Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections April 2014 - (Page 4)

From the President Time to Change My last column as president is also the first appearance of SPNHC's new-look newsletter. It is part of our wider goal, set out in the Strategic Plan, to move away from paper-based publishing to electronic distribution - this year will also see the first digital version of Collection Forum. The end product looks a lot nicer, but that's not the main reason for the change. By moving to a digital platform, we have the opportunity to create a lot of dynamic content and linkages, and will greatly increase the reach of our publications and hence the visibility of the Society. The new publications are not the only way in which we're improving our visibility. The Society now has a Facebook page and Twitter feed; along with our well-established NHCOLL-L listserve, they give us the ability to rapidly disseminate news and information not just to our members, but to anyone with an interest in the care of collections. Outreach and developing closer links with other professional societies, another key element of the Strategic Plan, has been an important part of our work this year. We are in the final stages of approving a Memorandum of Understanding between SPNHC, the Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) and the Geology Curators Group (GCG), which the three groups will sign at our joint meeting in Cardiff later this year. We hope this will lay the foundation for future collaborative efforts. We also worked with colleagues from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), the Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSCA) and iDigBio to develop a national infrastructure for collections digitization. The strengthening relationship between iDigBio and SPNHC is reflected in the second year of iDigBio sponsorship of the annual Demo Camp session at the SPNHC meeting and in the appointment of Deb Paul (Florida State University) as iDigBio representative on SPNHC Council. We've added a second new representative, Matt Brown (University of Texas), for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP). The appointments of Matt and Deb provided us with an opportunity to review the guidelines for society representatives; these positions are vital to our ability to work effectively with other organizations and the new guidelines provide valuable clarity regarding expectations on both sides. Another important collaborative effort is our next major 4 * SPNHC Newsletter publications project. Preventive Conservation of Museum Collections (the long-overdue successor to the 1993 volume Storage of Natural History Collections: A Preventive Conservation Approach edited by Carolyn Rose, Cathy Hawks, and Hugh Genoways) will be a joint effort by SPNHC, the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. A very distinguished editorial panel is now in place and we hope to begin commissioning chapters later this year for publication in 2016. This year we lost a much valued, and much loved member of the Society, Christine Allen. A full appreciation of Christine's life appears later in this Newsletter; she will be sorely missed. Three of Christine's former employers, University Products, Gaylord, and Hollinger Metal Edge, have generously donated funds to help support a student's attendance at the annual SPNHC meeting each year. The Christine Allen Travel Grant, as it will be known, joins the existing Fitzgerald Grants as part of the Society's growing commitment to support and mentor the next generation of collections professionals. Our emerging professionals are already placing their own stamp on the Society. Among the Fitzgerald awardees of previous years Bethany Palumbo (2010) now serves as SPNHC Elections Officer and along with Lydia Garetano (2010) coordinates activities for new members at our Annual Meetings; Mireia Beas-Moix (2013) is our new Newsletter Editor; and Kari Harris (2013) is coordinating the Society's newly-founded Emerging Professionals Group (EPG), which is advising the Society on how to engage newer members of the profession in SPNHC activities. The EPG has its own Facebook page, is in the process of setting up a blog - run by a team including Katie McComas (2013), Stephanie Allen and Katie Anderson - and provides liaisons to various of the Society's standing committees. The enthusiasm and energy of the Group and its members is impressive, and will I'm sure have a major effect on SPNHC going forward. As we commend our newer members, we also recognize and celebrate the contributions of those who've been with the Society for a little longer. Judith Price, this year's recipient of the SPNHC President's Award, has served as the Society's Secretary (not to mention our conscience and institutional memory) for ten years, while Tom Strang receives the Carolyn Rose Award, the Society's highest honor, for his work in the field of preventive conservation pest management, which has had a genuinely transformative effect on collections care. Profiles of both awardees appear elsewhere in this Newsletter. This year's elections have seen an influx of new blood to strengthen the Society. We welcome Linda Ford (Harvard University) as President-Elect, Ann Molineux (University of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections April 2014

From the President
Society Reports
Calendar 2014
What's New
Member Profile
Travel Grants
Photo Credits

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections April 2014