usage patterns for ESA and the ESA online library websites and those of our partners.
Technical information With web hosting and other technical service providers for the legitimate purpose of hosting our web servers and ensuring information security for our networks.
Contact information With consultants and vendors for the legitimate purpose of providing customer support and marketing assistance.
Credit card information With credit card processors for purposes of processing credit card transactions regarding the subscriber’s contract with ESA websites.
Contact information With our business partners, with your consent, for the purposes of providing you with products or services tailored to your interests and preferences.
  • In addition, we disclose personal information if legally required to do so, if requested to do so by a governmental entity, or if we believe in good faith that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to legal requirements or comply with legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of ESA; (c) prevent a crime or protect national security; or (d) protect the personal safety of users or the public.
  • In the event any one or all of ESA websites become the subject of a bankruptcy proceeding, whether voluntary or involuntary, ESA or its trustee in bankruptcy may sell, license, or otherwise dispose of such information in a transaction approved by the bankruptcy court as is legally required.
  • In the event ESA is acquired in whole or part by a third party by way of merger or consolidation, we will disclose and transfer such information to the third party.
  • ESA may also share aggregated anonymous information about visitors to ESA and Publication websites with its clients, partners, and other third parties so that they may understand the kinds of visitors to ESA and John Wiley & Sons, Inc websites and how those visitors use the site.

Transfer of Personal Data Outside the EEA

Personal Data captured on this website may be transferred to, and stored or otherwise processed at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (hereinafter “EEA”), including destinations that are not subject to Data Privacy Provisions equivalent to those in the EEA countries in which you provided your Personal Data. We transfer your data to the US with your consent or where necessary to provide you with the services you have requested. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your Personal Data is processed safely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

General Rights Under the GDPR for Your Personal Data

Under the GDPR, EU-based visitors and subscribers have the rights to request from us access to Personal Data we store about you, to amend (or rectify) this data, to restrict our processing of the Personal Data, to erase the data, and to receive a copy of the data in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format (data portability). If you wish to invoke a right under the GDPR, you may contact us at Please use the subject line “GDPR request” in the subject line. Your e- mail should include a sufficiently detailed description of the GDPR right with which you seek assistance. We may need to contact you for further information and reserve the right to charge a fee for certain requests. ESA will notify you if your request has been granted or declined, or if exemptions apply.

If you have provided consent for the processing of your data, you have the right (in certain circumstances) to withdraw that consent at any time, which will not affect the lawfulness of the processing before your consent was withdrawn.

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you believe that we have not complied with the requirements of the GDPR with regard to your Personal Data.

Information You Post

If you post any personal information in public and/or social network areas of the ESA and John Wiley & Sons Inc. websites, for example, in an online forum or chat room, the information disclosed may be displayed to other users of these services which may be collected and used by others over whom we have no control. ESA is not responsible for the use made by third parties of information you post or otherwise make available in public areas of the ESA and John Wiley & Sons Inc. websites. If you remove information that you have made public on websites, copies may remain viewable in cached and archived pages of the ESA and John Wiley & Sons Inc. websites or if others have copied or saved that information.

Opt-In and Opt-Out Choices

Registration forms and other sections of the ESA websites where we collect your information provide you with relevant opt-in and opt-out choices regarding promotional activity and other communications with you. If you find otherwise, please email


E-mail to Members: ESA members may opt in for first- or third-party informational e-mails or manage all e-mail communication, except society election information or transaction processes. Members can provide data privacy instructions to us at the members-only website, or contact ESA iMis Portal Services at

E-mail to Subscribers: Subscribers to ESA publications, including the online library by John Wiley & Sons Inc. the ESA Blog, Policy News, certification, course or educational opportunities and member updates, may also opt in for first- or third-party informational e-mails or opt out of all e-mail communication (with the exception of subscription renewal information) by contacting ESA Member Services at

E-mail to Users of Free Services and Products:

  • Where permitted by law, users of free online services provided by ESA, such as free partial access to content from the ESA family of journals, access to Policy News from ESA, or e-mail alerting services/newsletters or career opportunities, education services, donation appeals and member communications, or who seek other free online services provided by ESA are agreeing that ESA may contact them by e-mail in exchange for these free services. Users who fall under the CASL and GDPR regulations who use free online services may opt into e-mails from ESA.
  • Where permitted by law, users who do not wish to receive e-mail alerting services or newsletters may cancel such services by following the unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of any e-mail message from ESA.
  • Users who do not wish to receive e-mail may follow the unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of any e-mail message from ESA.
  • Users may also change their communication options by sending an email to
  • The above are examples of opt-in / manage options and are not intended to describe every option on ESA websites.


A “cookie” is a file a Web site stores in a user’s computer for future reference. ESA uses cookies to improve some of its services. Individuals may set their browsers to reject cookies; however, there are ESA services, like meeting abstract and journal article submissions that will not function unless the user accepts the ESA cookie. For example, when a user returns to that ESA service, the cookie will identify the user as a previous visitor. Information supplied through an ESA cookie is used only by ESA and not shared with others.

