The Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Governors and Officers

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Thursday, 9 April 1998

Robert Baker, Troy L. Best, Michael Bogan, Charles C. Carpenter, Jerry R. Choate, Brenda S. Clark, Salvador Contreras- Balderas, Robert C. Dowler, Anthony A. Echelle, Robert J. Edwards, Stanley F. Fox, Jennifer K. Frey, Meredeth J. Hamilton, Gary A. Heidt, Clark Hubbs, James E. Johnson, Michael L. Kennedy, Beth E. Leuck, Joseph Maness, Edie Marsh-Matthews, William J. Matthews, Karen McBee, David L. McNeely, Dwight W. Moore, Robert D. Owen, Gary D. Schnell, David J. Schmidly, Bruce G. Stewart, Caryn C.Vaughn, Paula S. Williamson, Terry L. Yates, Earl G. Zimmerman.

President Echelle called the meeting to order at 1300 MT with a quorum of Officers and Governors present.

Old Business was taken up first.

Mike Bogan and Terry Yates reported that 427 persons preregistered for the meeting, that 202 persons submitted abstracts and that they estimated that meeting attendance would be 475 - 500. The large number of abstracts necessitated five concurrent sessions.

The BOG approved the 1997 BOG minutes and the 1997 Business Meeting minutes as they appear in The Southwestern Naturalist 42(4), December 1997.

Treasurer Williamson reported 1997 income of $50,273 including $27,731 from dues, $5,734 from contributions and meeting proceeds ($1,000 was due to the Loren G. Hill Awards Fund), $15,627 from page charges, $136 from sale of back issues, $361 from royalties and $644 from interest on checking accounts. She reported expenses totaling $68,589 including $181 for returned checks; $4,225 for Treasurer's expenses (office help $3500, office expenses $248, mailing $477); editorial expenses of $670 ($300 for the index, $370 mailing); printing by Allen Press of 41(2), 41(3), 41(4), 42(1), 42(2) and 42(3) costs of $59,075; Wilks Awards of $250; Student Poster Awards of $150; Loren G. Hill Awards for student travel of $400; bonding insurance for three years of $547; tax preparation charges of $147; honoraria to speakers of $1000; ITS storage charges of $720; Biographics charge of $371 to prepare awards; $128 for refunds on back issues and subscriptions; and meeting expenses of $725. The checkbook balance at the year's beginning was $47,448, expenses exceeded income by $18,316 and $4,150 was transferred to the Trustees for investment. The checkbook balance ended the year at $24,982. Treasurer Williamson explained that the large excess of expenses over income was an artifact of the delay experienced in 1996 in getting issues to press and printed. Those issues were printed in 1997, resulting in higher expenses than normal, but the expenses were paid out of revenues carried over from 1996.

Treasurer Williamson also reported that membership on 1 April 1998 was down from membership in December 1997 (659 total members vs. 831) and that there were 47 new Life, Charter, and Regular, 37 new student, 1 new sustaining, 4 new family, 6 new gift and 10 new institutional memberships paid in 1997. New members were listed in the Treasurer's Report and were to be submitted for members' approval at the Business Meeting.

Williamson presented projected 1998 income of $50,500 as approved at the 1997 BOG meeting. Details of the 1998 budget and projected 1999 income and budget were left for "New Business."

Jerry Choate reported for the Trustees (Chair Choate, David Schmidly, Terry Yates) that: (1) Because 1997 was a good year in the stock market, SWAN assets increased in value by $41,448.57 to $199,679.20 from 31 December 1996 to 31 December 1997, or 26.2% including $2,150 in contributions; (2) market performance increased assets by 24.9%. Further growth has been experienced in 1998, and the Endowment Fund now totals about $225,000, up another 12.7% this year. Details of the investment activity of the Trustees and results thereof are contained in the Trustees written report. On a motion by Robert Baker and a second by Michael Kennedy the BOG approved a formal thank you to Jerry Choate and the Trustees for their work and success on behalf of the organization.

The BOG unanimously reappointed Jerry Choate to be a member of the Trustees.

