Report 2002

Minutes of the Canadian Association of Palynologists
Annual General Meeting, 2002


Meeting held
May 29, 2002, at 4:00 pm
Room A106, Arts Building, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Present: Alwynne Beaudoin, Elliott Burden, Mary Vetter, and Catherine Yansa

1. Welcome and opening of meeting:
The meeting was called to order by CAP President, Alwynne Beaudoin, and those present warmly welcomed.

2. Minutes of the 2001 AGM:
The minutes of the meeting were accepted as presented. M/S A. Beaudoin/C. Yansa

3. President’s Report:
Alwynne Beaudoin and Martin Head were commended for their role in the production of the CAP-sponsored Special Issue of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology entitled New Frontiers and Applications in Palynology and Micropalaeontology: A Canadian Perspective.

4. Secretary-Treasurer’s Report:
Catherine Yansa raised the possibility of publishing the newsletter electronically, thus saving CAP the potential costs of printing and mailing. It was pointed out that CAP has not paid these costs for the past two years as Rob Fensome has covered this from his office. Alwynne suggested that people do not tend to read electronic newsletters, and receiving a paper copy of a tangible reminder of the benefits of CAP membership. Elliott Burden reported that the GAC is going to be distributing its newsletter solely electronically, but access will be password protected. Alwynne pointed out that distributing the newsletter electronically would require a by-law change, and any further discussion should be deferred to the 2003 meeting which is likely to have a larger number of CAP members attending. It was agreed by concensus to table discussion of an electronic newsletter to the next AGM.

5. Newsletter Editor’s Report:
Mary indicated that she would be happy to continue as Newsletter Editor until the next AGM, at which time perhaps someone might volunteer to over this role.

6. Website Editor’s Report:
Alwynne indicated that the move of the CAP website to its present location occurred without any cost to CAP, and has produced an increased access rate to the site.

7. IFPS Councillor’s Report:
In response to the call for material submitted to PALYNOS by members societies, Alwynne will be sending a report from CAP. An updated International Directory of Palynologists is being compiled. CAP cannot send our membership list without consulting with our members first, because Canadian privacy regulations prohibit the use of contact information for any purpose other than that for which it was originally collected. A line will be added to the CAP membership form asking whther the member agrees to have her/his contact information forwarded to the database for inclusion in the International Directory.

8. Appointment of a Nominating Committee:
Alwynne Beaudoin and Mary Vetter agreed to serve on this committee to seek a nominee for the position of President-Elect.

9. Call for Nominatiions for President-Elect:
Catherine Yansa expressed interest in serving in this capacity. She was thanked by the nominating committee, and declared chosen by acclamation.

10. Appointment of Auditor for 2002-2003:
It was agreed that Marlow should ask the Finance and Contracts Officer for Parks Canada to audit the 2002/2003 financial statement and records, as he did for 2001/2002. Rolf Mathewes also agreed to look over the financial statements for 2001/2002, and Alwynne will ask him to do the same for 2002/2003.

11. Modifications to the Membership Form:
An updated International Directory of Palynologists is being compiled. CAP cannot send our membership list without consulting with our members first, because Canadian privacy regulations prohibit the use of contact information for any purpose other than that for which it was originally collected. Alwynne proposed adding a line to the CAP membership form asking whether the member agrees to have her/his contact information forwarded to the database compiler for inclusion in the International Directory. M/S A. Beaudoin/M. Vetter to amend the CAP membership form as suggested. [The new version is included as the last page of this newsletter.]

