Report 1988

Minutes of the Canadian Association of Palynologists
Annual General Meeting, 1988

Meeting held
November 10th, 1988
Westin Oaks
Houston, Texas, USA

Recorded by B. G. van Helden and M. J. Head

CAP Directors: Bert van Helden (President Elect), Judith Lentin (Newsletter Editor), Martin Head (Secretary Treasurer)


A total of 7 CAP members and H.V. Kaska attended the meeting as per register (Sedley Barss, Jan Ford, Jocelyne Legault, Graham Williams)

1. Opening

The meeting was opened at 5:30 pm by President Elect van Helden.

2. Minutes of the 1987 Annual Meeting

Legault moved, seconded by Williams, that the minutes of the 1987 Annual Meeting (as per CAP Newletter Vol. 10, No 2, Winter 1987, including Erratum, CAP Newsletter Vol. 11, No. 1, Summer 1988), be accepted. Carried.

3. President’s Report

The report, submitted by Brideaux, President, was read by van Helden. The President’s message initiated considerable discussion and was received as a timely topic, being so much in line with the AASP panel discussion scheduled for 12 November 1988.

4. Secretary/Treasurer’s Report

Delivered by the Secretary/Treasurer

i. Balance Sheet
Barss commented that the balance presented a deficit situation as dues funds already received for coming years are not separated from current year’s assets.
Therefore a 1988 deficit should be reflected in the balance. Discussion followed.

To alleviate the 1988 deficit, it was suggested to approach Amoco, Husky or any other major Oil Company to underwrite the mailing costs for one or two CAP Newsletters. It was suggested that free-of-charge correspondents do not necessarily contribute much to new items for the Newsletter, and therefore it was moved by Legault, seconded by Lentin, that CAP actively solicit mailing charges from correspondents. Carried.

Barss moved, seconded by Williams, that the CAP executive submits a revised balance sheet which indicates aseparation of funds already received for coming years, from current assets. This should be published in the Newsletter. Carried.

ii. Auditor’s Report
The auditor’s report by Norris was read by Secretary/Treasurer and accepted.

iii. Membership Report
Read by Secretary/Treasurer and accepted. It was noted that, despite the downturn in membership, CAP can still boast of having many of the world’s top palynologists among its ranks (tumultuous cheering followed).

5. Review of Dues Structure

Presented by Secretary/Treasurer.Moved by Williams, seconded by Legault that dues remain at present level for 1989. Carried.

Moved by Legault, seconded by Lentin, that as of 1989 all membership dues are payable on an annual basis only. Carried.

6. Newsletter Editor’s Report

Presented by Newsletter Editor.So far insufficient information has been received to warrant printing of the 1988 winter Newsletter. Lentin introduced A. Beaudoin as newly elected Newsletter Editor for 1989.

7. IFPS Representative’s Report

Written report was submitted by Jarzen and read by Secretary/Treasurer.

8. Report of Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee (Turner, Legault) nominated the following CAP members in good standing for office:

  • President Elect: J. P. Bujak
  • Newsletter Editor: A. Beaudoin
  • Secretary/Treasurer: M. Head

No other nominations were received and the above members were declared elected and were installed in office. in addition, van Helden automatically assumed the chair of CAP President.

9. Appointment of Nominating Committee

Nominations for the office of Secretary/Treasurer and of Newsletter Editor are to be submitted before the next annual meeting.Involuntary volunteers: Williams and Barss.

A vote of thanks went out to Lentin, as outgoing Newsletter Editor, for her services to CAP. Williams moved that it be recorded that CAP has been fortunate in having a history of excellent Newsletter Editors.

10. Appointment of Auditor

Norris volunteered (in absentia) to stand again for the position of Auditor. Moved by Legault, seconded by Williams. Carried.

11. Other business

A vote of thanks went out to Martin Head for the presentation of all necessary documents at the meeting, in such a fine report.Lentin moved, seconded by Legault, that the Organizing Committee, if necessary, uses the CAP name to obtain funds for the 1990 AASP Meeting in Banff. Carried.

