Report 2016

Minutes of the Canadian Association of Palynologists
Annual General Meeting, 2016

October 4, 2016
(University of Victoria, BC)

Members present:

Audrey Limoges (Skype)
Carl Jonsson
Florin Pendea, Newsletter Editor (Skype)
Francine McCarthy, President (Phone)
Jessie Holst Vincent (Skype – only the second half of the meeting)
Manuel Bringué
Mary Vetter, Secretary/Treasurer (Skype)
Maximilien (Max) Genest
Sandy McLean
Simon Goring, IFPS Councillor
Terri Lacourse
Vera Pospelova, President Elect
Zhen Li

Recording secretaries:

Manuel Bringué
Max Genest
Mary Vetter

Meeting called to order: Francine McCarthy 10:00 am PDT

Agenda (appended to the Minutes) accepted by consensus.

Review of the Minutes of the 2015 AGM – Baltimore: Francine McCarthy

Motion to accept the minutes as presented: Simon Goring. Second and acceptance: deferred to the 2017 AGM because no one else present at the 2016 AGM had attended the 2015 AGM.

President’s Report: Francine McCarthy

Appended to the Minutes. Francine thanked the members of the Executive, including
those retiring from their Executive positions. Francine encouraged CAP to continue
activities promoting CAP, including student research awards, student travel awards (e.g. to GAC/MAC 2017), and the newsletter.

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report and Financial Statement: Mary Vetter

Appended to the Minutes. Declining membership numbers continues to be a concern.
CAP continues to be in a good financial position with accrued savings, but increased membership numbers would allow us to do more; all CAP members are asked to promote CAP and encourage colleagues and students to become members.

Auditor’s Report: Jessie Holst Vincent

Appended to the Minutes. Terri Lacourse suggested that the auditor not be on the Executive; this was not the case in this instance, although Jessie is nominated for an
Executive position. Mary thanked Jessie for undertaking this audit.

Newsletter Editor’s Report: Florin Pendea

Appended to the Minutes. Two newsletters were produced, in December 2015 and May. 2016, since the last AGM. While the second newsletter was smaller, very interesting submissions were included. The deadline for the December 2016 newsletter is November 15. Simon noted that the article on the Don Brickyards was very interesting, not only to CAP members but to the wider public.

Website Editor’s Report: Alwynne Beaudoin

Appended to the Minutes. Alwynne’s work over these many years is deeply appreciated! The website continues to be accessed regularly, with around 500 hits per month. With Alwynne stepping down as Website Editor, CAP may need to purchase a domain and pay hosting fees. While hosting through the University of Victoria might be possible, it was felt that this is not a good long-term solution. There are some free options for hosting that should be explored as even $20 a year is a sizeable expense for CAP. The new Website Editor will need to explore options. We have an opportunity to update or even substantially redesign the website. Simon volunteered to assist the new Editor with this.

IFPS Councillor’s Report: Simon Goring

Appended to the Minutes. The next IFPS Meeting will be at the IPC XIV Congress in Salvadore, Brasil, in October 2016. Charles Wellman will be stepping down as IFPS President, and President-Elect Jean Nicolas Haas (who is also a CAP member) will be replacing him. The new CAP Secretary-Treasurer is asked to send out an email to all CAP members reminding them of the upcoming IFPS meeting in Brasil.

Acceptance of the Reports

Terri moved acceptance of all reports, seconded by Manuel. The motion was passed

Election CAP Executive

The following CAP members have agreed to let their names stand for election to the
available Executive positions:
President: Vera Pospelova
President-Elect: Audrey Limoges
Secretary-Treasurer: Jessie Holst Vincent
Website Editor: Manuel Bringué

A call was made for any additional nominations or volunteers. None were received.
Simon moved election by acclamation of the nominee for each of the three positions,
seconded by Max. The motion was passed unanimously.

NOTE: Vera Pospelova took over as chair of the meeting, as CAP’s new President.

Approval of the proposed new By-laws

It was noted that the current by-laws were implemented in the 1990s, and a number of changes need to be made. In general, changes are needed for two reasons: to facilitate participation in meetings by allowing participation via Skype, telephone, or other electronic means; and to conform our by-laws to the format and content needed for our recent incorporation under Corporations Canada (and deletion of our incorporation in the Province of Nova Scotia).

A number of comments were received by email. These were mainly minor in scope but very useful and important to consider. Each of these suggestions was discussed. It was agreed to use bold facing on section headings within the by-laws.

