President's Entomology 2011 Welcome Message

Welcome to Reno and Entomology 2011 – the 59th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America!

This is the fourth time we have met in Reno for our Annual Meeting. The first three were in 1986, 1991, and 2008, under Presidents Lowell R. Nault (“Skip”), William A. Allen, and Mike Gray, respectively. It’s interesting to note that the membership in those years was 7,721, 7,052, and 6,056, and our current membership is 6,410. Although the increase from 2008 is slight, the trend is in the right direction, and we all have a role to play in helping to make ESA more relevant to new students and non-traditional members. Many societies of our size are seeing declining membership and weak budgets, and we are strong in both of these key measures.

Themes, Subthemes, and ESA Goals. We have an exciting program again this year, with a unique mixture of social and scientific issues, and two Plenary Sessions. The meeting theme for Entomology 2011 is “Identify… Clarify… Speak Out!” This reflects the need for entomologists to inform others about exactly what it is that we do and don’t do. Rapid communication on key issues has not been a hallmark of ESA, and our voices need to be heard, individually and collectively. Arthropods touch the lives of every person on the planet, every day, in both positive and negative ways. Let’s talk about how entomology is the encompassing discipline for many of these interactions.

There are three subthemes for Entomology 2011, each aligned with one of our new goals. The first subtheme is “Entomology and Social Responsibility,” an area where there is an important nexus of science and society. Three of the six Program Symposia, one of the Section Symposia, and several Member Symposia and submitted papers and posters deal with this issue. These are particularly exciting symposia, because an ESA National Meeting has never had this degree of focus on social issues. One issue of particular visibility is the dominance of white males in elected leadership positions in ESA. Therefore, I proposed a new ESA goal that in 10 years the leadership of ESA will look like the membership of ESA.

The second subtheme of the meeting is “Providing Informed, Objective, and Timely Communication,” which relates to the second new ESA goal, that ESA will increasingly become known as a society that provides objective, timely information for the policymakers and the public on important scientific issues. Many of the Program, Section and Member Symposia, plus oral presentations and posters, focus on the role of entomology in key issues such as invasive species; integrated pest management; international collaboration; students and young professionals; food safety; food security; agricultural and environmental sustainability; climate change; Homeland Security; human and animal diseases; systematics and taxonomy; and other priority areas.

The third subtheme of the meeting is “Increasing Global Involvement,” which is related to the third new goal, for ESA to engage even more formally with other entomological groups at all levels. Our new International Branch is key to this activity. Several activities around this subtheme are being developed for Entomology 2011 and into the future. 

Keynote address. During the Opening Plenary Session, at 6:30 pm on Sunday, November 13, Ms. Christianne Corbett, a research associate at the American Association of University Women, will discuss women in leadership positions in scientific societies. Ms. Corbett is co-author of Where the Girls Are: The Facts About Gender Equity in Education and the book Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Both of these books are available as free downloads, and I recommend that you check them out before the meeting.

Founder’s Memorial Award Lecture. Dr. Angela Douglas, Daljit S. & Elaine Sarkaria Professor of Insect Physiology and Toxicology at Cornell University, will present the lecture in honor of Professor Reginald Chapman. This presentation will be the highlight of the second evening Plenary Session, starting at 4:45 pm on Monday, November 14.

Symposia. There will be 86 Symposia offered during Entomology 2011 (six Program Symposia, 35 Section Symposia, and 45 Member Symposia).  TheProgram Symposia are: 1) Identifying the Current Status of Women in Entomology, Clarifying Initiatives for Retention, and Speaking Out to Share Experience (organized by Patricia Prasifka and Rayda K. Krell); 2) Identify, Clarify, Speak Out: Turning Young People onto Science Through Insects and Ensuring a Future for Entomology! (Sharron Quisenberry and Thomas A. Green); 3) Citizen Scientists in Entomology Research (John Carlson and Mark S. Fox); 4)  Bee Declines I - Identification, Clarification, and Communication of the Real Truths(Rosalind James, Jeff Pettis, Theresa Pitts-Singer, and James Strange); 5)  The Molecular Physiology of Arthropod Vectors and Pests: Towards the Development of Novel Control Agents and Approaches (Peter M. Piermararini); and 6) Basic Science to Application for Management of Bed Bug Populations (Kenneth F. Haynes, Subba R. Palli, Michael F. Potter, and James D. Harwood).

Virtual Posters. For the third straight year, there will be Virtual (electronic) Posters presented at Entomology 2011. You will be able to view posters from international colleagues who could not attend the meeting, and even discuss the posters with them via streaming video at specific times. This is a great way for the international scientific community to participate in the meeting and interact with attendees at the meeting.

Student Activities. Monday will again focus on student activities. Last year the suggestion was made by many students to try not to schedule student presentations and posters at the same time. Thus, this became a priority for me this year. The Program Committee, led by Co-chairs Andrew Norton and Paul Ode, has been able to make this scheduling change. Student papers will be in the morning, and student posters will start during lunch, and be up for viewing all afternoon. We will also focus on highlighting student activities in the lead-up to Entomology 2011, in eNews and in my occasional column, JustDel.

An Exciting Exhibit Hall. Once again, our exhibit hall will be packed with the latest products and services serving the field of entomology.These include the latest publications, research support materials, specimens, software, instrumentation, educational products, pest control services, educational institutions, recruitment companies, and much more. In addition, vendors showcasing a variety of insect jewelry, T-shirts, art, and novelty items will help you with your early holiday shopping.

Section Meetings. Section meetings and symposia will take place on Tuesday, November 14, from 2:00 – 4:30 pm. There will be no competing activities during this time period, and I encourage you to take an active role in your Section, and consider running for an elected office, or volunteer for a committee.

ESA is a society of volunteers. Last year, over 400 members?14% of the attendees—volunteered their time by serving on committees, judging student papers or posters, chairing student paper sessions, working at the help desk, etc. for the Annual Meeting. Our meetings could not be run without this cadre of dedicated people, and I thank them all very much on behalf of ESA for their service.

I am especially grateful to the Annual Meeting Program Committee: Student Competition Co-Chairs Jerome Grant and Michael Jackson;  Poster Co-Chairs Megha Parajulee and Bonnie Pendleton; Section Presidents and Vice-Presidents, respectively, Douglas E. Norris and Christopher Geden (Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology); Jeffrey Scott and Subba Palli (Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology); Rogers Leonard and Bonnie Pendleton (Plant-Insect Ecosystems); and Jason Cryan and Kelly Miller (Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity); Student Liaison Cheri Abraham; and Director of Meetings Keith Schlesinger and Meetings Assistant Cassie Mescher. Finally, the meeting would not be possible without the expertise and professionalism of the entire ESA staff, particularly staff liaisons Mary Falcone and Debi Sutton, and new Executive Director C. David Gammel.

Entomology 2011 Program Co-Chairs Andrew Norton and Paul Ode have earned my highest accolades for their dedication. There are literally thousands of details that Program Co-Chairs for a large meeting like this must handle, and they have done so quickly and with good humor. The success of Entomology 2011 is largely due to their magnificent service, so please thank them personally in Reno.

We’ve tried a number of new things for Entomology 2011. I hope you find the meeting challenging, interesting, informative, and fun, and that it helps you Identify, Clarify and Speak Out! about entomological issues. See you in Reno!

Hang in There!

Ernest S. Delfosse, 2011 ESA President