Report 1992

Minutes of the Canadian Association of Palynologists
Annual General Meeting, 1992

Meeting held
Saturday, September 26, 1992, 5:15 p.m.
Victoria Memorial Museum Building, Room 17
Ottawa, Ontario

1. Present
G. L. Williams (CAP President), E. T. Burden (President-Elect), S. A. Jarzen (Recording Secretary), Mary E. Dettmann, Laurent de Verteuil, Rob Fensome, David Jarzen, Jocelyne Legault, Colin McGregor, Dave McIntyre, F. Neumann, Geoff Norris, Grace Parsons and John Utting.

2. Opening
The President opened the meeting at 5:15 p.m. with special note that Mary Dettmann had travelled all the way from Australia just to attend this meeting!

3. Minutes of the 1991 Annual General Meeting
G. Norris noted that he was on the Scholarship Committee of which he was not aware, however, he would continue to be a part of the ad hoc committee. Moved by Norris, seconded by D. M. Jarzen that the minutes be accepted as printed. Carried. (Minutes were printed in CAP Newsletter 14(2), 1991).

4. President’s Report
The President noted a new frontier for CAP in holding this annual meeting during the Second Annual Canadian Paleontology Conference held in Ottawa. In view of budget constraints, it offered the general membership a viable option to Aix-en-Provence. On the future of palynology, the President stated that “palynology still has a versatility and applicability that is unique in paleontologic circles,” and that “palynologists will have to fill new ecological niches and become more aggressive in group endeavours.”

As this meeting ends Graham’s term as President, he thanked the CAP executive for their support, Martin Head and Alwynne Beaudoin especially for being the backbone of the organization as Secretary/Treasurer and Newsletter Editor, which was praised as being far above other organization newsletters. Elliott Burden was thanked as well as David Jarzen, IFPS representative.

(The CAP Annual Report submitted by Graham Williams is included below and appeared in the Newsletter as the Outgoing President’s Report, page 2).

5. Secretary/Treasurer’s Report
Unfortunately, Martin Head’s report was unavailable due to a computer crash. It was moved by D. M. Jarzen, seconded by Legault, that the financial report and membership report be printed in the CAP Newsletter. Carried. (The membership report is included below).

6. Newsletter Editor’s Report
The report was distributed to those present, with special reference to the E-mail number and the acquisition of an ISSN, with copies being sent to the National Library of Canada.

7. IFPS Councillor’s Report
Jarzen distributed the report, which will be forwarded to Beaudoin for inclusion in the newsletter. He pointed out that IFPS will now disassociate with societies after a 2-year period of nonpayment of dues. Society dues to IFPS will not be increased at this time. The Council voted for the 1996 IPC to be held in Houston, Texas. He noted that a change of CAP Councillor will be needed in 1995 when his second term is up.

8. Report of the Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee, consisting of Sedley Barss and Bert van Helden, proposed the following 1993 Executive:

President: Dr. Elliott T. Burden (by acclamation)
President-elect: Dr. Glen M. MacDonald
Secretary-Treasurer: Dr. Martin J. Head
Newsletter Editor: Dr. Alwynne B. Beaudoin
Auditor: Dr. Geoffrey Norris
Past President: Dr. Graham L. Williams

There were no other nominations. It was moved by Legault, seconded by Norris, that the Nominating Committee Report be accepted. Carried.

Volunteers for the next Nominating Committee, a 2-year term, are Rob Fensome and Colin McGregor.

9. Special Session at GAC/MAC 1993
Dave McIntyre reported that CAP will have a special session at the Edmonton meeting and called for papers, abstracts to be due December 1, 1992. Other organizing members are B. G. van Helden and Alwynne Beaudoin.

10. Other Symposia
It was suggested that CAP sponsor symposia with other events, such as IFPS 1996 and the Canadian Botanical Society meetings.

David Jarzen mentioned that he was approached to look into the feasibility of holding the 1996 AASP meeting in Ottawa. This would require the assistance of local CAP members. The general consensus was that it was a good idea.

11. 1993 Annual General Meeting
It was moved by D. M. Jarzen, and seconded by J. Legault, that the 1993 Annual General Meeting be held in Edmonton pending the approval of the new Executive. Carried.

