Welcome from ESA President Michael Parrella
Welcome to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and welcome to the 2018 ESA, ESC and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting. The New York Times described the city best: “You’re gorgeous, baby, you’re sophisticated, you live well. ... Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It’s a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France, and the Pacific Northwest. It’s the cool North American sibling.” Majestic mountains, sparkling ocean, rainforests, and beautiful foliage through all four seasons make Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
At this international location we join with the Entomological Society of Canada (ESC) and the Entomological Society of British Columbia (ESBC) to deliver Entomology 2018. Together we developed the theme for the meeting, “Crossing Borders: Entomology in a Changing World.” Michael Blackstock, a northwest coast Gitxsan artist, created original artwork for the meeting based on cultural lore. His artwork fits the theme of our scientific meeting by depicting the trickster (a human) crossing the border from an aquatic environment into a terrestrial one and changing from a human into a mosquito.
The four co-chairs of the Joint Annual Meeting Program Committee—Cheryle O’Donnell, Surendra Dara (ESA), Chris MacQuarrie (ESC) and Bill Riel (ESBC)—have developed a remarkable and truly integrated program. This team, with the help of others, had their work cut out for them: We had a near-record number of symposia vie for the coveted Program Symposium slots, in addition to a record number of general symposium submissions. Most selected symposia embody the theme of the meeting, involve U.S. and Canadian participants, and embrace the diversity and inclusion principles of the Society.
ESA 2018 will continue with many of the innovative ideas that past president Susan Weller initiated in Denver in 2017. The Opening Plenary session will feature science communication speaker and author Randy Olson (of Houston, We Have a Narrative fame), followed by a “story circles” training for those interested. The Closing Plenary will be led by Ryan Church, a freelance concept artist who will showcase his work fusing art and science with an entomological theme, which has appeared in films such as Avatar, Falling Skies, and Super 8. Meanwhile, in keeping with the ESA’s stated strategic principle to develop all its members, the ESA Governing Board supported a proposal from the Women in Entomology network for a workshop titled “Creating Safe and Productive Environments for All Entomologists Through Inclusive Leadership,” to be led by experts from Catalyst, a global nonprofit working with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to build workplaces that work for women. The workshop is open to 50 participants, of which 25 will be invited and the other 25 will be available for open registration—so register early if you are interested!
ESA staff and leadership continue to focus on annual core activities that are critical to running an effective ESA: publications, meetings, service, leadership and governance, networking, recognition, certification, membership, science policy, career development, and the Entomological Foundation. Keeping these areas solid and functioning enables the Society to address its strategic principles (entomology as a global science, increasing our influence, and developing all our members) as well as its strategic initiatives (grand challenges, volunteer culture and governance, and science communication). To realize our profession’s full potential, ESA must increase its influence.
One of these strategic initiatives is the Grand Challenges Agenda for Entomology, for which ESA will host an important summit in Vancouver, November 9-10, prior to the Annual Meeting. The summit, titled “Addressing the North American and Pacific Rim Invasive Insect and Arthropod Species Challenge” will address the topic of invasive species with strong international participation. We recognize that not everyone will be able to attend this event, but we are preparing a session for the Annual Meeting in which findings from the summit will be reported and feedback on a draft outcome report will be sought. Look for details in the online program.
ESA 2018 will be a special meeting in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I look forward to seeing you in Vancouver!
Dr. Michael P. Parrella
Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho
2018 President, Entomological Society of America
About the Logo: "Crossing Borders"
The Entomological Society of British Columbia, co-host for the 2018 Joint Annual Meeting, traditionally partners with a native artist for its annual conference logo. For 2018, BC native artist Michael Blackstock designed the image at right, titled “Crossing Borders,” depicting Wyget, a trickster and shapeshifter who appears in several narratives told by Aboriginal peoples of the Pacific Coast, transforming from larva into mosquito as he emerges from water. Wyget can transform from his human image into any being, and this usually happens when he crosses the border from one world to another.
The art draws inspiration from the symbol for the 1995 Annual General Meeting of the Entomological Societies of Canada and British Columbia. As detailed in the December 1995 issue of the Journal of the ESBC, that image also paid homage to native Canadian culture, in particular the legend of the origin of the mosquito from the Tsimshian, an indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest:
"In ancient times, blood sucking animals in human form used to invite travelers to their village and then drain their victims' blood by stabbing their long crystal noses into the necks of the unsuspecting travelers while they slept. One young man awoke in time to save himself. He fled from the village with the chief in hot pursuit. The chief tracked the young man to a lake where he had hidden in a tree on the shore. The chief exhausted and soaked himself trying to attack the man's reflection in the water and then, while recovering on the shore, froze solid. The young man and his people took the frozen chief and burned him to ashes. When the fire had burned out, a wind came up and blew the ashes into the air where they turned into clouds of mosquitoes."
Limited prints of the 2018 Joint Annual Meeting art, signed by artist Michael Blackstock, will be available for sale onsite during the conference.
La Société d’entomologie de Colombie-Britannique, co-organisatrice pour la réunion annuelle conjointe 2018, embauche traditionnellement un artiste autochtone pour la création du logo de sa conférence annuelle. Pour 2018, l’artiste autochtone de C.-B. Michael Blackstock a développé l’image à droite, appelée « Au-delà des frontières »i , qui représente Wyget, un Filou et métamorphe qui apparait dans plusieurs récits racontés par les peuples autochtones de la côte Pacifique, se transformant d’une larve à un moustique alors qu’il émerge de l’eau. Wiget peut passer de son image humaine en n’importe quel être, et cela se produit généralement lorsqu’il franchit les frontières d’un monde à un autre.
Cette œuvre s’inspire du symbole pour l’assemblée générale des membres de 1995 pour les Société d’entomologie du Canada et de Colombie-Britannique. Tel que détaillé dans le numéro de décembre 1995 du Journal of the ESBC, cette image rend également hommage à la culture autochtone canadienne, en particulier à la légende de l’origine du moustique des Tsimshians, un peuple autochtone du Nord-Ouest du Pacifique:
« Dans les temps anciens, les animaux suceurs de sang dans leur forme humaine invitaient les voyageurs dans leur village et drainaient leurs victimes de leur sang en enfonçant leur long nez de cristal dans le cou de ces voyageurs durant leur sommeil. Un jeune homme s’est réveillé à temps pour se sauver. Il s’est enfui du village avec le chef à ses trousses. Le chef a pisté le jeune homme jusqu’à un lac où il se cachait dans un arbre sur la berge. Le chef s’est épuisé et trempé en essayant d’attaquer l’image de l’homme réfléchie dans l’eau, et, récupérant sur la berge, s’est figé en glace. Le jeune homme et son peuple ont pris le chef glacé et l’ont brûlé. Quand le feu s’est éteint, le vent s’est levé et a soufflé les cendres dans l’air, où elles se sont transformées en nuage de moustiques. »ii
Des impressions limitées de l’œuvre de la réunion annuelle conjointe 2018, signée par l’artiste Michael Blackstock, seront en vente sur place lors de la conférence.