Gerardo “Gerry” Acosta, OES Chapter Coordinator
It is really very encouraging to see various activities in the chapters, even in these times of COVID-19. A positive feature, (yes! you always can see something positive even with a pandemic), is that virtual presence was growing up as travels from one place to another were restricted. The Providence Chapter, for instance, has organized very interesting activities during this strange 2020, including virtual talks. Also, in the OES we have the pleasure to welcome a new Chapter in the north region of India, precisely within the IEEE Delhi Section. We wish Monika Aggarwal the best of luck to chair it. And of course, as with all of the chapters around the world, please do not hesitate to contact me for any help organizing your local activities. Even when they are far from Chennai, we hope this new chapter will be of great support for the organization of the next OCEANS in 2022, as our VPTA, Mal Heron, has pointed out in his pleasant column in this Beacon.
The students at ESPOL and the WIE in Ecuador Section are also organizing a webinar for next September about “La Nueva Era de la Oceanografía” (The New Era of Oceanography). The Malaysia Chapter has also organized very interesting webinars on “How to think in time of crisis?” and arranged a VDLP (Virtual Distinguished Lecture Program) about Swarm Robotics (see the interesting reports also in this Beacon).
Even when this new world of pandemic had changed our minds, and then our every day activity, it would be great to share from these pages how we copped with the new situation. Conferences and workshops became fully virtual, like the classes. Some people changed the focus of their activity to help health services. I know for instance that Nuno Cruz and his team in Porto, Portugal, has been putting in service their knowledge to build respirators. Something similar to what has happened here in Olavarría, Argentina, with my working group in the Engineering Faculty. It is good to keep close in difficult times, so it would be very nice to have news of all the chapters to share.
I would finally like to remind you about the funding opportunities for your chapters: Chapter Chairs are invited to request support for specific planned events or activities. Proposals are invited up to 2 years ahead to allow planning for Workshops or Symposia, or on a shorter time scale for conference special sessions or streams, and on an even shorter time scale for technical meetings and events. The funding can support planning or promotion activities and assistance, where appropriate, for a volunteer who is a Chapter Member to attend an activity. Note that formal meetings, like Workshops and Symposia, must be approved by the OES Administrative Committee at least one year in advance and that approval includes budget estimates and possibly requests for funding. The Chapter Coordinator, jointly with the VPTA, will administer the funds requests. There is no closing date because this scheme operates on a rolling schedule. For proposals that are approved, funds will be transferred to the designated Chapter’s Bank Account. OES will require an expense report, the L31 report, and an article in this Beacon Newsletter for each funded project. Each activity or event should have an outreach element that promotes the Society and its membership.
Stay upbeat and healthy!