President’s Message March 2022

issue toc    next >>

President’s Message

By Evan Thornberry

Evan Thornberry's headshot
WAML 2021 – 2022 President

Hello WAML,

It’s been an eventful term here at the University of British Columbia, where we are quickly approaching the end of Winter Session, Term 2. Exams will start on April 17th, and shortly after, a large portion of our student body will move off of UBC Vancouver’s campus. This summer I think I’ll miss the student energy of a fully in-person campus more than ever.

It’s been very rewarding to serve as your President since July 2021. While this is the last message you’ll receive from me in the Information Bulletin, there’s still a lot of work I hope to lead before I move into the Past President’s role on the WAML Executive Board this July. Right now, our biggest priorities include updating and transitioning our appointed positions based on the recommendations of the Appointed Positions Review Ad Hoc Committee. Each of our existing appointed positions have differing levels of changes to their roles, and the Executive Board is working with position holders as needed to make sure they have an opportunity to provide input to the proposed changes, and are equipped with the resources they need to satisfy those changes. Once we have all agreed on the proposed changes, the Executive Board will vote to approve, followed by an announcement of the changes to our members. There’s still a bit of work yet to do, but we aim to have all changes approved so they can be put into effect by July 1st, 2022. One change that you might notice ahead of that date, which I’m especially excited for, is an expansion of the scope of our book and atlas reviews – which will soon include reviews of digital mapping projects. Keep a lookout for our Book and Atlas Review Editor Ilene Raynes’s call for reviewers next time around for more information!

Out of this work, two positions have been retired. The WAML Business Manager, a position held by Lisa Lamont since 2011, and the WAML Information Bulletin Editor, a position held by Jon Jablonski since 2009. Both Lisa and Jon were long-serving in their roles, and I would like to thank them for their contributions over the years. I would also like to thank daniel Brendle-Moczuk for his eleven years of service as the WAML Webmaster. daniel will be transitioning off of this position, and Kevin Dyke will take his place starting in July.

All of the work we’ve been doing around appointed positions has made me especially aware of the efforts our position holders make to keep WAML the continuously relevant, informative, and fun organization it is. In addition to Lisa, Jon, and daniel, please join me in thanking:

  • Nick Beyelia, Membership Manager
  • Georgia Lee Brown, News & Notes Editor
  • Chrissy Klenke, Information Bulletin Editor
  • Andria Olson, Archivist
  • Ilene Raynes, Atlas and Book Review Editor
  • Amy Work, Social Media Manager

It’s also WAML election season, and you will see an announcement from this year’s nominating committee asking for nominations for Secretary, Treasurer, and President-Elect. If you’re interested in any of these positions, please don’t hesitate to put your name forward!

As we add new members to the Executive Board, we must see others go. This year I am sad to know that position terms are ending for our current Secretary, Kevin Dyke; Treasurer, Bruce Godfrey; and Past President, Matthew Toro. With still three more months to work together, it has already been a very productive and enjoyable year with them involved in all aspects of work on the Executive Board. I would like to thank Kevin, Bruce, and Matthew for their contributions to WAML, and I look forward to times when we might work together again in the future.

As I’ve alluded, there’s still more to come from this Executive Board. I’m eager to finish my term with new opportunities for our incoming President, Katherine Strickland, who has also been a very active and insightful member of the Executive Board. I know that Katherine is already thinking about and planning for our next conference, which she’ll be taking the lead role in planning as part of her duties as President. I also know that Katherine will carry WAML through the next year with great success.


Evan Thornberry
GIS Librarian