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OSSS Winter Meeting Business Meeting                                                                                    March 10, 2017


10:53am Meeting called to order by Gabriella Coughlin

  • Gabby explains the difficulties of managing this organization and the heavy load of reorganization of the financial management.
  • Describes the progress toward many big goals
  • Provides optimism for moving forward and ideas for ways to get there

11:31 Members Report

  • 21 Lifetime members
  • 20 Professional members
  • 10 Student members

11:35 Treasurers Report

  • Difficult to get all accounts straight during the meeting
  • Meeting was in the black but just barely
  • Have money available for our back taxes that are due
  • Addendum: Current balance as of 4/11/17:

11:40 Elections to Board

Shannon explained by-law term limits, brand new board for this year but Secretary and Westside Director, though two year terms, will end at the Winter Meeting next year. We didn’t have new elections last year because we didn’t have a WM. Discussed expectations from board for upcoming year.

Call for nominations:

  • VP: Shannon nominates James Cassidy, – accepts, no other volunteers
  • Treasurer: Shannon nominates Teresa Matteson – willing but would be happy have someone else who can commit more time. Leanna emphasizes the importance of this roll and the need for a strong commitment. Pam Keller is nominated, – accepts, Teresa withdraws
  • Secretary: Adrian Gallo nominates Sean Rochette – accepts, no other volunteers
  • Eastside Director: Shannon nominates Meghan – accepts with caveat that she is willing to let someone else do it if interested. Sarah Hash nominates herself and Meghan withdraws
  • Westside Director: Shannon nominates Andy Gallagher – accepts, no other volunteers

Non-official board attendees, none listed below were able to attend the WM Business Meeting but all agreed to help in their respective roles:

  • Student liaison OSU: Shannon nominates Ruben Aleman
  • Student liaison PSU: Shannon nominates Dale Melton
  • Sharpshooter editor: Shannon nominates Will Austin
  • Webmaster: Shannon nominates Adam Lindsley

11:55 Nominees introduce themselves and what they hope to do in their prospective roll

12:06 Held voice votes for each position. There were no descending votes for any board positions or non-official board attendees. New Board is welcomed.

12:11 New Business

Summer meeting location proposals

  • Quest for a Gelisol sounds great but…
    • Consider challenges with Wilderness permits, Digging in a sensitive zone, a group of more than 12 people, an alternative field tour for those unable to climb a mountain, the eclipse is going to be close to the best time for the tour and we won’t find a camp site, need to go on scouting trips
  • An alternative was proposed for a trip to the Wallowas – consider how soil type and geology impacts management and what factors need to be considered when assessing soil health
  • ACTION ITEM: Within one month we will decide if we can make the Quest for a Gelisol happen this year. Results will be reported in the upcoming Sharpshooter

Winter meeting 2018 idea and discussion

  • History of the Great Quakes as seen through Soil
    • People seem to like the idea and give names of experts on the topic, Ashley Steig, Chris Goldfinger, Scott Burns. Location will likely be on the coast but final destination will depend on where we can see the best evidence in the pits. Will need a scouting trip of two.
  • Discussed whether people like Thursday Friday meetings or if we should change it to Friday Saturday.
    • Benefits both ways. Many people have to take vacation to come to OSSS, they like Fri Sat. Others need time to travel and have their own weekend plans, they like Thurs Fri. Took an unofficial vote to get the feel in the room, of the people who say it matters to them, 8 like TF, 7 like FS.
  • DECISION: Board will make final decision on annual basis.
  • Meeting Amenities:
  • Winter meetings need more amenities than summer meeting. Camp Koinonia was great for what we needed, but many of the professional members prefer to have access to a hotel. If we are in a situation where meals are not provided by the facility, we need to spread the work load better. More potluck style meals, particularly for the summer meetings. People are okay with $150 for registration, 175 is pushing it and $200 is too much, unless that includes lodging.
  • Idea to have more small meetings. Maybe spread them out around the state. Have a East side tour and a west side tour. Will continue to discuss this idea and see if anyone can get them organized.
  • Discussed moving meetings from the end of Winter and Summer to Spring and Fall. It would be nice to get away from the weather extremes. It is also difficult to schedule soil scientists to leave their work in the Spring and the Fall. There is a reason that soils conferences are in the Winter. Second week in March is about as late as people are willing to go. Late Sept might work for the summer meeting.

1:30 Lunch Break – Avoid the Hangry Discussions!

Discussion of Presidential Term Limits

  • 2015 Summer meeting vote to change the by-laws so that the President’s term is a 2 year position
    • This makes for a total of a 6 year board position commitment
    • Was done so that Presidents could focus on bigger goals instead of just getting the hang of it by the time they have to hang up their spurs
    • Discussed difficulties of finding people willing to commit to 6 years
    • Discussed that this was never officially added to the by-laws
    • Discussed that we have made serious financial progress with this in place for the last two years
    • Discussed a new alternative, 2 year terms but cut the past President Board position. 2 years VP, 2 years Pres for a total of 4 years
    • After much discussion we voted: First we voted to rescind the change to the bi-laws that created the two year term. There were 4 dissenting votes, but the motion pasted.
    • Then we voted on keeping the terms as 1 year VP, 1 year P, 1 year PP or 2 years VP and 2 years P. The vote was unanimous to keep the original terms, 1,1,1.

We had a productive conversation about what people feel is the direction/purpose/mission of OSSS

  • We want to connect with other soil scientists
  • Important to know what is going on in other gov and non-gov agencies that work in soils
  • As work organizations do less to help with networking the purpose for OSSS get stronger
  • Idaho SSS died because of lack of outreach to students
  • We need to create a five year plan
    • Budget for the next year will include a strategic retreat for board members and any past presidents to prioritize goals, consider the purpose of OSSS, and organize the calendar for the upcoming year
  • We want to have a hand in educating the public about the importance of soil and protecting soil
  • Want to pursue more mechanisms to connect students with experienced soil scientists
  • Want to organize a study session with students and professionals who are interested in taking the exam to become a certified soil scientist – shared knowledge!
  • Need to have a functional website, parts public, parts for members only MO
    • Include information on soil for the public
    • Provide an opt in list of soil scientists who may perform services, with certification information for public
    • Provide an opt in list of members so we can reach each other – MO
    • Would like to have a place to share interesting soils related articles with our community
    • Need to get the basic functions of a members website functional asap.
  • A budget was reviewed with the group, suggestions were discussed regarding registration costs, what is allowed to be charged, and financial needs to improve the website
    • final budget decisions were punted to the Executive Board


Meeting adjourned at 3:30pm.