For the NASBR:  Drawing of Eumops perotis by Fiona Reid. Copyright 2004, 2005 by the artist.  All rights reserved.

Report on the
35th Annual North American Symposium on Bat Research

Margaret A. Griffiths
Program Director, NASBR

The 35th Annual North American Symposium on Bat Research (NASBR) was held at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza in Sacramento, California, 19-22 October 2005. Winston Lancaster (California State University Sacramento) served as the local host. Three hundred and fifty registered participants attended the three-day scientific conference, making this the largest non-international NASBR meeting ever held. In addition to the regular participants, there were approximately 35 local educators who attended the special 10th Anniversary Teacher Workshop on Saturday morning.

Most of the meeting participants (60%) were affiliated with academic/research institutions; 21.0% were from private business or private consulting groups; 14.0% were from federal or state government agencies; ~1% were from non-governmental zoos and parks; and ~4% were individuals who attended simply because they were interested in bats. More than a third (39%) of the meeting participants were students. The majority of NASBR participants were from North America:  85.4% from the United States, 9.1% from Canada, 1.7% from Mexico, 1.4% from Puerto Rico, and 0.6% from Costa Rica. There also were participants from Europe (United Kingdom, 0.6%; Germany, 0.3%; and Italy, 0.3%), Brazil (0.3%), and Australia (0.3%).

One hundred and fifty-one scientific papers were presented at the Sacramento meeting, not counting the special presentations given in two non-scientific sessions (six during the special evening "Innovative Teaching Techniques" session and eight during the Saturday morning workshop for local teachers). Of the 151 scientific papers presented, 98 were platform presentations and 53 were poster presentations. Seventeen student platform papers were presented in a plenary Student Competition Session on Thursday. The rest of the platform papers were presented in concurrent sessions that began on Friday morning and continued through Saturday afternoon. Fifty-three posters, eleven of which were entered in the Student Poster Competition, were presented during the Thursday afternoon Poster Session.

Graduate and undergraduate students were invited to enter their platform or poster papers in a competition that judged the scientific merits of their research. A special committee headed by Frank Bonaccorso judged 17 student platform papers and 11 student poster presentations. Six cash prizes of $250 each were presented at the Saturday evening banquet. The award winners were: 

Outstanding platform papers

  • Marie-Helene Pitre (Sherbrooke University, Quebec) received the Bat Conservation International Award;
  • Melissa Andre Neubaum (Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO) received the Bat Research News Award;
  • Susan W. Murray (Boston University, Boston, MA) received the Karl F. Koopman Award;
  • Kirsten M. Bohn (University of Maryland, College Park, MD) received the Lubee Bat Conservancy Award

Outstanding poster presentations

  • Wiebke Pflaesterer (Universitaet Tuebingen, Germany) received the Basically Bats Wildlife Conservation Society Award;
  • Matthew E. Grilliot (Auburn University, Auburn, AL) received the Speleobooks Award

Generous monetary donations from Merlin Tuttle of Bat Conservation International, Margaret Griffiths of Bat Research News, Roger Haagenson, 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.

During the banquet, lifetime members of the NASBR were recognized. This honorific membership, nominations for which are made by individual NASBR members, is conferred by the Board of Directors "in recognition of a long and distinguished career in bat research or education about bats." G. Roy Horst, who was named a Lifetime Member of the Society in 2003, was presented with a plaque commemorating his lifetime membership. The final highlight of the evening was the conferment of another Lifetime Membership. John R. Winkelmann (Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA) was named as the third Lifetime Member of the NASBR, and was presented with a plaque commemorating his lifetime membership. The three Lifetime Members of the NASBR are:  Jim Findley (1997), G. Roy Horst (2003), and John Winkelmann (2005).

Approximately 60 people attended a special Friday evening session entitled "Innovative Techniques in Teaching," which was organized by M. Brock Fenton. Five scheduled presentations and one impromptu presentation were given. The theme of the session was reporting initiatives that participants have taken in the area of education, several of which related to using bats in those initiatives. The goal of this session was to share ideas and information about effective teaching strategies, and those who attended felt it was a very helpful session.

Pat Morton of Texas Parks and Wildlife once again organized a special bat education workshop on Saturday morning of the conference. Sacramento-area educators attended the workshop, as well as many NASBR members. This was the tenth 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. Pat and I also thank Bat Conservation International, Bat Research News, California Native Bat Conservancy, Lubee Bat Conservancy, Organization for Bat Conservation, Speleobooks, and Texas Parks and Wildlife for their generous donations to support the workshop.

I thank the 2004-2005 Board of Directors (Robert Barclay, Frank Bonaccorso, Mark Brigham, Mary Kay Clark, Betsy Dumont, Tom Griffiths, Michael Herder, Roy Horst, Winston Lancaster, Arnulfo Moreno, and Nancy Simmons) and the Student Observers to the Board (Annie Tibbels and Heather York) for their help and support this year. I also thank Fiona Reid for sharing her time and talent designing the 35th NASBR logo, Heather Johnson for sharing her photographs (logo background), and Al Kisner for his help with registration once again this year.

Additionally, my sincerest gratitude and special "thanks" go to Emilee Bocker, Andy Hall, Tom Griffiths, and Winston Lancaster for all their help and hard work in making the 35th NASBR a very memorable and successful meeting. And on behalf of the entire NASBR membership, many, many thanks from all of us to Roy, our "founding father," and of course, to the bats!

Finally, I extend my sincerest thanks and appreciation to you, the entire NASBR membership, for making the annual NASBR meetings increasingly successful and very memorable. I have enjoyed working with all of you over the past ten years, and I wish you all the very, very best.

Reprinted with permission and approved editorial changes from Bat Research News, vol. 46(4): 251-253, 2005.