I thought I might share the news that one of our colleagues seems to be enjoying success with his survey of the freshwater gastropods of Mississippi, a poorly-known state much in need of attention.
Doug Shelton (Alabama Malacological Research Center) was among our first volunteers for the FWGNA project. He wrote me (8/98) "I would welcome the opportunity to participate in your project at any level where I might be useful." At the time of the Chattanooga meeting (3/99), he indicated that he was working on several proposals to survey the freshwater mollusk faunas of southern states.
I was (of course) most pleased to write a letter of support for his proposal to the Mississippi Wildlife Heritage Department on 12/99. And in January of this year Doug was awarded a modest (and renewable!) grant. He wrote me (6/29):
I just want to let you know that I have begun the survey work for freshwater gastropods in the state of Mississippi. The field work is going well. It is exciting to do some real pioneer work here. So far, it is the Viviparids that appear to be the most common. They are abundant by the thousands at sitesI have visited, while the Planorbids and others gastropods are represented by just a few individuals.
Thanks for your support!
Doug will be following the FWGNA data format, depositing vouchers in museums, and in general doing everything right. I am personally inspired by his attitude. The freshwater gastropods of North America project might sometimes seem to be an overwhelming task, but it can be divided into many pieces of a much more manageable size. If any of you wants to chop yourself off a chunk, let me know how I can help!
P.S. - Join me in welcoming new members Andy Turner (Clarion College), Greg Pond (Kentucky Division of Water), Saxon Sharpe (Desert Research Institute), Isabelle Picard (a student at the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec), and Jay Cordeiro (American Museum of Natural History). Such a diversity of backgrounds! Our roster now stands at 90.