Bylaws of the Northwest Science Writers Association (NSWA)  

The Northwest Chapter of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) Article I. Name and Territory  

The name of the organization shall be Northwest Science Writers Association, hereafter referred to as NSWA, an affiliate of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW).

The territory of NSWA shall include the Pacific Northwest region, although any person who is involved in science communications or related fields may join NSWA, regardless of area of residence.

Article II. Objectives 

The objectives of the chapter shall be to bring educational science programs to interested science writers and others in related fields by:

  • Bringing people together who are engaged or interested in the communication of scientific information, allied professions, or sciences so that they may share views, experiences, and goals.
  • Furthering the professional development of science communicators through educational programs.
  • Encouraging professional science communicators to value and promote quality in science communications.
  • Encouraging the participation of students interested in science communications and the sciences in general.
  • Providing other activities associated with an educational and science organization.  Article III. Membership 

Section 1: Joining. Any person involved in science communications may become a member of NSWA by paying an annual membership fee as determined by the board of directors. A member in good standing is one who has paid current dues and is therefore eligible to vote or to serve as a board member, officer, or committee chairperson.

Section 2: Procedures for Suspension or Termination of Membership. Should one or more members find the conduct of a member to be substantially prejudicial to the best interests of the Association, they may deliver a signed complaint to any officer or board member. Within five business days of receipt of such a complaint, the accused member shall be notified of the charges. Within 30 days of this notification, the president, or the vice president if the president is  absent or is the object of the complaint, shall arrange for the complaint to be heard by the full  board, unless the accused member is a board member, in which case the board will arrange for  the charges to heard by an ad hoc committee of five members selected at random from the  membership and willing to volunteer for this service. The board or committee shall provide the accused member with all evidence to be presented to the board or committee at least 10 days before the hearing on the complaint. The accused member shall have full opportunity to present evidence at the hearing. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, at least 60% of the members of the board or committee vote to sustain the complaint, the board or committee shall then immediately determine the sanctions to be imposed, which may include expulsion or suspension, and will render a written decision on the charges and notify the accused member, board, and complainants of the decision. No individual shall participate in processing or reviewing a complaint if they are a complainant or the accused member, or if they have a conflict of interest involving complainants or the accused member.

Article IV. Board Members 

Section 1. Terms: The board shall consist of the elected officers as specified in Article V, Section 1, plus five at-large members, making a total of nine board members. Terms shall begin in January on the date of the NSWA Annual Meeting or no later than January 31st, and terms shall end in the subsequent year in January on the date of the NSWA Annual Meeting or no later than January 31st. There are no term limits.

Section 2. Elections: Candidates for open board positions may be nominated by any NSWA member. Officers and at-large board members will then be elected by a vote of the membership, as delineated in Article VI. In the event of a tie, the president will cast the deciding vote.

Section 3. Board Meetings: Board meetings shall be held at least twice per year. At least half of the board members must be present for a quorum.

Section 4. Removal from Board: A board member who fails to remain a NSWA member in good standing, or who has three unexcused absences from board meetings in a year, shall be considered disqualified and shall be required to relinquish his or her position as a board member and/or officer.

Section 5. Special Election: If ten or more members submit a petition requesting a special election, board members will be elected by a vote of the full membership within 30 days of receipt of the petition. The petition must be presented to the board in hard copy with the signatures of those making the request.

Section 6. Duties of Board Members: The board shall set annual dues for membership and shall appoint committee chairs as needed for specific purposes. The board shall be responsible for maintaining the financial health of the organization, assuring that all funds are spent in accordance with the conditions of incorporation.

Article V. Officers 

Section 1. The officers shall include a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. The term of office for each officer shall be one year or until a successor has been duly elected, beginning at their elections, and terminating at the election of the succeeding officers. There are no term limits.

Section 2. Duties of the Officers. The officers shall perform the customary duties of each office.

  • President: The president shall serve as chairperson of the executive committee and as ex-officio member of all other committees. The President, subject to the approval of the Board, may enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of the corporation. The Board may authorize the President, or in their absence the Vice President, to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of the corporation, and such authorization may be general or confined to specific instances.
  • Vice-President: The vice-president shall assist the president in all of the duties and responsibilities of the office and shall fill the role of the president when the president is unable to attend meetings.
  • Secretary: The secretary shall keep a record of every general business meeting and board meeting. The secretary shall distribute the minutes of each meeting within two weeks of each meeting.
  • Treasurer: The treasurer shall deposit in the chapter’s bank account all monies paid to the chapter and pay all bills approved by the executive committee or the president. The treasurer shall keep a list of all members of the chapter. At the close of the calendar year, which is also the end of the fiscal year, the treasurer shall submit a summary annual financial report to the NSWA Board of Directors. No later than July of each year, the treasurer shall submit an annual report of income and disbursements with a balance sheet of the chapter’s finances. The treasurer shall also file taxes each year and ensure that board members are reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses for the organization.

Section 3. Vacancies  

  • President: If a vacancy occurs in the office of president, the vice-president shall immediately assume the duties of the president for the remainder of the term.
  • Vice-President: If a vacancy occurs in the office of the vice president for any reason, a special election shall be held for a new vice president.
  • Secretary or Treasurer: If a vacancy occurs in the office of secretary or treasurer, the board shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the term.
  • Board Member: If a vacancy occurs on the Board, the president shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the term.


Article VI. Election of Officers and Board Members  

Section 1. Nominations shall close at least one month prior to the scheduled Annual Meeting each year.

Section 2. Members shall vote by electronic mail or by an online survey tool. The close of voting shall not be less than seven days prior to the Annual Meeting, or by January 24 at the latest.

Section 3. Unless otherwise determined in advance by the Board, all elections and votes shall be determined by a simple majority. The results of the election shall be tallied by one or more NSWA members who are not candidates for the Board.

Article VII. Committees  

Section 1. Board: The board shall comprise the association’s officers plus five at-large members. The board shall be responsible for the organization’s direction and shall serve as trustees of the chapter’s property. A quorum of the executive committee shall consist of a simple majority, but must include the president, vice president, or a designated representative.

Section 2. Committees: The Board of Directors may from time to time appoint committees whose powers, terms of service, and rules of procedure shall be determined by the Board. The board shall appoint committee chairpersons for the committees as the need arises.

Article VIII. Meetings and Chapter Communications  

Section 1. Board Meetings: The board shall establish the time and place of its meetings; the president may call meetings of the board as needed, with a minimum of two board meetings per year. Board meetings are open to any interested party.

Section 2. NSWA Communications: Organizational communications with members may be accomplished by means of electronic mail. Official notifications, such as announcements of elections, will be sent by electronic mail. Elections and other matters requiring a vote of the membership will also be held by electronic mail.

Section 3. Annual Meeting: NSWA will hold one annual meeting per year. The goal of the meeting is to inform members about the financial status of the organization and attendance at programs the previous year. This will also be an opportunity for members to recommend programs and special events for the coming year.

Article IX. Amendments 

An amendment to these bylaws may be proposed at any time by the NSWA board or by a written petition to the president signed by no fewer than 10 members. The proposed amendment shall then be circulated to the membership and put to a vote by electronic mail or an online survey tool, or at the Annual Meeting or other general meeting. The amendment shall be adopted if approved by vote of a simple majority of the members voting.

Article X. Dissolution of NSWA  

If NSWA is dissolved, the Board of Directors may, after paying or making provision for the payment of all liabilities of the corporation, transfer the net assets of the chapter to NASW or to any organization approved by NASW, or to any organization approved by NASW or allowed under section 501(c)3 of the IRS code.

Last revised: 2/2/2024