12. Membership Dues
The President remarked that CAP is doing quite well financially and saw no need for an increase in dues for the coming year.

13. Future of CAP
Elliott Burden stated that we will need to work harder as a group to keep membership numbers up, especially in times of financial hardships. He felt that the future of Palynology lies in broadening our horizons into ecological research, better communication between colleagues and getting the interest of a younger-age group into palynology.

14. Other Business
Rob Fensome unofficially brought to the attention of the membership a List of Paleobotanical Genera, which, if accepted, will have priority over all other lists. Currently, only 28 copies are available for viewing worldwide. The background for this list can be found in issues of the IOP newsletters. Rob will find out more information and write up something for a future CAP newsletter item.

David Jarzen mentioned the Glossary of Terms of Pollen/Spores which an IFPS working group had produced. This is in “final draft copy” which is more “pollen-centered” and lacks spore terms. It will not be produced by IFPS and there will likely be a charge for its distribution.

Graham Williams suggested the need for CAP to produce a “pollen” poster, something that “sells” the idea of palynology. D. M. Jarzen volunteered to research ideas for a poster and coordinate others to assist. Mary Dettmann mentioned an Australian children’s show, “Hidden World”, which shows life through a microscope. Elliott Burden suggested the Oxford University “Sex Life of Plants” film, all excellent ways to promote palynology.

15. Closing
The President thanked Elliott Burden for advice, the Executive for its superb assistance, David as Councillor of IFPS, Susan as photographer (although D. Jarzen and D. McIntyre were taking photos at this meeting!), and everyone for their attendance. The “gavel” was thus handed to the new President, Elliott Burden. There being no further business, the President closed the meeting at 6:35 p.m. (Moved by Williams, seconded by Jarzen).

 Outgoing President’s Report

1992 marks a new frontier for the Canadian Association of Palynologists, the holding of our annual meeting during the Second Annual Canadian Paleontology Conference. Whether this becomes an annual event is dependent upon the general membership but it does offer a viable option to Aix-en-Provence. And that’s welcome news in this era of budget restraints and cutbacks.This year also brings to a close my term as president of CAP. Where have the two years gone and what advice should a retiring (am I that retiring?) “chief” pass on to his successor. These are gloomy times in the world of geology and palynology is no exception. Industry and Government continue to downsize (what an insidious word) and there is little optimism on the horizon. Those of us who are lucky enough to have jobs wonder about the future and those of us no longer in palynology are having to pursue other careers or face earlier than anticipated retirement.

Have we any reason to be optimistic about the future? Much of our present mood stems from the success of palynology in the last thirty years. Through initiative and commitment, palynology became an accepted discipline in oil companies, both in research centres and exploration offices. The only other paleontological discipline to find such wide acceptance has been micropaleontology. And in many spheres, including the ability to spin off lusty offsprings, palynology has been more successful than micropaleontology. An example is visual kerogen analysis, the development of which owes much to palynology.

What I am trying to say is that palynology is a victim of its own success. Palynology, by moving out of academic and government circles, became a necessary adjunct to exploration programs for oil and natural gas. The result was an exponential growth in palynologists (I mean numbers not size) and a belief in the future of our science. Other developments, such as the interest in global warming, seemed to fuel (no pun intended) this demand.

Now we know differently. Palynology is just another paleontological discipline, primarily kept alive by government organizations and academia. Is this necessarily true and if yes, is it fatal? Palynology still has a versatility and applicability that is unique in paleontologic circles. We have a fossil group that is the most ubiquitous of all, both in the temporal and spatial sense. We can focus on many of the environmental concerns haunting the world today, such as climatic fluctuations, acid rain, toxic blooms and pollution. We can continue to play a crucial role in basin maturation studies, development of hydrocarbon charge models and sequence stratigraphy. And modern palynologists, or should I say those looking at modern material, can become forensic palynologists.

No other paleontological discipline can match the exotic fields open to the palynologist. And no other paleontologists have our opportunities. But they do change in a major way. Traditional institutions of employment, such as oil companies, no longer guarantee employment. Consultancies are more common and in certain places, such as northwest Europe, are successful. However, palynologists will have to fill new ecological niches and become more aggressive in group endeavours. Yes, we shall succeed, albeit with a reduced number of palynologists for a time, but ultimately we shall recolonize. Let’s hope those days are not too distant in the future.