Beth Leuck reported for the Budget Oversight Committee (Leuck, Phyllis Kennedy, William Baltosser, Robert Edwards) that the committee had examined the Trustees' records, the Treasurers' records and the current and proposed budgets, and found all aspects of the fiscal operation of the Association to be in good order. Leuck also reported that both the Trustees and the Treasurer were very cooperative with the committee. The committee did question the value of spending $720 per year to store back issues of The Southwestern Naturalist. The matter was held for later discussion. The committee also raised the question of timing of funds transfer from the treasury to the trustees. The BOG discussed the matter, and encouraged the Treasurer and Trustees to cooperate to ensure timely investment of funds and to maintain appropriate reserves to carry out the society's business.

Edie Marsh-Matthews gave the Managing Editor's report. She reported that in contrast to last year when the publication schedule had suffered, the schedule has been caught up and all issues of Volume 41 and 42 are published.

Some particular important points about Volume 42 include:

  1. With regard to publication of the symposia held at the Fayetteville meeting: Bill Van Auken and Paula Williamson edited the manuscripts for the symposia and their speedy and careful work made timely publication possible. Marsh-Matthews thanked these two ad-hoc editors.
  2. Turn around time for manuscripts (from first receipt to publication) was 15 months, exacerbated by the Canadian mail strike that occurred last year.
  3. Volume 42 included 6 manuscripts with the corresponding author's address in Mexico.
  4. Volume 43(1) was in galley on 20 March and includes a Spanish abstract for each paper, the first issue for which that is true. The issue also includes revised guidelines for manuscript preparation. The guidelines are posted on the SWAN homepage. Volume 43(2) was in preparation on 20 March and timely publication is expected.
  5. Forty-eight percent of papers published in Volume 42 were with page charges paid.
  6. In 1997 there were 193 manuscripts received; as of 20 March 60 of them had been rejected, with some reviews still incomplete. Thirteen of the manuscripts received had Mexican addresses for the corresponding author.

The Managing Editor then reported on the SWAN homepage that has been maintained by José Pedro do Amaral, a graduate student at The University of Oklahoma. The page may be accessed at The homepage is functioning well and has been much used. New materials in the page include "Guidelines for Preparation of Manuscripts," a list of Charter Patrons, links to other organizations' pages, and a link to the Annual Meeting website. Marsh-Matthews thanked do Amaral for his hard work in producing and maintaining the web site.

Next Marsh-Matthews reported on disposition of money from the editor's account; $2,054.64 was spent from January 1996 through December 1996 for supplies, copying, communications, postage, and stationary, and $2026.38 remained in the account for current year expenses. UPS charges for shipping to Allen Press are paid directly from the Treasurer's accounts.

Marsh-Matthews also reported that the contract with Allen Press for journal publication is being negotiated for renewal and that contract terms are expected to be nearly the same as now, with a slight increase in labor costs and a small decrease in the cost of materials through the year 2000.

Next Marsh-Matthews reported that she has asked to be replaced as Managing Editor of The Southwestern Naturalist, and that Karen McBee of Oklahoma State University has agreed to take the position. Another recommended editorial change includes David Edds of Emporia State University replacing Bruce De Marais as Associate Editor for Fishes. These changes were to be considered by the BOG later in the meeting. The outgoing Managing Editor also thanked Bruce DeMarais, Bill Van Auken, Troy Baird, Aurelio Ramirez-Bautista, Steve Cook, Caryn Vaughn, and William J. Matthews for their service in editorial capacities during the past year. With the exception of DeMarais who resigned as an Associate Editor, these persons served as ad hoc or as Acting Associate Editors. She also thanked Jenni Thompson, Editorial Assistant, and Sylvia Montero, translator, for their assistance, and noted that Jan Thompson has been hired as an Editorial Assistant.

A query from Stanley Fox as to what fraction of authors ask for assistance in translation brought the response of about 10%.

The BOG thanked Edie Marsh-Matthews for her service and for the report.

William J. Matthews reported for the Honors Committee (Matthews, Gary Schnell, Alice Echelle, and Gary Heidt) that nominations were received for the W. Frank Blair Eminent Naturalist Award, the Donald W. Tinkle Research Excellence Award and the Robert L. Packard Outstanding Educator Award, complete with curriculum vitae, nomination letters and support letters, and he moved as committee chair that one nomination for each award be approved without identification so that the award could be announced at the Business Meeting, as is traditional. The motion was seconded and passed.

Matthews also announced that the committee received no nominations for the Service Award, and reminded the BOG that the award, just approved last year, differs from the other awards in requiring membership and is for service to the organization. He encouraged members to consider making nominations for future awards.

