May 2001 Volume 23 Number 2

President's Letter

Marc Harnly

The WAAC Board of Directors just held its annual mid-year meeting in Los Angeles. This is one of the two opportunities the Board has to meet formally during the year to consider WAAC business—the other always coincides with the annual meeting. Be assured, though, we on the Board are in constant contact with each other throughout the year. As I write this, I am acutely aware of my separate email file for WAAC that is full of messages awaiting responses.

As at any mid-year gathering of the Board, one of the main topics of discussion was the annual meeting, which this year will take place at the J. Paul Getty Museum on October 11-13. Having the meeting in Los Angeles presents a series of challenges, but hopefully the benefits of meeting at the Getty, with everything it has to offer, will outweigh some of LA's legendary, and oftentimes exaggerated, inconveniences.

The Board is making every effort to keep the meeting affordable for the membership. The meeting registration fee and banquet costs in LA will not be increased over that of previous years. In addition, for those members averse to renting cars, some hotels will be available that either provide shuttle service to the Getty or are located on a public bus line (with no transfer required). But as anyone who has visited LA knows, automobiles rule and remain the best way of getting about.

Call for Papers - I encourage anyone who is remotely interested to consider speaking at the WAAC meeting this year. I have to say that some of the best conservation talks I have ever heard, many outside my own discipline, were presented at WAAC meetings. What is extra-ordinary is how many of those speakers told me later they felt their talks would not be of interest. Perhaps they were only being modest, but I have heard this from numerous speakers who I complimented after their great talks.

The other main agenda topic considered by the board was an exciting one for WAAC: a group of seminars, workshops, and publications that have been submitted to WAAC for sponsorship. With the minor surplus in the in the WAAC coffers the Board is able to provide a limited amount of seed money to members interested in coordinating, teaching, and/or writing conservation seminars, workshops, or publications. Financially these will be largely self-supporting either through registration fees or, in the case of publications, projected sales. Six possibilities were considered which ranged from one-day workshops to weeklong courses to a publication. At this point three were approved to move forward in the coming months:

Watch for formal announcements and registration forms for these workshops in a separate mailing to all WAAC members.The remaining three submissions are still under consideration. The Board encourages any member interested in coordinating a workshop or publication of this sort to contact them.

Finally, I would like to express our gratitude to Holly Anderson who has agreed to assume the Member at Large position made vacant due to the relocation of Ulrich Birkmaier to the east coast. We will miss finishing the year with Ulrich but look forward to working with Holly and thank her for stepping into the job.

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