Now is the time of accounting and nostalgia. I would like to thank the CAP executive for their continuing support during the last year. Martin Head and Alwynne Beaudoin continue to be the mainstays of the Association: Martin in his role as Secretary/Treasurer and Alwynne as Newsletter Editor. Both have performed their respective tasks with considerable tact and ability.

I am indebted to Elliott Burden, the President Elect, who has been of considerable help to me and David Jarzen, our IFPS representative.

I have enjoyed my term as President (was I meant to?) and have appreciated the continuing support of the members. Thank you for making CAP a viable association and for your commitment in these difficult times.

Graham Williams, Outgoing CAP President, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

 Newsletter Editor’s Report

The next edition (December) of the Newsletter should be a bumper issue with several articles submitted already, and several others promised. I want to draw attention to the following points:

1. I have recently obtained a laser-printer and some rather sophisticated software (i.e., lots of manuals to read!). However, I hope that this will result in an improved and more professional appearance for the Newsletter.

2. In the last year, the Newsletter has acquired an ISSN and copies are now placed on deposit at the National Library of Canada. Because the publication appears less ephemeral, I hope that this will encourage members to submit longer articles and perhaps some research news.

3. Photos are a popular item and I would be glad to include more. They should be submitted as black-and-white halftones with good contrast. I have been experimenting with photos to get better reproduction in the final printed copy. I can also include scanned images or graphics directly in the text if they are submitted on disk. I have been using Corel Draw 3.0 and so any format used by that program is acceptable.

4. I can now accept items by E-mail

5. The response to my request for longer essay or report articles has been encouraging. I would like to include more of these; they could consist of historical notes, discussion of new results or work in progress, abstracts of research reports, accounts of interesting field trips etc.

6. I have pruned the mailing list of non-productive exchanges. Now, the Newsletter is only sent to societies that respond with their publication or which have indicated that they wish to receive our Newsletter.

I thank everyone who has contributed material to the Newsletter over the last year and Bert van Helden for dealing with the printing and mailing. I ask that people continue to send me items for future issues. In addition, I encourage the “silent majority” of CAP members to rattle their keyboards and send me some material. I would also appreciate receiving suggestions for new features, improvements or changes to the Newsletter. Unless there are any objections, I will be glad to continue as editor.

Alwynne B. Beaudoin, CAP Newsletter Editor
Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Secretary/Treasurer’s Reports
Membership Report

On September 26, 1992, CAP had a total of 89 members in good standing, comprising 60 full members, 27 correspondents, and 2 institutional members (see table below). Compare this to the equivalent set of figures for last year (October 9, 1991) — 83 members in good standing comprising 55 full members, 25 correspondents, and 3 institutional members. I should mention that these 1991 figures are less than those indicated on the chart and table because they predate late dues payments — likewise we can expect 1992 figures to increase before years’ end.Several recent waves of layoffs and forced retirements leave just one oil-company-employed palynologist in Canada. Despite continued industry downsizing — or “right-sizing” as it is euphemistically called — CAP membership figures continue to be buoyant. Admittedly, advance membership payments typically cushion the impact of such crises on CAP membership for up to three years. Nevertheless, I am hopeful these stable figures in some way reflect the diverse contributions palynology is making in the fields of geology, archaeology, oceanography, and environmental sciences.

Martin J. Head, CAP Secretary/Treasurer, Toronto, Ontario

Paid up to 1990 (inclusive): Full members 61
Correspondents 21
Institutional Members 3
Paid up to 1991 (inclusive): Full members 60
Correspondents 26
Institutional Members 3
Paid to 1992 (inclusive): Full members 60
Correspondents 27
Institutional Members 2
Prepaid to 1993 (inclusive): Full members 33
Correspondents 17
Institutional Members 2
Prepaid to 1994 (inclusive): Full members 9
Correspondents 5
Institutional Members 0
Prepaid to 1995 (inclusive): Full members 2
Correspondents 2
Institutional Members 0

Report of CAP Councillor to IFPS
Aix-En-Provence: “Très Excellent!”

