The Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Governors and Officers
Norman, Oklahoma
Thursday, 17 April 2003

Present: John T. Baccus, Troy Baird, Troy L. Best, Robert B. Channell, Brenda S. Clark, Jerry R. Choate, Carl W. Dick, Mark Eberle, Anthony A. Echelle, David Edds, Stanley F. Fox, Meredith J. Hamilton, Dan Hough, Michael L. Kennedy, Phyllis Kennedy, Edie Marsh-Matthews, Karen McBee, David L. McNeely, Robert D. Owen, Lourdes Romero-Almarez, Cornelio Sánchez-Hernandez, Bruce G. Stewart, Philip D. Sudman, O.W. Van Auken, Ronald A. Van Den Bussche, Caryn C. Vaughn, Paula S. Williamson, Earl G. Zimmerman.

President Williamson called the meeting to order at 1:37 p.m. with a quorum of Officers and Governors present.  The BOG approved the Minutes of the Board of Governors and Officers and the Minutes of the Business Meeting for the 49th Annual Meeting at Cuernavaca as printed in The Southwestern Naturalist: 47(4) of December 2002.

Treasurer Brenda Clark reported 2002 income of $71,742 (including $41,056 from dues, $6,197 from contributions and meeting proceeds; $22,173 from page charges; $1,002 from sale of back issues; $373 from earned interest; and $941 transferred from the old Back Issues account).

The Treasurer and the BOG thanked the 18 persons who made contributions during 2002 to various SWAN accounts.

Clark reported expenses totaling $56,267 including $3,718 for Treasurer's expenses (office help $3,000, office supplies $35, postage $433, printing $250); editorial expenses of $5,687 (office help $4,000, mailing $582, indexing $300, Spanish abstracts $300, printing $415, office supplies $90); printing The Southwestern Naturalist $44,465; Wilks Awards $1000; Hubbs Student Poster Award $300; CPA charges (tax return preparation) $200; merchant card fees $386; back issue expenses, and returned checks and other bank fees $99.  The checkbook balance at the year 's beginning was $16,592; income exceeded expenses by $15,475; $3,771 was transferred to the Trustees for investment; the checkbook balance ended the year at $28,296.

Treasurer Clark also reported that membership as of December 2002 (including 100 new members) numbered 1,232.  New members' names were listed in the Treasurer's Report and were to be submitted for members' approval at the Business Meeting.  Clark further reported that the primary interests of members were: mammals 379, amphibians and reptiles 305, birds 241, invertebrates 191, plants 183, and fishes 172.

Clark presented projected 2003 income and expenses each at $76,500 as approved at the 2002 BOG meeting.  Details of the 2003 budget and proposed 2004 income and budget were left for New Business.  The BOG thanked Clark for her report and her work for SWAN.

Jerry Choate reported for the Trustees (Chair Choate, David Schmidly, Terry Yates) that: (1) In 2002 SWAN assets decreased in value by $44,669.48 to $267,966.90 from 31 December 2001 to 31 December 2002, or 14.3%  (2) 2002 was the third consecutive year that actual market performance for SWAN assets was negative, and (3) considering overall market performance as represented by various indices that ranged from  -15.0% to – 22.1%, SWAN investments performed relatively well due to effective diversification among investment classes. Details of the investment activity of the Trustees and results thereof are contained in the Trustees written report.  The BOG thanked Choate and the Trustees for their work and success on behalf of the organization.

Choate also reported that Trustee David Schmidly’s term is completed, that Schmidly is willing to continue to serve but that he (Schmidly) recommends that the BOG appoint another person considering Schmidly’s new responsibilities in Oklahoma. Choate recommended Hugh Genoways to replace Schmidly. Action on the recommendation was to take place in New Business.

The BOG thanked Choate and the Trustees for their work on behalf of SWAN, and separately thanked Schmidly for his contribution as one of the original SWAN Trustees.

Chair Phyllis Kennedy reported for the Budget Oversight Committee (Chair Kennedy, William H. Baltosser, Bryan R. Chapman, Robert J. Edwards, Beth Leuck) 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.  The committee did observe that costs of manuscript revisions continue to be high, despite electronic processing of materials.

