Committee Reports 2016

February 3, 2017
Committee Reports SVP 2016

Auction Committee: Organized and held the 34th Annual SVP Auction with theme “Back to the Future” in Salt Lake City, Utah. The auction raised monies for the SVP Legacy League Fund. Silent Auction Totaled $9,945, live Auction Totaled $10,861 for total auction proceeds of $20,806. Preparations are being made for the 35th Annual SVP Auction in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The student and postdoctoral liaison committee at the 2016 SVP meeting in Salt Lake City, UT
The student and postdoctoral liaison committee at the 2016 SVP meeting in Salt Lake City, UT

Student and Postdoctoral Liaison Committee: This year the Student and Postdoc Liaison Committee completed their goal of raising $25,000.00 for the Stephen Cohen fund. The grant is now self-sustaining and will fund at least one student research project per year. The annual Round Table Forum was the largest it has ever been. We had 30 tables, with 45 experts and close to 300 attendees. The number of reprints for the reprint exchange also increased, which was a pleasant surprise! In addition, the committee has been working on creating a student and postdoc resources page for the SVP website with the help of the communications committee. Lastly, we are committed to making improvements to the Facebook page. Our primary goal this year is to continue building the student and postdoc community, starting with the addition of new members to our committee! If you are a student or postdoc and are interested, please send an email to svpstudents@gmail.com.

Government Affairs Committee: The government affairs committee has been hard at work forming a link between the government and the paleo community. In 2016 they have worked on the following three items:

1) On Dec 28, the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in southeast Nevada were established by presidential proclamation.  Among the reasons cited for protecting the areas are their paleontological resources.  The Bears Ears area has yielded a series of important vertebrate localities ranging from mid-Paleozoic through mid-Mesozoic, and Gold Butte preserves spectacular trackways of Jurassic dinosaurs, mammals, and other vertebrate groups. A letter drafted with ExComm last November almost certainly had a direct impact leading to this positive outcome for the paleo community. Read more here: http://vertpaleo.org/Society-News/SVP-Paleo-News/Paleontology-News/Presidential-proclamation-on-Bears-Ears-and-Gold-B.aspx

2) SVP introduces best practice guidelines to facilitate preservation of paleontological resources in the field and to maximize the scientific value of research collections now and in the future. Read more here: http://vertpaleo.org/Society-News/SVP-Paleo-News/Best-Practice-Guidelines-for-Repositing-and-Dissem.aspx

3) PRPA Consultation
The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (PRPA) is the U.S. law that calls for the preservation of paleontological resources on federal land. The Department of the Interior's proposed regulation under the PRPA has been published in the Federal Register and will remain available for public inspection and comment until Monday, February 6, 2017. While the Executive Committee is working with the SVP Government Affairs Committee on a formal comment from SVP, anyone may submit his/her own comment through the Federal Register site by the February 6 deadline. Read more here: http://vertpaleo.org/What-is-Vertebrate-Paleontology/Fossil-Preservation-Law-in-the-US.aspx

SVP Awards Committee: Our main topic of discussion was how to spread the word and motivate applications/nominations for the several awards that SVP sponsors.
1) Student awards.  There was a sense that the timing of applications near abstract deadlines, and the interspersal of award information with other awards, may have reduced applications.  To address this, we did the following:
    • Prepared a summary sheet with information on student research and travel awards that lists "bare bones" info. We distributed it at the Student Roundtable evening. A pdf of this is linked to this news.
    • We are trying to have the award deadline shifted away from the date for abstract submissions, stay tuned for these dates, as they will likely be early this year once the abstract deadline is set for the earlier meeting time in 2017.
2) Service/Career accomplishment awards. We are very eager to receive nominations/applications for many of the service and career accomplishment awards, especially the Gregory Award, Skinner Award, Hix Grant, and Honorary Membership. We encourage all members to consider submitting nominations of deserving paleontologists for these honors.

Preparators’ Committee: The Preparators’ Committee is responsible for all of the following functions:
1) Organizing a “Preparators’ Table” for the annual SVP meetings
2) Searching out and encouraging good submissions for talks & posters at the annual Preparators’ Session at SVP
3) Reviewing abstracts for the Preparators’ Session, and working with the Program Committee to organize this event
4) Working with local preparators at the host venue, encouraging them to choose amongst themselves the moderators for the Preparators’ Session, and to encourage them to organize tours of their preparation laboratories
5) Working to produce a workshop proposal to compete for a workshop slot at SVP. These prep workshops represent “modules” advancing the preparation qualifications and professional development of those who take them
6) Scheduling the annual meeting of the Preparators’ Committee open to all at SVP,
7) Working to support the Hix Preparators’ Grant by:
    a) Producing a “Preparation Calendar” the proceeds of which go to help support the Hix Preparators’ Grant,
    b) Soliciting & encouraging high quality applications to the Hix Grant
The Hix Grant application deadline is usually in mid-April, but because the meeting is so early next year (August), it’s probable that the deadline will move forward a month to mid-March. Please keep this timeframe in mind!
8) Maintaining, organizing, and adding to the Preparators’ Resources pages on the SVP website
9) Compiling a list of publications published in the fields of preparation and specimen conservation
10) Running and moderating the PrepList, an online forum for collections care issues