This is my first column as President of the CSEG. At our last CSEG luncheon we held our annual general meeting, which marks the transition between executives. Directors serve two-year terms, first as an Assistant Director and then as Director. This gives people a chance to grow into their role and provides continuity for the CSEG. An exception to this, the President serves a three-year term, first as Vice President, then President and lastly Past President. I would like to thank last year’s executive for their service and accomplishments and in particular the departing members; Petra Buziak (Education), Marzena Feuchtwanger (Member services), Larry Herd (Finance), Michael Enachescu (Communications), and Doug Bogstie (Past President). Lastly, but most importantly from my point of view, I would like to thank Francois Aubin who moves into the role as Past President who has served as my mentor and provided so much service to the society.
I want to welcome the new executive members and point out that their names, roles, and pictures, appear on page one of the RECORDER. Please feel free to contact us with your concerns and ideas. The executive meets monthly to discuss the CSEG’s programs and initiatives and monitor its financial health.
In this column I will try to report back some of our activities to you. At each meeting the Finance Director, currently Brook Hassell, gives an update on the Society’s finances. Currently, the society has net assets of a little over 1.6 million dollars, so we are well positioned to weather the current financial storm. A budget is prepared for each calendar year to fund the society’s various activities and initiatives. This year we budgeted for a slight deficit. This is due to the fact that we anticipate revenues will be down while choosing to maintain the current CSEG programs (and spending). We chose not to cut back on our programs viewing the current downturn as a temporary thing. We built surpluses for downturns like this and hope that future executives will monitor the situation to make sure the situation does not get out of hand if the downturn continues.
The 2009 C3Geo convention “Frontiers + Innovation” will soon be upon us. Most of the planning has been completed and the technical program is in place. This includes a plenary session on the future of the energy “How full is the tank?” which includes presentations on some dissenting views on peak oil, and the substitution between various forms of energy. Entertaining luncheon speakers including Stuart McLean and Sheila Watt-Cloutier have been arranged. Early registration is now closed. The convention is a major source of revenue for the society, so the success of this will have a large impact on the society’s financial health.
The CSEG, CSPG and CWLS have a rolling agreement in place to jointly operate these conventions five years into the future. Planning is well underway for 2010 GeoCanada convention and initial planning for the 2011 C3Geo convention has started. On behalf of the various societies the Joint Annual Convention Committee (JACC) identifies the convention and technical co-chairs and monitors each conventions progress. Andrea Hood, Rob McGrory and Laurie Ross represent the CSEG on this committee.
The CSEG belongs to the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES). It is a chance for various earth science organizations to share experiences and work together for common goals. The next meeting is in Montreal at the end of April, which I will attend on the Society’s behalf.
Web services and Database
The CSEG has been investing more time, effort and money in the CSEG website. As part of this effort we have migrated our database to IMIS and provided training for our staff on how to run this. This allows us to provide more services on-line. In the fall it became possible for members to buy luncheon tickets online. We are now trying to make it more convenient to our members by providing the option to print out the tickets on their own printer after purchasing them. This is supposed to be in place for the April luncheon.
In future columns I will try to keep you up to date with the activities of the executive and some of the issues facing the society. Your executive is here to represent you, so please do not hesitate to contact us on issues of concern to you.