Canadian Hydrographic Association

Edition 62

Journal of the Canadian Hydrographic Association
Edition 62 * Fall / Winter 2002


Feature Articles

Message from the National President

Since 1998, the Friends of Hydrography (FOH), a small group of retired CHS employees, has been compiling a historical record of the people, ships and the contributions they’ve made to hydrography in Canada. FOH and CHA share similar interests, objectives and mandates. For example, both our organizations share a desire to document and communicate various aspects of the history of hydrography. We recently met with Ross Douglas and Sid van Dyck, founders of FOH, to discuss the likelihood of the incorporation of FOH under the CHA umbrella. At the time of this writing, a proposal has been put before the CHA Board of Directors for their consideration and I am enthusiastic about the potential to enrich our association when FOH joins with us. Please take the time to read about FOH

Also under the consideration are the benefits of CHA joining with the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) through Commission 4. Where traditionally a country could be represented at FIG by only one national surveying and mapping organization, new membership guidelines regarding multiple national representation have been provided for the acceptance of multiple representation by various disciplines, such as hydrography. FYI – The Hydrographic Society of America is presently considering federating under FIG Commission 4.

This may be old news for some of our readers, but as a result of their desire to become more autonomous, the various branches of The Hydrographic Society (THS) have instigated a restructuring and reorganisation of THS into what is now a Federation of Hydrographic Societies. So, another avenue to explore is this new Federation of National Societies. Recently at Hydro2002, I had the opportunity to speak with Helen Atkinson of THS on the benefits which could be realized by CHA members in federating with THS. Helen also spoke of the possibility of a membership agreement with FIG Commission 4 as part of membership in THS Federation.

Why federate? Rest assured this will be the topic of future correspondence from the CHA’s National office. Meanwhile I’d like to offer a few potential benefits:

Hydrographic surveyors and nautical cartographers are professionals by virtue of the work we perform, and in the interest of safety, we owe a duty of care to our clients, who are the public at large. CHA will continue to strive to serve its members professionally and technically by promoting continued professional development (CPD) through seminars, workshops and conferences. As you will see in this edition of Go F.I.G.ure, one of the functions of Commission 4, specifically workgroup 4.4, focuses on CPD. Federating with FIG could help CHA access additional sources for CPD.

Federating with FIG brings with it a level of professional status in that FIG member organizations include individuals that possess a level of academic qualification and typically have achieved professional or technical recognition. Before we could even consider joining, it would most likely be imperative for us to take inventory to define the competency profiles of our membership. FIG has formal relations with IHO and the International Cartographic Association (ICA) through the FIG/IHO/ICA International Advisory Board (IAB) on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers. The question then arises, are we better off using international standards or a “made-in-Canada” (such as a commission from the Association of Canada land Surveyors (ACLS)) solution as the benchmark? If we consider that a fair portion of Canadian talent in the field of hydrography winds up overseas then perhaps measuring up against an international standard is the way to go.

Additionally, members of a professional association should adhere to a model code of ethics (CoE). Central Branch VP Tim Janzen and I have, in recent months, discussed this as beneficial for CHA. Any federation which has its own CoE would, in effect, be adopted by any national association joining that federation and I’m aware that THS is considering the adoption of a CoE.

If raising the profile of hydrography and hydrographers in Canada sounds like a big task? It is, and this is what CHA really ought to be here for.

Andrew Leyzack

Editors’ Note

The recent Canadian Hydrographic Conference, as reported elsewhere in this journal, was a great success. Participation was higher than anticipated and the quality of the technical and social sessions was excellent. We are very pleased that LIGHTHOUSE was part of this success as it was well received and got significant exposure during the conference. The special conference edition of our journal was distributed to approximately 450 conference participants. We wish to thank those who took the time to pass on many positive comments regarding the journal.

Also, we send our congratulations to the conference organizing committee for the new and innovative ideas they implemented for this meeting of hydrographic experts from around the world. Of special note is the emphasis on marine safety, the inclusion of the recreational boating community and the “Toast and Topics” session. We are, of course, pleased that the CHA launch