Dear Fellow CGS Members,
This year has given us a unique set of challenges. The impact of the COVID-19 cannot be understated, and our thoughts are with those who have fallen ill, lost family or friends, or have had their livelihoods changed by the pandemic. As you already know, this year’s CGS Field Trip has been postponed until 2021. Like many of you, I look forward to the meeting each year as an opportunity to reacquaint with old colleagues and friends, make new ones, and learn about the fascinating geology in our backyards. The decision to postpone the 2020 Annual Meeting and Field Trip, voted upon by the Board of Directors (BOD), was unfortunate but necessary.
But with this suite of challenges comes opportunity. This year we will be holding our first virtual CGS meeting. Many organizations have taken this same approach, and I have no doubt that our meeting will be equally as successful. This year’s meeting will be graciously hosted by Western Carolina University, at no cost to the Society. The event will be held over three nights from December 1st through 3rd, and will feature the annual business meeting, a virtual field trip, and a panel discussion on careers in geology for students.
The postponement of this year’s field trip also allowed the Board of Directors to undertake some important business that would have been difficult to tend to otherwise and will help shape the operation of the Society for years to come. This Spring, the BOD created ad hoc committees to 1) plan and organize the 2020 virtual meeting; 2) craft procedures and guidelines for conducting regular audits of the Society’s financial records; 3) formalize the process by which the Duncan Heron Lifetime Achievement Award is administered and awarded; and 4) develop CGS merchandise. Each of these committees consists of members of the BOD and will solicit the help of the membership in accomplishing their tasks.
Drafting effective policy and guidelines takes time, effort, and consistency. Consequently, the BOD has decided to forego the selection and appointment of a new Board member this year and have the current slate of officers and board members serve through 2021. The BOD will still hold officer elections in the new year as directed by the Society’s By-Laws. Deferring the election of a new board member until 2021 will allow the current board time to complete the tasks delegated to the committees without interruption.
Prior to the pandemic, the CGS was already making significant changes, including the building of a new webpage! In January, the BOD created a new Webmaster position, and elected Phil Bradley of the North Carolina Geological Survey to oversee the webpage. Both Phil and Secretary-Treasurer Tyler Clark worked to migrate the old website into its new format and corrected issues that the Society had with field trip registration and the collection of membership dues.
In closing, while this year has seen no shortage of challenges, we continue to look forward. At this time, we have field trip leaders confirmed through 2022. With a great deal of luck and good fortune we will be standing on the outcrop together next Fall. Until then, we hope that you will consider joining us for the virtual meeting this year. We look forward to sharing more details with you once they become available.