27th North American Symposium on Bat Research (1997)

by Tom Griffiths, Second Program Director

The twenty-seventh annual North American Symposium on Bat Research met at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tucson, AZ, from October 8-11, 1997, sponsored by the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, and Arizona Game & Fish. Dr. Ginny Dalton was the conference host, assisted by the members of her Local Committee: Debbie Buecher, Cartographer and Bat Specialist; Roger Carpenter, a Bat Biologist of some renown; Sandy Ditty, a Wildlife & Fisheries graduate student at the University of Arizona; Kim Duffek, of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; and Sarah Schmidt, also a Wildlife & Fisheries graduate student at the University of Arizona. There were 269 registered participants. One hundred and two scientific papers were presented at the meeting. Twenty-six of these were poster presentations. A special committee headed by Roy Horst judged sixteen student papers and posters. Four cash prizes of $250 each were awarded at the Friday evening banquet to Claudia Coen of Cornell University, Lisa Comeaux of the University of Tennessee, Susan W. Murray of Eastern Michigan University, and Moritz Weinbeer of the University of Würzburg in Vaihingen, Germany. A special SPELEOBOOKS merchandise prize was awarded to Theresa Cabrera Menard of the University of Hawaii. Generous monetary donations from Roy Horst at Bat Research News, Roger Haagenson and John Seyjagat of The Lubee Foundation, and Emily Davis Mobley of SPELEOBOOKS made all of the prizes possible. The Friday night banquet, a medley of Southwestern cuisine, was very well attended. Three special awards were presented at the banquet. Fred Anderka of Holohil Systems, Ltd. received an award for his contributions to the development of superb bat detection equipment. Jim Findley was made the first Lifetime Member of the North American Bat Research Society. And Gary McCracken received the society's highest honor, The Gerrit S. Miller, Jr. Award, joining a very distinguished group of bat researchers honored through the years for their contributions to bat biology. Sandy Reith, Heidi Vasiloff, and other Arizona Game & Fish personnel organized and ran a special bat education workshop on Saturday morning of the conference, attended by Arizona teachers, park and conservation workers, and other local persons interested in the conservation of bats. E. Lendell Cockrum very graciously donated some of his scientific reprints to a "Take what you want -- Pay what you think they are worth" table, which generated nearly $30 for student prize money at future meetings. The late Karl F. Koopman, who attended every bat meeting from the second to the twenty-sixth, was honored by contributions from his friends to establish an annual Karl F. Koopman Prize, to be awarded for the best student paper presented at the meeting in the areas of bat systematics or zoogeography. Special thanks to Dave Dalton (Ginny's husband), Margaret Griffiths (my wife), and Roy Horst (Head Honcho Emeritus) for all the hard work they did to make this meeting a rousing success.

Reprinted with permission and approved editorial changes from Bat Research News, vol. 38(4): 145-146, 1997.

Red bat logo drawn by Thomas A. Griffiths. Copyright 1996 by the artist.