In attendance: Zeke van Fossen, Taylor Tibbs, Elise Sanderson, Mike Broome, Ken Walsh, and Louis Le
The August 4 officer’s meeting covered a variety of topics, and some notes about each are covered below. The conversation ping-ponged quite a bit.
Renewal of Museum Affiliate Status: The officers completed the online paperwork to renew our commitment as an Organizational Affiliate of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. We cited the NSS Mission Statement in our application as proof that our commitment is similar to that of the Museum. Zeke is completing the signature portion, and we may be trying to figure out how we can help the Museum with remote programming in the future.
Programs for Future Meetings: Our Vice Chair (Taylor) has been challenged this year to consider both in-person and online programs for our upcoming meetings. Some people she’s approached have expressed interest but won’t commit to particular meeting dates before November. We’ve had a lot of programs about cave surveying lately but not much on other subjects. Anyone in the grotto with material to share please contact Taylor. Mark Daughtridge will be describing fungus in August, and an in-person meeting may be looking for someone to teach more about caving knots.
Hybrid Meetings: The June meeting was held in hybrid fashion because Mike and Lisa have the equipment at their home to make it possible. We discussed some ways to improve that with better positioning of screens, microphones, and cameras. Could hybrid meetings turn into a permanent format for the TriTrogs? It may depend on the resources. We’d like to solicit donations of member time or retired resources (e.g., omnidirectional microphones) to establish a plan going forward. Mike detailed how he recently even taught a member how to read compass and clinometer for cave survey remotely.
In Person Versus Virtual Meetings: The Museum is once again available for Affiliate groups to in-person indoor meetings, both in the traditional Level A room where we’ve met and usually also available on the third floor in the big room. However, officers were concerned about the recent findings that the Delta variant of the Covid virus is also easily transmissible in vaccinated individuals. Based on the uncertainty of the August spikes in NC cases and hospitalizations, the officers chose to plan for a virtual August meeting, conduct an online survey of members, and assess the survey results to establish a plan going forward, with the acknowledgement that the situation in NC is fluid and risks will be reduced when Covid vaccines are more widely available to the young. Members may be able to look forward to in-person outdoor meetings in the fall with a transition to indoor meetings when a majority of the members are comfortable with the risk.