It was agreed to continue to accept memberships up to three years in advance rather than to lengthen this term, to allow CAP to raise membership fees in the future. While pre-paid memberships would be honoured, it is good to keep the number of these reasonable so as not to limit CAP’s revenues in the future. However, the Secretary-Treasurer will continue to have discretion to accept longer renewals when that makes paying dues easier for members, e.g. members retiring and members from other countries for whom it is often difficult and/or expensive (for them and for CAP due to US cheque processing fees) to submit dues payments. It was also agreed that the Newsletter Editor will put a reminder in the newsletter that if a member does not receive a notice from the Secretary-Treasurer that dues are owed, the member is paid up and in good standing. The Secretary-Treasure will continue to contact those members who need to renew. The membership form will retain the current wording that membership dues can be paid up to three years in advance. It was agreed that the new Secretary-Treasurer should explore accepting payments by  Paypal or, ideally, through some free service.

In response to the suggestion that part of the CAP website be password protected, it was agreed after discussion that this would produce a great deal of work for the Website Editor. As well, it was agreed that the CAP website should include as much information as possible, including recent newsletters, to spread the word about CAP’s work and encourage new memberships.

In response to the suggestion that there be a special membership category for students and/or honourary members, it was agreed that membership fees are very reasonable. Membership classes can be changed in the future, and the CAP Executive could grant an Honourary Membership at any time anyway. As a side note, it was agreed that the list of palynologists on the CAP Website should be deleted as it is not up to date, it would be very difficult to keep it up to date, and this list is really not needed. Terri moved that CAP retain one class of membership, seconded by Vera. The motion was passed unanimously.

In response to the suggestion that the requirement of two newsletters per year be dropped, the discussion suggested that publication of the newsletters is a very important function of CAP. While amending the requirement to one per year would allow more flexibility, if we drop the requirement of two per year, it is likely the newsletters will either drop to one per year or disappear. Moved by Francine, seconded by Simon, to retain the requirement of two newsletters per year, but delete the specific reference to May and December (Section 8.1) as publication dates.

CAP must specify a destination for its assets if CAP should be dissolved (Section 7.8). Suggestions were received from Rob Fensome, and Terri suggested that CAP consider IFPS or a Canadian palynologically-related society. It was noted that this decision can not be made at this AGM because such a decision calls for a Special Resolution, and until the By-laws are accepted there is no provision for an electronic vote on a Special Resolution. It was agreed that the Executive would send out a call for suggestions for a designated recipient for CAP’s assets should CAP dissolve. Based on suggestions received, the Executive will make a recommendation to the CAP membership and issue a call for a vote on a Special Resolution to resolve this matter.

In response to the suggestion that it be stipulated in the by-laws that new members must purchase memberships before any voting at the meeting, it was decided that this was true and is the practice.

Year Members
2004 43
2005 36
2006 47
2007 51
2008 58
2009 66
2010 64
2011 66
2012 65
2013 65
2014 60
2015 58

In response to the concern that members participating in meetings through electronic access must have their identity verified, it was agreed that the person presiding at the meeting (usually the President or President-Elect) would verify the identity of meeting participants to the best of their ability. It was agreed that this does not need to be stipulated in the by-laws.

In response to the suggestion that a space on the CAP Executive be created for one or more Members at Large, for example for a student, it was noted that any Executive position is available to a student. Those participating in the meeting were asked to identify any additional questions or concerns with the proposed by-laws. Terri asked if there is a need to continue to include a report from the IFPS Councillor at the AGM. Simon reminded the meeting that CAP is invested in IFPS through the dues we pay to IFPS every year, and it is important to keep a report, even if verbal. It was agreed to maintain the requirement for a report, but the report can be submitted verbally at the meeting.

Zhen Li suggested that the CAP Website actively help develop communications among CAP members, especially those that would foster collaborative research. It was agreed that this is beyond the scope of CAP and would require a lot of work, but that the CAP Newsletter is a good venue for calling for collaborations and sharing ideas and recent publications.

Simon moved that the proposed new bylaws be accepted except for Section 7.8 (designation of a destination for CAP’s assets should CAP be dissolved by the membership), which will require attention from the CAP Executive as outlined above; seconded by Francine. The motion was passed unanimously. The revised bylaws are appended to the Minutes.

