Report 1997

Minutes of the Canadian Association of Palynologists
Annual General Meeting, 1997

Meeting held
Thursday, September 18 1997, 3:20 p.m.
Swope Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute,
Woods Hole, Massachussetts

Present: Rob Fensome (President-Elect), Kevin Gostlin, Jan Jansonius, Andrew MacRae, Rolf Mathewes, Francine McCarthy (Secretary-Treasurer; Recording Secretary)

1. Opening
The president-elect, Rob Fensome, called the meeting to order at 3:23 p.m. The meeting agenda and ancillary documents were distributed.

2. Minutes of the 1996 Annual General Meeting The 1996 AGM was held at the Marriott Hotel in Houston, Texas in conjunction with the Joint IPC/AASP Meeting. The minutes were tabled and accepted (moved, Jan Jansonius, seconded Rolf Mathewes).

3. President’s Report
The President, Ian Campbell, was not present at the meeting, but his report was tabled and duly accepted. His report is reproduced below:

I think the really big news this year is the termination of palaeoecology at the GSC. I would love to suggest that CAP investigate the possibility of taking over the pollen database function, but I think this is neither realistic with our resources nor necessary given the NAPD and other databases already out there. Will the demise of paleoecology at the GSC have broader implications for CAP and palynology in Canada? I expect so, but I also hope they won’t be too severe. There is nothing much we can do about it anyway, except perhaps to write to federal minister Ron Goodale and indicate the disastrous consequences we all feel this shortsightedness is likely to entail, I am all for it. Alwynne has announced she will be stepping down as Newsletter Editor after 3 more issues. Alwynne has done a fine job for a great many years, and deserves the Association’s deepest thanks. Alwynne has also proposed that the Newsletter Editor and Web Page Editor functions be split, and I fully agree. I propose that the process to facilitate this change be started right away so that the necessary by-laws are in place when Alwynne resigns as Newsletter Editor. CAP is now an official sponsor of the new electronic journal Paleontologica Electronica. This is being handled by myself providing them with translation services. The first actual issue has yet to appear. The Association seems generally healthy enough. I have a long list of people I hope to contact in the near future to remind them of the benefits of membership.

Respectfully submitted,
Ian Campbell

4. Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
i) Membership Report
Francine McCarthy reported that as of September 13 1997, CAP had a healthy total of 69 members in good standing, of which 51 were full members, 15 associate members, and 3 institutional. This number is probably slightly low, since it is expected that several long-standing members who have lapsed will eventually send in their dues. The increase of 17 members over the total of 52 reported at the last AGM may be due to increased exposure via the Web.

ii) Financial Report
Francine reported that the balance in the CAP account was $1549.04, which is an increase of $369.00 over the balance at the last AGM. Over the last fiscal year, however, our expenses exceeded our revenue by $51.00. As can be seen in the accompanying financial statement, our major expenditures are production costs for the two issues of the newsletter. Both issues were substantial this year, and it might be possible to save a bit of money without lowering the quality which we’ve come to expect from Alwynne Beaudoin’s capable editorship. Andrew MacRae suggested publishing the newsletter electronically, but continuing to provide hard copies for those unable to access the internet. This option would cut down on production costs (depending on the number of people who opted for the electonic format), however we do not pay mailing costs, which are handled through Ian Campbell’s office. Another substantial expenditure is the annual fee which we pay the IFPS, at $1.50 US/full member. Jan Jansonius suggested that we look into this to ensure that CAP members who also belong to other palynological societies (e.g., AASP) are not paying this fee twice. Francine reported that we paid dues only for full members of CAP, not associate members. The only other routine fee is to the Registry of Joint Stock Companies, which more than doubled this year to $25.00.

iii) Auditor’s Report
Jan Jansonius agreed on short notice to act as auditor and has officially signed a statement that the Association’s books are in good order. This audited statement is included as part of these minutes on p. 6.

The secretary-treasurer’s report was accepted (moved, Rolf Mathewes, seconded Jan Jansonius)

5. Review of dues structure
Because of the shortfall in this year’s revenues, a short discussion was held over the dues structure. There was general agreement that no changes should be made to the dues structure until all possible cost-saving measures had been considered and implemented.

6. Newsletter and Website Report
Alwynne Beaudoin was unable to be present, thus her report was tabled and duly accepted. A brief discussion followed, and it was unanimously agreed that a separate position of Website Manager should be created. The President and President Elect will look into this when they review the CAP bylaws. It was moved that we commend Alwynne for the exemplary job she has done over the past several years as Newsletter Editor and Website Manager. Her report is reproduced below:

The CAP Newsletter continues in a strong position with plenty of interesting articles submitted and two substantial issues in the last year. I thank all contributors to recent issues. I urge other CAP members to consider submitting items on palynological topics to the Newsletter. Among items that would be of interest are conference announcements, reports from conferences and meetings, research notes, abstracts from recently-completed theses, news of publications, summaries of on-going work at university departments, and photographs of palynologists or palynomorphs! I wish to thank Ian Campbell and the Canadian Forest Service for continuing assistance with mailing the Newsletter.

