SSAR encourages all of its members to become actively involved in the society. Because it may not be clear to student members all the different ways you can get involved, we’ve listed several here (in no particular order). We are always open to hearing new ideas, too.
Getting involved can help you gain skills not normally emphasized in school, meet new people, give back to the society, and shape the society’s future.
Join the Student Participation Committee
The Student Participation Committee welcomes students of all levels, folks between degrees, and postdocs. Our role in the society is limited only by the creativity of our members! Some examples of ways that students contribute to our mission include:
Brainstorming new ideas
Doing interviews and write-ups for the Leadership Profiles Project
Helping to organize student workshops for JMIH
Generating content to boost our social media presence and connect with users and allies
If you are interested in joining the Student Participation Committee, please contact current committee chair (you can look them up on the committee page).
Join another committee
Many SSAR committees welcome student members. Some examples include:
For a complete list of SSAR committees and their current chairs, check out this page. Feel free to get in touch with any of the committee chairs listed there for more information! You can also find a list of profiles for many of the committees here.
Join the Herpetology Hotline Response Team
Members of the general public can submit their herp-related questions via an online form through the Herpetology Hotline. The Hotline requires a dedicated team to answer these questions.
If you’re interested in joining, please contact Michelle Koo (email@example.com).
Help out with SSAR publications
SSAR publishes two journals and several other publications. SSAR members can support these publications in several ways:
Review manuscripts for SSAR journals (suitable for later-stage graduate students and professionals)
Become a proof-reader for accepted articles (suitable for anyone with a close eye for detail)
Help out with other publications as new volunteer tasks arise (suitable for any dedicated volunteer)
To get involved with the Journal of Herpetology, contact editors John Rowe (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chris Distel (email@example.com). To get involved with Herpetological Review, contact editor Bob Hansen (HerpReview@gmail.com). For a list of editors for other SSAR publications, see this webpage.
Participate actively at our annual conference
SSAR members come together at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and/or at other meetings. Members can learn more about the inner workings of the society by attending the SSAR business meeting (usually held on an evening of the conference) and the SSAR student meeting (usually held one day over lunch). Older students can make the meeting more welcoming by going out of their way to meet younger students.
Students who want to take on a more active role at the conference can do so in several ways:
Be a mentor for the JMIH mentorship program (we love to have grad student and postdoc mentors!)
Donate cool herp-related stuff to the auctions
Volunteer for general tasks like stuffing registration bags, running errands, etc. (the societies usually ask for volunteers in the spring)
Vote in SSAR elections
Elections generally happen in even years (e.g. 2020, 2022), with the Nominations Committee working hard in the spring to put a ballot together, and voting happening in late summer. Keep an eye out for ballots, and learn about the candidates so that you can help shape the future of the society.
Organize a symposium
Organizing a symposium can provide a great opportunity for meeting new people who work on a topic that you really care about. You don’t have to be an established researcher to organize a great symposium! For instructions on putting together a symposium proposal, see this webpage. Symposium proposals are typically due in the spring, just over a year before the symposium will take place (e.g. proposals due in February 2020 for a conference to be held in July 2021).
Hopefully this list has inspired you to take on a new role in the SSAR! Never hesitate to contact anyone in the SSAR leadership to learn more and to get involved.