The abstract submission deadline has now passed. You may still register to attend the meeting after that date/time using the registration button below or you may register in person at the meeting.

For more information on getting to the meeting click here.We have also created a shared document to facilitate carpooling among conference attendees.

Registration Fees

Meeting Information

We are looking forward to WSN this year in Ensenada, Mexico! Thanks to our local hosts, Julio Solorzano and Rodrigo Beas Luna, for finding a terrific site and helping to plan a great meeting – the first of the society in Mexico since 1996. This will offer a special opportunity to connect with colleagues in Mexico, and consider ecology and natural history in Baja.

We regret that we needed to move the meeting to earlier dates than normal – this year it will be on October 31 – Nov 3 – in order to secure the best venue for us in Ensenada. This date shift has resulted in scheduling conflicts for many WSN community members, notably our members who would normally attend both WSN and SACNAS meetings. We are very sorry about this conflict. We did not have alternatives to these dates. In future years WSN will be back in its normal time slot of the long November weekend.

Call for papers/posters

Once again, the annual meeting will feature Special Sessions that will be of interest to WSN members. If you have a proposed topic for a Special Session, please email a title, short description, and list of potential speakers to the Secretariat by July 10th, 2019.

We will open the WSN website for online registration and the submission of abstracts for contributed papers and posters for the 2019 meeting beginning August 1, 2019. Registration for attendees will remain open up to and including the days that the meeting is held, although late registration fees may apply. However, abstract submissions will only be accepted through September 27th, 2019 and posted subsequently on the WSN website along with a meeting schedule. Given that the abstract deadline is less than 6 weeks before the meeting, please be aware that WSN is unable to accept any late abstracts (sorry, no exceptions).

The size of the annual meeting often challenges the available meeting space. Although high attendance is welcome and exciting, it has become difficult to accommodate the increase in the number of oral presentations. To alleviate the strain, an additional talk format was introduced at the 2017 meeting: 5 minute talks with slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. This format was quite successful, and we will include it as an option for the upcoming meeting as well. Remember, though, that both the 5 minute and 15 minute slots are intended for the presentation of findings from mature projects that are in their later stages or are completed. If you only have preliminary data, please consider a poster or waiting to present at a later WSN meeting. WSN asks that major advisors continue to review and approve all student abstracts, talks, and posters to assure the appropriateness and high quality of the work presented.

Meeting Location

WSN is pleased to announce the 100th Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Naturalists! The annual meeting will be held October 31 – November 3, 2019, at the Hotel Coral & Marina in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Our local hosts will be Rodrigo Beas and Julio Lorda from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. The oceanfront hotel is adjacent to the UABC campus and just a few kilometers from downtown Ensenada and its waterfront area and cultural center. Ensenada and the surrounding countryside features restaurants, parks, museums, beaches, and stunning landscapes.

All workshops, symposia, and contributed paper and poster sessions will be held in the meeting rooms of the Hotel Coral & Marina. For more information on the hotel, including directions, visit: We urge all members to stay in the Hotel Coral & Marina so that the Society can fulfill its room commitment, which will allow us to remain financially solvent. As usual, we strongly advise you to make your hotel reservations as early as possible and well before the meeting, or you may be unable to find accommodations at the meeting hotel. In recent years, the reserved block of rooms has sold very quickly and we anticipate that this meeting will be well attended. To reserve your hotel room you must call +52 (646) 1750000 or email with the “WSN100th” reservation code. At this time, the hotel does not have an online reservation interface.

The WSN website can be found at Later in the summer, the webpage will have links to online registration and abstract submission for the meeting through Cvent. In addition, we maintain a WSN Twitter account (Twitter Handle: @WSN_Secretariat), and a WSN Facebook page , where you can find information about the Society and our annual meeting, and connect with your colleagues. If you have an opportunity that would be appropriate for distribution via the WSN social media accounts (fellowships, small grants, student opportunities, etc.), please send the details to Erin Dillon ( or to the student committee via the WSN Facebook page.

