The membership cycle for the 2009-2010 year is coming to a close with strong numbers in both the CCGS and CBGS. For this year we have two hundred eighty members in the CCGS, of which eight are students and four are honorary. The CBGS has a total membership of sixty-seven. At a time when some geological societies and clubs have a hard time holding meetings, filling key officer positions, or getting luncheon speakers, the CCGS seems to be doing very well. But are we ready for the future? Why isn’t every Geoscience student at TAMUK and TAMUCC a member of the CCGS? Moreover, why isn’t every Geoscience professor a member? Is it because our student dues are too high? They’re $12.50! It is easy to see that student and young professional membership goes beyond cost of dues. Perhaps it is the perceived value of Society membership that is being missed. Most certainly our scholarships attract student interest, but the greater challenge is to attract their interest in our meetings and other activities. Young Geoscientists are not just the future of our industry and profession; they are the lifeblood of our Society. I would offer that there are three ideas that could be considered and adopted by our Society to help attract and retain the interests of students and young professionals and grow membership for the future. First, the CCGS could make its college student dues $0. Second, we should strategically design our program of luncheon presentations to highlight the broadest cross-section of Geoscience activities, perhaps inviting students to work with our VP to plan the program. And finally, and this may be the hardest part, greet every young student and scientist that comes to our meeting with warmth and sincere interest in them as the newest members of our profession.
Juan N. Cabasos
CCGS President 2009-2010