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Executive Officer's column.

Perhaps the news item of most interest to MAS members is that the location of the February annual meeting has been selected. The annual meeting will be held February 17-18, 2005, at the Oxford Conference Center, in Oxford, Mississippi. The Conference Center is in the final stages of completion and the MAS meeting should be one of the first to enjoy the new facilities. The Conference Center is easy to find--its located on the northern end of the city, just east of Highway 7 (you can see it from the highway), exit onto Sisk Avenue. The University of Mississippi deserves a special thanks due to the monetary contribution made through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. This contribution makes the Oxford meeting possible and it is much appreciated.

The agenda for the 2005 meeting is also beginning to take form. A number of people have mentioned ideas for special symposia. The subject matter varies widely from taxonomy to aspects of the Civil War. The Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrates Research Consortium has also tentatively agreed to add a day to their winter meeting and present a special symposium at our annual meeting. The Consortium is doing world-class research and a significant amount of the research is being done in Mississippi. If you have ideas you want to put into action at the Oxford meeting, just let us know so we can work you into the agenda.

Of special note, Dr. John Boyle, Mississippi State University, has arranged for Dr. Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academies of Science to make a special presentation to commemorate the MAS on its 75th anniversary. Having Dr. Alberts take time from his busy schedule to address the MAS is certainly an honor. To my knowledge, this is the first time a president of the National Academies of Science has attended an annual MAS meeting. I encourage everyone to make a special effort to hear Dr. Alberts remarks.

The Executive Officer has also been working with Ms. Aimee Lee, Youth Activities Director, to work out the logistics of bringing the Mississippi Junior Academy of Sciences (MJAS) to Oxford. We are using the Biloxi meeting as a model and plan to hold the MJAS meeting just prior to the MAS meeting. This makes it easy for the teachers and students attending the MJAS to also attend the MAS meeting.

On May 10, 2004, the MAS held its usual annual meeting recap. This informal gathering is designed to critique the annual meeting and to determine agenda items to include in the midsummer Board meeting. The comments from the Biloxi meeting were mostly positive. Everyone seemed to enjoy the variety of special events and speakers. The attendance at Biloxi was also the highest in recent years. On the other side of the coin, the MAS needs to improve our internal communications, and improve our coordination at the annual meetings. As our meetings become larger and membership expands, we also need to improve cost control procedures. Three items that will be placed before the Board at the midsummer meeting. These items include an external audit of MAS financial affairs, updating standard operating procedure, and to explore means of formalizing the relationship between the MJAS and the MAS. Details regarding the Board meeting time and place will sent from the MAS office in the near future.

Finally, congratulations to Dr. Sarah McGuire, of Millsaps College. Sarah will be replacing Dr. Hamed Benghuzzi this summer as MAS President. We all look forward to working with Sarah in the coming year.
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Author:Swann, Charles
Publication:Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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