Managing Editor Mark Eberle reported that 47(3) through 48(2) of The Southwestern Naturalist were successfully published with no delays, but that the Index for Volume 47 appeared in 48(1) rather than 47(4). Eberle also reported substantial progress (and cost savings) in electronic processing of manuscripts, that the Instructions for Authors has been updated and is now in a printable pdf file, and that billing for page charges now accompanies galley proofs. Details regarding subject area of manuscripts submitted, accepted, and published, and information on pages paid by authors or not were included in Eberle’s written report. Eberle further reported that David Propst, Associate Editor for Fishes, and Loren Ammerman, Associate Editor for Mammals have asked to be replaced. Eberle recommended Kevin Bestgen of Colorado State University to replace Propst, and reported that he is looking for a replacement for Ammerman. Eberle also recommended dividing the responsibilities of the Associate Editor for Amphibians and Reptiles between the two taxa, and recommended that current Associate Editor for Amphibians and Reptiles Geoff Carpenter continue as Associate Editor for Reptiles. BOG action on the Associate Editor positions was to take place in New Business.

Phyllis Kennedy asked if it would be possible for Allen Press to provide page costs to the Managing Editor so that the Managing Editor could more closely track expenses to avoid exceeding the budgeted amount. Eberle and Treasurer Clark agreed to ask Allen Press to copy page charges invoices to the Editor.
The BOG thanked Eberle and the editorial staff for their work and for the Managing Editor’s report.

Troy L. Best reported for the Honors Committee  (Chair Best, Alice F. Echelle, Gary A. Heidt, William J. Matthews, Gary D. Schnell) that the committee was nominating persons to receive the W. Frank Blair Eminent Naturalist Award, the Donald W. Tinkle Research Excellence Award, and the Robert L. Packard Outstanding Educator Award based on nominations that the committee received, complete with curriculum vitae, nomination letters, and support letters, and he moved as committee chair that the nominations 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.

Robert B. Channell reported for the Conservation Committee (Chair Channell, Bryan D. Carver, Jennifer K. Frey, David J. Hafner, Jim Ott, Steven Sheffield, Caryn C. Vaughn) that the committee reviewed The Southwestern Naturalist 46(3), 46(4), 47(1), and 47(2) and selected a nominee for the George M. Sutton Award for Conservation Research.  The committee chose, “Trends in Abundance of Grassland Birds Following a Spring Prescribed Burn in Southern Arizona,” published in The Southwestern Naturalist 47:289-292, authored by C. Kirkpatrick, S. DeStefano, R.W. Mannan, and J. Lloyd.  The Board previously had approved this nomination by mail ballot, and President Williamson had notified the authors of the award to be given at the annual banquet.

Channell asked if it is possible for the Conservation Committee to become more proactive concerning specific conservation issues, and for the society to respond to issues. Discussion followed, but no action was taken.

Channell also reported that Caryn Vaughn has resigned from the Conservation Committee after long, dedicated service, including as chair. The committee nominated Jeff Kelly for the vacancy, a position that the President appoints.

Chair Edie Marsh-Matthews reported for the Wilks Award Committee that 5 abstracts were received and reviewed, and that all 5 were selected as finalists for presentation at the Plenary Session.  The winner was to be announced and would receive the award from Charles Carpenter, an original SWAN member, at the banquet on Saturday after judging by a panel of 3 judges.  Marsh-Matthews also announced that 21 posters were entered in the Clark Hubbs Student Poster Competition, and the awards for that competition were to be presented by Clark Hubbs at the banquet.

Marsh-Matthews then reported that 18 students submitted proposals for the Howard McCarley Student Research Award, and that judges Robert J. Edwards, Jerry Johnson, and Michael Kennedy were evaluating the proposals. Five were to be selected and Marian McCarley was to present the awards at the banquet on Saturday.

Marsh-Matthews informed the BOG that formal guidelines and application procedures for student awards have now been developed and published. The BOG thanked Marsh-Matthew’s for hers and the committee’s work.

President Williamson provided the Public Relations and Publicity Committee’s written report (Chair Robert S. Sikes, Stan Gehrt, Meredith J. Hamilton, Renn Tumlison, and Kathryn Vaughn).  The committee stated that through an oversight, awards were not announced in media last year, but that announcements for last year’s recipients and recipients named this year will be sent to appropriate media outlets this year.

Philip D. Sudman reported for the Membership Committee  (Chair Sudman, Bryon K. Clark, Joseph D. Maness, Dwight W. Moore, Miguel A. Mora, and Christopher M. Taylor) that the committee has developed a new membership brochure, that 18 free student memberships were awarded during or after the Cuernavaca meeting, and that lapsed members were being reminded to renew, including those who received free student memberships. He further reported that 10 of the 16 students receiving free memberships last year have renewed and he recommended that the BOG continue this program.

A motion to offer 30 free student memberships this year was seconded and approved by voice vote.

The BOG thanked Sudman and the committee for the efforts on behalf of SWAN membership.