Legault mentions that CAP had sponsored a section of the GAC meeting in the past. Perhaps such sposorship should be extended to the next GAC, botanical, or CANQUA meetings. Legault suggested that the CAP executive have the mandate to look into this matter.

12. Closing

There being no further business, the meeting was closed on a motion by Legault, seconded by Lentin at 6:30 pm.

Message from the Past President

The president didn’t do a whole lot this year. He acknowledges it and apologieses. But as our company hype piys it: “Don’t blame it all on the merger”. However, there was an element of what was euphemistically called “merger stress excitement” opeative during this past year.We did manage to get a new executive and the local Calgary group is well along in its plans to host the 1990 AASP meeting in Banff, Alberta. The lin of presidents, however, continues to flow from Calgary like the popes in Rome: Brideaux, van Helden, and Bujak. Is there no Avignon on the horizon for CAP?

Tony Tan, Dave Mishell, Herb Sullivan, Wayne Brideaux, Bob Turner and Stuart Harker: what do they all have in common? Time Audretsch, Jan Jansonius, Stan Pocock and Frank Staplin: what do they have in common? Graham Dolby, Beatrice Awai-Thorne and Silvana de Gasparis, and Jonathan Bujak, Tony Jenkins and Judy Lentin: what do they have in common? All in some fashion are no longer relying solely on a palynological position in the oil industry to earn their bread. The first six aredoing very little or no palynology compared to their total duties. The next four have taken early retirement. The next three were victims of the 1986 meltdown after the oil price plunge and the last three (and Graham Dolby) now work as independent consultants.

When I started doing a palynological thesis in 1964, one of my main references was still Hoffmeister, Staplin and Malloy (1955) and the obtainable papers by Potonié. Now in 1988, my generation of palynologists may very well turn out to be the one and only golden age of petroleum industry palynology. In a few short years, the Calgary palynology community has seen the career paths of sixteen palynologists change or end. This has not occurred just in Canada. I’m sure many of you have received a letter that goes something like:

“Greetings. Well, at least I’ve landed on my feet and I’m trying to get my fumehood operational. The one thing I lack is good palynological reference facilities here at West Central Eastern Nevada State Mineral College, where I also teach botany, historical geology and elementary chemistry.”

Probably one of the reasons we didn’t get these from Canadian palynological refugess from industry is that there are relatively few refuges to which one might flee. A few lucky people left PetroCanada before meltdown and landed at the Geological Survey in Calgary and, as far as I know, it is the only institution that has hired a palynologist recently, James White.

The sad fact of life is that the petroleum industry is lean on palynologists and mean when it comes to trimming staff or hiring, From the point of view of advancing the discipline many palynologists in universities and surveys might be excused for thinking “what’s the loss?”And it is true that much of what we do in industry is kept in company files; some of what we do us really on the level of glorified palynological technician; and a lot of what we do may never even be documented because there isn’t time or need to do so from the company standpoint. On the other hand, some of the important advances in palynology have been developed within the industrial realm. Think of the contributions of Evitt, Stover, Staplin, some of the founding members of AASP, among others and the leadership that has emerged from the ranks of industrial palynologists in various palynological societies. This pool is gradually drying up. Another consequence of the demise of industrial palynology is the unwillingness of students to spend four to six years in graduate school training for a careers that promises little opportunity upon graduation. Man does not live by spirit and virtue alone and teaching palynologists do not thrive without students.

So, perhaps, if future CAP presidents can find the time and energy, there is a ready-made challenge for them: investigate the reasons, beyond just economics, and propose some action to revers the trand in industry I’ve outlined. Ultimately, the loss of an important part of the whole diminishes it more than just the partial sum.

Welcome to the Monkey House Bert!

W. W, Brideaux, Past President

IFPS Representative’s Report

This report was presented by CAP representative David Jarzen.

1. Thanks to all of CAP for electing me as Councillor to IFPS for the term 1988-1992. I will attempt to follow the exampl set by John Utting over his terms as IFPS Councillor to promote CAP with a strong international presence within the IFPS.

