SPNHC 2015 30th Annual Meeting and Gala Celebration

SPNHC 2015 30th Annual Meeting and Gala Celebration

Making Natural History Collections Accessible through
New and Innovative Approaches and Partnerships

May 17, 2015 to May 23, 2015

Register.  If you haven’t already, make plans now to attend the 2015 SPNHC 30th Annual Meeting and Gala Celebration hosted by the Florida Museum of Natural History.  Information on the conference can be found at the 2015 SPNHC annual meeting page, http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/index.php/spnhc2015/home/.

Fieldtrips.  The meeting will kick off Monday, May 18, with four fieldtrips: (1) Experience the birds and beauty of the Ocala National Forest and Juniper Springs with ornithologists from the Avian Research and Conservation Institute, the Florida Ornithological Society, and the FLMNH; or (2) View a wide variety of Florida habitats in the Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve and along the Cedar Key Railroad Trestle Nature with world-renowned botanists; or (3) Explore the long history of people in Florida and the rich maritime habitats and diversity of Florida's gulf coast by kayak, led by FLMNH naturalist and historian; or (4) Explore Thomas Farm, the richest Early Miocene vertebrate fossil locality in North America, with FLMNH paleontologists.

On Saturday, May 23, we will offer a fieldtrip to the Nation's oldest city, Historic St. Augustine, where participants will visit the select historic sites and learn about Spanish colonial history.  The tour includes stops at the Castillo de San Marcos, the Colonial Spanish Quarter living history experience and the exhibit, First Colony: Our Spanish Origins.

The Program.  Innovation and educational programming begins Tuesday, May 19, with the plenary session, Collections for the 21st Century, sponsored by the NSCA, iDigBio and the NIBA RCN.  Traditional presentations, posters, and the DemoCamp are planned for Wednesday and Thursday, May 20-21.  Two themed symposia will be offered-- Specimens Full Circle: Collection to Digitization to Data Use and The Contribution of Small Natural History Collections in the 21st Century.  A panel session, Challenges and Opportunity for the Management of US Federal Scientific Collections, will bring together representatives from collections-holding agencies, non-Federal repositories, and other stakeholders to discuss issues affecting the management of Federal collections.  DemoCamp includes presentations that highlight Specify, Arctos, GRBio, the Virtual Silurian Reef, YesWorkflow, Kurator project, and the Smithsonian Transcription Center.  Friday, May 22, will feature FLMNH collections tours in the morning, the annual business meeting and lunch, and SIG meetings in the afternoon, including the "TCN Coffee Klatch," Sustainability SIG and Emerging Professionals SIG.  The program will conclude on Saturday, May 23, with a workshop by the SERNEC-TCN and Symbiota Software Group.

Social Events.  Join us for the icebreaker reception at the FLMNH Exhibits and Education building on Tuesday evening, May 19; first-time attendees and travel grant awardees will have time to meet and mingle with the SPNHC Council and Committee Chairs.  The vendor reception will be held at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, on Wednesday, May 20.  Both institutions are located in the University of Florida's Cultural Plaza across the street from the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center.  The UF Cultural Plaza is also home to the Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts where you may wish to take in a performance during your stay.  Be sure not to miss the Gala 30th anniversary Celebration, to be held at the University of Florida Touchdown Terrace on Thursday, May 21.  Don’t forget your dancing shoes and cameras, as photos ops will abound!  Friday evening, May 22, will feature a pub quiz/trivia night at First Magnitude Brewery, one of the area's up and coming local breweries.  For those who prefer other forms of entertainment and dining, there is plenty to choose from in downtown Gainesville.  There you may enjoy discounts at some of Gainesville's finest restaurants featuring international cuisines, attend a play or avant-garde film at the Hippodrome Theatre, or dance the night away in a variety of clubs.

Location, Lodging, Travel.  The conference will be held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center (http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/hilton-university-of-florida-conference-center-gainesville-GVNCCHF/index.html).  Discounted lodging is available at the Hilton UF Conference Center, the University of Florida Reitz Union hotel, and dorm rooms at the University of Florida's Hume Hall (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/spnhc2015/accommodations-locations/).  Gainesville can be accessed by air via the Gainesville Regional Airport (http://www.gra-gnv.com/).  Major international airports (Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa) are within a 2-hour drive of Gainesville.

Why Come to Gainesville, FL?  Florida boasts a rich natural and cultural heritage that is yours to explore before or after the conference.  Many interesting places and world-famous attractions are within a ½-3 hour drive of Gainesville.  Disney World is located in Orlando, about 2 hours from Gainesville.  Major cities within 2-3 hours of Gainesville like Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa contain world-renowned museums, science centers, and cultural centers.  Gainesville is also located within 100 miles of both Atlantic and Gulf beaches.  Explore the possibilities for an extended local or regional stay at http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/spnhc2015/places-visit/.

Contact.  Elise V. LeCompte, SPNHC 2015 Annual Meeting Planning Committee Chair, Florida Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 117800, 1659 Museum Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611-7800, Email: spnhc2015@flmnh.ufl.edu; TEL: 352-273-1925.