President's Entomology 2013 Welcome Message
I offer you an early welcome to the wonderful city of Austin, host to Entomology 2013 – the 61st Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. This will mark the first time that we have met in Austin, and I know you will find it to be a fantastic and memorable place to meet. I believe you will find that the Convention Center is very user-friendly and well laid-out, with numerous places for meeting friends or continuing conversations. The Convention Center is located within a few blocks of all of the meeting hotels, all within walking distance. All of the scientific programming will be at the Convention Center – a few committee meetings and socials will be off-site, but not scientific sessions. The Convention Center also is just a few blocks from Austin's famed entertainment district, with more dining and music than you will have time to sample. Please recall that we moved the meeting dates up by a week to avoid the crowd from the Formula 1 race that will be in Austin – we wanted to make sure Entomology 2013 was a memorable (in a positive way!) meeting for all attendees. And what does Formula 1 offer that cockroach races don't?
The theme for this year and this year's Annual Meeting, “Science Impacting a Connected World,” continues the thread of themes that align with the Society's Strategic Principles, and recognizes the interconnectedness of our science and our members. We continue to increase the importance of a diverse Society, in which we hope to contribute to the development of all of our members. And we continue to transition from a Society that has been predominantly national to one that is becoming truly international.
The four primary words of this year's theme – Science, Impact, Connected and World – point out some of ESA's focal actions and directions both for the year and for the Annual Meeting. The Science for Entomology 2013 will be as vibrant and current as we have ever had. More than 100 symposia will be presented this year – some revisiting continuing topics, some representing totally new subjects or perspectives. The Impact for Entomology 2013 and for ESA has come from our focus on science and public policy, seeking to affect the end-users of our science. We conduct great science; importantly, its impacts are felt in all areas of science and society. We are Connected with other disciplines, other societies, new partners. By inviting recent presidents of the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), we seek to connect our science and our members. We have much to offer NSTA and the science teachers, and we have much to learn from them. A large number of the SFS members work with aquatic invertebrates, so a natural connection exists between the societies for collaboration and sharing. We also connect with entomological colleagues throughout the World. Not only will we have virtual symposium presentations and papers from countries across the globe, we also will host presidents or representatives of several other national and regional entomological societies. Again, we have much to offer those societies, as well as much to learn from them. Science Impacting a Connected World.
The 2013 Annual Meeting promises to be as exciting and vibrant as the city of Austin. The Program Symposia represent scientific topics of broad interest or of new approaches. The 100 Section and Member Symposia, plus approximately 1,800 other paper and poster presentations, will fill out a complete program that promises to send you away more informed and better connected. At the suggestion of two of our members, we are trying something different with the 2013 poster sessions – having the times when authors are present scheduled for later in the day, avoiding conflicts with ongoing sessions, and offering refreshments (cash bar) during those sessions. With this move, we are seeking to make the poster sessions more of a destination, where you have the opportunity to connect with the poster authors and other colleagues. You will be there, won't you?
As you participate and enjoy a successful meeting, you may not recognize how much work goes into making a meeting that runs smoothly. One reason our meetings are so successful is due to the selfless dedication of your friends and colleagues who have invested enormous amounts of their time, energy, thought, and effort into making this a memorable and successful meeting. Please offer your thanks to our Program Co-Chairs, Marianne (M.) Alleyne and Luis Cañas. Program Chairs lead the Program Committee, which compiles the 2,000+ submissions and creates the meeting's scientific program, schedules every paper and scientific session, and writes the Program Book. The efforts of M., Luis, and the other members of this year's Program Committee began at the conclusion of the 2011 meeting and will continue until the end of the 2014 meeting in Portland. The quality of the Entomology 2013 program reflects their dedication to showcase your contributions. As you enjoy this year's program, please take time to acknowledge and thank all of the members of the Program Committee – you directly benefit from their hard work.
Please also take time to acknowledge and thank your ESA staff. Our Executive Director, David Gammel, has brought a refreshing, outward-looking vision and leadership to the ESA Office. The ESA staff represents a team of professionals that complement each other and serve our membership proudly and effectively. Your ESA professionals include Rosina Romano (Director of Meetings), Cindy Myers (Manager of Meetings and Exhibits), Debi Sutton (Director of Membership and Marketing), Alan Kahan (Director of Publications), Neil Willoughby (Director of Finance), Chris Stelzig (Director of Certification and Data Management), Pamela Reid (Manager of Marketing & Member Relations), Richard Levine (Communications Program Manager), and our two newest staff members – Alexis Lyons (Staff Accountant) and Katherine Matthews (Member Engagement Specialist). If you haven't yet met the staff members, please introduce yourself or take the time to re-acquaint yourself with them. Please also thank them for their roles in a successful meeting and the success of your Society. The Austin meeting will be the first for Alexis and Katherine, so please make time to meet them and welcome them to ESA.
You will no doubt hear much more about Entomology 2013 in the coming weeks. The meeting promises to offer a fantastic venue, great programming, and a wonderful opportunity to socialize with new collaborators or old friends. I hope you have already committed to participate, and I am sure this will be one of those memorable meetings that you will be glad you attended. You will be there, won't you? I look forward to seeing you in Austin.
All the best,
2013 President, Entomological Society of America