Mexico FAQ & Getting to the meeting 


We have created a shared document to facilitate carpooling among conference attendees.

Will my phone work in Mexico?

Call your wireless provider, it depends on your carrier and plan. Usually, there is a small fee to be able to use your minutes and data while in Mexico but you have to talk to your service provider in advance. Otherwise, they may charge you big bucks for roaming.

How can I exchange my currency?

Most places in Ensenada accept USD, both cash and credit/debit cards. If you plan to use plastic, add a travel advisory to your cards and check out if your bank adds a foreign transaction fee to purchases abroad. It is still likely a good idea to have some pesos just in case you come across cash only places. In the US, you can order foreign currency from most banks with limited conversion markup. You can also withdraw pesos from an ATM (there are two in the hotel lobby), but may be charged a foreign transaction fee depending on your bank. 

Additional Resources

1. Driving your car directly to Ensenada 

  • Do I need an international driver’s license?
    • No, valid US and Canadian driver’s licenses are recognized.
  • Do I need international car insurance?
    • Yes, Baja Bound is a good option for cheap, daily coverage.
  • How long will I wait at the border?
    • Coming into Mexico – There will likely be no wait at all! <15 minutes
    • Returning to the USA by car – The wait time can vary between 1-4 hours. You can monitor border wait times but this website can be inaccurate. Consider returning via Otay Mesa or Tecate ports of entry (more info below).


Take 5 South to the San Ysidro border crossing. As you approach, you can expect to stop briefly at an automated gate before passing through into Mexico. You will not need to show your passport. As you enter the country, you will pass Mexican border patrol agents who may flag down certain cars (typically large vans/buses or those with visible gear/equipment) for a short inspection. In the unlikely event that you are flagged, border patrol will simply ask what you are planning to do in Mexico and may do a quick visual search of your car. In less than 10 minutes you will be on your way. If you don’t speak Spanish, use the script below (smiling)  to explain your intentions. 

“Voy a Ensenada a una conferencia de Biólogos Marinos y voy a estar hospedado en el Hotel Coral Marina de Jueves a Domingo” 

Once you have crossed the border, follow the signs to Cuota Rosarito/Ensenada, which is the toll (cuota) road.You will run into 3 tolls on the way to Ensenada, each costing ~$2 that you can pay in pesos or dollars. Here is a link to the google maps route you can use in your phones.


The border wait time coming into the US at the Tijuana/San Ysidro border crossing can be extensive, especially on a Sunday afternoon. You will be waiting in line to meet an American border patrol agent who will ask for your passport and about your activities in Mexico. You should expect to wait 45 minutes to 4+ hours.

To reduce your wait time, consider crossing back into the United States at the Tecate port of entry. While the drive to this crossing is a bit longer than to the Tijuana border crossing, the wait is consistently significantly shorter (usually much less than 2 hours). As a bonus, the drive to Tecate takes you through a gorgeous wine valley, Valle de Guadalupe.

2. Drive/fly to San Diego, cross the border by foot, travel to Ensenada

  • If you’re driving, park in the US
    -Sign up for limited free parking at the SDSU Coastal & Marine Institute for carpoolers.
    -Otherwise, pay to park in a border parking lot. Border Station Parking is safe & easy
  • Travel to the pedestrian border crossing, Pedwest
    – Open for crossing into Mexico from 6am-10pm, for crossing into the US 24/7
    – If you park at the border, you can use Google Maps or follow signs to walk there
    – From the airport or other parking lots, you can get there by:
    2.Trolley to the San Ysidro station, click here for schedules and routes.
  • Walk across the border.
    This process is easy and fast. You will show your passport to Mexican border patrol who will ask you where you are going and what you will be doing. Be kind and honest and you’ll be through in no time.
  • Travel to Ensenada
    There are many options for the short trip to Ensenada

A. Uber
The app works exactly the same as in the United States and even has an “Uber English” option. Open the app and set your destination to Hotel Coral Marina. Depending on the time of day, it may cost $60-100 USD for the hour long ride. We encourage to split the UBER trips among different riders to reduce carbon footprint and cost.

