The 30th annual North American Symposium on Bat Research met at the Sheraton Biscayne Bay Hotel in Miami from September 27-30, 2000, sponsored by the University of Miami, Coral Gables. Ted and Marcia Fleming were the conference hosts, assisted by the members of their Local Committee: Laura Finn, Nat Holland, Christina McCain, Nate Muchhala, and Lyndsay Newton. There were 221 registered participants, not counting the educators who attended the special Bat Conservation Workshop on Saturday morning. One hundred and seventeen scientific papers were presented at the Miami meeting, not counting the special presentations for teachers made during the Saturday morning workshop. Thirty-three 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 thirty-five student platform papers and nineteen student posters. Four cash prizes of $250 each were awarded at the Friday evening banquet. Jacques Pierre Veilleux of Indiana State University won the Bat Conservation International prize, Josephine Wong of Leeds University, Leeds, U.K. won the Bat Research News prize, Nathan Muchhala of the University of Miami won the LuBee Foundation prize, and Cassandra M. Miller-Butterworth of the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa won the Karl F. Koopman prize. The special SPELEOBOOKS merchandise prize was awarded to Mariella Freitas of the University of Brasília, Brasília, D. F., Brazil 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 and Michael Warner of SPELEOBOOKS made the first three prizes possible. Donations from a number of individuals made the Karl F. Koopman Prize possible.
The symposium was visited this year by Dave Barry, Miami resident, noted humorist and nationally syndicated columnist. Dave wrote a column on the bat conference which appeared in the Sunday, October 29th, 2000 editions of newspapers across the country. Featured in the column were observations by host Ted Fleming, Tom Kunz's culinary comments on bats, and Dave Barry's impressions of SPELEOBOOKS (see especially the accompanying cartoon). If you haven't seen the column, it's worth the effort of finding it!
Pat Morton of Texas Parks and Wildlife once again organized and ran a special bat education workshop on Saturday morning of the conference. Her co-organizer this year was Cyndi Marks of the Florida Bat Center. The workshop was very well attended by Miami-area teachers, conservation workers, and other local persons interested in the conservation of bats. This was the fifth year in a row that Pat has organized and run this workshop in conjunction with the NASBR. I thank Pat and Cyndi for their efforts which made the workshop possible. Finally, let me extend my special thanks to Ted and Marcia Fleming, to Margaret Griffiths (my wife and co-Program Director), and to Roy Horst for all the hard work they did to make this meeting a success.
Tom Griffiths, Program Director, Department of Biology, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 61702-2900; (309) 556-3230; firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprinted with permission and approved editorial changes from Bat Research News, vol. 41(4): 104, 2000.
For the NASBR: Conference Logo by Adrian Tejedor. Copyright 2000 by the artist.