2009 ESA Annual Meeting Celebrate Entomology! Colleagues, Science, Ideas


The theme for the 2009 Annual Meeting was Celebrate Entomology: Colleagues, Science, Ideas.

Two elements of this theme were derived from the ESA Mission Statement, which states that the Society exists to promote the science of entomology through “disseminating original research and perspectives leading to a continuous stream of discoveries and applications relevant to the science; (and) creating productive opportunities to stimulate new ideas and capitalize on the diversity and varied perspectives of the membership.”

The third element focused on renewing old friendships while making new ones. As a past President recently remarked, “The reason I come to the annual meeting is to see all my friends.”

The meeting was attended by 2,682 entomologists from all over the world -- the second highest attendance number in the last six years.

The meeting kicked off with a “surprise” visit from a cheerleading squad during the Opening Plenary Session. John Acorn sang two songs, one about water bugs and one about entomologists. ESA professional awards were presented, and for the first time ever, the Stinger Awards were presented to winners of the YouTube Your Entomology Contest. The winners of the contest are:

Dr. Edward Walker gave the Founders’ Memorial speech about George B. Craig, Jr. This meeting also featured three other Plenary speeches by Richard Johnson, Mark Moffett, and Peter Raven over the following three days.

At its winter meeting, the ESA Governing Board voted to adopt a new Society logo. The Board chose the same logo as the one chosen by meeting attendees in a straw poll.

For the first time, ESA student volunteers videotaped parts of the meeting, including the Linnaean Games Finals, the Welcome Reception, and the Student Reception. They also conducted interviewswith ESA members about their research, and with exhibitors about their products. Interviews and other videos are featured on the ESA YouTube Channel. And as always, photographs from the meeting are available on the ESA website.

Also for the first time, this meeting featured Virtual Posters, which allowed people from other parts of the world to submit posters online. ESA meeting attendees could view the posters and speak to the presenters live using Skype.

The Linnaean Games Finals featured the University of California, Riverside versus the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with UIUC the winner. ESA videographers interviewed Gamesmaster Tom TurpinJ. E. McPherson, and Phil Mulder about the origins of the Games, as well as members of the winning UIUC team.

The Career Center, run each year by the ESA Student Affairs Committee, was held in the Exhibit Hall and was well utilized.

The newly created International Branch held its first election, and chose its 2010 officers, who are President James Harwood, President-Elect Charles Vincent, Secretary Margaret Gentz, Treasurer Srinivas Parimi, and Governing Board Representative Myron Zalucki.

The members of the Section formerly known as Structural, Veterinary and Public Health Systems voted to change the name to Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology. The name change was approved by the Governing Board and is effective immediately.

The Student Competition was a great success, with students from 44 different universities winning awards. Winners will receive $70.00 checks in the mail, and both winners and runners-up will receive certificates. Winners and runners-up were recognized Tuesday night at the Student Awards Session.

At the Closing Session, the following ESA Governing Board members who finished their terms were thanked and given plaques: Mike Gray, George Hamilton, Marvin Harris, and Gail Kampmeier. New Governing Board members are Grayson Brown (Vice President-Elect), Bart Drees (Southwestern Branch Representative), Bob Peterson (Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section), Doug Pfeiffer (Eastern Branch), and Myron Zaluki (International Branch). Dr. Zhaorigetu Chen of Louisiana State University sang a Mongolian song.

Finally, 2009 President Marlin Rice passed the gavel on to 2010 President Dave Hogg, who invited everyone to join us at the 58th ESA Annual Meeting in San Diego, December 12-15, 2010. The theme of the 2010 meeting is EntoDiversity, and will focus on biological, geographical and disciplinary diversity.