CAP’s WWW presentation also continues in a healthy state, registering around 200 – 250 hits per month. The site is giving CAP more international exposure and we have gained some overseas members as a result. The presentation is always a “work in progress” and continues to evolve. A considerable amount of material has been added over the last year, including some photos to illustrate articles already in the presentation. I have also added a Guestbook and a search utility to the presentation. I welcome suggestions for additional material that may be useful to palynologists. If there are no objections, I am happy to continue as CAP Newsletter Editor and Web Site Manager for another year.

However, this letter brings to the CAP Executive and AGM my decision to resign as CAP Newsletter Editor, effective at the end of 1998. It has been a fun and rewarding experience but I feel that it is time for me to move on to other challenges and allow someone else the opportunity to bring their own fresh perspective to the Newsletter. To allow a smooth transition and time for another Editor to step forward, I am willing to edit the next three issues of the Newsletter (i.e., until the end of 1998), so that the new Editor can be confirmed at the next AGM. I am asking, therefore, that the Nominating Committee be charged with the responsibility of finding a new Newsletter Editor, to take over for the first issue of 1999 (Vol. 22, Issue 1).

It seems that this may be an opportune time to consider the status of Newsletter Editor and Web Site Manager. I took over as Newsletter Editor before the WWW existed. The development of a web site for CAP grew naturally out of the editorship. However, web site maintenance requires increasing amounts of time. Given the work that is involved in both editing the Newsletter and maintaining the web site, I suggest to the AGM that the positions of Newsletter Editor and Web Site Manager be split up at the end of 1998. I think it is unrealistic to expect one person to do both. Although the technology associated with the WWW is rapidly evolving, I expect this communication method to continue for some time. Therefore, if maintaining a web site is seen as a priority for CAP, I propose establishing a new position, Web Site Manager. I further propose that this officer be added to the CAP Executive. I think that it is important to maintain stability in the address (URL) of CAP’s web site, partly because it is widely linked to from many other presentations. At present, CAP’s website resides on my personal account at the University of Alberta. For this reason, I am willing to continue as CAP’s Web Site Manager beyond 1998 unless an alternative long-term location for the site can be found or another member wishes to take this on.

I regret that I will not be able to be present at the AGM to discuss these issues. I look forward to working with the membership and the Executive to ensure continuity in the operation of the Newsletter and Web Site over the next year.

Respectfully submitted,
Alwynne B. Beaudoin

7. IFPS Councillor’s Report
The IFPS Councillor, Julian Szeicz, was not present at the meeting, but his report was tabled and duly accepted. His report is reproduced below:

Matters with the IFPS have been quiet since last summer’s Houston meeting, but here are a few items which can be reported:

Mailings of the 1996 Directory of Palynologists was completed in late 1996. These were sent to all full CAP members.
Two issues of Palynos have been/are being sent out. These usually get to me quite late – the June, 1997 issue was received in the last week of August this year.
the financial statement for the IFPS was sent to me in April 1997, and I attach a copy below [Editor’s note: This is not included here]. The numbers come out at about $2,900 on the plus side. With the help of Francine McCarthy, our CAP dues were paid to the IFPS well before the deadline.
Voting among IFPS Councillors took place for a third Vice President of the IFPS for 1996-2000, to complement Stefan Piasecki and Ana Teresa Romero Garcia. Of the four councillors who were willing to stand for the position, Madeline Harley of the Linnean Society Palynology Group was elected.
the list of CAP members that I have been using for mailings is a little old now – if it is possible, it would appreciate getting an updated list from whomever is responsible. I will then check the numbers on the list against the numbers of Palynos I am being sent, to make sure there are enough copies for all of our members.
Respectfully submitted,
Julian Szeicz

8. Appointment of Auditor
Jan Jansonius has agreed to act as auditor for the next fiscal year.

9. Appointment of Nominating Committee
A nominating committee will have to be struck within the next month. A new position will be created on the CAP Exective if the decision is made to split the Newletter Editor and Website Manager positions as suggested by Alwynne Beaudoin, who will be stepping down as Newsletter Editor at the end of 1998. In addition, we will have to elect a new President Elect, as Ian Campbell will be stepping down as President, and will be succeeded by our current President-Elect, Rob Fensome.

10. Location for the 1998 AGM
No decision was made regarding the venue for next year’s AGM. Two possible venues were discussed, the AASP meeting in Mexico and the GSA meeting in Toronto, however it was agreed to put off making a decision. The venue will be announced in the May 1998 CAP Newsletter.

11. Other business
Rob Fensome and Ian Campbell will review the CAP bylaws and suggest changes before next year. There being no additional business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

This summary originally appeared in CAP Newsletter 20(2):3-6, 1997. It has been slightly edited for clarity.