From the Director's Desk (from the current issue of The PAS Newsletter)

by Artimus Keiffer

Greetings and Salutations!

I hope spring has sprung where you are and that you have suffered little physical and emotional damage with what appeared to be a tough transition between seasons. Down here in southern Florida it is now what we call “almost” summer. But spring has been pleasant, although a lack of rain has started to cause some problems. (Driest it has been since 1932 they say. It’s a good thing we keep records!)

It was good to see many of you in Baton Rouge last October. It was a great meeting, with two fantastic field trips. I also know some of you couldn’t make it... and your absence was noted. But in true PAS tradition, we carried on.

For our 41st annual meeting we will be in southeastern West Virginia. Make sure you make your room reservations early. It is a peak time for foliage during our meeting dates and the lodge is sure to be packed.

Dawn and Marshall, two stalwarts in the organization have quite a lineup for our meeting and field trip. Some of us will also be taking a post-meeting trip to an area of mountaintop removal. If time permits, please join us. Larry will be happy to see you and will appreciate your support, now that pending legislation puts controls on that coal removal process. (This is the guy whose dog was poisoned by the coal companies, trying to get Larry off a couple million dollars’ worth of coal his family has owned for generations on top of Buford Mountain.)

In society news, many of the new changes are in place. The publications staff has finished its transition for the newsletter, journal, and book reviews. The new Secretary and Treasurer have started to rigorously pursue their duties and the Finance Committee is starting to analyze our economic position. Of course our endowment took quite a “hit,” as many of the invested funds did. Hopefully, the market will rebound over time to recoup our losses. Several cost avoidance measures along with some budget cuts were approved by the Board. The price of membership, however, did not increase. A letter sent by our new Treasurer at the end of 2008 asking for additional funds had a positive response, and suggestions from the Membership Committee are being phased in, albeit slowly.

In short, we are still a viable entity. The Board of Directors is taking proactive steps to keep us afloat to continue to fulfill our mission.

That being said, more is better at times. I will ask all of you now to consider donating to the organization this year to help out, over and above the membership dues (this overage is tax deductible). Please include a little something more, if you can afford it, to help us fund our awards, conferences, and programs. As the world changes, we must change as well... hopefully into a period of prosperity for all.

A healthy spring and a sultry summer to you all... life is too short not to pet the alligators once in a while.


Artimus Keiffer, Ph.D., Executive Director, Stuart, Florida


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