12. Announcement of Joint AASP/CAP meeting in 2003 in St Catharines:
Francine McCarthy proposed that CAP co-host the meeting with AASP in 2003. the last AASP/CAP joint meeting was in Ottawa in 1995, and was a great success. Alwynne and Martin Head have again agreed to organize a special session at that meeting, very tentatively entitled Land-Sea Correlations in the Quaternary/Cenozoic. Francine also asked for volunteers to organize a session on the Great Lakes, and Catherine Yansa expressed an interest in volunteering for that. Elliott Burden raised some concerns in that the GAC/MAC meeting will be held at Brock University in May, 2004, and suggested that holding two meetings in the same location less than one year apart would split the potential registrants, compromising attendance at both meetings. Alwynne will raise this with Francine, but it was suggested that since both meetings have already been planned, little can be done at this time. M/S A. Beaudoin/M. Vetter that the next CAP AGM be held at the Joint AASP/CAP meeting in October 2003 in St Catharines, Ontario.

13. Update on Special Issue of Palaeo3 and proposed new special issue:
Alwynne reported that the CAP-sponsored Special Issue of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology entitled New Frontiers and Applications in Palynology and Micropalaeontology: A Canadian Perspective will be out soon, within a few weeks. Alwynne and Martin have had tremendous interest expressed in a second special issue on the topic The Palynology and Micropalaeontology of Boundaries arising from the CAP-sponsored special session at the Saskatoon GAC/MAC. Publication plans cannot be announced yet as they are not quite finalized, but will be announced soon. In response to these announcements, Elliott Burden pointed out that GAC has first right of refusal for publication of any papers presented at its meeting and that CAP should have checked with the GAC first before making other publication arrangements. However, he also pointed out that most likely GAC would not have been interested in publishing papers on palynology. Alwynne indicated that CAP was not aware of this right, and that this will be considered in any plans for publications of any future CAP-sponsored special sessions. Since plans for publication of the second special issue are well advanced, they will not be changed at this point in time. In addition, the publication of the first CAP-sponsired session as a special issue of Palaeo3, a very highly regarded international journal, has considerably raised CAP’s profile. Catherine asked if there were any plans for a volume on the history of palynology in Canada in the 20th century. Alwynne responded that no such plans have been voiced, and that such an effort would require a great deal of work as well as financial backing, based on AASP’s experiences.

14. Other business:
Catherine raised the possibility of a CAP-sponsored student scholarship or awardm which could be based on theses or papers presented at a conference. She suggested that donations towards the establishment of such an award could be requested from CAP members. Alwynne responded that CAP would need to have registered charity status to accept donations, but that membership fees could be raised to support such an award, Further discussion raised the possibility of making an award at a conference, the problem of not having an annual conference venue, and the work involved in finding readers and judges. It was agreed that this item would be raised at the next AGM, and voted upon if a motion was presented.

15. Adjournment:
The meeting was adjourned at 5:08 pm


Reports presented at the AGM

President’ Report

A slightly expanded version of the report given at the AGM is found on pages 1-2 of this newsletter. [And is reproduced below]

Many years ago I used to listen to a CBC Radio comedy program that included a character who was supposed to be a newspaper reporter. She was always described as “small, but vital”. And that’s very much the way I always think of CAP, as a small but vital component in the spectrum of geoscience and bioscience organizations in Canada. CAP remains a very active organization, as the following summary of recent activites very well demonstrates.

This spring, I expect to see the publication of a CAP-sponsored special issue of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology entitled New Frontiers and Applications in Palynology and Micropalaeontology: A Canadian Perspective. Indeed, by the time you read this, it may already be available. Co-edited by Martin Head and I, it includes ten papers illustrating a broad range of approaches to palynology and micropalaeontology, featuring many microfossil groups, and spanning geologic time from Silurian to present. This issue sprang from the successful and well-attended session we organized at the GeoCanada 2000 meeting in Calgary and many of the papers developed from presentations in that session. The issue also features other contributed articles that help to broaden its scope and exemplify the diversity of research in these fields.

