Minutes of the Sixth Annual Membership Meeting 26 March 2000, Little Ferry NJ
Call to Order
The meeting was convened at 1306 hours EST, at SETI League Headquarters, 433 Liberty Street, Little Ferry NJ, by Executive Director Dr. H. Paul Shuch. Fifteen SETI League members in good standing are present, out of a total membership of 1162.
Our Bylaws requiring one percent of the current membership to be in attendance for the conduct
of SETI League business, the above represents a quorum. (Executive Director's note: subsequent to the Call to Order, two additional SETI League members arrived. Two journalists and two guests were also in attendance.)
Minutes of 1999 Membership Meeting
The Minutes of the 1999 Membership Meeting were read by Secretary A. Heather Wood, having been previously posted to The SETI League's World Wide Web site. A motion was passed to accept the minutes as published.
Presented by Trustee Marty Schreiber, CPA, covering the calendar year
1999 - not audited.
An unanticipated contribution of $100,000 was received from a charitable foundation. This gift has significantly bolstered The SETI League's short-term financial position. The bulk of this contribution was placed in short-term certificates of deposit.
End of 1999, SETI League account balances equalled roughly $110,000. Start of 1999 balance was $41,581. Without the major contribution, we would have ended the year at a $30,000 deficit.
This report was accepted by those present.
Legal Services Committee
Report delivered by chairman Steve Carver:
Steve Carver reported that three companies have been licensed to use our logo and name trademarks. We
need more. We have a new trademark, Dr. SETI®. Steve suggested that we should take a
booth at Dayton.
Report delivered by chairman Dr. Allen Katz:
Allen Katz reported that he sees his role as providing information on moonbounce communications (EME) to SETI
League members, and info on SETI to the EME community. He promotes SETI League
membership to EME enthusiasts, who already have most of the necessary equipment.
Allen will be attending the International EME Conference in Brazil. He showed a video
of a moonbounce demonstration.
Paul Shuch mentioned that his own station has been successful in moonbounce, as have several other Project Argus participants. Any
station operating at the waterhole frequencies can easily tune down to the 1296 MHz moonbounce
Richard Factor reported on his recent visit to Arecibo. They are using the weak signal
from Pioneer 10 to check their equipment and were about to do moonbounce testing.
Richard told them of our plans for a moonbounce beacon, with tower and hardware ready
to go within the next few months. They were very interested.
Paul Shuch reported that he had applied to the AAS for a grant to support this effort but
was told "it might interfere with other radio observatories." We should collect letters of
support from other observers and then resubmit. Richard will ask Arecibo for such a
Report received from chairman Steve Zarkos:
Steve is archiving the open email list on his website. Members may contact Steve for access to the archives of the closed Argus list.
Report received from chairman David Ocame:
David was prevented from attending and sent regrets. There is a new award, the SETI
Super-Star Website award. Ten have been awarded so far (links on our website). Anyone
can nominate a site; the form is on the web. David reported receiving several nominations
for the Bruno award.
Report received from chairman Lee Kitchens. Lee has relocated to Arizona. The committee has drawn up ideal parameters for a suitable
microwave receiver. Paul noted that the "Seeker 2000," available from Radio Astronomy
Supplies, meets many of these specifications, but that the ideal has still not been achieved.
No report received from outgoing chairman Bob Cutter. He has had to terminate his open SETI discussion list. The SETI League has added a new list on our own server, as a replacement (bringing our email discussion list offerings up to four). Paul is seeking a volunteer to take over management of these lists, and to replace Bob as Committee chairman. Paul thanks Bob for his service.
Membership Services Committee
Report received from chairman Amanda Baker:
Amanda is attempting to introduce a Radio Astronomy program at Cardiff University (Wales, UK),
where she will build a small dish radio telescope. She has given several lectures on SETI. Amanda has
documented her experiences seeking grants, in speaking and trying to publicize SETI, sending a series of
relevant postings to the Volcor list.
Optical SETI Committee
Report received from chairman Dr. Stuart Kingsley:
Infrared search has taken off, now half a dozen worldwide.
The next Optical SETI Conference, underwritten by SPIE, will be held in San Jose CA early next year.
Report received from chairman Dan Fox:
Software Committee co-chairman Brian Adam has resigned his position on the Committee for personal reasons. We thank him for his service.
PAOOS was generalized into RAOOS. The chief architect on this project has moved, and
the release date for RAOOS is thus moved back to an unspecified time.
SETIFox for Windows 95/98/200/NThas been released, not much feedback yet.
Chair vacant. The SETI League is seeking a volunteer.
Paul reported that we now have 61 active Volunteer Coordinators and nine vacancies. The volcors have
been getting publicity in radio, TV, and print publications.
Ed Cole, reporting as VolCor for Alaska:
Ed had dinner recently with Jeff Lichtman and kicked some ideas around; talked about the SETI
receiver. Has a 5m dish in the barn, which will be up this year.
