Dear Fellow Microscopists,
As your newly appointed 43rd president, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to another exciting year for microscopy in New England. I am delighted to have the opportunity to update the membership on the status of our society and discuss some of the plans, projects, and paths the Board of Directors are exploring for the current and coming years. As we all know, the past five years have been particularly trying and uncertain times for regional societies and science in general. Despite the challenges facing our society, NESM is now reporting its highest membership activity in recent history. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the behind-the-scenes work that has allowed NESM to grow in such a harsh funding climate.
A look back at NESM activities in the past five years reveals one overarching theme – change. On the surface, members have seen and experienced a variety of changes from our registration process to a new website to online services to another new website. The Board of Directors has recognized the need to stay relevant in our technological age. We also recognize the important role technology can play in simplifying and automating the tasks involved in running a society. With the recession imposing constraints on the amount of volunteer time of our Board of Directors, we began employing various technologies to help us become more efficient. We have increased the productivity and accessibility of NESM Board Meetings by transition from in-person meetings to web meetings via Google+. The new NESM website is structured around two different databases that allow the Board of Directors to easily post reviews of past meeting and automate registration for future meetings. These systems are certainly not without their bugs; however, they are a critical step forward in allowing NESM to provide new and useful services to our growing society.
In addition to providing novel services for our members, the improved NESM website has functioned to broaden the outreach of our regional society. NESM has recently received recognition from the Microscopy Society of America for our ability to adapt to a web-based world. By increasing the visibility of NESM on the web, we have enabled the recruitment of vital new corporate sponsorship and facilitated the growth of our membership. The Board of Directors plans to continue to develop these services and utilities in an effort to raise awareness of local microscopy news and events, including NESM meetings and symposia.
We have already started the 2014 NESM calendar with an exceptional February Meeting at Cabot Corporation. You can find a review of this and other meetings on the NESM website (http://www.nesmicroscopy.org/meeting-reviews/). To continue the trend of fantastic lectures for 2014, the Board of Directors has assembled a dynamic list of speakers and workshops for the upcoming Spring Symposium at the Marine Biological Laboratory, in Woods Hole on May 1 & 2. We are now in the planning stages for the Fall Meeting, which is to be hosted by UMass Amherst. The date of the Fall Meeting will be announced at the upcoming Spring Symposium and on our website.
If you would like to contribute to the future direction of NESM or to take part in any upcoming event planning, including speaker suggestions, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form on our website. We highly value any input from our membership and make every effort to accommodate requests and suggestions.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Spring Symposium!