“Recognizing the hardships that some of our members may be experiencing and doing something to show them that their professional society stands behind them, particularly in a time of personal crisis, is the right thing to do,” said Doorn. He also noted that, “One of the most important benefits of ASPRS membership is networking, and staying in contact with the profession is critical in locating employment.”
The recommendation of the ad hoc committee, chaired by ASPRS Vice President Gary Florence, is to offer FREE membership for one year to current ASPRS members located in the U.S. whose membership has lapsed due to unemployment. Funding for this initiative will come from ASPRS long term reserves and ASPRS Regions that have sufficient cash-on-hand to voluntarily contribute funding.
Florence said, “Everyone on the Committee recognized that if we elect to simply do nothing, our Society would still have to absorb the loss in membership. Our members are important to us and we wanted to show them that we would like them to be with us for a long time.” According to Florence, the committee stipulated that the process of acquiring complementary membership due to unemployment should be simplified for all parties concerned. They recommended that members seeking this benefit would simply request complementary membership due to unemployment when their dues are up for renewal and that they would be required to provide documentation of their status, such as an unemployment compensation pay stub or other suitable documentation.
The terms of the complementary membership are as follows:
- This will apply to unemployed U.S. Active and Associate members only.
- Complimentary members will receive a full membership, including receipt of PE&RS on a monthly basis.
- This offer will be made to unemployed membership on their anniversary renewal date.
- This offer will not be retroactive (i.e. no refunds of previously paid dues) but will apply to members who have become unemployed since October 2008.
Founded in 1934, ASPRS is an international professional organization of 6,000 geospatial data professionals. ASPRS is devoted to advancing knowledge and improving understanding of the mapping sciences to promote responsible application of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems and supporting technologies.