Aix-en-Provence, the small historic village in the south of France, offers the tourist old churches, ancient museums, nearby vineyards and Roman and Celtic ruins.From September 6-12, 1992, Aix (pronounced Ex) hosted the 8th International Palynological Congress (IPC). The IPC’s are held once every four years to bring together potentially 4,000 palynologists representing 62 countries. The umbrella organization responsible for overseeing the IPC’s is the International Federation of Palynological Societies (IFPS) and represents 23 member, linguistic, specialist or national societies. The Congress was held under the auspices of the Association des Palynologues de Langue Français (APLF).

The 8th IPC was a huge success story. About 850 people registered (the largest ever IPC) with about 800 papers and/or posters presented. Canada was well represented and included the following registered participants: C. C. Chinnappa, Gail Chmura, Anne de Vernal, Louise Filion, Jan Jansonius, David Jarzen, Susan Jarzen, Peter Kuhry, Jacques Lacroix, Andre Levesque, S. Lombardini, L. Londeix, F. M. G. MacCarthy, J. MacPherson, Nancy Marcoux, Rolf Mathewes, Francis Mayle, J. H. McAndrews, Stephen Mercier, K. A. Moser, Robert Mott, Pierre Richard, J. C. Ritchie, Andre Rochon, C. Rogers, Glen Rouse, Art Sweet, John Utting, G. van Grootel, and James White. (I apologise in advance if I have missed anyone).

CAP was well-represented at Aix! (Photo: D. M. Jarzen).The week-long event was preceded and followed by field trips to several unique and exciting key localities within France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy. Several social events were held during the week, including Medieval and Renaissance music performances, an ice breaker event at the Pavillon et Jardin Vendôme, a Gala Dinner and Dance Party held at Bois de l’Aune, the latter venue complete with a piano keyboard offering by the 8th IPC organizing committee secretary, Jean-Pierre Suc!

During the week, the IFPS held two Council meetings and two Plenary sessions. It is at the Council meetings, attended by the councillors of the constituent societies, where decisions on the future of the IFPS are made. At the meeting in Aix the following major points were discussed and agreed upon:

1. Installation of the new Executive (term 1992-1996):

Dr. James E. Canright
(Tempe, Arizona)

Dr. Owen K. Davis
(Tucson, Arizona)

Dr. John H. Wrenn
(Houston, Texas)

2. Three Vice-Presidents (at least one to represent actuopalynology and one to represent paleopalynology) to be elected by December, 1992.

3. CAP to be represented on Council by D. M. Jarzen, until 1996.

4. No increase in dues was deemed necessary at this time; however, President Canright will reserve the right to increase dues during 1992-1996, if necessary.

5. Because outside funding was not available from IUBS, the previous executive opted not to produce another World Directory of Palynologists. Considering the recent eastern European and the former Soviet Union situation, this decision was probably a wise one.

6. The Working Group on Terminology, which was revitalized at the Brisbane meeting, produced a “final draft” illustrated version of a publication Pollen and Spore Terminology. The method of distribution and cost per copy will be determined later.

7. Only two proposals to host the 9th IPC were submitted to the previous executive before the Aix meeting. Nanjing, China, and Houston, Texas, were voted upon as the venue for the 9th IPC. A majority vote of Council favoured the AASP proposal to host the Ninth IPC in Houston.

8. A general discussion was made as regards the delinquent payment of society dues. Although each society will be “judged” individually, it was agreed that societies which have not paid dues for two or more years will be dismissed as member societies of IFPS. A period of leniency will be given for the former Soviet society.

All in all the 8th IPC was indeed an excellent meeting. Aix provided a beautiful site, the food, cheese and wine satisfied our palates and the several concurrent sessions kept me jumping (sometimes running). The Organizing Committee of the 8th IPC, Armand Pons, Jean-Pierre Suc, Raymonde Bonnefille, Bernard Lugardon, and Jacques-Louis de Beaulieu, are gratefully acknowledged for their superb work and energy. I especially want to thank my colleague and good friend, Jean-Pierre Suc, for making my second visit to Aix a most memorable one.

David M. Jarzen, CAP Councillor
Canadian Musem of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario

This summary originally appeared in CAP Newsletter 15(2):2-12, 1992. It has been slightly edited for clarity.