Web Beacons

Our webpages may contain electronic images known as web beacons, a single-pixel GIF, which allow us to count users who have visited those pages and to deliver co-branded services. Web beacons are not used to access your personally identifiable information on ESA websites. They are a tool we use to compile aggregated statistics about our website usage. Web beacons collect only a limited set of information, including a cookie number, time and date of a page view, and a description of the page on which the web beacon resides.


We have, or may have, an area on our websites where you can submit feedback. Any feedback you submit in this area becomes our property, and we have a legitimate interest in contacting you for further information.

How We Protect Your Information

We are concerned with protecting your privacy and data, but we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us and we cannot guarantee that your information on ESA websites may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our industry- standard physical, technical, or managerial safeguards. We provide reasonable technical, administrative, and physical controls to secure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of personal information. If you have any questions about security on ESA websites, you may contact us at

Payment Processing

We utilize third-party payment services to enable you to purchase certain products or services from ESA websites, for example, when you purchase back issues of Frontiers in Ecology through our authorized provider. In such cases, you will be directed to a third-party service provider’s website operated by that provider in order to make the purchase. Any information that you provide to such provider and John Wiley and Sons Inc. may be subject to the applicable service provider’s privacy policy and not this Privacy Policy. We are not responsible for and have no control over the privacy policies or practices of third-party service providers. Use of third-party service providers to purchase products or services offered on ESA websites is solely at your risk.

All credit transactions occur in a secure area of our member site or on the PayPal website to protect you from any loss, misuse, or alteration of information collected. However, we cannot guarantee that unauthorized third parties will never be able to defeat those measures or use your personal information for improper purposes. When you place an order online at any of ESA websites, your credit card information is protected through the use of encryption of web content using Transport Layer Security.

Career Opportunities, Professional Certification and Educational Communications

On EcologyPlus and ESA Certification and Member websites, we give you the option of putting your resume or CV (collectively referred to as “user data”) in our database. There are two ways of doing this:

You can post your user data in our database as either a public or private user data. Public user data can be searched by parties with access to our searchable resume database.

We do not attempt to limit access to our searchable resume database (or copies thereof). We cannot guarantee that other parties will not gain access to this database. We are not responsible for the use made of resumes by third parties who access such user data while they are in our searchable database. You may remove your user data from our searchable database at any time.

However, employers, recruiters, and others who have paid for access to that database or to obtain a copy of that database, as well as parties who have otherwise gained access to the database may have retained a copy of your user data in their own files or databases. We are not responsible for the retention, use, or privacy of user data in these instances.

Please note: It is not our practice to restrict access to our resume database to any particular customer(s). Please be advised that your current employer or an entity affiliated with your current employer might be a customer of the EcologyPlus, ESA Certification or Member sites. We are not responsible for any actions or results that may occur as a result of any customer’s access to and/or use of your user data.

We reserve the right to remove from our database any user data we consider to be illegal or offensive.

Additional Terms and Rules for Social Networking

Social networking services provided on ESA websites (e.g., the ESA blog) may have additional terms of conduct, privacy policies, and privacy settings that you will be required to agree to and set when you register for such services.

Updating Your Information

It is important to us that we have your correct contact information so that you don’t miss out on further correspondence or experience problems with the delivery of publications and products.

Members and customers of ESA can change their personal information or update their account information at any time by visiting the members-only website, Other registrants or users may also update their personal information at any time by sending an e-mail to

Where to address your questions or complaints

If you have any concerns as to how your data is processed, you can contact:

The Ecological Society of America 
1990 M Street NW
Suite 700
Washington DC USA 20036

Changes to Privacy Statement

If we change our Privacy Statement for ESA websites, we will post those changes to ESA Privacy Policy Statement so that you will always know what information we gather, how we might use that information, and to whom we will disclose it.

We welcome your comments concerning this Privacy Statement. Members who believe that we have not adhered to this statement may contact us by e-mailing us at Non-members may contact us at We will use commercially reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy the problem. Thank you for using ESA websites.

Legal Requests

ESA reserves the right to share your information to respond to duly authorized information requests of governmental authorities or where required by law.


Under California Civil Code Section 1798.83 (also known as S.B. 27), if you are a California resident and your business relationship with ESA is primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, you may request certain data regarding our disclosure, if any, of personal information to third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an e-mail to with “Request for California Privacy Information” in the subject line. You may make such a request up to once per calendar year. If applicable, we will provide you, by e-mail, a list of the categories of personal information disclosed to third parties for their direct marketing purposes during the immediately preceding calendar year, along with the third parties’ names and addresses. Please note that not all personal information sharing is covered by S.B. 27’s requirements.

Acceptance of These Terms

Your use of ESA websites shall indicate your understanding and acceptance of the terms of this Privacy Statement. If you do not agree with all the terms herein, you should not use ESA websites or services.

If you have any comments or questions regarding this policy, please direct them to Catherine O’Riordan, ESA Executive Director,