President's Letter -
Ken Krauss, Winter, 2009
It was a great pleasure to serve as South Central Chapter (SCC) President for the 2008/09 term. I am proud of the many accomplishments of the SCC over this term, and I am humbled by the incredible diversity of professions and personalities that I represented. Our membership maintains an important balance among wetland practitioners, scientists, teachers, and students not easily replicated in other regional society chapters. As a group, we accomplished a number of goals over the past year. In addition to organizing an annual chapter meeting, the SCC promoted several efforts to provide greater support for student travel to regional and national scientific meetings, promoted educational opportunities through student clubs, and embraced multicultural diversity in tangible ways.
In October of 2008, the SCC hosted a joint chapter meeting with the South Atlantic Chapter on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. This meeting was held over three days, included a workshop and field trip, and focused on climate change, water resources, and wetlands of the Southeast. There were a total of five plenary talks, 12 contributed talks, and 12 student talks all focusing on wetland science, biodiversity, and wetland policy. This meeting was successful in recruiting 23 new members to SWS, helping to expand our SCC membership from 328 in 2008 to 405 in 2009. Second, SCC coordinated with members of an aspiring student club at Louisiana State University, SWS President, and SWS Secretary-General to establish draft student association guidelines of national scope designed to promote the development of future student chapters throughout the U.S. Third, the SCC membership made a strong contribution to promoting multicultural diversity within SCC by agreeing to support an undergraduate travel award to send an SCC-based student to the national meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah (in 2010). Undergraduate mentoring awards were established by the SWS Diversity Committee in order to expose high-achieving students from underrepresented groups to possible careers in wetland science. The contributions made by SCC are designed to supplement a larger NSF grant. Finally, we consolidated past SCC archives for digitizing, developed a chapter poster layout for advertisement at regional meetings, and commissioned a chapter logo competition which was finalized by the close of 2009.
While I will miss representing the SCC as President, I am happy to hand my duties off to Dr. Julia A. Cherry. Her leadership and vision are well-known amongst chapter members, and it will be a pleasure to continue to serve the SCC membership as Past-President under Julia’s lead. The SCC community is tightly linked, and will continue to support student members and professional development among wetland scientists of the Southeast for many years to come.
Ken W. Krauss, Ph.D.
SCC President, 2008-2009