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Message from the Program Officer

John Pearse

By all accounts, the 2000 SICB Annual Meeting in Atlanta was a great success. John Avise started it off, attracting a large and receptive audience. The symposia and contributed paper sessions, both oral and poster, were informative and well attended. There were few conflicts or other complaints that I am aware of; indeed, most of what I heard were positive comments, which was very reassuring. Nearly everyone I spoke to welcomed the topical organization for the oral contributed papers, and urged that we do the same with the posters. The only downer at the meeting was that many of us, including yours truly, suffered from various versions of this year's winter flu—I'm not sure my system can withstand many more bouts like that one.

Most of the credit for our success in Atlanta should be given to our management company, Smith, Bucklin & Associates, Inc., especially Convention Manager Wilma Salvatore. Their endless attention to detail (particularly in keeping me on track and on schedule) was indispensable for the smooth running of the meeting. I want to publicly express my hearty thanks. At the same time, I am looking forward to developing a similar working relationship with our new management company, Burk and Associates, Inc.

I was much encouraged by the strong response to our call for symposium proposals for the Chicago meeting, scheduled for January 3-7, 2001. We now have 13 symposia lined-up that reflect the diverse interests of our membership. These are:

  • "Evolution of the Endocrine Stress Response," organized by James Carr and Cliff Summers for DCE and DNB
  • "Vibration in Communication," organized by Peggy Hill for DAB and DNB
  • "Molecules, Muscles, and Macroevolution," organized by Miriam Ashley-Ross, Alice Gibb, and Lara Ferry-Graham for DVM
  • "Motor Control of Vertebrate Feeding," organized by Michael Alfaro and Anthony Herrel for DVM
  • "Stability and Maneuverability," organized by Frank Fish and Bob Full for DVM and DCPB
  • "Parallelism in the Evolution of Limbs and Genitalia," organized by Eduardo Rosa-Molinar and Ann Burke for DEDB
  • "Physiological Investigation of Free-Living Vertebrates," organized by David Goldstein and Berry Pinshow for DCPB
  • "Epithelial Structure and Function," organized by Tim Bradley and Mary Chamberlin for DCPB
  • "Lesser Known Phyla," organized by Jim Garey for DIZ
  • "Ontogenetic Strategies of Invertebrates in Aquatic Environments," organized by Guy Charmantier and Donna Walcott for The Crustacean Society, DEE and DIZ
  • "The Dynamics of Symbiotic Interactions," organized by Mary Beth Saffo for DAB and DIZ
  • "Science Education Reform," organized by Ali Whitmer for the Educational Council
  • "Science, Entertainment, and Teaching," organized by Stuart Sumida and Elizabeth Rega for DVM

These symposia promise a rich experience in Chicago, and a scheduling challenge for me—one that I welcome.

The Chicago meeting will begin with a talk by Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago. Sereno is well known for his work on dinosaurs, including the recent discovery of a huge carnivore in the Sahara. He is a lively speaker and will get us off to an exciting start. I look forward to seeing you there.

Finally, we have already received inquiries about symposia for the Anaheim meeting. I'm especially interested in symposia that cross divisions and bring new perspectives that integrate biology. If you have interest in organizing a symposium, contact your divisional program officer and me about how to proceed. It can be a fun and rewarding experience, and I would enjoy working with you.