For the NASBR: Conference logo designed by John Taylor and Michael Herder. Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
Photograph of Corynorhinus townsendii by Scott Altenbach, used with permission. Copyright 2004 by artist. All rights reserved.
Original line drawing of Utah's Delicate Arch by Gary Christensen, used with permission. Copyright 2004 by artist. All rights reserved.

Report on the
34th Annual North American Symposium on Bat Research

Margaret A. Griffiths, Program Director, NASBR

The 34th Annual North American Symposium on Bat Research was held at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, 27-30 October 2004.  Michael Herder (Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip) served as the local host, and was assisted by his local committee (Keith Day, Kate Grandison, Tom Haraden, Adam Kozlowski, Mark Mesch, Missy Siders, John Taylor, and Vicki Tyler).  Three hundred registered participants attended the three-day scientific conference, making this the largest non-international meeting ever held.  In addition to the regular participants, there were approximately 20 local educators who attended the special Bat Education Workshop on Saturday morning.

Most of the meeting participants were affiliated with academic institutions (60.7%); 21.0% were from federal or state government agencies; 13.0% were from private business or private consulting groups; 2.65% were from non-governmental zoos and parks; and 2.65% were individuals who attended simply because they were interested in bats.  More than a third (38.0%) of the meeting participants were students.  The majority of NASBR participants were from North America: 87.3% from the United States, 6.0% from Canada, 1.7% from Puerto Rico, 1.0% from Mexico, and 0.7% from Costa Rica.  Three percent of the participants were from Europe (Germany, 1.3%; Switzerland, 0.7%, United Kingdom, 0.7%; and Austria, 0.3%), and one member (0.3%) was from American Samoa.

One hundred and fifty one scientific papers were presented at the Salt Lake City meeting, not counting the seven special presentations given during the Saturday morning workshop for local teachers.  Of the 151 scientific papers presented, 95 were platform presentations and 56 were poster presentations.  Thirteen student platform papers were presented in a plenary Student Competition Session on Thursday morning and early afternoon.  Concurrent sessions began on Thursday afternoon and continued through Saturday afternoon.  This was the first non-international meeting to have concurrent sessions on the first day of the conference, reflecting the increased number of papers being submitted to the NASBR.  Fifty-six posters, eight of which were entered in the Student Poster Competition, were presented during the Friday afternoon Poster Session.  Two special scientific sessions, Agroecology and Phylogeny & Bat Diversity, also were held during the 3-day conference.

During the Saturday business meeting, the NASBR Board of Directors presented a resolution on bats and rabies to the membership.  After much lively discussion and revision of the resolution, it was adopted by the membership.

Graduate and undergraduate students were invited to enter their platform or poster papers in a competition that judged the scientific merits of their research presentations.  A special committee headed by Frank Bonaccorso judged 13 student platform papers and 8 student poster presentations.  Five cash prizes of $250 each and a special Speleobooks merchandise prize were presented at the Saturday night banquet.  The award winners for outstanding platform papers were: Daniel K. Riskin (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY) received the Bat Conservation International Award; Gerald G. Carter (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY) received the Bat Research News Award; Hugo Mantilla-Meluk (Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX) received the Karl F. Koopman Award; and Polly Campbell (Boston University, Boston, MA) received the Lubee Bat Conservancy Award.  Kate P. Ingram (University of Nevada, Reno, NV) received the Basically Bats Wildlife Conservation Society Award, and Jonathan Reichard (Boston University, Boston, MA) received the Speleobooks Award for outstanding poster presentations.  Generous monetary donations from Merlin Tuttle of Bat Conservation International, Roy Horst and Margaret Griffiths of Bat Research News, Roger and Sherry Haagenson and Allyson Walsh of Lubee Bat Conservancy, the Board of Directors of Basically Bats Wildlife Conservation Society, and Emily Davis and Michael Warner of Speleobooks made five of the prizes possible.  Donations from numerous individuals made the Karl F. Koopman Prize possible.

Another highlight of the banquet was the presentation of the Gerrit S. Miller, Jr. Award to Rodrigo Medellin of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Instituto de Ecologia, Mexico.  The Gerrit Miller Award is presented to persons "In recognition of outstanding service and contribution to the field of chiropteran biology," and is NASBR's highest honor.  Rodrigo joins a small group of distinguished individuals who have received this prestigious award.

Pat Morton of Texas Parks and Wildlife once again organized a special bat education workshop on Saturday morning of the conference.  Salt Lake City-area educators attended the workshop, as well as many NASBR members.  This was the ninth consecutive year that Pat has organized this workshop in conjunction with the annual NASBR.  Thank you, Pat, for your efforts in making the annual workshop possible.  We also thank Bat Conservation International, Lubee Bat Conservancy, Organization for Bat Conservation, Bat Research News, Speleobooks, Indigo Wings, and Texas Parks and Wildlife for their generous donations to support the workshop.

I thank Mike Herder, his local committee, Al Kisner, and Donna Mathisen for all their help in Salt Lake City.  I also thank the 2003-2004 Board of Directors (Robert Barclay, Frank Bonaccorso, Mark Brigham, Betsy Dumont, Trish Freeman, Michael Herder, Winston Lancaster, Arnulfo Moreno, Dixie Pierson, Roy Horst, and Tom Griffiths) and the Student Observer to the Board (Annie Tibbels) for their help and support this year.  Additionally, I extend a very special "thank-you" to Jason Callard, Nikki Taylor, and Tom Griffiths for all their help and hard work to make the 34th NASBR a very memorable and successful meeting.

And finally, on behalf of the entire NASBR membership, special thanks from all of us to Roy, the "founding father" of the society, and, of course, to the bats!  See you in Sacramento, California!

Reprinted with permission and approved editorial changes from Bat Research News, vol. 45(4): 287-288, 2004.