Caryn Vaughn reported for the Conservation Committee (Pat Mehlhop, David Hafner, Rocky Ward, Steve Sheffield and Cheri Jones) that the committee is in need of a new chair, because she is no longer able to serve in that capacity. She then reported that the committee reviewed The Southwestern Naturalist 41 (3 and 4) and 42 (1 and 2) to select a nominee for the George Mitsch Sutton Award for Conservation Research for 1997. The committee selected, and Echelle asked acceptance of the committee's selection, "Factors Limiting the Distributions of Native Fishes in the Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona" (The Southwestern Naturalist, 41:378-387). Mike Kennedy seconded Vaughn's motion for acceptance, and it was unanimously approved. President Echelle thanked Vaughn and the committee for the BOG.

President Echelle summarized the written report he received from the Public Relations and Publicity Commttee (Chair Robert S. Sikes, Stan Gehrt, Meredeth J. Hamilton, Derrick W. Sugg, Renn Tumlison, and Kathryn Vaughn. The committee publicized the Packard and Blair awards given last year by announcements to appropriate media outlets and planned to make similar announcements this year. The committee also provided information to 358 recipients of the annual meeting announcement concerning the association's history and activities to better inform individuals and institutions about The Society. The committee plans to continue these activities.

Joseph Maness reported for the Membership Committee (Maness, Brenda Clark, Dwight Moore, and Earl Zimmerman) that (1) a membership brochure developed by the previous Membership Committee is being revised, (2) a recruitment letter to be sent to non-member authors beginning with the first issue of 1998 has been developed and (3) SWAN has 40 free memberships to award to students thanks to a gift from Loren Hill. Ten of the free memberships will be awarded to Latin American students and the recipients will be identified by the International Relations Committee. The committee asked for members to nominate additional students to receive memberships, and explained how the nominations could be made. Maness asked members to nominate students who are likely to maintain their memberships and association activities in the future, and stated that the first 30 nominees will receive the memberships. The committee also recommended that the association maintain the practice of awarding free student memberships in the future.

Maness also announced that the committee has designated a special area for student interaction at the evening social gathering, recommended future more formalized student social activities, and recommended continuation of field trips, which were resumed at this year's meeting after a lapse. The committee noted that the meeting has increased in size such that field trips at times earlier or later than presently scheduled might be considered.

There was considerable discussion of the new student membership awards and whether the association should continue the awards in the future. Matthews moved and Kennedy seconded that the BOG continue the practice of awarding 40 free student memberships in future years. The motion was tabled until the budget discussion under "New Business." Various other strategies for stimulating gifts and new memberships also were discussed.

Echelle as Acting Chair of the Development Committee (Robert Baker, David Heins, Jerry Johnson, Karen McBee, David Schmidly, Kathryn Vaughn, and ex officio members Jerry Choate and Paula Williamson) reported that the committee has developed a brochure to solicit gifts and to explain how gifts may be made. He also asked for a volunteer to chair the committee. The text for the brochure was circulated to the committee, and considerable discussion of how to disseminate it followed. The discussion was postponed until consideration of the budget under "New Business" at Jerry Choate's suggestion.

Troy Best reported for the Student Awards Committee that the committee received 12 complete entries for the Wilks award and that four finalists were scheduled to present papers at the meetings on Friday. He also reported that the committee received 17 entries for the Student Poster Award, and that entries for both awards represent the academic and geographic diversity of the association.

There was no report from the Historian, and the BOG discussed the role of the Historian in the society. Matthews clarified that, and reminded the BOG that The University of Oklahoma archives our materials. Charles Carpenter reported that Paul Buck of The University of Tulsa has transmitted photographs (courtesy of Harriet Barkley and Albert P. "Pat" Blair, charter members of the society) of the first annual meeting of The Southwestern Association of Naturalists held at The University of Oklahoma Biological Station in 1953. Dr. Carpenter asked for help in identifying images of attendees.

President Echelle announced a 15 minute break at 1600 MT. The meeting resumed at 1615 MT.

Robert Dowler reported that back issues of The Southwestern Naturalist will be moved from Southwest Texas State University to Angelo State University and that space is available there to store the issues at no cost to the association. Cost of the move will be paid out of the 1998 budget for storage, and the storage item will be deleted from future budgets. He also reported that plans to take issues to Monterey for free distribution to Latin American members and institutions are continuing, and there followed discussion about logistics.

