Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

CIRES Members' Council

The CMC is an information and policy conduit between CIRES' leadership and the institute's scientists and associates

CIRES Members Council Staff
CIRES Members Council Staff

The CIRES Members' Council (CMC) was created in 1997 to act as an information and policy conduit between CIRES' leadership and the Institute's Members (Associate Scientists, Research Scientists, and Administrative Associates).

The Council represents the interests of all CIRES Members with respect to CIRES governance, scientific direction, and the day-to-day workplace environment. As a representative group made up of CIRES Members, it is tasked with:

  • Representing the concerns of the CIRES Membership by bringing issues to the attention of the CIRES administration
  • Working to improve the lines of communication within and between all CIRES units
  • Providing a means of Member participation in CIRES governance and a voice on committees and working groups which form the core of that governance
  • Contributing to the process which determines CIRES' research direction and areas of research
  • Fostering a positive workplace environment and Members' connection with CIRES by facilitating Members' understanding of their roles within CIRES

The CIRES Members' Council provides the opportunity for service as well as career enhancement, benefiting representatives and constituents alike.



Approved February 2, 2023

Article 1: Name and Location

The name of the organization shall be “CIRES Members’ Council,” also referred to as “Members’ Council” or “CMC.” The organization is sponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. The CMC represents anyone working at CIRES with Research or Staff Appointments. The term “CMC Members” is used throughout this document to refer to people whom the CMC represents.

The definition of "Research" or "Staff" excludes the following groups: students, senior management, CIRES Fellows, and Research Affiliates (including Visiting Fellow Sabbatical Researchers). Graduate students are represented by the CIRES Early-Career Assembly (CECA) rather than the CMC. Post-docs, including Visiting Fellows Post-docs, are CMC Members, as are working retirees and temporary employees.

Note that the term “CMC Members” differs from “CIRES Members” as defined in the CIRES Bylaws. It is also distinct from “CMC Representatives” as defined in Article 3.  

Article 2: Purpose

The CIRES Members’ Council was established by the CIRES Director in 1997, as defined by the CIRES Bylaws. The purpose of the CIRES Members’ Council shall be to represent the interests of CIRES research and administrative staff members, provide a means of representation in CIRES governance, and foster a positive work environment.

Article 3: CMC Representatives

The CIRES Members’ Council (CMC) is made up of REPRESENTATIVES from across the institute.

The CMC defines the diverse locations of CIRES members’ Labs and offices as “clusters,” with the approval of the CIRES Director. The CMC annually reassesses the number of Representatives from each of these defined clusters. The target for CIRES Members’ Council is to be made up of 3% of the CIRES Member population by cluster. The cluster population counts include all employees except temporary employees and working retirees. Each cluster is responsible for identifying its CMC Representatives.

A "cluster" is defined as a CIRES lab or group having similar foci and/or shared geographic space. For CIRES-NOAA employees, the clusters are defined along NOAA Boulder laboratories while non-NOAA CIRES members are defined by their shared University of Colorado Boulder campus location. This unique delineation ensures adequate CMC representation while also providing sufficient physical access to the CMC Representatives by CIRES constituents.

Any CMC Member is eligible to be a CIRES Members’ Council Representative. Terms for the CMC Representatives are for three (3) years, preferably with a staggered start/end if there is more than one Representative for that cluster. CMC Representatives may serve a maximum service of two consecutive terms.

CMC Representatives’ duties are:

  1. To be actively engaged with CIRES members in their CIRES cluster
  2. Communicate CMC activities to their CIRES cluster
  3. Be receptive and forthcoming with CIRES Members’ issues to the CMC
  4. Reach out to new employees in their cluster and introduce the CMC to them

CMC Representative candidates may be nominated by existing CMC Representatives or from a CIRES member who is not a CMC Representative. The person who nominates a candidate shall inform the CMC Membership Chair and/or the CMC Chair via email or spoken word prior to a meeting in which the candidate shall introduce themselves and be voted in. (See Article 5 for definitions of “CMC Chair” and “CMC Membership Chair.”) Approving a CMC Representative candidate requires a majority vote of existing CMC Representatives present at said meeting, provided a quorum is present.

CMC Representative’s constituents or other CMC Members may express a wish to the CMC to remove a Representative from office prior to the completion of their term. In this case, the matter will be discussed by the CMC. The CMC will then take a vote as to whether to remove the Representative from the council.

CMC Representatives shall give at least one full business day of advance notice to the CMC Chair and the Membership Chair when they cannot attend meetings or functions.

When a CMC Representative's monthly meeting attendance falls below 75% over a six-month period, the Membership Chair will contact the Representative with a warning and will reiterate the required commitment. At that point, the Representative must acknowledge the contact from the Membership Chair and agree to improve their attendance rate over the next 6month period. If the Representative's attendance does not improve during that period, the Membership Chair will discuss with the CMC Chair about holding a vote to remove that Representative. A majority vote of the CMC at any meeting in which the issue is brought up and at which a quorum is present will be sufficient to remove that CMC Representative. A replacement from that Representative’s cluster would then be found by the Membership Chair and if applicable the cluster’s other Representative.

