I would like to wish everyone a happy New Year and thank the Society as we finish up an eventful 2018 and shift our focus to the next calendar year. The upcoming year will be an exciting one for the Society as we offer our complementary Developing Country Membership category, work on several new mission-fulfilling priorities, and offer education and professional development opportunities.
Over the past few months, activity has been taking place that will help set the stage for the upcoming year. Several groups have been engaged in developing new content for the SHC website. The Early Career Section is working on creating new teaching and outreach oriented material, and members of the Herbarium Assistance and Membership Committees and the Early Career Section are working on content for the Curator’s Toolbox. The results of these efforts will be visible on the website during the upcoming year. The Society leadership has been laying the groundwork for establishing an endowment and is currently strategizing about fundraising activities. Please send me an e-mail if you have any fundraising ideas to offer. My hope is that we can have all of the pieces in place for an official launch of the endowment later in 2019.
Our education and professional development activities continue. I am excited to share that we will offer a post-Botany symposium entitled: Early-Career Innovators in Herbarium-Enabled Research and Future-Proofing for the Next Waves of Inventiveness. This symposium will feature a series of talks by recent NSF Postdoctoral Fellows to present their herbarium-enabled research and provide a fresh opinion on how curators can position the specimens and data that they curate for maximum research relevance in the future. We also plan to offer again the SHC Strategic Planning Course for your Herbarium. Be on the lookout for announcements with further details about both of these offerings. And, don’t forget about our Student Research Grants. The deadline for applications is February 1. Visit the SHC website to learn more.
The success of the Society and our ability to sustain our various activities relies on our membership. This spring, we will be electing a new President-Elect, Secretary, and Member-at-Large. The Nominating Committee will be meeting in early February. If you would like to offer a nomination for an elected position, contact the Nominating Committee Chair Austin Mast (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to be considered for a committee role, contact me. Additionally, please renew your membership, if you have not done so.
I’m looking forward to seeing the Society keep the positive momentum going during the upcoming year. Thanks for your past and future support in these efforts. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to offer your ideas on how to make the Society more successful.
Patrick Sweeney, SHC President
Yale University Herbarium, Senior Curator