Paula Williamson reported for the Ad Hoc Committee for Botanical Concerns in SWAN (Ed Leuck, Bill Van Auken, Williamson) that there has been much renewed interest by botanists in SWAN activities and in publishing in the journal due to the two botanical symposia at the 1997 meeting of The Society in Little Rock and the joint 1998 meeting in Albuquerque with the Botanical Society of America, Mid-continent Section. The number of members reporting botany as their primary interest doubled from 1995 to 1997, while membership in the association remained nearly constant.

Michael Kennedy reported for the Long-range Planning Committee (Kennedy, Jerry Choate, Bryon Clark, Anthony Echelle, Robert Edwards, Caryn Vaughn) that the committee was in organizational and planning stages. Matthews reminded the committee and the BOG that guidance for the committee is available in last year's survey of the BOG, which identified perceived needs and directions. President Echelle will see that the committee has the survey results.

The matter of the brochure proposed by the Development Committee was raised again, and Clark Hubbs moved and Salvadór Contreras-Balderas seconded that the brochure be included in the annual meeting announcement and call for papers, and mailed separately to particular identified prospective donors. The motion passed.

President Echelle brought up the need to improve the Managing Editor's office by staffing and equipment. There was a lengthy discussion of exactly what the needs were and how to fund them, following which the BOG deferred action until the budget discussion.

The BOG then took up New Business.

Paula Williamson reported on the proposed 1998 and 1999 budgets. Jerry Choate moved approval of the 1999 budget, Robert Baker seconded. The BOG made minor amendments to income and expenditures in the proposal for 1999.

Matthews moved and Choate seconded increasing the budget for Loren G. Hill Student Membership Awards from $500 to $600 and to plan to carry the amount in the budget. These are the awards to provide free first year membership to students nominated by members. The motion passed.

A major point of discussion was whether to include in the budget an amount to buy a new computer and related equipment and supplies for the Managing Editor's office. Gary Schnell moved and Mike Kennedy seconded that the BOG authorize the Managing Editor to buy a computer and related equipment and supplies with up to $3,500 of unspent money from 1997 and 1998 budgets for the office, and to include $5,500 in the 1999 budget for the editor's office to pay for editorial assistance ($4,000) and expenses ($1,500). Motion passed.

Schnell moved and Matthews seconded to include $500 in the budget to pay expenses of maintaining the web page. Discussion followed, in which it was clarified that Edie Marsh-Matthews and the University of Oklahoma Biological Survey would continue to provide space and oversight as announced last year, but that a person with web-site expertise was needed to continue the actual work, since José Pedro do Amaral can no longer volunteer. Motion passed.

Williamson recommended increasing the amount rebated from endowment proceeds to $4,150 to balance the budget. A recommended balanced budget for 1999 of $54,300 was approved by the BOG.

The Board reappointed David McNeely Secretary and Paula Williamson Treasurer through the coming year. Karen McBee was appointed to replace Edie Marsh-Matthews as Managing Editor. Ron Van Den Bussche was appointed as Program Director. Lourdes Lozano Vilano was appointed Chair of the Local Committee for the 1999 meeting in Monterey. David Edds was appointed Associate Editor for Fishes.

Karen McBee reported for the Program Committee (George Baumgardner, Beth Leuck, Karen McBee, Dwight Moore, Lynn Robbins, David Saugey) that the 1999 meeting is set for Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, the 2000 meeting for Denton, Texas and the committee solicits meeting sites for the years beyond.

Edie Marsh-Matthews reported on a proposed symposium on Natural History in the 21st Century to take place at the Denton meeting. Clark Hubbs moved, and Gary Schnell seconded that the BOG endorse her plans to solicit funding for the project from national sources.

Bruce Stewart reported for the International Relations Committee (Stewart, Robert Owen, Salvador Contreras-Balderas) on the committee's efforts to increase society activity and visibility in Latin America. He also informed the BOG on logistics of travel in Mexico and presented encouragement to members to establish relations with institutions and individuals outside their own countries.

Salvador Contreras-Balderas reported on plans for the 1999 meeting and provided assurance of a good meeting and a good time to be had in Monterrey.

The 1999 BOG meeting adjourned at 1736 MT.

Respectfully Submitted by David L. McNeely, Secretary.

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