In the past two years IBS has tripled in size. IBS membership now exceeds 700 and may well grow again, substantially, by January 2009. Biogeography is a hot topic and is attracting increasing attention around the world. Members tell us that being bigger should not be the goal and that we should consider capping membership or meeting attendance in order to keep the international meetings intimate. Such caps may be necessary but until that decision is made other means of accommodating our rapidly expanding membership also are being explored.
In particular, members said that creating concurrent sessions to reduce session size would diminish the value of the meeting. Full plenary sessions allow for a shared meeting experience. That experience forms the basis for conversations and interactions throughout the four-day meeting. However, there is a strong desire to hear additional points of view and to expand opportunities for discussion. Rather than running parallel sessions provocative presentations from a wider array of scientists and graduate students are being proposed. Such an approach would require more pre-meeting planning but would result in greater value for participants.
One idea tested at the
We also have learned that a large part of your decision to attend the next meeting is the cost of travel. We will be offering travel stipends to students from around the world and to researchers from developing countries. It is still too early to know the exact details of these travel awards but if you are interested in obtaining travel assistance watch for upcoming editions of this newsletter and look for email messages from Dr.
Google maps output showing the location of Mérida, at the Yucatán Peninsula of México
Even for those of you who are not planning on applying for a travel stipends, purchasing your airline tickets in advance can save you hundreds of dollars. Our next international meeting will be begin with workshops on the 8th of January, 2009 and end with field trips to nearby ruins and ecologically interesting sites on the 12th of January, 2009. Book your travel through to airport code “MID.” Shuttles from the airport will be available and included in your meeting registration fees. Currently airfares are $600 to
In the very least, mark your calendar from the 8th through
George C. Stevens,VP for Development and Awards
Check the latest news on the conference at http://www.biogeography.org/meetings.htm