Location for 2017 AGM

Vera identified possible venues for the CAP 2017 AGM, followed by discussion. GAC-MAC in Kingston, Ontario, in May 2017. It was agreed that attendance by CAP members is likely to be low. Dino 11 in Bordeaux, France, in July 2017. It was agreed that while a number of CAP members will likely attend, only CAP members working on dinoflagellates will be attending.

GSA in Seattle, Washington, in October 2017. It was agreed that attendance by CAP members is likely to be low. Virtual meeting, as the current one. It was agreed that the Executive will discuss the location (or virtual meeting) for the 2017 CAP AGM, perhaps consulting the CAP membership via a Doodle poll. Francine noted that the AASP meeting will be in Calgary in 2018, which would be an ideal venue for the 2018 CAP AGM. It was suggested that all CAP members mark this in their calendars. CAP should propose a special session at that meeting. Francine asked that there be an item about a proposed
CAP session at the 2018 AASP, including topic ideas, in the next CAP newsletter.

Priorities and Goals [for CAP going forward]

Vera encouraged all CAP members to continue to encourage new members, by reminding colleagues and students of CAP accomplishments and low fees. New members will come as a result of enthusiasm and encouragement by current CAP members. CAP may want to increase the number and value of student awards in the future. Revitalization of the CAP Website is a top priority, with deep thanks to Alwynne for her faithful work over the years.

Other business

Sandy McLean brought up the idea of a potential role for CAP in helping CAP members access literature. Vera suggested that this is not a mandate of CAP, but Simon suggested that including useful links on the website could be useful but very time consuming. Vera suggested that Manuel consider including links to all major palynology labs in Canada (with permission) on the website.

Vera noted that all website content should be approved by the CAP Executive. Several newsletter ideas were discussed. Perhaps experienced researchers and faculty members could summarize career advice for new faculty members, e.g. share their most important and useful ideas.

Graduate students and any CAP members could be asked to write short paragraphs about their research projects. Members could contribute articles about their favourite paper or book, something that influenced them greatly.

Encourage CAP members to post ads for graduate students and job ads.

Someone could solicit and organize advice from experienced researchers, such as tips
for counting samples.

Manuel thanked outgoing CAP Executive members Francine, Alwynne, and Mary, as
well as all previous CAP executives for their time and service. New members and
new Executive members were welcomed. Everyone agreed!

Meeting adjourned: 11:56 am.


CAP President’s Report, 2016

This is my last report as president of CAP, passing the reins to Vera Pospelova after an extended run. I would like to thank all of the members who have served the Association on the Executive and in a variety of other capacities such as performing the audit, contributing to the newsletter, and participating in CAP-sponsored sessions at conferences and attending meetings. I am very pleased that several relatively new members have stepped up to take an active role as members of the CAP Executive, allowing Mary Vetter and Alwynne Beaudoin to retire from the ranks. Once again I would like to formally recognize their very capable long-standing service.

Our finances are adequate to cover our modest expenses that this year basically consisted of incorporation dues and the Student Prize. Hopefully in 2017 we can offer a small travel award to a student or young professional to assist in attending a CAP-sponsored session at the momentous meeting of GAC MAC in Kingston as well, that I suggest would be an excellent venue for the AGM.

I will take a short hiatus from writing feature articles for the CAP newsletter, being out of ideas for the time being, but I encourage members to contribute articles on a variety of topics in order to illustrate the breadth of palynology. I also look forward to fresh updates to the website:

Respectfully submitted,
Francine McCarthy
CAP President
November 3, 2015


CAP Secretary/Treasurer’s Report, 2016

Membership Report

As of 23 September 2016, CAP has 54 members in good standing who have paid dues for 2016 or who have received a complimentary membership as a result of winning a CAP Student Award.

I would like to extend a special welcome to our new and newly-returned members in 2016: Albert Fulton (Michigan State University), Richard Hebda (University of Victoria), Carl Jonsson University of Victoria), Sandy McLachlan (University of Victoria), and Qiang Yao (Louisiana State University). It is wonderful to have you as members!

The chart below shows our membership over the past twelve years.

Year Members
2005 36
2006 47
2007 51
2008 58
2009 66
2010 64
2011 66
2012 65
2013 65
2014 60
2015 58
2016 54

The membership numbers continue to be of concern, as we are losing members to retirement, completion of graduate studies, or career changes faster than we are gaining new members. It is very important that all CAP members encourage students and newly-appointed colleagues to consider membership in CAP!

