Ice Age Floods Institute Masthead

Forming a Chapter

Importance of Chapters

We now have ten chapters established as of August 2011. We have found that local chapters are the best way to promote activities that reach the largest number of people to best serve and represent the region as a partner in the presentation of the floods story.

Help From The Institute

The Board has approved a statement of requirements and guidelines to help local groups in the initial stages of organizing chapters. The requirements (revised April 26, 2002) and the Institute’s Bylaws (amended Oct. 18, 2002) are available on request from Gary Ford by e-mail or at ( 208) 660-3757. Please provide your mailing address if contacting by e-mail.

To facilitate chapter organization and recruitment, IAFI can provide information from its membership and mailing database, to members who are ready to take a leading role in organizing a chapter. Leaders of established chapters can also be very helpful with practical advice.

To support the chapters and to develop the structure for the whole organization, the Board

  1. Has provided for a division of dues income that returns half of chapter members’ current Institute dues to the chapter. Each chapter’s share of the dues will become available when it has qualified for provisional status (see below);
  2. Has provided for chapter representation on the Institute Board of Directors, with each Chapter president taking ex officio voting position on the Board;
  3. Is maintaining the authoritative records of Institute membership, dues payment, and chapter choice. If you have suggestions, questions or concerns about the chapter-organizing process, including the requirements themselves, please contact Gary Ford (contact information above).

The Basic Steps

The requirements provide for a progression from provisional status to fully chartered status - a two-step process. Passage of bylaws and completion of state and federal paperwork can be addressed after provisional standing has been established.

A founding or organizing group of at least ten current Institute members is required to form a chapter, in the first round of chapter formation. There is no requirement that chapters must all be of some substantial size, or of approximately equal size.

Chapter members must be current Institute members (dues paid) who have formally indicated their choice to be members of the chapter. There is no separate chapter-only membership. (On the IAFI membership application form, an indication of chapter choice can be made, and, where marked on current members’ applications, those choices have already been tabulated. An Institute member may choose any chapter, or opt for at-large status, with no chapter affiliation.)

As spelled out in the requirements referred to above, a group’s initial application for provisional status should

  • state the name that has been selected for the chapter;
  • in general terms, define the area to be served and represented;
  • indicate the chapter’s agreement to maintain consistency with basic IAFI objectives and practices;
  • indicate commitment to an annual program of at least four meetings and sponsorship or co-sponsorship of at least one field trip;
  • list the Institute members who are the chapter’s founding members;
  • identify initial or interim officers and committee chairs;
  • and identify experts (who can be non-members) who are willing to be scientific and technical advisors to the chapter.

There are also some standard organizational details to agree to and to take care of, and these are listed in the requirements. Please be sure to refer to the full statement of requirements, and the IAFI Bylaws, to see what is necessary to qualify for provisional status.

The application should be sent to Ice Age Floods Institute, 95 Lee Blvd., Richland, WA 99352.