Dr. Rob Dillon, Coordinator

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Report from RTP

As many of you are aware, we enjoyed a marvelous three days in Raleigh-Durham at the FMCS meeting. I'm pleased to report that our plan to hold a freshwater gastropod workshop in 2004 has been approved by the FMCS Board. Almost all of the discussion at our gastropod committee meeting lunchtime Monday was devoted to kicking around ideas and plans for this most important event. We did squeeze in a bit of time to elect Paul Johnson as the new chair of the committee, and re-elect Ken Brown as co-chair. Congratulations Paul and Ken!

The following message from Paul is self-explanatory. Please send any feedback to Paul and/or me at your earliest convenience!

Dear FMCS Gastropod Committee Members,

My thanks to John Alderman, Judith Radcliff, the folks at NC-State for the terrific job hosting the 2003 FMCS Symposium. The NC State/DOT/DWRC staff did an outstanding job! I believe the final attendance for the meeting was about 250 people (a terrific total in times of tight state and federal budgets). In regards to the 2004 FMCS Gastropod Workshop, I am sending you this brief communication to obtain your feedback for the final location and program design. Please keep in mind the final program will vary, depending on where we eventually agree to hold the meeting. I need feedback as rapidly as possible, so that we can make the final arrangements. If we are required to hold the meeting in a hotel, we'll need as much time as possible make the reservations / arrangements (in fact, we're already behind the curve on this).

The basic format:
  • A 1-1.5 day session on the identification of NA freshwater gastropods. This would cover the basic identification of NA freshwater gastropods to family and genus (excluding the Hydrobiidae). This would also tentatively include a session on soft anatomy.
  • A half day session on the basic topics (biology, conservation, genetics, ecology etc. 30 min sessions).
  • A session on a draft of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Freshwater Gastropods (30 min presentation - 1 - 2 hour discussion and comment period).
  • Katherine Perez also offered to host a short (beginners) session on terrestrial gastropods.
Location. We have had five very kind offers to host the meeting - LET ME KNOW WHICH YOU PREFER. (1) Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. (2) Kevin Roe has offered to host the workshop at the Delaware State Museum, Wilmington, DE (about 1 hours drive from Philadelphia). (3) Libby Hartfield has offered use of the Mississippi State Natural History Museum in Jackson, Mississippi. (4) Chuck Lydeard has offered to host the meeting at the Univ. of Alabama conference center in Tuscaloosa, AL. (5) US Fish and Wildlife Service, NCTC, Sheperdstown, West Virginia.

Date: TENTATIVELY SET FOR MARCH 2004. If we hold the meeting at NCTC, the dates must be March 2-4, 2004. However, there are not enough rooms at the NCTC so attendees would be required to stay off-site. We will have to arrange the specific date depending on who host's the meeting.

Chuck Lydeard has told me that if we hold the meeting at the Univ. of Alabama - the participants will also be able to receive a "primer" course (pun intended) on phylogenetic sequencing and analysis with a little demonstration. Additionally, the folks at U of A will be happy to show us the computer morphometric analysis they are now using. Additionally a field trip to the Cahaba River could be planned, where you can see several federally listed snail spp. "in action". For several reasons, the U of A offer has my support, but I want to hear from you.

Thanks to all for your participation and input.

Paul D. Johnson
Research Scientist I
Tennessee Aquarium Research Institute
5385 Red Clay Road
Cohutta, GA 30710
Phone (706) 694-4419
Fax (706) 694-3957