For 2012, I’d like to accomplish the following items:
- Reduce the amount of cash held by THSOA. As a result of the efforts of past THSOA officers and board members, the society finds itself with just over $300,000 in the bank. We have done a very good job on the income side and a lousy job spending it to the benefit of the members. I would like to begin new programs that are beneficial to the members and expand existing programs. I’ll be proposing a budget plan that reduces the cash by approximately $40,000/year over the next four years.
- Scholarship Program: In 2011, THSOA awarded its first scholarships to students involved in hydrographic-related programs. Now that the groundwork has been laid, I will be recommending that we increase the scholarships granted each year.
- Summer Internship Program: One of the new initiatives that I would like to create is a summer internship program that matches corporate members with college juniors in hydrographic-related fields. I’ll be contacting corporate members to see which ones would be willing to take on a summer intern (or two) for a paid internship. THSOA would provide a small stipend to the students to assist in their travel and relocation expenses.
- THSOA Assistance in Registering Hydrographic Courses for State CEU Credits: Several institutions and corporate members offer hydrographic-related training courses. Many of these courses would qualify for state Continuing Education Units, required to maintain P.E. status. I’d like THSOA to assist courses in obtaining certification in certain states.
- Hydrographer Certification Test Fees: To encourage more of our members to take the Hydrographer Certification Test, now offered by NSPS. THSOA would pay the fees the first time a member elects to take the test.
- THSOA Hydrographic Conferences: THSOA will next hold their annual conference in 2013 with the subsequent conference in 2015. I’d like to support our regional chapters by holding the 2013 conference in New Orleans and the 2015 conference in Houston. This will continue to be a member-run conference, with all proceeds going back into the organization.
- Corps of Engineers Participation in THSOA: One of my goals is to find out how we can make THSOA more useful to COE hydrographers. Probably 75% of hydrographic survey work in the USA is either conducted or contracted for by COE. Yet, THSOA does not have any COE personnel as officers or board members. Considering the number of COE hydrographers, our membership levels should be much higher than our current level.
- US Hydrographic Hall of Fame: I’d like to honor past hydrographers who have made technological advancements, created new algorithms, advanced the hydrographic science, or provided exceptional service to THSOA. A low-cost way to do it is with a US Hydrographic Hall of Fame (Hydro HOF). Every two years, we’ll ask a committee to select two or three hydrographers for inclusion into the Hydro HOF. We’ll honor new inductees at the opening session of the US Hydrographic Conference and create a web page that lists the inductees with their accomplishments. We might even have an Old Timers committee!
As a final note, I would like to extend my personal thanks to Karl Kieninger, Andy Armstrong, and Jack Wallace for their years of service to THSOA. This organization probably would not currently exist, if not for their time and efforts.
p.s.: Please feel free to e-mail me any time with your comments and ideas. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org