John T. Baccus reported for the Development Committee (Baccus, Robert J. Baker, David Heins, Jerry D. Johnson, David J. Schmidly, Kathryn Vaughn, Jerry Choate (ex officio), and Brenda S. Clark (ex officio)). Baccus’s report was based on his experience on the national endowment committee of The Wildlife Society, and it outlined a detailed plan for raising endowment funds. President Williamson encouraged the committee to continue its work. The BOG encouraged the committee to consider and include in its plans how funds resulting from their effort would be used.

The BOG thanked Baccus and the committee.

Chair Ronald A. Van Den Bussche reported for the Program Committee (Van Den Bussche, Salvador Contreras-Balderas, Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath, William J. Matthews, O.W. Van Auken) that planning is well underway for the 2004 meeting at The University of Texas at San Antonio, and that hosts are being sought for 2005 and beyond.

Van Den Bussche also reported that work is continuing on updating the procedural manual for meetings.

Historian Meredith J. Hamilton reported that two boxes of materials from 1974-1985 from Paul Buck were added to the Archives recently. Hamilton also queried the BOG concerning materials to be placed in the Archives. It was BOG consensus that all materials related to the society should be included.

Co-chair Bruce Stewart reported for the ad hoc International Relations Committee (Stewart, Co-chair Salvador Contreras-Balderas, Robert J. Edwards, Stanley F. Fox, Topiltzin Contreras-MacBeath, Robert D. Owen) that the committee is prepared to help the society in any way that it can.

Robert D. Owen reported for the ad hoc Cross-Border Affairs Committee (Owen, Stanley F. Fox, Michael L. Kennedy, Celia López González, M. de Lourdes Romero-Almaraz, Bruce Stewart) that the committee developed guidelines for student travel awards applications and selection, publicized the awards, received applications from 20 students, and funded all of them (19 accepted the awards).

Owen then raised an issue concerning difficulty of foreign SWAN participants receiving visas in a timely manner for travel to the U.S. He related how SWAN had assisted some of the participants, but that some persons who had hoped to attend failed to receive a visa in time, including one BOG member. There was considerable discussion of how SWAN could help in the future, with the BOG agreeing that the same methods that were used this year should be continued, together with encouragement to participants to submit all needed materials early. Several BOG members noted that travel of foreign meeting participants to the U.S. has become unduly difficult.

The Cross-Border Affairs Committee made three resolutions as follows:

  1. To include $10,000 in the 2003 budget for Student Travel Awards for the 2004 meeting. As a budget item, this was left for New Business.

  1. To establish the BOG intent to continue the Student Travel Awards program for five years in order to fund over 100 students in total, most of them from areas distant from the meeting site and not well represented in SWAN membership or meeting attendance. The motion was seconded and approved by voice vote.

  1. To establish the BOG intent to make a strong effort to seek and accept an invitation to meet within Mexico again, within the next five years. The committee accepted a friendly amendment to change Mexico to Latin America; the motion was seconded and approved by voice vote.

At 3:25 p.m. President Williamson announced a recess. The BOG reconvened at 3:55 p.m.

Caryn C. Vaughn reported for the ad hoc Web Site Copmmittee (Chair Vaughn, Brenda S. Clark, Stanley F. Fox, Karen McBee, Carrie K. Preite), that the web site is now being maintained by the Oklahoma Biological Survey and that Daniel J. Hough is Web-Master. Hough advised the BOG that he can set up electronic voting and other matters so that they work very well should the society choose. Karen McBee asked to be removed from the committee, and suggested that Managing Editor Mark Eberle replace her. Eberle and President Williamson agreed.

President Williamson summarized the written report provided by Chair Robert C. Dowler of the ad hoc Committee on Disposal of Back Issues of the SWN (Dowler, Brenda S. Clark, Celia López-González, Edie Marsh-Matthews) The committee has continued to successfully sell and distribute full sets, individual issues, and photocopies of individual articles of The Southwestern Naturalist. The committee has been able to do its task at minimal cost, thanks to donated storage space and logistical support from Angelo State University. The committee and the BOG thanked Brandy Martin and Amy Bishop, undergraduate assistants at Angelo State, who did much of the actual work.

Carl W. Dick, Chair, reported for the ad hoc Student Advisory Committee (Dick, Miguel Angel Leon Galvan, Lisa A. McWilliams, H. George Wang, Sarah E. Weyandt). First Dick thanked the BOG and President Williamson for SWAN support to students. Dick then detailed the activities of the committee, including support of a student gathering at the meeting to organize student members and attendees so as to promote student participation and special activities such as workshops for students.

