SWS SOUTH CENTRAL CHAPTER
Fall Business Meeting Minutes
October 5, 2007
Gary Pritts (Ensafe) – Current President - Present
Andy Nyman (LSU) – Past President - Present
Ken Krauss (USGS) – President Elect - Present
Matt Stahman (SWCA) – Treasurer - Present
Adam Williams (BFEC) – Secretary - Present
Kevin Stevens (Univ. N. TX) – Current Board Member - Not Present
Julia Cherry (Univ. AL) – Current Board Member - Present
Lisa Gandy (Whitenton Group) – New Board Member - Present
Rebecca Howard (USGS) – New Board Member - Present
President Gary Pritts called the Business Meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) South Central Chapter (SCC) to order at 1 PM. Gary Pritts determined that a quorum was present with 23 people attending including the chapter Board members and Officers. Gary noted that 7 new members attended this meeting.
Minutes: The minutes from the Sacramento chapter meeting (June 2007) were read and were accepted by a unanimous vote.
Treasurer Report: Treasurer Matt Stahman read through the fall report. Matt noted the chapter’s currently has $16,300.30 in assets with $4000 currently in a CD.
- Bottomwood Hardwood Symposium:
A request had previously been made of the SCC to donate $500 toward the sponsorship of the Bottomwood Hardwood Symposium to be held in Little Rock, AR in March 2008. Discussion of this request took place, but no vote was taken during the Sacramento chapter meeting. Concern over the inability to set up the SWS display in return for the sponsorship donation was expressed by some board members. Discussion of this request by the board continued after the Sacramento meeting. The board agreed to revisit this request at the fall chapter board meeting in Memphis.
At the fall board meeting, Lisa Gandy noted that the SA chapter of SWS was a bronze level sponsor of the meeting and because the meeting will be held in the SCC, the chapter should reconsider the sponsorship request. Gandy noted that regardless of the lack of advertising for the chapter, support of the symposium meets the goals and mission of SWS for wetlands research and education/outreach. Gandy agreed to contact Jeff Raasch to determine cost of the bronze sponsorship level and if a complimentary registration could be provided if a $500 donation was provided by the SCC.
The board’s decision to further investigate support of this meeting was brought to the general membership for comment during the chapter meeting. The general consensus of the membership was to support the meeting regardless of whether the display or complimentary registration would be provided.
- Consultant’s List: Discussion about whether the SCC wanted to develop a consultant’s list and place it on the SCC website was initiated in Sacramento. This idea had generated a number of concerns and comments as reported in the minutes from the Sacramento meeting.
The concerns and comments about receiving compensation for this list as a non-profit organization, member privacy, appearance of endorsement, etc. and the mechanism for providing the list were discussed further during the fall board and business meetings.
Andy Nyman had investigated software that could be used to generate a sort-able list but indicated it would be costly to purchase and install.
The Pacific Northwest Chapter’s consultant list was pulled up on the projector as an example of how the list could be posted.
The board and membership agreed that it would not be prudent to sell any list to an outside organization.
The board and membership thought that putting a list of current chapter members who are consultants on the website could easily address the issue and would only have to be updated annually.
The board and membership agreed that a disclaimer should be posted noting that “…the consultants are not endorsed by SWS or the SC chapter…”
The consultants list on the chapter website was tabled.
The following items were voted on or discussed by the board at the board meeting and then presented to the chapter membership at business meeting.
- Mechanism for Addressing Future Requests for Meeting Sponsorships/Donations: The board discussed the need to have a mechanism for reviewing meeting sponsorship requests and to set a limit for meeting sponsorships each year. The board voted to cap annual sponsorship donations at $1,000.00 a year and to provide sponsorships to worthwhile meetings and symposia on a first come first serve basis pending approval by the SCC board.
- Student Travel Fund: The board discussed the need to increase student attendance at SC chapter meetings as a way to maintain long-term chapter membership and involvement in the chapter. Andy Nyman suggested that the chapter consider providing student travel awards to increase student participation at chapter meetings. The board unanimously supported this idea if there was adequate money in the chapter budget. Matt Stahman indicated the budget could support up to $600 in student travel awards. The board voted that $100 be given to 6 students annually as a Student Travel award to the chapter meetings. The board agreed that the student travel awards should be given to graduate students or senior undergraduates and to students presenting papers who do not have travel support from their faculty advisors.
The boards’ decision to begin offering student travel awards for the Chapter meetings was brought forth to the general membership and comments were received. Members supported the travel awards and indicated they would like to see awards be given to students without travel means.
- Membership Outreach: The board and members would like to create SC chapter posters to bring in new members from the academic and professional fields.
Board looking for a free designer….left open ended.
- Stream Restoration Course: Matt Stahman proposed that the chapter bring together a new Stream Restoration Workshop/course potentially to be held in 2008.
The first course could be held near Austin, TX and serve as an introductory course for beginners.
Matt noted that Adam Williams is interested in teaching the course and working with the SC chapter to ensure all objectives are met.
(Adam will be working with Scott Burleigh (SWCA) to get a basic course outline together.)
- Course cost would cover all instructor/field instructors travel cost and time.
A member noted that he would like to see a joined stream and wetland restoration course (ecological restoration).
If the beginner’s course is successful then future intermediate and advanced courses would be offered.
- Student Chapters: Vanessa Tobias, president of the first “student chapter” of SWS at LSU provided a report of the newly formed chapter’s planned activities and financial needs.
Vanessa indicated the chapter currently has approx. 50 LSU student members.
The chapter’s primary goal is to be involved in wetlands education in the community and schools.
Vanessa requested $250 from the SC chapter for funding of planned activities.
Andy Nyman indicated that the student chapter needs to have a bank account set-up before the chapter votes on funding.
The chapter membership was supportive of the request for funding but tabled a vote on the request until the bank account could be set up.
- Women Wetland Scientists: Julia Cherry mentioned there has been discussion of creating a “Women in Wetland Sciences” section to address issues related to women in the field.
- 2008 Elections to Board: Andy Nyman encouraged chapter members to increase their involvement in the chapter by running for a SC chapter board position. Nyman indicated that two open board positions will need to be filled during in the 2008 board elections in addition to the president-elect position and requests that members with interested in running contact him.
- National Meeting: The 2008 National Meeting will be held in Washington D.C.
- Chapter Meeting: The 2008 fall meeting is proposed to be held in Tuscaloosa, AL October 23-25, 2008 and hosted by Julia Cherry.
o A member noted a conflict with the proposed time and another environmental/wetland conference.
- It was mentioned that Kevin Stevens volunteered to host the 2009 meeting in Denton, TX.
President Gary Pritts called for a motion that the Business Meeting be adjourned to allow time for the local fieldtrip.
The motion was made, seconded, and the vote to adjourn carried.
Members then gathered for an afternoon fieldtrip to William B. Clark Boardwalk and Nature Preserve.