Applying for Constituent Membership

An organization eligible to join as a Constituent Member must have the endorsement of both the relevant NatureServe Regional Section Council and a senior executive within its host institution, and may apply for membership by sending a letter to NatureServe's President requesting membership. The membership request must demonstrate institutional sustainability, relevance of its activities to NatureServe’s mission, that the applicant has the capability to perform the functions and intention to strive to meet the standards for Constituent Members as determined by the Board, state its commitment to sharing data with NatureServe, and by paying whatever fees and dues have been set by the Board. The membership request shall be reviewed and a motion taken by the Membership Committee, consistent with any criteria for this class of membership. The approval of the full Board of Directors is required for Committee recommendations to take effect.

Eligibility Terms, Conditions, and Criteria
  • The applicant is an organization, not an individual, and
  • the organization is not a “for-profit” company, and
  • the organization falls into the one of the four Constituent Member categories, and
  • the organization’s application for membership has been endorsed by the relevant Section Council and a senior executive of its organization, and
  • the organization manages data important to NatureServe, and
  • the organization shares and supports NatureServe’s objectives of fostering improved decision-making for land and water use through developing and disseminating credible and objective biodiversity data, and
  • the organization makes data available for legitimate conservation purposes in a manner consistent with protecting the ecological resources under consideration, and
  • the organization develops high quality data using NatureServe standards and methods, and
  • the organization participates in regular exchange of element (ET) and occurrence (EOR) data with NatureServe as guided by the terms of a data sharing agreement, and
  • the organization contributes to the evolution of standards, methods, and technologies, and
  • the organization strives to meet NatureServe benchmark data standards, and
  • the organization shares data for regional, national, and international-level aggregated data products, and
  • the organization pays dues at the level established by the NatureServe Board, and
  • the organization links its program web page to the NatureServe home page and online resources, and  
  • the organization participates in network training, events and communications.
Letter of Application

The letter of application should include:

  • Statements attesting to congruence with the aforementioned eligibility terms, conditions, and criteria, and
  • reason(s) for joining NatureServe, and
  • example(s) of past collaboration with NatureServe (includes examples of collaboration with Constituent Members), and
  • a description of the organization’s structure, size, years of operation, mission, objectives, and activities , and
  • primary contact information.

Attachments to the letter of application should include a copy of the organization’s bylaws, current strategic plan, a letter of endorsement from a senior executive of the organization, and if applicable, a letter from the relevant Section Council.

A deposit in the amount of the first year’s dues is payable at the time that the application is submitted, and will be applied to the first year of dues upon acceptance of the application by the Board. The deposit will be refunded in full if the application is rejected.

Letters of application should be addressed to NatureServe’s President, and must be received at least six weeks before the Board meeting at which the final decision about the application will be made by the Board.

Constituent Member Dues

The annual basic membership dues are US$1,000 for Constituent Members located in High Income Economies, and $150 for all other economies[1]. The rate of US$1,000 applies to any organization operating internationally, including those that serve more than one developing country. 

Constituent Member Privileges
  • Serve as the principal node in the international NatureServe Network for a specific state, province, region or nation.
  • Receive scientific and technical support in the application of NatureServe methods and technologies.
  • Receive updated national and global-level data from NatureServe central databases.
  • Authorized to use NatureServe data management software (Biotics) and have access to multiple training and support opportunities[2].
  • Invited to provide input into key decisions related to evolution of NatureServe methods and technology supporting network operations.
  • Recognized in the NatureServe Annual report, on the NatureServe website and in other NatureServe marketing materials.
  • Receive member rates at training, regional, national, and international conferences.
  • Enhanced opportunities to participate in collaborative projects, work groups, and to advance thought leadership.
  • Eligible to vote in membership elections of Section Council members and changes in by-laws, and provide input into NatureServe Annual Goals.
  • Eligible to serve on regional councils and committees.
  • Receive assistance with operational issues, program development, marketing, and recruitment.


[1] According to The World Bank designations

[2] Additional software licensing and maintenance and training fees apply.