President's Report for the 33rd Annual General Meeting
November 3, 2005
On behalf of all the members of the Ontario Association of Remote Sensing, I would like to welcome you all to this year's Annual General Meeting and dinner. I would like to extend a special warm welcome to this evening's guest speaker, Dr. George Lampropoulos, who will continue our trend of the dinner speaker addressing broad, current issues in remote sensing, and we look forward to hearing his opinions on the power and the potential of remote sensing when he speaks a little while.
When I became your President a year ago, I was fortunate to inherit an organization with good people and strong finances thanks to the efforts of my predecessor, Tony Sani. I felt we should try to build on this foundation by increasing the number and scope of our membership, and, with the help of the Executive Council, we have started a plan to accomplish this goal.
Step one has been to revamp our image on the world. Under Tony's leadership, we had already produced a brochure, and we continue to distribute it at selected conferences. But we all knew that our website was sadly out of date due to the difficulty of obtaining the services of somebody who could devote sufficient time to maintaining it, so something had to be done. And something has been done. As our Lawton Tam, our Communication Coordinator, will report, we now have a new ISP, our own URL, a new page structure, and a new person to maintain the site, so we will use these features to ensure that we present current information to our members and to everyone else we want to know about OARS.
Step two has been to take a longer term view of our technical program calendar. The technical program of evening meetings with guest speakers has always been the mainstay of our organization, but it is hard to show prospective members and sponsors the merits of joining and supporting OARS without a concrete plan of future technical meetings. Accordingly, your Executive Council set ourselves the task of planning a full year's calendar ahead of time by distributing the responsibility of identifying speakers amongst members of the Council. We have had some success, and will strive to improve the record further. When this calendar is available on our website, each one of you will be able to know when and what each meeting will cover and, more importantly, will enable you to communicate this information to your colleagues to invite them to attend and become members of OARS.
With steps one and two in place (and being revised continuously), step three will be to approach individuals, institutions, and organizations to invite them to participate in OARS and bolster the membership with both new vitality and experience. We expect to approach not only the traditional establishments of universities, governments, and industries, but also other interest groups such as ours, but those involved in application areas such as the environment, mineral exploration, and the like. So, I send out a call to action to all of you to identify people and organizations you think should be contacted to strengthen OARS's membership, and let us know!
A potential future step would be to provide web broadcasts of our technical sessions so that we can truly become the Ontario Association of Remote Sensing rather than the de-facto Toronto Association of Remote Sensing that transportation realities make us. We would welcome your advice and help in accomplishing this goal.
So, that's where we see our need, direction, and work in the coming year, and we would welcome your participation to carry it out.
Our regular order of business will entail reports from each of the main sectors of OARS.
Our Secretary-Treasurer, Doug Parent, will report on our finances, which, I am glad to say, are still healthy. We are as always grateful to our sustaining members and organizations who ensure that we can say that. They are:
- Spatial Geo-Link Limited
- Paul Treitz at Queen's University
- Spectranalysis Incorporated
- Wedler Enterprises Limited
- Dendron Resource Surveys Incorporated
- ImageSense Land Information Associates
- The Airborne Sensing Corporation
- PCI Geomatics
- GeoICT Laboratory at York University
- Bird and Hale Limited.
Thank you all very much.
Our Technical Program Coordinator, Ian Hale, will report on the year's activities, but let me thank him especially for all the hard work he, Norm Trowell, and others put in to the workshop we conducted at the Ontario Prospectors' Association last December which had a higher-than-expected attendance and generated an unexpected financial bonus for us.
Our Communication Coordinator, Lawton Tam, will report on our website and other outreach activities. I, like many others, am always grateful for the diligence that Lawton brings to his role, especially his unfazed determination to make phone calls to ensure that members of the Executive Council do what they are supposed to do and go where they are supposed to go when they are supposed to be there. He has performed this essential but usually unrecognized task for a long, long time and without his efforts I am sure that we would be lucky to accomplish anything at all, so, thank you Lawton.
Our Awards Committee under the direction of Jonathon Li has succeeded for the second year in attracting applications for our student awards, and we are grateful to our sponsors for their financial contribution which makes the awards so meaningful to the winners.
The people on our Academic Committee have not had the opportunity to spend the time necessary to advance the goal of creating a new online journal, so further results will have to await the right opportunity.
So, overall, I feel that we have made progress in this past year, and we look forward to another interesting year ahead.
Thank you all for your help and contributions.