Emboldened by the reponse to the session and the resulting journal issue, Martin and I have ventured on another similar initiative. The recent GAC/MAC meeting in Saskatoon included a CAP-sponsored Special Session called The Palynology and Micropaleontology of Boundaries. Held on May 29, it comprised seven papers and a poster. This was an extremely interesting session, illustrating many approaches to the study of boundaries. The full list of presentations is given elsewhere in this issue. We were very pleased that Dr Norman MacLeod (Keeper of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, England) gave the keynote presentation for this session. The session was well attended, and the audience was treated to an exposition of some thought-provoking and cutting-edge research. All the speakers gave exemplary presentations, with fine illustrations. As a follow-up to this Special Session, Martin and I are planning another thematic journal issue, this time focussed on the topic of boundaries. The plans for this are not yet finalized. I expect to be able to give more details in the December Newsletter issue. Please monitor the CAP website (http://www.scirpus.ca/cap/cap.shtml) for more details.

And now for a look a bit further into the future. Our sister organization, AASP, is planning to hold its annual meeting for 2003 in the Niagara region, Ontario. Francine McCarthy (Brock University) is part of the organizing committee for this meeting and has extended an invitation for CAP to participate, thus making this a joint AASP-CAP meeting. This is an extremely exciting prospect. The last AASP-CAP joint meeting, in Ottawa in 1995, was very successful and I expect that this upcoming meeting will be also. Southern Ontario is within reach of many CAP members and the venue should draw great attendance. A joint meeting provides many opportunities for talking to colleagues and exchanging ideas. Planning for the meeting is still in the preliminary stage and ideas for sessions, fieldtrips, and other events are being discussed. I welcome input from the CAP membership about this. Even more, I would welcome volunteers to participate in the meeting, perhaps by organizing a session or leading a fieldtrip.

Finally, it is my pleasure to thank all those who make CAP work. I would especially like to thank previous CAP President, Martin Head, for his outstanding service to the association over the term of his incumbency. Martin has served CAP in several capacities over the years, having been our Secretary/Treasurer from 1987 to 1996. Now based in the UK, Martin’s talents have not been lost to the association, because he remains a driving force behind many of CAP’s activities.

I also thank the other members of the CAP Executive, Rolf Mathewes (CAP’s Representative to IFPS), Mary Vetter (Newsletter Editor), and Marlow Pellatt (Secretary/Treasurer), for their service to the association. Marlow took over his duties at the beginning of the year from Francine McCarthy, who had looked after CAP’s finances so ably for the last five years. Volunteering for CAP is not a high-profile task. But without the sustained support of a committed Executive, the association cannot function. Certainly, the efforts of the Executive serve to keep CAP the vital and vibrant organization that it is.

I look forward to serving the association as President for the next two years. There are many exciting events in the offing. I hope that together we can keep CAP at the forefront of Canadian geo- and bioscience.

Alwynne B. Beaudoin
CAP President

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report:

i. Membership Report
As of May, 2002, CAP had a total of 44 members in good standing. This has decreased by one member since 2001. Due to the length of time to transfer the finances between treasurers 4 additional members’ cheques had passed the 6-month limit to be accepted by the bank. There were 2 new members to CAP in 2001/2002. Ways to attract new members as well as regain the support of past members should be examined.

ii. Financial Report
The balance of the account as of May 24, 2002, is $3249.50. The balance remains good. Costs of future newsletter mail outs and other fees (IFPS and Association fees) will be occurring soon. A balance of $2802.52 was tranferred from past treasurer, Francince McCarthy, to present treasurer, Marlow Pellatt. A new account fo CAP was established March 8, 2002. Since this time $350.23 in membership dues have been received and $118.52 in costs (postage, JSC fees, envelopes, receipt book) have been incurred.

iii. Auditor’s Report
The audited financial report is reproduced on page 8 of the newsletter.

