Membership:  The Network is open to any professional interested in advancing and implementing bird monitoring within the northern Gulf of Mexico region.  Participation is voluntary and subservient to the participant’s agency/organization/institution mission, authorities, and budgetary capabilities.  Funds to support participation are not available through the Network at this time.

Organizational Structure:  The Network is comprised of three bodies: (1) Bird Monitoring Community of Practice; (2) Coordination Committee; and (3) Issue-based Working Groups and governed by Terms of Reference.

The Community of Practice includes an array of stakeholders that advance bird conservation by providing both a forum and the expertise to unify and share knowledge of monitoring practitioners to design and implement coordinated and integrated bird monitoring.  The Community of Practice is an opportunity for partners and stakeholders to identify priorities, standards, issues, concerns and needs underpinning bird monitoring.  The Community of Practice also promotes and enables support for bird monitoring via a distributed outreach and education network.

The Coordination Committee is responsible for: (1) the operational management and direction of the Network based upon input from the Community of Practice; (2) conveying information, needs, and recommendations to decision-makers, land managers and other interested parties; and (3) establishing and coordinating Issue-based Working Groups as needed.

The Coordination Committee shall include one representative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program, one from the USFWS Gulf Restoration Program, one representative from each of the five states bordering on the Gulf of Mexico (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) and one representative from each of the Issue-based Working groups.  Additional members will be added as warranted.  The Coordination Committee shall elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among the members of the Coordination Committee, who shall both serve two-year terms of service.  Vice-chairs shall become Chairs at the end of each Chair’s term.  Chairs may stand for re-election as Chair at the end of each 2-year term of service.

Issue-based Working Groups will be established by the Coordination Committee as needed.  Membership of the working groups will be ad-hoc, voluntary, not limited in number, and include representatives from any participating entity (e.g., federal, state, non-governmental organizations, academic community, etc.) as warranted.  Working Groups will elect a chair and vice-chair by simple majority to oversee work activities and produce solution-based products (e.g., proposals, technical reports, recommendations, etc.).  Issue-based Working Groups are considered ad-hoc in nature, and may be abolished by the Coordination Committee at any time if the purpose of the group is no longer warranted.