Dr. Rob Dillon, Coordinator

Tuesday, February 25, 2003


To the FWGNA group,

I recently received an updated Gastropod Committee roster from Rita Villella Bumgardner, the secretary of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, and was pleased to note seven new names. Welcome all. This brings the total size of the FWGNA group up to 131.

I'm often asked about the relationship between the Freshwater Gastropods of North America Project (FWGNA), the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS), and the American Malacological Society (AMS). And it occurs to me that this might be a good time to review.

The FWGNA project was born at an informal meeting of the AMS in Washington DC in July of 1998. I don't think any of us present at the Washington meeting realized that, just four months previously, the National Native Mussel Coordinating Committee had voted to form a society, the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, and to broaden its interests to include gastropod conservation. In November of 1998 an FMCS group drafted bylaws which included a Gastropod Committee, with yours truly as Chairman pro tem. The FWGNA project then became an activity of the FMCS.

Our group has met twice with the FMCS (Chattanooga 1999 and Pittsburgh 2001) and again with the AMS this summer in Charleston, during my term as AMS President.

Here's the bottom line. You are not required to belong to any society or pay any dues to join the FWGNA group. Membership in the FWGNA is completely free. But if you want to go to the FWGNA meetings, practically speaking, you'll need to pay some dues somewhere.

The FMCS would certainly be a good choice! Approximately 37% of our 131 members belong to the FMCS, receive the (really first-rate) newsletter Ellipsaria, and look forward to a regular cycle of symposia and workshops. And as all of you should be aware, the next FMCS symposium is right around the corner, March 16 - 19, at the Sheraton Hotel in Durham, NC. Our FWGNA meeting is scheduled for noon on Monday the 17th.

Let me conclude with a bit of additional bookkeeping. Three folks on the recipient list of this message are not actually new members, but rather old members who changed email addresses and fell off my list. Another five of you are receiving this message at a new address. (That is, the address on my fresh FMCS roster looked more current than the one in my address book, so I changed it.) So please email me directly if you want to change your email address - my updates from the FMCS Secretary are annual at best.

Keep in touch, and I hope to see lots of you in Durham,

P.S. - I couldn't help but notice that a batch of you are a year (or more) behind in your FMCS dues! Come on, ladies and gentlemen, pay up! Email me if you're unsure of your status.