ABOUT THE NORTHEAST ARC USERS GROUP
The Northeast Arc User Group (NEARC) is an independent, volunteer organization dedicated to helping users of Esri GIS software be more successful. ESRI software includes, among other things, such well-known GIS products as Arc/Info and ArcView. NEARC was formed in 1986; the geographic area encompassed by the group includes New England, New York and New Jersey, with some participation from users in Pennsylvania and Delaware. NEARC hosts a one-day conference in the spring of each year and a three-day conference in the fall. At each of these events, the Northeast ARC Users Group fosters learning through technical training from Esri, user presentations, and community building events.
LETTER TO THE NEARC COMMUNITY
Dear NEARC Community,

The NEARC Board of Directors are proposing an amendment to the NEARC By-laws, to be considered for a vote at the 2016 Fall Conference. The amendment will alter NEARC’s geographic region to no longer cover DE, NJ, and PA.

There is an overlap between the regions covered by NEARC and the Esri Mid-Atlantic Users Group (Esri-MUG). Both organizations show DE, NJ, and PA as part of their geographic region. This overlap started a discussion amongst the members of the NEARC Board about whether or not is was appropriate for NEARC to continue to include those 3 states as part of NEARC’s regional organizational structure. The NEARC Board of Directors asked the Esri-MUG Board of Directors their opinion. One of the outcomes from this discussion was that folks from DE, NJ, and PA overwhelmingly identify with being part of Esri-MUG when compared to NEARC.

The breakdown by DE, NJ, and PA for the last 10 years is as follows;

From 2006 – 2013, 8 different people from NJ attended a NEARC conference, with 2006 being the last time that anyone from PA has attended a NEARC conference, and we have had 0 attendees from DE in the past 10 years. This would appear to support the idea that folks from DE, NJ, and PA identify with the Esri-MUG group more so than NEARC.

A NEARC By-law amendment requires 2 separate votes. The first vote is by NEARC Board of Directors to change the bylaws, followed by a member vote to approve the change at any regular or special meeting. It is also required that a written explanation be provided describing the need for change and the amended language. All of these steps are outlined in the NEARC Bylaws and can be reviewed at http://www.northeastarc.org/documents/ByLaws.pdf

In the second paragraph under Article II –Membership on page 1 of the BYLAWS OF THE NORTHEAST ARC USERS GROUP As Amended May 12, 2009, (here) it reads: “Membership is open to any and all persons interested in the science of Geographic Information Systems. The following states fall within the geographic base of NEARC: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.”

The draft amended language is: “Membership is open to any and all persons interested in the science of Geographic Information Systems. The following states fall within the geographic base of NEARC: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.” The complete amended language can be found here.

The key to both of these statements is that we continue to believe that “Membership is open to any and all persons interested in the science of Geographic Information Systems”.

While NEARC has seen a drop in attendees from PA, NJ, and DE, this does not mean that folks from those states are no longer welcome. This suggested change is intended to help our attendees know which states are being represented by which user group and the brands are not producing any conflicts as far as identity is concerned.

The NEARC Board of Directors welcome attendees from any state and will continue to do so.

If there are any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please feel free to contact any one of the members of the NEARC Board of Directors.

Best regards,

Brett Horr, GISP
President of the NEARC Board of Directors
FALL NEARC
October 16 - 19, 2016
Sea Crest Hotel, North Falmouth, Massachusetts
The Fall NEARC conference features keynote sessions, vendor demonstrations, poster displays and over 60 technical workshops and user presentations. The conference annually attracts over 500 users of Geographic Information System software including urban and regional planners, educators, natural resource managers, utility professionals and government agencies that use geographic information to help with decision-making and problem-solving on a daily basis.

Attendee registration is open! The Professional 3-day Registration includes entry to all workshops, technical sessions and general sessions, Esri Collaboration Center, vendor exhibit area, Vendor Reception & Poster Social on Monday, Dinner Event on Tuesday, continental breakfast on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and lunch on Monday and Tuesday. Register early and save.

Thank you to all who joined us in Burlington, Vermont for the 2015 Fall NEARC Conference! Some presenters have shared their PowerPoint presentations with us; click here to see which presentations are available online.
SPRING NEARC
May 9, 2016
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
Thank you to all who joined us at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst on May 9 or the 2016 Spring NEARC Conference.

Spring NEARC is an annual, one-day conference held near the center of the NEARC region. The day is packed with professional development and networking opportunities for all levels of GIS users. Review the schedule of events.
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