Report 2000

Minutes of the Canadian Association of Palynologists
Annual General Meeting, 2000

Meeting held
June 1, 2000, at 6:00 pm
Scotia Bank Room, Rozca Centre
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Present: M. Head, F. McCarthy, A. Beaudoin, E. Levac, P. Mudie, C. Sharma, M. Gipp, M. Vetter

Circulation, discussion, and approval of the minutes of the last AGM, October 28, 1999:
F. McCarthy summarized the minutes and noted that the main item of business at that meeting was the future of CAP. Since only a few members of CAP were present at that meeting, the matter was referred to this meeting for discussion. It was noted that our membership fees do not cover all of our costs. Rob Fensome, past president and currently responsible for mailing the newsletter, suggested that perhaps we should have a membership fee that at least covers our costs and pays for the newsletter production and mailing. Currently newsletter production costs are covered by Luther College at the University of Regina (M. Vetter), while mailing cists (maintenance of the mailing database, photocopying of the newsletter, postage, and envelopes) are covered by the Geological Survey of Canada-Atlantic (R. Fensome). This item was discussed further under the Secretary-Treasurer’s report. Approval of the minutes was moved and seconded by M. Head and A. Beaudoin.

President’s Report:
M. Head welcomed everyone in attendance, and referred to his President’s Message in the May, 2000, newsletter. He thanked F. McCarthy for all her work in putting together the material for the meeting and for her continuing fine work in the Secretary-Treasurer position, A. Beaudoin for her continuing work in producing an excellent website, and M. vetter for the newsletter production. The major CAP activity M. Head has been involved in since becoming CAP President is to serve, with A. Beaudoin, as co-convenor of the CAP symposium at the GeoScience 2000 meeting here in Calgary. This symposium has been a great success in integrating aspects of geoscience traditionally kept separate.

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report:
i. Membership Report:
As of May 20, 2000 CAP had a total of 52 members in good standing. This number if probably slightly low, especially since the meeting is held earlier than usual this year. it is also expected that several long-standing members who have lapsed will eventually send in their dues. CAP’s relatively low current membership may be a cause for concern, and should be addressed in our deliberations of the future of CAP. We need to attract new members and to do a better job retaining our members.
ii. Financial Report:
The balance in the CAP account was $2711.57, which is an increase of $301.00 over the balance at the last AGM. Our healthy balance is due in part to prepaid memberships (see Financial Statement), but once again, the main reason for CAP’s good financial position is the absence of production costs associated with the newsletter. We are grateful to Luther College at the University of Regina, which has underwritten production costs associated with the newsltter, and to the GSC-Atlantic, which has absorbed mailing costs over the past year. One of the agenda items from Rob Fensome, however, requests that CAP consider paying mailing costs if finances permit it; we must keep in mind that the membership fee no longer truly offsets all of the costs without subsidies. Another substantial expenditure is the annual fee which we pay the IFPS, at $1.50 US/”full” member, a fee not helped by our weak dollar. It is thus critical that we avoid sending dulicate copies to members who already receive the IFPS newsletter through their membership in another society.The only other routine fee is to the Registry of Joint Stock Companies, which remains at $25.00. We incurred $14.00 in service charges, which all banks appear to have instituted in the last few years, even on their not-for-profit club accounts.
Approval of the Secretary-Treasurer’s Report was moved and seconded by F. McCarthy and A. Beaudoin. The financial statement appears on p. 6.

Newsletter Editor’s Report:
M. Vetter reported that we continue to produce two newsletters per year, in May and December. She thanked the CAP Executive for their continuing support and contributions, and Alwynne in particular for her ongoing help and many suggestions for newsletter items.

Website Editor’s Report:
A. Beaudoin report that the website continues to grow and flourish, receiving 250 – 500 accesses per month. The dictionary section, in particular, is well used and receives more than 500 accesses per month. The website continues to be mainly text based, and Alwynne would like to change that in the future by adding graphics and other items. However, the University of Alberta, as the current host of the website, allows only 5 MB of space and bumping limits, and therefore we are restricted in what can be done with the website. For that reason, Alwynne would like CAP to consider moving the website to the server of another webhoster that could provide more capabilities and better archiving. She suggested a webhoster that could provide much more space for $30 per year. We would need to register the new URL (at a cost of approximately $100), but this would also allow us to choose a URL that is more closely related to our organizational name and therefore would be more accessible and give us higher visibility. It was agreed that, since there was not a quorum at the meeting to allow a vote and since this was not a departure from present practice but rather just a practical decision, we would agree to these changes. If the move is negotiated in time, a notice to this effect will be placed in the December newsletter. Alwynne asked the membership to continue to submit ideas for material to be included on the website. It was agreed that book reviews are particularly valuable; since CAP cannot afford to buy books to have reviewed we should seek examination copies from the publishers and put the reviews in both the website and the newsletter to encourage the publishers to provide books.

IFPS Councillor’s Report:
As G. Chmura was unable to attend the meeting, M. Head presented her report as sent to him by e-mail. Gail reported that she would not be able to attend the IFPS meeting in China, but that councillors are allowed to vote by proxy. Therefore, she asked whether CAP members have a preference for the location of the next IFPS meeting in 2004; it will be held either in Germany or Spain. Martin reminded the meeting that a committee to find a new IFPS Councillor is needed as this position is appointed to rund from one IFPS meeting to the following one. Gail’s term officially is completed after the IFPS meeting in China.

Future of CAP:
There was considerabl discussion at the meeting about the future of CAP. Martin described the situation in Britain, where there are specialist roups under the umbrella of the British Micropalaeontological Society. Each group has a chair and secretary for individual meetings, and the groups meet during a general annual meeting; dues are managed by the BMS. Discussion followed. It was agreed that CAP was formed to be a Canadian organization. It was pointed out that there are Canadians who are members of AASP but not of CAP; there is a potential constituency which CAP has not accessed. There was considerable agreement that CAP can offer something unique, and perhaps the way to accomplish that is to broaden our scope to include micropalaeontologists. This idea raises two issues: should CAP be transformed into a new organization (e.g., CAMP: Canadian Association of Micropalaeontologists and Palynologists) or perhaps rather should a new micropalaeontological society be a separated but affiliated organization with CAP? It was decided that there should be a discussion note on this presented in the December newsletter, seeking feedback from the CAP membership, and also that there should be an effort to solicit feedback from Canadian micropalaeontologists. This latter might be accomplished with a short essay/discussion article submitted to GeoScience Canada and Journal of Paleolimnology. Francine volunteered to try to put together such an essay or letter, asking for feedback and help. Alwynne suggested that a website, listing everyone involved in Canadian micropalaeontology would be helpful, and Martin volunteered to try to put up a small website listing Canadian micropalaeontologists. It was decided that if there was no positive response to the idea of either an expanded CAP organization or a Canadian micropalaeontological organization, CAP would continue as it is doing now.

Location of the next CAP Annual General Meeting:
It was decided that the meeting should be at the GAC/MAC in St John’s, Newfoundland.

Other business:
Alwynne Beaudoin and Mary Vetter agreed to volunteer to serve as the search committe for a new IFPS Councillor.

The meeting was declared adjourned by M. Head.

This summary originally appeared in CAP Newsletter 23(2):4-5 2000. It has been slightly edited for clarity. The financial statement and auditor’s report are not reproduced here.