Archbold Biological Station, Biennial Report 1997-1998


Conferences and Workshops

[Biennial Contents]

Archbold has been host to 43 meetings and conferences during 1997–98 (see Appendix H); this is 10% more than the average for the last 7 years. Many of these are agency meetings and workshops, such as the Florida Exotic Pest Council, that convenes here regularly to share information and plan initiatives concerning the control of invasive species in Florida. Archbold interns have the opportunity to meet with visiting groups, such as the Florida Ecological and Evolutionary Symposium, an annual meeting that draws graduate students from most state and private universities in Florida for presentations highlighting their graduate research.

Organization of Biological Field Stations. The largest, and logistically most demanding meeting of this period was the Organization of Biological Field Stations’ 31st Annual Meeting on 17–20 September 1998 (see photo, below). Seventy participants, representing 45 field stations, were in attendance. (The first OBFS meeting at Archbold was in September 1979 with 18 attendees.) This was a meeting in the great OBFS tradition—some serious business, informative field trips, and an enormous dose of great humor and fun. The activities at this meeting epitomized some of the good reasons for holding an event at Archbold:

  • Early morning staff-led field trips around the scrub habitats at Archbold, and a swamp buggy tour of the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center.
  • We used the our new Station computer networking facilities and LCD projection capabilities for a series of presentations concerning data management at field stations featuring: John Helly (San Diego Super Computer Center); James Brunt (NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research Network Office); and Jack Stanford (Flathead Lake Biological Station). These data management initiatives among field stations stem from an earlier OBFS workshop held at the National Center for Ecological Analysis Synthesis (Univ. California-Santa Barbara).
  • An OBFS herpetology workshop, including Walter Meshaka representing Archbold Biological Station, compiled a cross-site comparison of the status of amphibians at OBFS field stations.
  • Discussions of the role of field stations in regional conservation issues, including a presentation on working relationships between OBFS and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) by Liz Chornesky, Director of Stewardship, TNC. Hilary Swain and Roberta Pickert presented a GIS overlay analysis showing the distribution of field stations in relation to the ecoregions of North America, to illustrate how field stations provide a wide infrastructure of sites for monitoring environmental change.
  • Social events included an excellent BBQ followed by an evening slide show "tour" of the ecosystems of Florida presented by Jora Young, Florida Chapter of TNC. Most memorable of all was the OBFS auction, featuring the two stalwart auctioneers Dan Dawson (Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab) and Peter Connors (Bodega Bay). They coerced, cajoled, and compelled the assembled crowd to part with over $3,500 of their hard-earned cash for an vast array of donated items, some as unlikely as the preserved specimen of an engorged gopher tortoise tick (Amblyomma tuberculatum), thoughtfully donated by Archbold’s Mark Deyrup (sold for $30!).

Members attending the 31st annual meeting of the Organization of Biological Field Stations at Archbold assemble in the Annex Auditorium, 19 September 1998; photo by Robert Fischer.

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Archbold Biological Station, 12 April 2000
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