Report 2017

Note: The following Minutes and all reports from the Executive are available in the CAP Newsletter Volume 40 Number 2.


Minutes of the 2017 CAP Annual General Meeting
October 10, 2017
Victoria, BC

Members present:  Vera Pospelova (Chair), Manuel Bringué (Recording Secretary), Maximilien Genest, Simon Goring*, Jonathan Hughes*, Carl Jonsson, Terri Lacourse, Audrey Limoges*, Sandy McLachlan, Anna Pieńkowski*, Jin-Si Over, Mary Vetter*, Jessie Holst Vincent*. Quorum reached.
*via Skype

Meeting called to order by Vera Pospelova, 11:00 am PDT

  1. Acceptance of agenda

Vera P. provided paper copies to members present, and emailed the agenda to members attending through Skype. Vera P. asked for additions to the agenda. Jessie H.V. noted that the issue of moving CAP’s mailing address should be added, Vera P. ensured it would be discussed under Other business. Motion to accept the agenda by Manuel B., seconded by Carl J. Agenda accepted.

Agenda and all reports from the Executive are appended to the Minutes.

  1. Review and acceptance of Minutes from 2016 AGM, Victoria, BC.

Motion to accept minutes as presented by Terri L., seconded by Simon G. Minutes accepted.

  1. Business arising from Minutes: No new business arising.
  2. President’s report: Vera Pospelova
  • Vera P. thanked Jessie for hard work and responsiveness in tackling many different issues over the past year, and Francine McCarthy and Terri L. for continued support. Vera noted that the new By-laws are posted on the website, that Audrey L. will take over as President in January 2018, and that the next AGM will be held in Calgary at the joint AASP-CAP meeting.
  • CAP will sponsor one special session at the AASP-CAP meeting (Aug. 6-9, 2017). Vera P. asked that members encourage everyone in the Association to participate. Simon G. brought up that the timing of this AASP-CAP joint meeting is the same as the CANQUA-AMQUA meeting in Ottawa (Aug. 7-11), which several members are planning on attending. Simon G. suggested holding a ‘satellite’ meeting in Ottawa, with a live connection to the AGM in Calgary. Mary V. added that having an ‘AGM meeting’ at both conferences could be a good opportunity to recruit new members.
  • Finances are in good standing. Membership numbers are low, but some members have not yet paid their 2017 dues; numbers should increase shortly. Jessie H.V. will send additional e-mail reminders.
  • Vera P. would like to see members more actively involved in the Association. She had hoped for more interest, discussion and action from members when she rose the issue of (under)funding of palynology in Canada compared to other fields, in the Dec. 2016 issue of the CAP Newsletter. Our community of palynologists may be underrepresented in NSERC committees that overlook funding. Vera P. would like to boost interest in this issue and action is possible by contacting NSERC.
  1. Secretary-Treasurer’s report: Jessie Holst Vincent
  • Jessie H.V. thanked Mary V. for her help in reviewing CAP’s finances at a short notice.
  • Membership is down, but numbers should go up. Offering e-transfers as an option to pay membership dues brought three memberships right away – we should continue offering this option.
  • The account balance is a little high for two reasons: the last student award has not yet been cashed, and IFPS dues have not yet been claimed.
  • Jessie H.V. encourages students to contribute to the newsletter. Vera P. added that graduate students should be encouraged to submit a thesis report.
  • Mary V. offered to write cheques in USD currency (for instance for IFPS dues) from her own account and be reimbursed later, to avoid foreign currency transaction fees. However, the consensus was that using personal accounts is not necessary as the fees for certified bank cheques are low and these transactions are infrequent.
  1. Auditor’s Statement: Mary A. Vetter

Mary V. and Jessie H.V. reiterated that CAP’s finances are in good order.

  1. Newsletter Editor’s report: Florin Pendea (in absentia)

Florin could not attend the AGM; his report was read aloud by Vera P. Two new issues of the Newsletter were distributed over the past year. Florin P. invites new contributions for upcoming issues.

  1. Website Editor’s report: Manuel Bringué

The new website was released in January. Manuel B. thanked Alwynne Beaudoin for her help ensuring a smooth transition. Views since the release are above 100 hits per month. Manuel B. welcomed suggestions on how to improve content and appearance of the website, encouraged contributions in French, and invited members to send pictures of palynomorphs for the website.