Financial Report

For the period ending 23 September 2016, the balance in the CAP account is $6774.96 (compared to $6891.31 at the 2015 AGM). Of this amount, $570 represents pre-paid or grants of CAP Student Award memberships for future years. The main reason for the decrease in bank balance over the last year is that, after a number of attempts to reach the IFPS Treasurer, we were able to pay our IFPS dues for 2014, 2015, and 2016 ($258.00 USD = $349.25 CAD).

In general, membership receipts during the year balance expenditures. For example,
here is a breakdown of annual income and expenditures with 54 members:
– dues receipts are $540
– the CAP Student Award is $300
– IFPS dues are approximately $110 CAD
– fees for filing the annual report to Corporations Canada are $20.
This leaves an annual positive balance of approximately $110 to spend on support of coffee breaks at conferences and other activities.

Recommendations: CAP’s financial position allows us to continue to support, in a very modest way, outreach initiatives. However, a strong membership drive would greatly enhance CAP’s ability to continue to carry out meaningful activities.

I recommend that CAP continue to use some of its accrued bank balance to support active promotion of CAP and recruitment of new members. However, CAP will not want its bank account balance to drop below $5,000.00 as this minimum monthly balance results in a waiver of monthly banking fees.

Respectfully submitted
Mary Vetter
CAP Secretary/Treasurer
23 September, 2016


CAP Website Editor’s Report, 2016

This will be my final report as CAP Website Editor. Manuel Bringué has very kindly volunteered to take over this position and, following confirmation at the AGM, I will be handing over the files to him during the next few weeks. I am grateful to him for stepping up to take on this important outreach role on the CAP Executive. I wish him well and every success with the task. I look forward to following the website as a communication
tool for CAP.

This past year has been one of stasis for the presentation. I have continued to maintain the site, though there have been few changes or updates. I have received little new content, other than occasional new entries for the Directory listing, and issues of the CAP Newsletter for archiving. The webpage has essentially been functioning an archive and resource of CAP-related material rather than an active site or a venue for engagement with the palynological community.

The site has been active for 21 years, since March 1995. It has been averaging around 500 accesses per month for the last few years (see accompanying chart). Based on experience with other sites, I suspect that many of these hits are from ‘bots indexing the site for various search engines.

I will be ensuring that all files and associated documents are up to date before transferring the package to the incoming Website Editor. The site will be hosted at a new venue and I will ensure that users are redirected to the new location.


It has been an honour to serve the Canadian palynological community through involvement with the CAP Executive for so many years – actually since 1989! I would like to
thank the members of the Association and colleagues on the Executive for their  confidence in me and support through those years. Although stepping down from the Executive, I intend to remain an active member of the Association.

Respectfully submitted
Alwynne B. Beaudoin
CAP Website Editor
October 2 2016


CAP Newsletter Editor’s Report, 2016

Since my last report, two issues of the CAP Newsletter have been produced. The December
2015 Newsletter (Vol. 38, No. 2) had 21 pages and was distributed to CAP members on January 19, 2016. Most notably, the December 2015 newsletter featured two articles, one by Simon Goring on the interdisciplinary study of organic walled microfossils and one by F. McCarthy on marine-fresh water transition in the phylum Dinoflagellata. As per CAP Bylaws, this issue also included minutes of the 2015 CAP Annual General Meeting in Baltimore, Md.

The May 2016 Newsletter (Vol. 39, No. 1) was distributed to members on June 3rd, 2016. It consisted of 16 pages and included an article on the “Toronto beds” from Don Brickyard by Francine McCarthy and Jock McAndrews, with contributions from Leslie Kerr-Lawson, Paul Karrow and James Eckenwalder. The President’s Message, Lab news, the Lennart von Post centenary, and Palynfo sections brought up-to-date information to the Canadian palynological community.

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, 2016.

Respectfully submitted,
Florin Pendea
CAP Newsletter Editor
September 30, 2016

CAP Financial Audit, 2016

Mary Vetter
Canadian Association of Palynologists
30 September 2016

Dear Mary,

I have reviewed the financial statements,bank statements, dues payments and membership documents for the Canadian Association of Palynologists (CAP). These documents and the AGM financial report provide a full and fair account of the financial affairs of CAP for the period from October 2015 to October 2016. I consider the financial affairs of CAP to be in good order.

Jessie H. Vincent PhD

This summary originally appeared in CAP Newsletter 39(2):10-16, 2016, and was slightly edited for clarity.