President's Entomology 2017 Welcome Message

Welcome to Denver, the Mile High City, and Entomology 2017. The energy of this bustling western metropolis and serenity of mountain vistas combine to provide the yin and yang needed for a personally enriching meeting. The 2017 meeting will focus on communicating insect science in new ways to encourage untraditional collaborations – Ignite, Inspire, Innovate.

How did we come up with this focus? We asked our members, especially early career professionals and students, for advice on the meeting. The advice was to shake things up with more diverse opportunities to share our science – not just the typical symposia and contributed papers. My program committee chairs, Wendy Johnson, Rob Meagher, and Julie Peterson, have embraced the challenge to ‘open up’ the meeting format, experiment, and have some fun. We’ll have an Awards Breakfast which will include our Founders’ Memorial Lecture. The opening session will feature a science communication plenary speaker. To create new ways to communicate science we’ve added Program Workshops – to enable skill-building and innovation around problem-solving. Sunrise Sessions provide additional networking opportunities to meet inspirational colleagues and ignite conversations (modeled after the successful Women in Entomology Breakfast). And the three-minute paper category Lightning Bug Talk is now available to everyone. Can the President successfully give a lightning bug welcome to Denver? Should be fun - I am game to try.

And, just an FYI- the Society doesn’t sleep between annual meetings. Throughout 2017, ESA leadership and staff continue to build on the foundational work of prior ESA presidents. We remain committed to our core strategic principles:

  • ESA has a social responsibility to develop ALL of its members
  • The science of entomology is global; therefore, ESA is global
  • To realize our profession’s full potential, ESA must increase its influence

We continue to advance these principles with some highly visible activities: Science Policy Fellows, Diversity and Inclusion Committee work, and our Grand Challenges agenda. I look forward to being at the Branch meetings to experience how these principles are being embraced and enacted there. It’s also my opportunity to keep you informed on what’s going on across the Society, and gather your insights on what we do well and how to improve your member experience. Help us be a more effective, socially responsible and responsive Society through your membership and volunteer activities. Our Society thrives on your volunteerism.

Come to Denver to communicate the global science of Entomology and be inspired by others sharing their research with you. Science communication is a critical component of our research journey – and Entomology 2017 will provide you a Mile-High platform for sharing!

I look forward to seeing you in Denver.

Dr. Susan Weller
2017 ESA President