Report 2013

Minutes of the Canadian Association of Palynologists
Annual General Meeting, 2013

Hotel Whitcomb, San Francisco
October 21 2013

Present: Alwynne B. Beaudoin (Website Editor, AGM Recording Secretary), Kimberley Bell, Dennis Braman, Vaughn Bryant, Thomas Demchuk, Simon Goring (IFPS Councillor), Terri Lacourse (CAP President, AGM Chair), Francine McCarthy (President- Elect), Peta Mudie, Florin Pendea (Newsletter Editor), Vera Pospelova, Susann Stolze, Olena Volik.
13 members, quorum reached.

1) Welcome, Approval of Agenda.

  • Meeting opened at 5:15 pm. TL welcomed attendees. Round table introductions.
  • TL reviewed the agenda. Motion to approve by Goring, seconded by Braman.
    Agenda approved as presented.

2) Review and approval of 2011 and 2012 AGM Minutes.

  • TL explained that the 2011 AGM minutes could not be approved at the 2012 AGM because that meeting did not reach quorum. Minutes reviewed by attendees.
  • Motion to approve by Pendea, seconded by Pospelova. Minutes accepted as presented.
  • TL explained that because the 2012 AGM did not reach quorum, no official
    business could be conducted at that meeting. The minutes represent a review
    of ongoing business. FM and PM, who attended that meeting, agreed the notes
    were a fair summary of discussion. Motion to approve by McCarthy, seconded
    by Braman. 2012 meeting notes approved as presented.

3) President’s report (T. Lacourse)

  • TL reviewed her report, highlighting several issues: Emily Helmer was given the
    CAP Student Award for 2013.
  • TL expressed concern about the low number of applicants in each competition.
    FP noted that four applicants is high in proportion to CAP’s total membership.
  • CAP should look at ways to raise the profile of the award. Suggestions to improve
    visibility included: get announcement into the GAC newsletter; e-mail reminder to members; get lab leads to broadcast through their labs and student networks.
  • Award funds are to be directed towards the applicant’s research. Discussion as to
    whether it would be better to give funds as just an award, not as research funds,
    or for professional development more broadly defined. Would the lack of restriction
    encourage more applicants? Several noted that experience in putting together a proposal is important and encourages a sense of achievement. The possibility of giving two awards (at Masters and PhD level) was discussed but rejected because of the small pool of applicants and because the adjudication process does not privilege the projects that are nearer completion. Decision to leave the Award process and amount as is for now, pending resolution of CAP’s official status (see below).
  • TL outlined the issue of CAP’s official status. CAP was registered in 1986 as a Nova Scotia joint stock company, but for various reasons, including the Nova Scotia requirement that meetings be held in that province, CAP is considering a change to its registration status. M. Vetter (CAP Secretary/Treasurer) is investigating the options and tax implications. Based on information available so far, it looks as if registering federally as a nonprofit may be the most viable option. However, as a non-profit, no member can benefit financially, so this might constrain CAP’s ability to give student awards. MV and TL are trying to get information from other societies on how they do this. Need to deal with this big issue first, because it may have implications for the student award.
  • TD noted that in the US, the main concern is with Board members not profitting,
    and that student awards are usually positioned as scholarships. Noted that AASP and CAP are small fish in a big sea.
  • TL indicated that the Executive would continue to discuss the issue by e-mail. There are also implications for CAP’s bylaws. Once options are clarified, CAP members will be notified, and there will need to be a vote on the registration, coupled with a  change to the By-laws to reflect the new situation.
  • TL noted CAP’s high level of activity this year with the Special Sessions at CANQUA and this meeting.
  • Motion to approve report by McCarthy, seconded by Pendea. Report approved as presented.

