About ASLO

Strategic Plan 2015

The ASLO strategic plan has been developed over 2012 - 2014 by a special committee of the ASLO Board with input from the board members and the various standing committees and staff. The process was also informed by input from ASLO membership, via surveys and info-gathering sessions at the annual meetings in 2013 and 2014. The planning process was conducted considering ASLO's mission statement and guiding principles (both listed below) and looking forward to what ASLO would look like in the coming decade. The 2015 Strategic Plan focuses on 3 major goals and a list of strategies to meet the goals - discovery, professionalization and vitality. The ASLO Board will follow the goals and strategies in the coming years to anticipate member needs, increase membership, provide continuity for ASLO Board members and committees, and aid in making decisions about priorities, new directions and the allocation of resources of time and funds to attain ASLO's mission. This strategic plan is a living document that will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis by a strategic planning committee to insure that ASLO is a forward looking organization ready to meet the needs of its members in the coming years.

Goal 1: Discovery (definition: the action or process of producing knowledge)

Foster timely creation and communication of knowledge at the forefront of all the aquatic sciences, encouraging interdisciplinary synthesis and integration. Under this goal, ASLO seeks to accelerate advances in the sciences of limnology and oceanography by promoting research and enabling broad, international communication of new data and discoveries.


  1. Sustain and expand activities supporting interdisciplinary connections within the aquatic sciences.
  2. Continue tradition of excellent meetings where cutting edge science is presented, discussed, and synthesized and where interdisciplinary workshops break ground for emerging research areas.
  3. Investigate, assess, plan, and develop integrated publication portfolio, including various hosting, management, and communication options.
  4. Develop and communicate 5-year meeting plan and guidelines, including criteria for distributed meetings and/or alternative meeting formats, and regularize high priority activities and approaches associated with joint meetings.
  5. Explore joint activities with scientific societies dealing with human / social dimensions and/or individual social scientists working on topics of aquatic relevance.

Goal 2: Professionalization (definition: the social process whereby people come to engage in an activity as a means of livelihood)

Enhance the preparation of a diverse new generation of international scientists to meet the dynamic needs of society for aquatic science expertise. Under this goal, ASLO seeks to meet diverse societal demands for advanced expertise in limnology and oceanography.


  1. Explore, assess, and implement formalized procedures to increase involvement of students and early career members in society programs.
  2. Support entry into comprehensive suite of postgraduate career paths via programs at ASLO meetings for students and early career members on topical areas not generally covered in graduate training.
  3. Support entry into comprehensive suite of postgraduate career paths via programs at ASLO meetings for students and early career members to develop policy literacy.
  4. Design and implement a program to develop manuscript / proposal reviewing expertise of graduate student and early career scientists.
  5. Sustain and enhance programs and activities that contribute to career-long professional development of members.
  6. Sustain and enhance interactions and networking mechanisms at meetings for all members to enhance communication between generations and scientific fields within the aquatic sciences.
  7. Envision, develop, and implement programs to highlight and communicate contributions of aquatic scientists to science and to aquatic stewardship.
  8. Increase awareness across ASLO of different foci, priorities, and demands for aquatic scientists in different countries and economic zones.

Goal 3: Vitality (definition: the state of being strong and active)

Operate a global organization that is sustainable, transparent, inclusive, and responsive. Under this goal, ASLO seeks to assure that it operates as a fiscally sound, socially responsible, and broadly representative enterprise that reflects the desires of its international membership and that will thrive for future generations.


  1. Welcome, promote, and support diversity in all society activities and programs.
  2. Continue and amplify our role in promoting aquatic science with appropriate international and national funding & regulatory agencies.
  3. Enhance/optimize ongoing efforts to engage our science with the general public.
  4. Optimize board structure and governance procedures.
  5. Maintain and further enhance society communication with and responsiveness to membership, including increased transparency of Board activities and decision-making.
  6. Optimize committee structures and charges to empower society volunteers, take advantage of specialized member expertise, and improve returns on volunteer investments of time and energy.
  7. Develop and implement 5-year Business Plan, aligned to Strategic Plan, and use to align expenditures and operations and to enhance current and create new revenue sources.
  8. Develop and implement Technology Plan, including Social Media.
  9. Increase member awareness of society activities and member benefits.

Sunset at Port Pendennis Marina. Photo by Michelle Barnett