wbsThe 32nd Annual Meeting of the Waterbird Society was held on South Padre Island (SPI), Texas, 4-7 November 2008 and was attended by 175 registered participants. There were 147 abstracts submitted for the conference, 39 of which were posters and 108 which were oral presentation; 46 (31.3%) of the abstracts were submitted by students. Click here to view the meeting program or a full list of abstracts. The meeting venue was the SPI Convention Centre and the La Quinte motel, a late substitution for the Sheridan Hotel which had been damaged by Hurricane Dolly.

There were two Plenary Presentations:How Climate Change Might Impact Arctic-breeding Shorebirds: Evidence from Short and Long-term Studies” by Dr. Erica Nol and “Wild Whooping Cranes: Current and Emerging Conservation Issues” By Dr. Felipe Chavez-Ramirez. Student Awards: the Best Student Paper was awarded to Sean Murphy (U.S.) for “Investigating the Demographics of a Shorebird Near the Northern Limit of its Range“. There were three Noteworthy Student Papers: Paul Smith (Canada) for “Predator Abundance and Incubation Behavior Explain Interannual and Interspecific Patterns of Nest Success for Arctic Breeding Shorebirds“, Melissa Pink (Canada) for “The Role of Changing Aquatic Ecosystems on Avian Predators: Do Forster’s Terns Respond to the Aquatic Environment As Well As to Changes in Prey Abundance?” and Elizabeth Bates (U.S.) for “Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Reddish Egrets in Texas“. The Best Student Poster was awarded to Rafael Ordonez (U.S.) for “Simple and Inexpensive Devices to Measure Heart Rate of Incubating Birds“. The Noteworthy Student Poster was awarded to Jeff R. Troy (U.S.) for “Reduction in the Breeding Range of Newell’s Shearwaters, Puffinus newelli, on Kauai, Hawaii: Evidence and Insights from Field Surveys and GIS Modelling“.

There were daily field trips in the area as well as a Saturday evening banquet and Silent Auction featuring a variety of unique ornithological items. Next year’s meeting is scheduled for Cape May, New Jersey, on 4-7 November 2009. Click here for more information about the next annual meeting.