Paul noted that Ed was our furthest-traveled attendee this year.
Steve Carver, reporting as VolCor for US South Central Region:
The October 1998 signal detection hoax gave us a lot of publicity. At the time
of the hoax and the alleged Little Rock UFO crash, the press turned to the SETI League.
- very little activity. Maybe move time/frequency to reach more members? Paul agreed
that this was an important point and hoped that hams were too busy doing radio
astronomy to talk about it.
Two members of the press present. Paul said that he is frequently asked to give the press
a "local contact" - our policy is to respect the privacy of our members, and politely decline. Allen Katz suggested calling for volunteer press contacts via the website. Paul
noted there is a list of regional coordinators on the web, but the press seem to want him to
refer them to specific members in their particular locale. Richard Factor suggested a new box on the renewal form for people who
wouldn't mind being contacted by their local press. Paul's response was that we don't have
enough staff to monitor this. Melvin Lewis suggested getting in touch with the new planetarium in
NYC. Paul pointed out that we have recently mailed around 1,500 museums and
planetariums US and international.
Trademark status previously reported by Legal Services Committee chairman Steve Carver.
Project went on line 17 May 1999 and has 1.85 million participants. The SETI
League has accounted for 31,571 packets - 68.54 years of CPU time. Looking ahead,
Arecibo has only two years to run. We'd like to use this vast base to process Project
A secure server for The SETI League is still being worked on. Secretarial assistant Daphne Glover reported that a large percentage of renewals
are by email, with the credit card number phoned or faxed in separately. This is very
Our growth curve is leveling off. The SETI Institute's newly established membership wing,
TeamSETI, has 5,000 members in just one year. Their supporters can pay by credit card on the web.
The Executive Director will be requesting of the Trustees a minor revision to the language of his contract. This change will have no fiscal, staffing or workload impact.
Twenty bound, numbered sets of SearchLites Volumes 1 - 5 have been prepared. These represent the last available hard-copies of our early newsletter issues. The first of these collections was auctioned off, with the winning bidder asking that the book be donated to Advisory Board member Sir Arthur C. Clarke.
Executive Director's Annual Report
Dr. Shuch reports a significant increase in his publications (22 in the past year), lectures and presentations (15), TV documentaries (2) and SETI-related travel. Many of his public lectures are paying gigs, with all his royalties and honoraria contributed to The SETI League. Since last year's annual meeting he was named 1st Runner-Up in an essay competition, was elected Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, received the ARRL Technical Achievement Award, and has just been informed that he is to receive the Dayton Technical Excellence Award in May. He states that these honors are a tribute to The SETI League and its members, rather than to him personally.
Dr. Shuch reported on our new initative to build a phased array of 16 x 5m dishes in a Mills
Cross design, estimated to cost $160,000 for hardware alone. "We don't have money, but we do have talent." And ostriches (the Northern New Jersey site, donated by Richard Factor, is an ostrich farm). Paul showed an artist's rendition, kindly donated by Jon Lomberg, and reported that he had met in India with Prof. Govind Swarup, who designed a similar telescope for Stanford University. The SETI Institute and UC
Berkeley are working on their one-hectare telescope, budgeted at $25 Million.
2000 Giordano Bruno Memorial Award
Presented to Dr. Stuart Kingsley, for his pioneering work on OSETI. Unfortunately, Dr. Kingsley was not
present and could not be reached by phone.
Paul noted that Daphne Glover, who has been our part-time Secretarial Assistant for nine months,
now has a fulltime job. He thanked her for her diligent service to The SETI League.
Good and Welfare
Mel Lewis spoke of After Contact, a book by SETI League member Dr. Al Harrison. He highly recommends this book.
Journalist Bob Groves mentioned the book Rare Earth, which expresses skepticism about SETI. Paul agreed that it was an interesting book, and said the important thing is to do the experiment.
Bob Groves also inquired about Mission To Mars: is the film scientifically sound? The consensus is that it is good science fiction.
Muriel Hykes asked about transmitting signals, and Paul replied that would draw us into
the political arena.
Allen Katz noted that Wall Township has been "given" a decommissioned Army 60' dish
and facility that was used for Project Diana, the first moonbounce. The township is trying
to put together a science center. We will stay in the loop on this.
A video of a recent Canadian Broadcasting Corp. news program about The SETI League was shown.
The members present joined Dr. Shuch in singing his latest song, Extraterrestrial Relays, a tribute to Arthur C. Clarke. Dr. Shuch then reported that he visited recently with Sir Arthur, who donated his latest Comsat Corp. stock divident cheque to The SETI League.
There was some discussion about combining next year's Annual Meeting with a proposed SETI Technical Conference, possibly to be held at the College of New Jersey in Trenton. The date, time and venue for next year's meeting are thus yet to be announced.
The Annual Membership Meeting was adjourned by the Executive Director at 1504 hours EST on 26 March 2000.
Respectfully submitted, A. Heather Wood, Secretary