  • Vera P. noted that the address posted on the IFPS website still refers to the old CAP website. Simon G. will ask J.-N. Haas to update the link. Vera P. suggested posting links to affiliated societies on the CAP website as well.
  • Jessie H.V. suggested that the possibility of using e-transfers to pay membership dues should be posted on the website. Jonathan H. added there should be such a statement on the front page. The website will refer prospective or renewing members to contact Jessie H.V. for instructions on how to pay via e-transfer. Members will be encouraged to pay their dues for 3 years.
  1. CAP Councillor to IFPS’s report: Simon Goring

Simon G. provided an update on the IFPS Council, including the three new Vice Presidents. The next IFPS meeting is in Prague in 2020. Simon noted that the challenge of IFPS meetings is travelling expenses; the location for the next IFPS meeting (Prague) should be relatively affordable.

Terri L. moved to accept all reports, seconded by Manuel B. Reports accepted.

  1. Election of CAP executive

The May Newsletter included a call for nominations for President Elect (2018-2019). Anna Pieńkowski expressed interest in the position via email in advance of the AGM. Vera asked if there were any additional nominations for President Elect. Receiving none, Anna P. was proclaimed as the new President-Elect, effective January 2018.

  1. Appointment of auditor

Vera asked for suggestions for future auditors. Sarah Finkelstein and Mary V. were suggested as potential candidates.

  1. Location for 2018 AGM

Vera P. noted that the next CAP AGM will be held in Calgary, Aug. 7th, at the AASP-CAP joint meeting. The exact time still needs to be set. Since some CAP members are likely to attend the CANQUA-AMQUA meeting that will be held in Ottawa at the same time in Aug. 2018, an effort will be made to connect CAP members who are in Ottawa, so that they can meet as a group and participate in the CAP AGM remotely.

  1. Priorities and goals

The discussion focussed on membership renewal and how to attract new members:

  • Vera P. suggested that CAP put effort into attracting young palynologists to join the Association. It was proposed to email departments students directly about joining CAP.
  • Vera P. emphasized that conferences are good opportunities to recruit new members. Carl J. and Jin-Si O. proposed having a CAP booth at conferences. The cost of a booth could be sizable for CAP’s budget, but some meetings (e.g. AASP) may not charge CAP booth fees. Vera P. suggested that having a conference poster promoting CAP could be an efficient option. The idea of having printed membership forms ready to give away was supported by many.
  • Simon G. suggested distributing high-resolution CAP logos and links to website, which would make it easier to promote CAP membership and resources.
  • Jonathan H. explained that while promoting CAP to undergraduate students, it is not easy to convince them that their gain in joining CAP will be worth their $10 investment. The ensuing discussion over the question ‘what’s the gain for students?’ lead to the following list of incentives: access to the Newsletter (although not member-exclusive), access to the CAP Student Award, possibility of networking, interacting with experts from very diverse backgrounds, and positive impact on one’s CV.
  • Simon G. proposed that PIs could send small projects for undergraduate students to the Website Editor for posting. It was suggested that these could appear on an ‘Opportunities’ page on the website with any positions related to palynology.
  • Jonathan H. suggested restricting some privileges to members, as an incentive for interested parties to join the association. Simon G. suggested creating a CAP member email list. The idea was well received.
  • Maximilien G. added that CAP should be willing to spend money to increase membership, for instance in the form of social and networking events.
  1. Other business
  • Attendees discussed splitting the $300 Student Research Award into one for MSc and one for PhD because judges in the last competition ranked applications from junior and more senior students very differently. Concern was raised that an award of only $150 would not attract many applications. The general consensus was that one award is appropriate given that few applications (2-5) are typically received. Terri L. suggested increasing the amount of the award and Simon G. suggested $500 should be a minimum. Jessie H.V. and Mary V. confirmed that $500 is feasible given CAP finances, at least in the short term. The account balance must remain about $5000 to avoid fees. All agreed to increasing the Award to $500 and revisiting the issue in a few years. Jonathan H. suggested adding a section to the Membership form asking for additional (optional) contributions towards the award.
  • Audrey L. suggested that a clearer definition of evaluation criteria would help in reaching consensus over different applications, an idea supported by all. Terri L. noted that a list of weighted criteria was used when she chaired the Award Adjudication Committee. She agreed to share it with the current Executive.
  • The issue of whether CAP needs to purchase insurance was raised. Vera P. explained that there is no need to purchase insurance since e-transfers are secure and the Association is not involved in any potentially dangerous activities such as field trips.
  • Vera P. raised the issue of adding a non-voting director to the Executive Committee who would have signing authority, in case both the President and Secretary-Treasurer are indisposed. Jessie H.V. noted that this is not necessary since all directors have signing authority.
  • Changing CAP’s official mailing address involves a $200 fee from Corporation Canada if the new address is not in Saskatchewan, where it is currently. Mary V. agreed to keep her address as the official address for now in order to avoid those fees.
  1. Adjournment

Carl J. moved to adjourn the AGM, seconded by Manuel B. Meeting adjourned at ~ 1pm.