The Northwest Ecological Research Institute (NERI) is a non-profit corporation, established in 1984, and organized exclusively for scientific and educational purposes. Its specific aim is to organize, fund, undertake, oversee, and publicly disseminate the results of research into the ecology of the Pacific Northwest. NERI is made up of a Board of Directors and a group of Associates.
The Associates of NERI are people who care about the ecological well-being of the Northwest, and who believe that independent research and education are the best tools with which to build an enlightened public policy concerning the natural resources of the Northwest.
NERI Associates may be researchers, naturalists, educators, administrators, students, or any civic or environmentally active individuals who are interested in the activities of this organization. Associates are invited to attend and participate in Board meetings and all other functions of NERI. Associates design and manage projects, pursue funding, carry out research, and write and illustrate reports and publications. In most cases, no one individual possesses the many skills required to carry a project from an idea through design, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of results. But because NERI is a coalition of Associates with diverse backgrounds including ecologists, biologists, naturalists, teachers, planners, writers, illustrators, MBAs, and more, every project has access to many capabilities. By working together, several Associates can contribute their own unique abilities to one or more projects leading to the attainment of the goals of NERI; namely, environmental research and education.
Anyone with an interest in, and a desire to contribute to, the goals of NERI is eligible to become an Associate. There are no membership fees or dues.
Generally, individuals are nominated for associateship by current Board members or other Associates, but individuals can also initiate their own nomination simply by stating their interest. The Board of Trustees must approve the nomination.
Once approved, the new Associate is entitled to participate in all NERI meetings and business, to utilize facilities and equipment, and to pursue approved projects on behalf of NERI.
The Board encourages Associates to propose research and educational projects. However, no proposals can be considered NERI projects, or be submitted to funding sources in the name of NERI, without prior approval of the Board. Associates who wish to pursue projects through NERI must first submit to the Board a brief summary (written or oral) describing the project and how it relates to NERI’s goals. The summary should also identify potential sources of funding, if known. The Board will decide whether or not to make the proposal a NERI project, based on the merits and relevance of the proposal (it may form a committee to assist in that task).
Generally, the Associate who initiated an approved proposal is assigned to be the project leader. Other Associates offer or are asked by the Board or the project leader to assist with various phases of the project, including soliciting funding. All proposals to fund NERI projects must be submitted to the foundation or agency under a cover letter signed by an officer of the NERI Board. Leaders of NERI projects will be expected to prepare project budgets, funding requests and all reports, or to supply all necessary information in a timely manner to another Associate who has offered to complete these for the project.
The Northwest Ecological Research Institute is entirely a volunteer organization. It has no employees and it does not pay the members of its Board of Directors. Its projects are carried out by independent contractors and volunteers.