Respectfully submitted,
Marlow Pellatt
CAP Secretary/Treasurer

Newsletter Editor’s Report:

The Newsletter continues to be published twice a year, in May/June and December. Special thanks go to Rob Fensome and Nellie Koziel, Geological Survey of Canada-Atlantic, for continuing to reproduce and mail the CAP newsletter and to maintain the newsletter mailing list. The GSC continues to bear the cost of copying and mailing the newsletter, saving CAP this expense. I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to Alwynne Beaudoin – without her support and suggestions of contacts and articles the newsletter could not be published. Luther College at the University of Regina continues to offer its institutional support in the publication of the newsletter. And finally, I would like to thank all of the newsletter contributors; it is only because of your willingness to share your time that the newsletter can continue.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Vetter
CAP Newsletter Editor

Website Editor’s Report

I have continued to act as Editor for the CAP Website since the last AGM. The main item to report is a complete reworking of the appearance of the CAP webpage concomitant with its transfer to a new location. Since 1995, the website had been located on a server at the University of Alberta. However, it became clear in 1999-2000 that this would not remain a viable option. The University only allocated a small amount of server space for files and, with the increase in material in CAP’s web presentation, that space allocation was rapidly becoming “maxed out”. Moreover, because scripting was not allowed, it reduced my flexibility in presenting material.

The transfer of the presentation took place in the fall of 2002. At the same time, I took the opportunity to redesign the layout and appearance of the pages. I believe this new appearance is more in keeping with present trends in web presentation. The presentation is now located under my own domain (www.scirpus.ca), which I maintain. There are no costs to CAP associated with this hosting.

The website provides a broad array of useful resources and information about CAP to the palynological community. However, the new location means that the site could potentially include a much wider array of material, including images and pdf files. I draw the attention of CAP members to this resource, and ask for suggestions for enhancements. I welcome contributions to the website and suggestions for new components.

Over 1999 – 2000, CAP’s web presentation received a steady “hit rate” of around 300 – 350 accesses each month. Over the last five months, as the new URL becomes established in search engines, indexes, and reciprocal links, the new site is receiving between 400 – 500 accesses each month.

The new CAP website can be found at http://www.scirpus.ca/cap/cap.shtml I would be grateful if CAP members would update their links and bookmarks to point to this location.

I will be happy to continue as CAP’s Website Editor for another year.

Respectfully submitted
Alwynne B. Beaudoin
CAP Website Editor

IFPS Councillor’s Report:

Besides mailing out two issues of PALYNOS to the paid-up membership of CAP, I have a few other items that might be of interest:

Noteworthy developments during the last year have centered on discussions regarding the advisability of producing only electronic versions of PALYNOS in future – a growing trend with a number of organizations to save both time and money on mailing costs. There seems to be general agreement, as long as members who cannot access the Web for whatever reason can be mailed a printout copy.

PALYNOS has generated considerable e-mail traffic between the Secretariat and IFPS councillors on two issues. Forst, a distinct dearth of submitted material from member societies has been noted, and calls for “HELP” have been sent out to councillors by Madeline Harley and Anne-Marie Lezine. They are looking for any material of palynological interest for possible publication,including discussions, database information, summaries of recent doctoral theses, book reviews, reports on congresses and symposia, and also photographs, cartoons, and so on. Like newsletters, PALYNOS can only provide interesting and current information if members and societies support it by submitting information regularly. Submit material directly to lezine@ccr.jussieu.fr

The second item currently in progress is the compilation of the database for a new International Directory of Palynologists. This is proceeding slowly, and because of Canadian privacy regulations, there is concern about CAP participating without first polling the members about their willingness to be listed. This is an issue that our President might be able to discuss further at the meeting.

I wish I could attend, but I am leaving shortly for a 6-week academic exchange program in Sweden, dealing with late Quaternary climate change, which naturally includes a lot of palynology. Hopefully I will see you next year, and definitely in 2004 at the next IPC in Granada, Spain.

Respectfully submitted
Rolf Mathewes
CAP Councillor to IFPS


This summary originally appeared in CAP Newsletter 25(1):4-7 2002, with the President’s Report on pp. 1-2. It has been slightly edited for clarity. The financial statement and auditor’s report are not reproduced here.