New York Marine Science Consortium
Board of Governors Meeting
08 October 2010
James Ammerman – New York Sea Grant (affiliate member, non-voting)
Mark Botton – Fordham University
Robert Cerrato – Stony Brook University
Marie deAngelis – SUNY Maritime College
James Dooley – Adelphi University
Matt Hare – Cornell University (via conference call)
Michael Judge – Manhattan College
Maureen Krause – Hofstra University
John Marra – Cornell University
Wade McGillis – Columbia University
Nancy Penncavage – Suffolk Community College
Larry Swanson – Stony Brook University
John Tanacredi – Dowling College
Kim Knoll – Stony Brook University (Staff Assistant)
Board Chairperson Maureen Krause (hereafter MK) began the meeting at 12:15 p.m.
MK thanked John Tanacredi and Dowling University for hosting the Consortium’s 2010
fall meeting and also thanked Kim Knoll for filling in for Leslie Taylor who has left
SoMAS and taken another position elsewhere. She reminded everyone that with David
Conover leaving his position as Dean of SoMAS at Stony Brook University and taking a
position with The National Science Foundation, Larry Swanson has taken over David’s
role as Director for the Consortium. MK thanked Larry (hereafter LS) for stepping in.
LS has agreed to stay on as Director while SoMAS has an Interim Dean and will continue
on as Director if the incoming Dean will not want to take this on.
MK informed those present that, unfortunately, a quorum of Board members was not
present, so the Board can take no official action through voting at today’s meeting. MK
suggested that anything which needed to be voted on would take place through emails.
The first order was to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, but since there
wasn’t a quorum present, corrections were suggested and made.
Marie deAngelis’ term has officially ended; however, she has agreed to keep her seat on
the Executive Committee. Michael Judge is chair of the Nominating Committee and he
recommended that any nominations be sent to him via email. Along those lines, Michael
Purdy and Maureen Krause’s terms will also be expiring and if anyone is interested in
filling those slots please let Michael Judge know. Wade McGillis questioned how long a
term runs and it was answered that they are staggered and last for 3 years starting with
the fall meeting.
The question was then raised as to where the 2011 fall meeting should be held. MK said
the original plan was to move westward. Some suggestions were Stony Brook
Manhattan, SUNY Maritime or Dowling again. It was said that it would be nice for a
different institution to step up because Stony Brook and Dowling have already hosted.
The meeting venue needs to support at least 150 people. Wade McGillis said he would
look at Lamont because of the ease in traveling to there.
MK questioned what would be a good topic or theme for next year’s meeting. The
Hudson River was brought up and its strong urban impacts, near shore ocean energy
issues and potential, how the DOS is looking more offshore, and the depletion of ocean
resources. It was said that the morning could consist of a themed plenary session
followed by a broader topic in the afternoon. It was agreed that planning the topic is the
easy part, finding the speakers is much more difficult. Having no funds to work with
only adds to the burden of finding someone who is willing to come. Some wondered if
the Consortium should look to expand, possibly include New Jersey by reaching out to
Rutgers. John Marra suggested contacting Peter Ronya who is doing work on the
Hudson. Marie deAngelis thought an email should be sent to the entire Board to get their
feedback on topics for discussion. From past experience, MK worries that this will
trigger responses from the usual group of people but not all members. She said that when
she sends emails, sometimes “the silence is deafening.” MK and Marie deAngelis
agreed that they will sometimes begin by considering two different topics and depending
on the response of speakers, they alter the plan accordingly. LS thought we should
encourage student participation by asking students to speak. Jim Ammerman believes
you need to speak to advisors who could communicate to the students.
Future of the consortium – MK shared her concern that since David Conover has stepped
down as Dean of SoMAS she fears that the future of the Consortium could be in
jeopardy. The State’s budget crisis only adds to the problem moving the Consortium
forward because there isn’t any money to fund it. David used to go to the NYS DEC and
NYS DOS for funding and MK thinks we could go back to them. LS is skeptical about
further support from these two agencies. From a Stony Brook view point, the DEC is
approximately 2 years late in paying bills and LS worries that even if they say they will
contribute money, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can or will.