4) Secretary/Treasurer’s report (M. Vetter, in absentia)

  • TL presented the report and reviewed the annual financial statement. CAP is in a
    position to support the outreach initiatives at conferences and student award.
  • Several asked about raising the amount of the student award to $500. TL advised
    holding off on any changes to the award until the registration issue has been resolved. Motion to approve report by Demchuk, seconded by Pendea. Financial
    report approved as presented.

5) Auditor’s Statement (Sarah Finkelstein)

Report was read into the record by TL.

6) Newsletter Editor’s report (F. Pendea)

  • FP summarized the year’s activities. There has been a reasonable response from people sending in material for the issues. He asked about ceasing to mail out paper copies; some libraries still want them. The issue is not cost of postage. ABB noted that deposit copies are required for National Library of Canada to maintain ISSN and FM noted that the British Museum Library effectively acts as an archive for the society too. Agreed to keep mailing paper copies to these institutions.
  • Motion to approve report by Goring, seconded by Braman. Report approved as

7) Website Editor’s Report (A. B. Beaudoin)

  • ABB summarized report highlights, noting acceses remain around 500/month.
  • Main addition this past year is a list of Special Sessions sponsored by CAP, including a list of papers presented each session. She asked for help in completing
    this list, which has missing information. FP suggested that future reports in CAP
    Newsletter include a list of speakers and paper titles as an additional record.
  • FP asked if a list of pollen labs in Canada could be added to the website. ABB indicated that this is doable and asked for input to compile it.
  • Motion to approve report by McCarthy, seconded by Braman. Report approved
    as presented.

8. News from IFPS (S. Goring)

  • Next IPC meeting is scheduled for 2016 in Salvador, Brazil. In April 2013, three new international vice-presidents were elected to IFPS, with their term until 2016.
  • CAP’s IFPS dues were paid on June 5.
  • Next issue of Palynos is coming out soon. Need material from CAP to add to the newsletter. Potential contributions: reports of CAP’s session at this meeting and at the recent CANQUA meeting.

9. Election of CAP Executive Directors

  • Several Executive members (Beaudoin, Vetter, and Pendea) have volunteered to
    continue in their positions for another term. TL’s term ends at end of this calendar
    year. Francine McCarthy will take over as President at start of 2014.
  • TL noted that new Executive members are often installed by acclamation, as per By-laws, because there is typically only one candidate.
  • TL reported that the President-Elect position will be vacant as of January. The position has no specific duties other than to become familiar with what’s going on
    in preparation of becoming President and to participate more generally in CAP activities. Are there potential volunteers? If none step forward, search will be initiated.
  • TL thanked Executive for support and wished the incoming President well. Meeting attendees thanked TL for her service to CAP.

10. Location of 2014 Annual General Meeting.

  • TL summarized the possibilities: GAC/MAC in May in Fredericton, AMQUA in August in Seattle, AASP and IPC in Argentina at end of September, GSA meeting in October in Vancouver. Discussion around these options with consensus emerging that GSA would be the best venue – most likely to attract CAP members from all segments of discipline.
  • TL suggested a lunchtime AGM might be best, possibly with food provided for attendees. Also useful to poll ahead of meeting as to who might attend.
  • Motion to meet in Vancouver moved by McCarthy, seconded by Goring. Carried.
    CAP Executive will contact GSA organizers about the possibility of holding the 2013 AGM in conjunction with GSA in Vancouver.

11. Other business:

  • FP suggested that, to encourage members, CAP membership should be free to all
    students who want to be members. He felt that a certain proportion would continue
    as members later. Since this would entail a change in the By-laws, it was agreed to postpone this discussion and roll it into a general review of the Bylaws at a later date, which will be done as a consequence of dealing with the registration issue.

12. Adjournment

  • Motion to adjourn moved by Pendea, seconded by Pospelova. Carried. TL thanked attendees. Meeting adjoured at 6:15 pm.


