HomeVolume Fall 2007
Message from the President

John Pearse

I trust you have all thoroughly enjoyed exploring our new SICB website. Not only are its layout and rotating images attractive, its organization has been simplified so that items of interest are more easily found. Our gifted and responsive webmaster, Ruedi Birenheide, deserves major credit for this reorganization. In addition, our secretary, Lou Burnett, who worked closely with Ruedi over much of this year, should receive huge kudos for meticulously going through every parcel of the site, and weeding out redundancies and remnants of long ago, to create the streamlined and up-to-date version you see now. I was copied on many of their exchanges, and so I know better than most what they went through. An enthusiastic thank you to both!

I trust you have also enjoyed this year's issues of Integrative and Comparative Biology, which have been appearing monthly on schedule since July. By the end of the year all of the symposia to be published in the journal from the 2007 meeting will be out. Quite a remarkable achievement by our editor, Harold Heatwole, and our publisher, Oxford University Press. You also can be pleased to know that all papers published in both American Zoologist and ICB are now online. Moreover, the impact factor for ICB rose to 2.232 in 2006 so the journal is now ranked 8th out of 114 in the Zoology category on ISI. Clearly all the hard negotiations done by Past-President Sally Woodin, along with Ron Dimock, our treasurer, and Brett Burk, our executive director, are paying off now.

In early October, I met in San Antonio with the other Executive Officers (Executive Director Brett Burk, Treasurer Ron Dimock, Secretary Lou Burnett, Program Officer Linda Walters, and President-Elect Rich Satterlie) to review the state of SICB and prepare for the Annual Meeting in San Antonio. As you can see from the other officers' messages, our Society continues to thrive: it is fiscally sound (thanks in particular to Ron and Brett), has vibrant Divisions, and is moving toward broadening its scope.

Our meeting overlapped with that of the Program Officers, who worked intensely together to assemble the Annual Meeting's program. I can tell you that the 2008 Annual Meeting will be as full, diverse, and as exciting as ever, and our Program Officer Linda Walters deserves major credit for keeping on top of the never-ending details. I look forward in particular to Past-President Sally Woodin's opening talk, as well as to the film "Flock of Dodos," by our colleague, biologist-turned-filmmaker, Randy Olson. I gather that the film is mostly about us scientists, and appropriately so, I think. Be ready to be scolded. You will also enjoy the setting in San Antonio, with the hotel and convention center conveniently near each other and right on (or over) the fabulous River Walk. Once again we need to thank Sue Burk and Lori Strong for arranging such a great meeting site for us.

I continue trying to fill out and support our hard-working Committees. As you can see on our website, there are quite a few of them, each working for our diverse interests. Most have open slots, however, or will at the end of the San Antonio meeting. If any of them appeal to you, please let me know. Of some concern also is finding someone interested in serving as an Archivist. Our Society has had a long and rich history over the past century, and we want to be sure to capture that history for future members to appreciate. Currently, it is scattered about, electronically and on paper in a variety of files (boxes actually), and needs careful culling and organizing. Eventually, it should all be available to everyone on-line. If you are interested in such a project, I am interested in you.

Of most pressing importance, however, is the selection of candidates for our Spring election. Positions opening for Society-wide officers include President-Elect, Program Officer-Elect, Treasurer-Elect, one Member-at-Large, and Chair of the Educational Council. This will indeed be a major election! If you might enjoy serving, or can think of people whom you would like to see in these roles, please let me know, and I will pass their names on to the Nominating Committee.

My first year as your President has been enjoyable and satisfying, mainly because of the great people I have encountered. I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio, and working with many of you during the coming year.