The first morning home the day after I became president of SWS at the annual meeting in Denver, I note the wilting of my garden and the grumpiness of my cats as the dawn of my new reality. The extra hours that I will spend as president of SWS will manifest itself as more cat and garden unhappiness as travel and responsibilities grow. The cats gleefully blast out of the door into the backyard, because they have been cooped up indoors during the Denver meeting. My husband is more supportive than the cats and garden. So far, being the president of SWS recreates for me both the feelings of boundless possibilities I felt when president of my 4-H club when the changing future was in my hands, and of the heavy responsibility of my temporary summer chairmanship of my university department. “I am ready”, I think as I sleepily sip coffee that morning.
My observations at the Denver annual meeting led to my realization that SWS is changing in sync with the breakneck speed of the world around us. Importantly, the new Student Section is contributing new insights into all aspects of SWS. Our students are the way forward for SWS, so it is incredibly exciting to witness increasing student involvement. Please, if you are a student and you want to participate in SWS activities, contact me.
Other new things emerging at the Denver meeting included the Traditional Ecological Knowledge initiative, which will be an important step in our internationalization efforts. Also related to internationalization, we are linking regional South American and African meetings to SWS section initiatives. Our PCP program is working toward offering certifications to members with training outside of North America, which will be of incredible value to these members.
Other great ideas are emerging from the Denver meeting. The chapter presidents and section chairs are creating consortia to foster intra-meeting exchange of ideas. The New Media committee is offering a venue for member-created videos and phone apps. And now, we prepare for the 40th anniversary of SWS in 2020 with the planning of various celebrations as well as special issues on emerging issues in wetland science, and the history of SWS.
Much of my year will be spent shepherding these and other SWS activities, which will come together at the next annual meeting in Baltimore (May 28-31, 2019). In this world of electronic communication, the networking time at the annual meetings is precious. Hope to see you in Baltimore. A long time ago, SWS membership information was stored in a shoebox. Despite the substantial changes in our organization since then, I view SWS as a shoebox-full of members that I want to know personally. If you have ideas or concerns in the next year, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Much of my year will be spent shepherding these and other SWS activities, which will come together at the meeting in Baltimore (May 28-31, 2019). In this world of electronic communication, the networking time at the annual meetings is precious.