CAP President’s Report, 2013

As you may know, CAP was initially registered as a Joint Stock Company (i.e., an official incorporation) in Nova Scotia in 1986, although the Association had been active since 1978. The Association was registered in Nova Scotia because the then Secretary/Treasurer (Rob Fensome) resided in Nova Scotia. The Association has continued under that arrangement since 1986, filing financial statements and AGM minutes each year, without issue.  However, in March 2013, the Nova Scotia Registry informed the Association that our registration status requires us to hold Annual General Meetings in that province each year. No exceptions to this requirement can be made, despite the fact that the Association functions as a national non-profit society. Clearly, it is not practical to hold Meetings in Nova Scotia each year. The Executive Committee is currently exploring the Association’s registrations options (e.g., as a federally registered non-profit organization) and considering the tax implications of these options, with Mary Vetter (current Secretary/
Treasurer) leading these important efforts. The Executive Committee will keep the membership appraised of this issue and plans to report on the appropriate path forward in 2014.

Below is a brief report on other major CAP activities since the last Annual General Meeting, which was held May 29, 2012, in conjunction with the GAC-MAC Joint Meeting in St. John’s.

In March 2013, CAP awarded its Annual Student Research Award for the fifth time. The Award is valued at $300 and the recipient’s membership is also extended at no charge for an additional three years. An adjudication committee consisting of Alwynne Beaudoin, Sarah Finkelstein, and myself (as Chair) evaluated the applications we received based on three main criteria: 1) quality of the research statement; 2) importance and novelty
of the research; and 3) excellence of the applicant. After considerable deliberation, we decided to confer the 2013 Award to Emily Helmer (Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University) for her M.Sc. research entitled “High Resolution Record of Post-Glacial Paleoecology in Haida Gwaii.” One concern I have about the Award is the low number of applications we receive each year: only two to four applications in each of the five years we have held a competition. Moving forward, the Association should consider ways to raise the profile of the Award and garner more interest from students in palynology.

CAP sponsored a Special Session at the 2013 CANQUA meeting in August, entitled “The Paleoecology of Extreme Environments” and chaired by Alwynne Beaudoin and Mary Vetter. Members should see a report on this session in an upcoming CAP Newsletter.

Over the last year and a half, Alwynne Beaudoin and I have served on the Organizing Committee of the joint 2013 AASP-CAP-Dino10-NAMS Conference in San Francisco. The Co-Chairs of this committee and main conference organizers are Lanny Fisk (AASP President-Elect) and Joyce Lucas-Clark. In addition to trying to help with conference organization, Alwynne and I organized a session on “The Palynology of Sudden Events” with two invited speakers: Kam-biu Liu (Louisiana State U.) and Florin Pendea (Lakehead U.).

Many thanks to all members of the Executive Committee for their dedicated efforts in running our Association. My term as President will end this December. It has been my pleasure to serve the Association in this capacity, and previously as President-Elect (2010-2011) and Newsletter Editor (2006-2011).

Respectfully submitted,
Terri Lacourse
CAP President, 2012-2013
October 11, 2013


Statement by Appointed Auditor
I have reviewed the financial statements for CAP and it is my opinion that the documents and report submitted represent a full and fair account of the financial affairs of the Canadian Association of Palynologists for the period May 2012 to October 11, 2013. I consider the financial affairs of CAP to be in good order.

Sarah A. Finkelstein
Associate Professor
Dept of Earth Sciences,
University of Toronto,
Toronto, ON October 11, 2013


CAP Newsletter Editor’s Report

Since my last report, two issues of the CAP Newsletter have been produced. The December
2012 Newsletter (Vol. 35, No. 2) had 18 pages and was distributed to CAP members on January 1, 2013. Most notably, the December 2012 newsletter featured an article on programming interfaces in paleoecology by S. Goring (University of Wisconsin) and dissertation abstracts by K.R. Miskelly (University of Victoria) and S. Goldsmith (University of Calgary). “Members in the News” section brought in another great story about Dr. V. Bryant’s activity in the field of melissopalynology, while the Mystery Grain section invited members to weigh in on a NPP frequent in peat deposits. As per CAP Bylaws, this issue also included minutes of the 2012 CAP Annual General Meeting.

