Thursday, 21 June 2012 16:13
A Transfer of Gavel
It's time for the yard-sale gavel originally acquired by President Read to be formally transferred to another continent and your new President, Helene Marsh.
The two years of my term as President seem to have come and gone quickly. Looking back at the "state of the society" summary in my blog of 14 December 2011, it is clear that we, the Board and the more than 1,800 members of the Society, have achieved much since 2010. In addition, in the past six months we have:
- voted to shift to an all-electronic journal within the next year or two;
- voted to establish the Taxonomy Committee as a standing committee, recognizing the importance of maintaining a stable, ongoing source of up-to-date information on the taxonomic status of the animals we study;
- voted to hold our 2015 biennial conference in San Francisco, California;
- voted to add two highly deserving members to the ranks of our Honorary Members, Bob Brownell and Mike Fedak;
- voted to add a second Student-Member-at-Large, serving a staggered term, to share the increasing workload and provide continuity;
- developed and sent a presidential letter to authorities in Cambodia regarding the current threats to the remaining Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River;
- developed and sent a presidential letter to authorities in Japan regarding conservation concerns associated with their small cetacean fisheries;
- developed a draft presidential letter to authorities in Mexico regarding the situation with the vaquita, to be co-signed by several professional societies;
- made significant progress in planning for a workshop on lethal takes.
In my first blog, in August 2010, I identified a theme for my presidency, to direct more attention to the cumulative impacts of human interactions on marine mammals. I also identified two main goals:
- to increase public awareness of the diverse resources and expertise available through the Society, and
- to make involvement more accessible to students and scientists around the world.
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 16:13
Reflections on the Tampa Biennial Conference
As evidenced by our current Society membership of 1,977 and the recent turnout of 1,989 attendees for the 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Tampa, marine mammals and the issues surrounding them are of increasing interest and relevance.
The interest derives from the nature of the animals themselves and the fascinating scientific questions they stimulate, their high value to peoples all over the world and the high profile and emerging issues that impact these animals and ourselves.