Michael L. Kennedy reported for the ad hoc Long Range Planning Committee (Chair Kennedy, Jerry R. Choate, Bryon K. Clark, Salvador Contreras-Balderas, Anthony A. Echelle, Robert J. Edwards, Celia López-González, Edie Marsh-Matthews, Dwight W. Moore, O.W. Van Auken, Caryn C. Vaughn) that:

  1. Most committee members and those society members who were polled opposed changing the journal's name;

  2. Most committee members and those society members who were polled supported adding a map and wording on the journal cover that would better convey the geographic range of the society’s interest and activity. The committee provided examples of what might be used;
  3. Most committee members and those society members who were polled did not support changing the annual meeting from its traditional April dates.

Discussion of the above issues resulted in President Williamson polling the BOG as to their support for (1) a map, and (2) wording to reflect the international nature of the society on the cover of The Southwestern Naturalist. A minority supported the map, a majority the wording to reflect the international nature of the society.

The ad hoc 50th Anniversary Committee gave no report. Its business being concluded, President Williamson disbanded the committee. The BOG thanked the committee for its service.

William J. Matthews reported for the Local Committee that 350 persons were registered for the meeting as of 2:00 p.m., and he thanked all members of the Local Committee and the University of Oklahoma Conference Services personnel, especially Amy Patterson and Debbie Corley, for their successful work on SWAN’s behalf.

President Williamson then took up Old Business.

Mark Eberle reported that the recently approved constitutional amendments have been published. Eberle also recommended that SWAN publish the constitution in Spanish, but that he has no means to get it translated and published free. M. de Lourdes Romero-Almarez volunteered to translate the constitution, and Stanley F. Fox volunteered to review the translation, providing a very competent team for this important task.

Old Business being concluded, President Williamson took up New Business:

Following a motion and a second to do so, Brenda S. Clark was reappointed as Treasurer, David L. McNeely was reappointed as Secretary, and Ronald A. Van Den Bussche was reappointed as Program Committee Chair. Following a motion and a second, Hugh Genoways was appointed to replace outgoing Trustee David Schmidly, who had asked to be relieved of serving again.

Mark Eberle had earlier nominated Kevin Bestgen to be Associate Editor for Fishes. The nomination was seconded and approved. Eberle had also moved to divide the Associate Editorship for Amphibians and Reptiles into separate positions for each of the two taxa, and for Geoff Carpenter to continue as Associate Editor for Reptiles, with an Associate Editor for Amphibians to be named later. The motion was seconded and approved.

Discussion of Associate Editorships followed, with some sentiment expressed for appointing Associate Editors from outside the U.S.

The BOG thanked retiring Associate Editors Ammerman and Propst for their service to SWAN.

Edie Marsh-Matthews reported on the state of electronic scholarly publication, and particularly the organization called Bio One, which electronically publishes via Allen Press. The Southwestern Naturalist could be published through this consortium, as part of a database marketed to libraries. Consortium members share the proceeds. To participate, the society would need to join the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), for a fee of $100 per year. Discussion resulted in a motion from Edie Marsh-Matthews that the society:

  1. Join the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and

  2. Join the Bio One consortium.

The motion was seconded and approved.

Jerry Choate reported on the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellows program, which supports young scientists with fellowships to interact with news media. Choate moved that SWAN express interest to the AAAS in the possibility of participating with other societies to jointly support a fellow. The motion was seconded and approved.

O. W. Van Auken reported for the Local Committee for the 2004 meeting in San Antonio regarding preparations and arrangements. The meeting will be at the Raddison Hotel conveniently located in downtown San Antonio. Van Auken provided information on the local natural environment, especially the Edward’s Plateau, and the cultural environment of San Antonio. He further reported that the meeting will coincide with the Fiesta Texas celebration, that costs will be similar to this year’s costs, and that there will be meeting field trips. He also stated that all meeting oral presentations will use Power Point®.

The BOG thanked Van Auken and the members of the Local Committee for work in preparation of UT San Antonio hosting the 2004 meeting.

Brenda S. Clark had provided a written report on the 2003 and proposed 2004 budgets. There was a motion for approval, a second, and discussion followed. Clark answered several questions concerning specific items in the budget.  Amendments were offered, seconded, and passed for the following adjustments to the 2004 budget proposal:

Under Projected Income

  1. The item "Dues" was increased from $41,000 to $46,000.

  2. "Page Charges" was increased from $24,000 to $29,000.
  3. "Back Issues Sales" was increased from $1,000 to $1,100.
  4. "Total Income" was increased from $78,000 to $88,100.

Under the Proposed Budget

  1. "Journal Printing and Postage" was increased from $48,000 to $58,000.

  2. A new line item, "AIBS Membership", was added, the amount being $100.
  3. "Total Expenses" was increased from $78,000 to $88,100.

The BOG approved a balanced budget of $88,100 to be presented to the membership at the Annual Business Meeting.  The BOG then thanked Clark for her work as Treasurer.

The 2003 BOG meeting adjourned at 5:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
David L. McNeely