The May 2013 Newsletter (Vol. 36, No. 1) was distributed to members on May 28, 2013. It consisted of 13 pages and included an article on the 2012 CAP Student Research Award winner Emily Helmer from Simon Fraser University as well as dissertation abstracts by P. Keizer and Nathalie Paquette, both from University of Ottawa. The President’s Message, New Labs, Recent Publications, and Palynfo sections brought up-to-date information to the Canadian palynological community. This issue also featured a beautiful Palynolit piece by Alwynne Beaudoin from Suttcliff’s “Chronicles of Robin Hood”.

I would like to remind our members that our past Newsletters are available in electronic  format on the CAP website. Contributions for the next issue of the Newsletter will be accepted until November 15, 2013.

Respectfully submitted,
Florin Pendea
CAP Newsletter Editor
October 4, 2013


CAP Website Editor’s Report

I have continued to maintain the website since the last AGM. During the past year, accesses to the presentation have usually hovered around 500 each month.

The presentation provides various resources and information about CAP to the palynological community. I continue to update time-sensitive sections, such as the conference listing and various announcements. Information about the CAP Student Research Award and the application process, as well as a year-to-year record of the
Award recipients, is also included. Back issues of recent CAP Newsletters (though not the latest issue) are archived, making them available to members over the long-term. I have maintained the author listing and index to past CAP Newsletter issues.

There has been one significant addition to the website this year. In response to a request for information, I have added a page providing details of the many sessions that CAP has sponsored at conferences through the years. The page can be found at It is still incomplete and I would appreciate help to fill in the blanks for some sessions.

I would be happy to include more CAP-related material in the web presentation, especially more images. I would be pleased to receive suggestions or content for new components to broaden its appeal. If CAP members agree, I am prepared to serve as the Association’s Website Editor for another year.

Respectfully submitted,
Alwynne B. Beaudoin
CAP Website Editor
September 14, 2013


CAP Secretary/Treasurer’s Report

Membership Report:

Year Members
2004 43
2005 36
2006 47
2007 51
2008 58
2009 66
2010 64
2011 66
2012 65
2013 65

As of 4 October 2013, CAP has 65 members in good standing who have paid dues for 2013 or
who have received a free membership as a result of winning a CAP Student Award. The chart above shows our membership over the past ten years. I would like to extend a special welcome to our new members in 2013: Zhen Li, SKLEK, East China Normal University, Shanghai, (Zhen is currently living in Canada), Ayobami Babalola Oyelami, Global Energy Company, Lagos, Nigeria, Jessie Vincent, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB.

Financial Report:
For the period ending 4 October 2013, the balance in the CAP account is $6,843.83 (compared to $6,982.72 at the 2012 AGM). Of this amount, $590 represents pre-paid memberships for future years. IFPS dues ($1.50 USD per member) have been paid through 2013. In general, membership receipts during the year balance expenditures.
The closing balance includes 59 prepaid annual memberships in the amount of $590.00
for the years 2014-2021. This will affect the income from this source for the years indicated. 2013 IFPS dues have been paid.

Financial Statement: 16 May 2012 – 4 October 2013
Income Expenses Balance
Opening balance $6,982.72
Bank interest $1.02
Memberships $586.76
CAP Annual Registration Fee $28.59
2013 IFPS membership dues $98.08
2013 CAP Student Award $300.00
CANQUA coffee break sponsorship $300.00
Closing balance $587.78 $726.67 $6,843.83

CAP’s financial position allows us to continue to support, in a modest way, outreach initiatives at conferences (e.g. coffee breaks) and sponsor sessions.

Respectfully submitted by
Mary A. Vetter
CAP Secretary/Treasurer
October 4, 2013


This summary originally appeared in CAP Newsletter 36(2):6-25, 2013.