MK wanted to know how everyone felt about dues. Having 26 institutions involved with
the larger ones giving $1,000 and the smaller ones giving $500, it would go a long way
towards funding expenses associated with the Consortium such as possibly paying
speakers or their travel expenses, paying for a staff assistant and having money on hand
for web service fees. The initial web development was financially taken care of,
however, the contract expired in August and Stony Brook University is currently picking
up the tab. From previous meetings and discussions, the figure that most agreed on was
approximately $30,000 per annum. Folks wondered if we should charge a registration
fee for the fall meeting to bring in money. Michael Judge wonders how to question the
institutions when asking for money should dues becomes an issue. What verbiage would
reap the most rewards especially with so many institutions having budgetary problems?
LS said that the Consortium would need to be re-organized as a 501(c)(3) corporation.
We would need a bank account and a legal address. We will also need a treasurer, by-
laws and a mission statement. On a positive note, we already have by-laws and a mission
statement. LS will look into the specifics a little further.
John Tanacredi wondered why we couldn’t go to Sea Grant and ask for money. Jim
Ammerman as Director of NY Sea Grant said they wouldn’t be able to provide money
towards the infrastructure but if the Consortium would submit a short proposal, they
would possibly be able to contribute about $10,000 which could be applied toward
speakers for the meetings, etc. Jim agreed that there are a lot of shared common goals.
Unfortunately, they would not be able to provide a Staff Assistant because they are short
staff just as other institutions are. Currently Sea Grant contributes money to NYSMEA.
Some of the money was used to redo their website. Sea Grant considers this a two way
partnership and they are even included in NYSMEA’s Annual Report.
John Tanacredi is concerned that there wasn’t a quorum for today’s meeting and worries
that interest in being part of the Consortium is waning. Many in attendance agreed with
him. He further said that although many of the members agree that the Consortium has a
mission we don’t seem to have an equal commitment from all members. If we are going
to be becoming a not-for-profit group, we have to revisit the entire group of members to
get their opinion first. LS thinks we need to have a cause to get more interaction with the
members. John thinks we should have a meeting and if they cannot be there they should
be reminded to send their alternate. He believes the Consortium needs a shot of
adrenaline at this point.
MK says that we have a policy committee and we need to have a cause. LS thinks that
meeting once a year isn’t enough, he believes we need more than an annual meeting to
keep the consortium alive and in the forefront of people’s minds. John Mara thinks that
the marine consortium should try to help with science in New York but was unsure how
to go about doing that and asked for suggestions. Robert Cerrato said that there are NO
academic institutions involved in MARCO (Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on Oceans).
MARCO should have a scientific advisory group. In March, David Conover and George
Stafford personally delivered a letter to Albany regarding MARCO. Marie deAngelis
said the problem is that there isn’t any contact information on the letter itself so the letter
was kind of a dead end. It was mentioned that New York Sea Grant does have regular
contact and should be considered a conduit.
The lack of communication with the state and the use of the web site as a resource were
discussed. MK stated that we obviously are not getting through and we need to change
that but questioned, “How?” LS suggested that we need to keep the announcements up.
(Since the previous Staff Assistant, Leslie Taylor’s departure, the announcements are not
Mark Botton is worried that if we start asking for money would we shrink the number of
institutions who participate. John believes we need to get organized and get the Board’s
thoughts together before moving forward in asking for money. He wonders what
happens if some institutions give money while others don’t – are we prepared to kick
them out. Is that something we should even considering doing? We need to be more pro-
active with current issues so we can be more visible. Before the next meeting, we should
look at white papers and find an issue that we can move forward with to gain visibility
but there will need to be collaboration between more than one or two institutions to make
The next meeting should be early December or January and we need to ask around to find
the most mutually agreeable date. As far as a meeting place, LS will check on Stony
Brook Manhattan, Michael Judge will see about Manhattan College. John Tanacredi
suggested going exotic, and he will be looking into possibly holding the meeting at the
Explorer Club, other possibilities would be the Lincoln Center and CUNY Graduate
Center. The venue will need to hold approximately 30 people.
MK then asked for volunteers to judge the poster contest which would be taking place
between 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Marie deAngelis & John Mara volunteered.
Chairman Krause adjourned the meeting at 2:20 p.m.