B. Bus
There is a bus station a couple of blocks from the border. The buses to Ensenada run about every hour and it costs around $10 USD. You can buy tickets at the office when you cross the border but you also can buy them online but make sure you choose your origin as TIJUAN LINEA, which is the border station.

C. Private Driver

There are many companies that offer private black car travel from Tijuana to Ensenada and make all the arrangements in English. This one comes highly recommended.

D. Hotel Concierge
The Hotel provides a shuttle service with a cost of ~$165 USD for 1-3 people, or ~$250 for 4-10 people. You can reserve this service at

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

WSN maintains a strong commitment to reflect and promote the diversity of its membership, and foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community irrespective of such factors including, but not limited to, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, ethnicity, ability, religion, language, nationality, age/career stage, or institution. In 2018, the WSN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) was officially formed. Its members are Corey Garza (chair), Cheryl Barnes, Jennifer Burnaford, Alexandra Davis, Mike Gil, and Crystal Ng.

DEIC members include students, postdocs, faculty, and other professional researchers and educators who serve ~3 year terms. Thus, there will be some turnover in committee membership every year. If you are interested in joining the DEIC, please contact Corey Garza.

WSN also maintains a meeting Code of Conduct, which formalizes WSN’s commitment to creating an environment in which all attendees can participate without harassment, discrimination, or violence of any type. See the website for details.

Western Society of Naturalists Meeting Code of Conduct

The Western Society of Naturalists (WSN) annual meeting is intended to foster the exchange of scientific ideas, provide participants with an opportunity to present research findings, establish and renew collaborations, facilitate recruitment of students and staff to laboratories and institutions, and to learn, teach, and network with an international community of scientists. WSN is committed to creating an environment in which all attendees can participate without harassment, discrimination, or violence of any type. This Code of Conduct applies to all events at the WSN annual meeting, including all meeting-related activities of participants.

All meeting participants must be treated with respect, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, ethnicity, ability, religion, language, professional status, institution or age. All meeting participants including, but not limited to, members, volunteers, attendees, vendors, exhibitors, contractors, and guests are expected to abide by this WSN Meeting Code of Conduct.

Expected behavior includes (but is not limited to):

  • Treating all participants and meeting facilities with respect and consideration.
  • Communicating openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoiding personal attacks directed toward others.
  • Respecting the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, WSN contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • Abiding by principles of academic integrity and ethical professional conduct.

Harassment or discrimination by or of any meeting participant or of any type will not be tolerated.

Unacceptable behavior includes (but is not limited to):

  • Behavior that implies or indicates that someone does not belong at the WSN meeting based on any personal characteristic or identity.
  • Any unwanted attention, sexual advances, and comments about appearance.
  • Verbal harassment, including comments, epithets, slurs, threats, and negative stereotyping that are offensive, hostile, disrespectful, or unwelcome.
  • Non-verbal harassment, including actions or distribution, display, or discussion of any written or graphic material toward an individual or group that ridicules, denigrates, insults, belittles, or shows hostility, aversion, or disrespect.
  • Bullying, intimidation, stalking, shaming, and assault.
  • Retaliation for reporting harassment.
  • Reporting an incident in bad faith.

The WSN Secretariat reserves the right to enforce this Code of Conduct in any manner deemed appropriate. Anyone violating the Code of Conduct will first be asked to cease these behaviors. Failure to comply with requests can result in escalating consequences which may include, but are not limited to, (a) expulsion from the meeting, (b) prohibition from future meetings, or (c) revocation of WSN membership.

If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify a member of the WSN Secretariat.

Notification can be done by contacting a member of the WSN Secretariat on-site or via e-mail to