This is my first Chairman’s Message since I become Chairman of RSPSoc at our AGM in Nottingham in September 2016. I would firstly like to take this opportunity to thank my predecessor Dr Colm Jordan for the enthusiasm and effort he has brought to the role of Chairman, and for ensuring that Council meeting have kept to time!
In the October 2015 Sensed I provided a brief introduction to myself, but for those who missed that here is a short reprise. I first got interested in remote sensing while studying for a Master’s degree in Geographical Information Systems in the early 1990’s, and ended up going on to do a PhD on the mapping of moorland vegetation using remote sensing. In 1997 I was appointed to a lectureship at Kingston University and moved to my current institution, the University of Salford, in 2003. It was during my PhD that I joined one of the forerunners of RSPSoc, the Remote Sensing Society. In 2008 I joined the Council of RSPSoc, becoming Chair of the Awards and Professional Standards in 2010, and was asked to become the Society’s Vice Chairman in 2013.
Having been involved in the Society, and one of its forerunners, for over 20 years it is a very great honour to have been asked to serve as Chairman. However, the Chairman is only one of many people that keep the Society running. At the heart of our Society is the RSPSoc Office, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Judy and Uta for all their help and guidance. I would also like to thank the other members of the Executive, Philippa and Tina, for their hard work on behalf of the Society. Mark Jarman, who many of you will remember as one of the organisers of RSPSoc 2014, has agreed to step into the position of Vice Chairman, and I know he will do an excellent job.
At our AGM in Nottingham the current state of the Society was reported to the membership. The Society remains in a healthy position, with membership remaining fairly stable. As was reported at the AGM, we made a slight loss last year but this coincided with the introduction of new accounting procedures. However, we should not be complacent. We remain highly dependent on the royalties from our journals, and with significant challenges arising with the expansion of open source publication we need to be aware of this.
Council works hard to ensure the vitality of the Society, but it can only do so with volunteers willing to become Council Members. The Society relies on active members who participate at all levels, whether it is on Council, organising meetings (for example via SIGs) or attending/contributing to meetings throughout the year. We are also very keen to hear from individuals and groups who might be interested in organising/hosting our flagship event the annual conference.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention RSPSoc 2016. Can I firstly thank Doreen Boyd, Liam Clark, Stephen Grebby and Colm for all their hard work in organising a very enjoyable and stimulating annual conference in Nottingham. The batten has now been passed to the RSPSoc 2017 team, headed by our own Honorary General Secretary, which will take place at Imperial College in London. We look forward to welcoming you there.
Finally, please feel free to contact me at the address below if you have any comments or suggestions regarding the Society.
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