At SERCAL's May 2015 conference in San Diego, we bid a fond farewell to long-time Administrative Director, Susan Clark Coy. The sum total of the dedication, humor, tenacity, and love, yes, love, she contributed to the organization is incalcuable. We wish her the very best!
We also want to give huge kudos to Past President Pete Tomsovic for hosting a bona fide AWESOME conference in San Diego. Thank you, Pete! His vision for the conference, "Restoration for the Next Generation," asked the question, "How should we reach out to the next generation so there is a greater sense of environmental ownership and community?" Session topics introduced participants to various approaches in southern California projects and provided insight into our restoration future. Pete's keynote speaker — Shara Fisler, Executive Director of Ocean Discovery Institute — spoke to a mesmerized audience about how her organization has spent the past decade empowering today's youth, engaging an entire community to heal their landscape, and shape the next generation of ecologists. The conference theme was not only highlighted by her inspiring presentation, but by the presence and presentations of ODI graduates. For more on Shara and the ODI, follow this link.
What's next? Since Pete passed the ceremonial gavel to Dave Shaw, SERCAL's new President, at the last luncheon of the conference, Dave has been enlisting an enthusiastic crew of session chairs, fieldtrip leaders, keynote speakers, musicians, and SERCAL's very own brewmaster to host SERCAL's 2016 conference in Kings Beach at the North Tahoe Event Center. It's a wonderful venue, and how else could we follow up a great destination like San Diego? We'll be giving you more details as they fall into place.
The SERCAL Board will be holding elections within the next month and early this Fall you can also expect to find a Call for Abstracts, the fall issue of Ecesis, and a membership renewal in your mailbox.
Of course, voila!, we have this new website and by October we'll begin taking online membership renewals for 2016, and online registrations for events… hopefully at least one workshop this Fall. Stay tuned.
Finally, the SERCAL Administrative Office hopped over the Colorado River to Tucson, Arizona, and is now mostly unpacked in my home office. I have been working with SERCAL for 16 years — first at the 1999 conference in San Francisco, then as newsletter editor, conference assistant, publications director, and most recently, webmaster. It's a lot to step into Susan's shoes, but I'll do my best. And just so you know, SERCAL is still officially California-based; it's just that most of the admin work will be done out of Tucson.
I encourage you all to join our enews list. I promise we won't bombard you or give your email to other organizations. We are still committed to sending you newsletters and conference materials the old school mailbox way, but it is costly, and for the more immediate news — like a field tour in your region — it no longer makes sense.
All the best, Julie