The quarterly BOD meeting was held via conference call on May 2nd. Below is a summary of the major points addressed:
1) The BOD voted on a contract for the new website! Heather Albright and Mike Anghera researched options over the past year. Since then Heather has had discussions with at least 5 firms, and one has met all our requirements (including design experience, site functionality, support, and price). Some of the attractive benefits for membership include community spaces for the individual OMs, DSOs, and AAUS BOD members, as well as enhanced financial capabilities for collections of dues, donations, etc. Heather and Mike will continue working with this group over the summer to get the new site designed; if you have photos or video to donate to the cause please forward to email@example.com. Please note at some point the member login function on the current site will be disabled. However, the public site, statistics submission, and the Annual Symposium registration sites will not be affected so there should be no problem registering for this exciting meeting in Lake Tahoe CA (09-13 October).
2) The Joint Agency Workshop to address issues relative to scientific diving and: 1) the OSHA exemption, and 2) inter-agency reciprocity, has been scheduled for 25-26 June in Denver. The attendees include DSOs and/or BOD members from: AAUS, Association of Dive Program Administrators, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association, National Science Foundation- US Antarctic Program, Smithsonian Institution, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Geological Survey, and US National Park Service. In general, the first day will focus on OSHA Exemption issues, and the second day will include discussions of reciprocity, medical standards, statistics/database coordination, training, and international collaborations. I know many of you would like to attend this workshop, but space constraints make that impossible. As you can tell, this is going to be a packed agenda (and we expect that subsequent ad hoc committees will be formed to address the issues in depth). I’ll report on this meeting, and opportunities going forward, in the next E-Slate.
3) As of May 2nd, 105 OMs submitted statistics, 4 OMs reached out and are in the process of completing their submission, and 38 OMs have not reported statistics for 2017. Six diving incidents were reported in 2017; none were DCI and no other information is available at this time./p>
4) The review period for the new Standards Manual is over. Currently the ad hoc committee is incorporating suggestions from the membership, and the BOD will likely vote on this final draft by the end of the summer.
As always, we welcome your feedback and/or questions on these and any other pressing issues!
University of Mississippi