THSOA Starts Latin American Chapter - 02/04/2015

During U.S. HYDRO 2015, held in Washington DC from 16 - 19 March 2015, the creation of the Latin American Chapter was officially announced, becoming the third active chapter in the Hydrographic Society of America, after the Houston and the recently renamed Southeast chapters. During the same event, a presentation with a brief description of Hydrography in the Latin-American region was also given, explaining the reasoning behind the creation of the chapter.

The intention is to integrate more than 500 different organisations or institutions that are currently working in hydrography within the 30 countries of this region. THSOA is inviting them to join this venture and formally be part of the chapter and the Hydrographic Society of America itself. Toward the end of the conference, the first working session was conducted, starting by establishing the directing board according to the bylaws. A working plan for the upcoming years was defined.

Operational Aspects

The following is a summary of the more relevant topics:

  • Membership campaign, including an option to sign up for the Latin American Chapter is to be incorporated into the Membership Application that appears on the web page.
  • THSOA web page will be available in Spanish as soon as possible. Work will be conducted by the Mexican Hydrographic Office to translate all the text into Spanish and incorporate new content as it is approved by the chapter. Another action is incorporating GIS tools to identify the distribution of the members and for use as a members Catalog or Directory.
  • Following IHO guidelines, three permanent coordinators were established: Capacity Building (Chris Hancock); Standards (Rafael Ponce) and Links with Other Hydrographic Organisations (Angel Terry).
  • Certification Process in Spanish following the one already being used by the Society. The aim will be to have an accepted Certification process that can be used in all countries to help identify those individuals that have enough knowledge to conduct quality hydrographic surveys.
  • Hydro International is to be made available in Spanish.
  • Creating a network of Universities within the region that are willing to take the steps necessary to establish a programme in Hydrography in the near future.
  • Regional and Society Conferences within the Region, initially three main events of regional importance, similar to the one conducted in Washington. A First Regional Event is scheduled for April 2016, as part of the III Mexican Hydrographic Convention to be held in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. In 2018, the First Independent Regional Event (not part of other event) is to take place. In 2020, the First Hydrographic Society of America Event is to take place in Latin America.

More information on the initiative is available by contacting Carlos Tejeda.

Last updated: 22/03/2019