The twenty-ninth annual North American Symposium on Bat Research met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union from October 27-30, 1999, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum. John Kirsch was the conference host, ably assisted by the members of his Local Committee: Deanna G. P. Byrnes, James M. Hutcheon, Holly I. McIntee, and E. Elizabeth Pillaert. There were 259 registered participants, not counting the educators who attended the special Bat Conservation Workshop on Saturday morning. In terms of numbers of participants, the 29th annual symposium is the second largest regular (non-international) North American meeting ever held (Horst, 1995; Griffiths, 1996, 1997, 1998). Only the 27th annual meeting in Tucson, with 269 registered participants, has been larger. One hundred and eleven scientific papers were presented at the Wisconsin meeting, not counting the special presentations for teachers made during the Saturday morning workshop. Thirty-four of these were poster presentations. Once again this year, graduate and undergraduate student participants were invited to enter their platform papers and poster presentations in a competition which judged their merits. A special committee headed by Roy Horst judged twenty-six student platform papers and fifteen student posters. Four cash prizes of $250 each were awarded at the Friday evening banquet. Michael A. Menzel of West Virginia University won the Bat Conservation International prize, Chris W. Nicolay of Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine won the Bat Research News prize, Daniel A. Taylor of Northern Arizona University won the LuBee Foundation prize, and Jodi L. Sedlock of the University of Illinois at Chicago won the Karl F. Koopman prize. The special SPELEOBOOKS merchandise prize was awarded to Jenise Segarra Desoto of the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico for the best poster. Generous monetary donations from Bat Conservation International, from Roy Horst at Bat Research News, Roger Haagenson and John Seyjagat of The Lubee Foundation, and Emily Davis Mobley of SPELEOBOOKS made the first three prizes possible. Donations from a number of individuals made the Karl F. Koopman Prize possible.
The North American Symposium on Bat Research has always prided itself on its lack of formal organization. Since its inception, it has simply been an annual gathering of people who meet to discuss the latest research on bats. Times change, and the organization has grown to the point where, financially speaking, it has become of greater interest to federal and state taxing agencies. It has become necessary to adopt a minimal level of organization, in order to become recognized as an official tax-exempt organization. At the 1999 business meeting, participants unanimously adopted a new Constitution and By-Laws which took effect at the close of the 1999 meeting.
Pat Morton of Texas Parks and Wildlife once again organized and ran a special bat education workshop on Saturday morning of the conference. She was assisted this year by Rebecca Christoffel of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Dennis Yockers of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, Dolly Ledin of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and Ann Burgess of the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The workshop was very well attended by Wisconsin teachers, conservation workers, and other local persons interested in the conservation of bats. This was the fourth year in a row that Pat has organized and run this workshop in conjunction with the NASBR. I thank Pat and her co-organizers for their efforts which made the workshop possible. Finally, let me extend my special thanks to John Kirsch, Deanna G. P. Byrnes, Margaret Griffiths (my wife), and Roy Horst for all the hard work they did to make this meeting a success.
Reprinted with permission and approved editorial changes from Bat Research News, vol. 40(4): 202-203, 1999.
Griffiths, T. A. 1996. Twenty-sixth annual North American Symposium on Bat Research. Bat Research News, 37: 157.
------. 1997. Twenty-seventh annual North American Symposium on Bat Research. Bat Research News, 38: 145-146.
------. 1998. Twenty-eighth annual North American Symposium on Bat Research. Bat Research News, 39: 194.
Horst, G. R. 1995. A brief history of the annual North American Symposia on Bat Research. Bat Research News, 36: 129-132.
Tom Griffiths, Program Director, Department of Biology, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 61702-2900; (309) 556-3230; email@example.com