Article 4: Meetings

Regular meetings of the CIRES Members’ Council shall be held approximately once per month. The meetings are open to all CIRES members, plus outside speakers invited by the CMC Chair.

A quorum shall consist of a majority of the total current Council Representatives, for example 7 of 12 members or 8 of 15 members, etc. A quorum is required for a regular meeting and for any CMC vote to proceed.

Once a quorum is established, a majority vote will consist of a majority of Representatives present at the meeting.

Ad hoc full CMC meetings may be called as needed and must be announced to all CMC Representatives using the CMC email list.

Members’ Council business may be conducted by e-mail and/or e-meetings as needed. 

Article 5: Officers

Elected officers of the CMC shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Membership Chair.

Officers serve a term of one year each. All officers can serve multiple terms. Elections are held in October each year and the typical yearly term is from November to October. The CMC Secretary organizes the anonymous vote procedure in October. After election results are validated, the Secretary shares the results with the CMC and the official transfer of duties takes place on November 1st. If an officer leaves mid-term, elections will be held to fill the position until the next annual election or until the Representative end date, whichever is sooner. If an officer’s three-year Representative term ends during their officer term, they remain as a Representative and officer through the end of their officer term.

A majority vote from the current CMC Representatives is required for each officer elected. A summary of duties for the officer positions is below. For more details, refer to the CMC Elected Position Descriptions document.

  1. Chair
    1. Determines the meeting schedule
    2. Presides over the CMC meetings
    3. Prepares the agenda for each regular and special meeting in cooperation with the other officers and CMC Representatives
    4. Meets with the CIRES Administration Liaison on a monthly basis, by appointment
    5. Delegates tasks to CMC Representatives as needed, including adjustments to officer’s duties
    6. In case of a CMC budget, Chair manages the budget with assistance from the administration
  2. Vice-Chair
    1. Performs the Chair’s duties in absence of the Chair
    2. With the Chair, meets with the CIRES Administration Liaison on a monthly basis, by appointment
    3. Ensures that actions and duties specified in the Bylaws are executed as required
  3. Secretary
    1. Records and distributes CMC meeting minutes to the CMC Representatives, and posts the approved minutes as a PDF, with the Executive Committee meeting notes removed, on the CMC webpage
    2. Ensures CMC Representatives’ attendance to monthly CMC meetings is recorded in meeting minutes
    3. Conducts and tabulates voting activity
  4. Membership Chair
    1. Coordinates CMC Representative membership with the appropriate CIRES cluster quotas, in contact with the CIRES Administration
    2. Maintains records of Representatives’ durations of terms
    3. Updates CMC website, including CMC Representative page, CMC email list -with CIRES IT
    4. Assists with the recruitment of replacement Representatives
    5. Provides potential new Representatives with orientation
Article 6: Delegates

Delegates are chosen by vote from the CMC Representatives to attend the CIRES Council of Fellows Meetings and the Executive Committee meetings.

There shall be one delegate to the Council of Fellows and two delegates to the Executive Committee. If, for any reason, a delegate cannot attend a regularly scheduled meeting, then another delegate shall attend in this absence to ensure full CMC participation.

All delegates shall be elected by a majority vote for each position during the October elections. All delegates serve at least a one-year term and can serve multiple terms if they so choose and are reelected. If a delegate’s three-year CMC Representative term ends during their delegate term, they may remain as a CMC Representative and delegate through the end of their delegate term.

For the Council of Fellows meetings, the delegate is considered an observer and has no voting rights. The delegate shall report to the CMC the activities and decisions of the Council of Fellows. Unless such related information is deemed confidential, it is considered public and may be communicated at CMC meetings and recorded in CMC meeting minutes.

The two delegates to the Executive Committee meetings are members of the committee who engage in the discussion as Representatives of the CMC. They are responsible for bringing CMC perspectives and raising CMC concerns. Executive Committee meetings are confidential, and the two delegates do not report back to the CMC.

Article 7: Committees

Standing and ad hoc committees may exist within the CMC.

Ad hoc committees, formed by the CMC by a majority vote are short-termed, highly focused, and remain in place until disbanded by the CMC by majority vote.

A committee must have a clear description of its name, purpose, chair, all members, and achievable goals for the year or for the period of its purpose.

All CMC Representatives are encouraged to serve on at least one committee during their term.

CMC Members serve on standing committees until the subsequent annual elections, which are held in October.

Committees may include members of the CIRES community (non-CMC Representatives) at the discretion and approval of the CMC.

A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the committee members.

The CMC has established the following standing committees:

  • Mentoring Program Committee
  • Rendezvous Committee
  • Outstanding Performance Awards (OPA) Committee

The Mentoring Program Committee is led by a Chair and a Vice-Chair, elected annually by the CMC.

The Rendezvous Committee is led by a Chair and a Vice-Chair, elected annually by the CMC.

The OPA Committee is led by a Chair, elected annually by the CMC. 

Article 8: Changes to the Bylaws

Any changes to the content or language of these Bylaws must be presented to the CMC for majority approval. After CMC approval, the Bylaws must be submitted to the CIRES Director for final approval before being enacted.