2. As you already know, the 7th IPC is now a part of our history. The meetings in Brisbane, although not without a few snags, went well indeed. Attendance is estimated at 250 people (full registrants). Early during my 14-month sabbatical to Australia, my wife, Susan, and I were able to become a part of the Organizing Committee, Susan as Programme Secretary to Mary Dettman and myself as IFPS Representative. Our involvement for the full year before the Congress allowed us to better understand the problems associated with hosting and organizing an international meeting. Perhaps the most significant cause of some of the problems was due to late regsitrants and cancellations. Several events were cut or scaled down due to lack of working capital early in the organization of the Congress. My presence on the Organizing Committee was a first for IFPS and set the stage for future IPCs. Often I was called upon to “fill in the blanks” on the “IFPS connection”.

3. The IFPS Executive changes hands at Brisbane. The new officers are:

  • Dr Henk Visscher     President
  • Dr Wim Punt     Secretary-Treasurer
  • Dr D. C. McGregor     Past President
  • (3 Vice President to be appointed by Visscher)
  • Dr J. E. Canright     PALYNOS Editor

The 8th IPC will be held in Aix-en-Provence, France, from Sunday, September 6, 1992 to Saturday, September 12, 1992. Our French colleagues, Jean-Pierre Suc and Armand Pons (APLF) presented a colourful and exciting slide talk on proposal plans for the Congress; and to judge from the slides and audience reaction, we may expect to partake of a fine meeting. Perhaps we in CAP whould remember to pay our regitration fees early so that the Congress may proceed as planned!4. The World Directory of Palynologists is now a reality. Thanks are especially in order for CAP members Rob Fensome and Bernard Crilley for their dedication towards its final completion. You will note on the last page of th directory a questionnaire for new entries or corrections to existing entries. Please check your entry and make corrections or additions as necessary and forward these to me as soon as possible. I will see that W. Punt (IFPS Secretary) receives these for inclusion in a future updated directory

Rob Fensome will not be responsible for future editions of the directory. If any CAP member wishes to or would be willing to assume the responsibility of maintaining the data base (established at the Atlantic Geoscience Centre) an update to the directory, please contact me and I will relate your thoughts to the new IFPS Executive. It would probably be requisite to its continuation to keep the data alive and working in Canada, or at least North America.

5. As has been noted on several occasions, CAP is a Newsletter society. Extending that thought a bit further, we as a member society of IFPS should make every effort to include CAP news items in PALYNOS. I will do my part to absorb what I can from meetings and our Newsletter, but I would very much appreciate receiving “newsworthy” items which I may forward to Jim Canright for inclusion in the IFPS Newsletter, PALYNOS. Please call or write to me at the address given in The World Directory of Palynologists.

6. One final item: During the term 1984-1988, Colin Mcgregor and I established for IFPS an office of Archivist and Historian. Dr Al Traverse was kind enough to accept our proposal that he serve as our first Archivist. The IFPS Archives are housed (and open for inspection) at the Hunt Botanical Library, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. The contents of the archives contain most written and photographic material necessary to document and preserve the history of IFPS and its members societies. As Secretary, I was responsible for sorting, editing and culling the mass of material finally sent to Al Traverse. I recall that CAP had a moderate file, but incomplete in one aspect. I could not locate a complete set of Newsletters. If anyone could provide me with a complete set (not photocopied) I will upon receipt post these directly to Al for inclusion in our files. Your cooperation would be well appreciated. (Editor’s notes: Bert van Helden has supplied the requested set of newsletters).

Thanks again to all of CAP for your confidence in my to act as Councillor for 1988-1992 and thanks also to the person responsible for reading or summarizing this report.

David M. Jarzen
IFPS Councillor

This summary originally appeared in CAP Newsletter 11(2):3-6, 1988. It has been slightly edited for clarity and a few typos corrected. Wayne Brideaux’s remarks appeared on pp. 11 – 12 of the same issue.