Fourth quadrennial meeting, Tianjin 2010

First Business Meeting

The first business meeting was called to order by Secretary Paula Mitchell at 9:20 AM July 13, 2010 at the BioStation Conference Hall, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. Old business on the agenda included approval of the 2006 minutes and a report by President Ernst Heiss summarizing IHS accomplishments since the last meeting, including the transition of the website to a new server and website additions such as posted abstracts of the 2006 meeting presentations and tributes to deceased colleagues. We remembered those of our colleagues who have recently passed away -- Izya Kerzhner [May 2008], Michail (Mischa) Josifov [July 2008], Larry Rolston [November 2008], James Slater [November 2008], and Gordon Gross [June 2009]. The Nils Møller Andersen Award again continued to support young heteropterists for travel to the meeting, with five funded applicants in 2010; President Heiss expressed our deep gratitude to Annemarie Møller Andersen for her continued generosity.

President Heiss’ comments were followed by the Treasurer’s report. Rich Packauskas noted that the bank balance (as of 30 June 2010) was over $5,000 (precise amount = $5,280.92). This total represents a considerable increase over our funds balance in May 2006 ($2458.35), and includes dues that were received at the last meeting plus approximately $1500 transferred from an account held by previous IHS treasurer John Polhemus. However, Packauskas noted that virtually no dues money was collected from 2007-2010. The treasurer’s report was approved by the membership, and was followed by the Webmaster’s report, presented by Paula Mitchell standing in for David Rider. By 2006, a website transition was clearly becoming necessary, because the Smithsonian Institution server could no longer host the IHS. New webmaster David Rider, taking over from Tom Henry, accomplished the transition to North Dakota State University with all open-access files updated and transferred by February 2007. Members are encouraged to submit new material (photographs, tributes, recommended links, etc.) to the webmaster for posting. Membership and bibliographic database files still remain to be converted; this final aspect of the website transition awaits a decision on open vs. restricted access, appropriate format, and funding. New business was postponed until July 16, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:30.

Second Business Meeting

The second business meeting was called to order by Secretary Mitchell at 3 PM, July 16, 2010 at the BioStation Conference Hall, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. First item on the new business agenda was the location of our Fifth Quadrennial Meeting in 2014. Both Tom Henry (USA) and Jocelia Grazia (Brazil) had initially responded to President Heiss’ call for volunteers to organize the next meeting. However, Dr. Grazia subsequently offered to postpone the proposal of a Brazilian venue, stating by e-mail that she would be happy to host the Sixth Quadrennial meeting in Brazil if Tom Henry hosted the upcoming meeting in Washington, D.C. A slide show of the Smithsonian Institution complex of museums, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Washington, D.C. area was presented by Tom Henry, and the membership resoundingly approved the decision to meet there in 2014.

The second item of business was the selection of officers for 2010-2014. In the past, a complete slate of officers was presented by the Executive Committee to the membership for approval. This year, at the request of several members, the procedure was changed, and a formal, written-ballot election was held for the open post of President-elect. A voting member was defined as any heteropterist present who had either paid dues in the past or given a presentation at an IHS Quadrennial Meeting. The two candidates proposed by the Executive Committee were Wenjun Bu (Nankai University) and Christiane Weirauch (University of California Riverside); there were no further nominations from the floor. Wenjun Bu was elected, with ballots counted by Rich Packauskas and Wanzhi Cai. Other Executive Committee positions were either automatically filled or continuing, with the new slate of officers for 2010-2014 as follows:

Past President: Ernst Heiss
President: Gerasimos Cassis
President-Elect: Wenjun Bu
Secretary: Paula Levin Mitchell
Treasurer: Richard Packauskas
Editor/Webpage Manager: David Rider
Program Chair: Thomas Henry

The third item of new business related to the problem of dues. As noted by the Treasurer, very few dues payments were received after the Wageningen meeting, mainly due to the high cost of bank transfers from outside the USA. To streamline the process of dues collection, an annual invoice will be sent to members by the Treasurer, payment through Paypal will be explored as an alternative to bank transfers, and dues will be accepted by the Treasurer at all quadrennial meetings.  For EU members, Ernst Heiss volunteered to act as a centralized collection point for dues payment in euros, saving European members the cost of euro-to-dollar bank transfer fees. A dues increase (the first in 12 years) was announced; annual membership will remain $10 for students, but will rise to $20 for non-students in 2011. Life membership will remain at $250 (single lump-sum payment) until December 31, 2010 and then increase correspondingly to $500 on January 1, 2011. 

Finally, the webpage was discussed extensively. Suggestions from the Executive Committee regarding website offerings and benefits of membership were presented and ideas were solicited from the membership. The current version of the website is non-interactive, providing primarily historical information (e.g., past meetings, obituaries and tributes, photographs, and the Society’s bylaws). The Members Only section, formerly housing the bibliographic database and the annotated membership directory, is not presently operational. The bibliographic database, a cooperative effort with listings of members’ own publications and lifetime accumulations of literature citations contributed by many heteropteran specialists, was a significant member benefit in the years before Google and other search engines. The Executive Committee proposes to restore the bibliographic database, but as an open access offering rather than member restricted as before. An advisory committee (Berend Aukema and Tom Henry) has been appointed to assist the webmaster in restoring and updating this valuable resource.

The annotated membership directory provided visibility, and thus constituted another tangible member benefit. It was searchable by the public but password protected to add or change information. Webmaster Rider proposed (via e-mail) to replace the annotated membership directory with personal web pages for paid members, similar to those hosted on the Pentatomoidea website (except that IHS members in arrears with their dues would have their pages temporarily blocked). This would increase members’ professional information available online far beyond the limited search terms of the former directory. Gerry Cassis further suggested (also via e-mail) that we add laboratory web pages for “all the heteropteran labs in the world, highlighting PhD and postdoc opportunities”.  Money from dues would be allocated for the maintenance of the website by the webmaster/editor and to keep these pages updated via password protected access (hence the dues increase). Additional suggestions were received from the floor and after the meeting (Laurence Livermore, Pingping Chen, and Mallik Malipatil), including updated links and summaries of Heteroptera databases, a members’ only section devoted to requests for material, an RSS news feed and biannual on-line newsletter, a members’ only shop, a section for posing photo ID requests (with a members section separate from a possible public section) and expanded outreach to heteropterists working outside systematics.

The meeting concluded with closing comments from outgoing President Ernst Heiss, thanking all who participated in a most excellent meeting, with special recognition to the Executive Committee members, both candidates for the election, the Program Chair and meeting organizers, the section organizers, and the dedicated Nankai University graduate students who contributed to the spectacular success of the Fourth Quadrennial Meeting.  

Incoming President Gerry Cassis was unable to attend due to back injury, but sent an address (summarized by Paula Mitchell) thanking President Heiss and Program Chair Wenjun Bu and all his colleagues who helped with organization; contemplating the Society’s past and its future; remembering and toasting the contributions of our lost colleagues; and urging all meeting attendees, but especially the Chinese delegates, to attend the fifth Quadrennial meeting and forge further collaborations.

This final session of the business meeting adjourned at 4 PM.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith