Dear WSN meeting attendees,

The meeting is almost here! Below are a few reminders, instructions for presenters, and information about various events sponsored by the Student Committee.  PRESENTERS SHOULD READ THIS EMAIL CAREFULLY FOR FORMAT AND UPLOADING INSTRUCTIONS. The meeting program and additional information about instructions, refund policies, etc. can be found at under the “annual meeting” tab.


We remind all of our American, Canadian, and other international members that a valid passport is required for international travel. You may also wish to look into traveler’s medical insurance.


The deadline for the submission of abstracts for contributed papers and posters has now passed and online registration is closed. Those who have not pre-registered but wish to attend the meeting can pay for membership and registration on-line or in person at the registration desk anytime after 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 31 ($235 Student/ $395 Regular).


We are continuing our efforts to reduce paper use at WSN meetings, and thus encourage the use of digital meeting program resources (read on for details). IF YOU WANT A PRINTED PROGRAM FOR WSN’s 100th MEETING, you can purchase one for $10 with proceeds going to the student travel fund. To purchase a program, please fill out this google form. Payment and pick up will be at the registration desk. For those of you who do not wish to purchase a paper copy, we recommend you download the short-form program. We have also created a mobile-friendly, google calendar compatible schedule this year for your convenience! All of these programs can be found at:


Presenters should bring their presentations to the WSN registration desk on a USB drive in advance of their talks according to these requirements:

-Invited Symposium speakers should have their talks uploaded no later than 7:30 am on the morning of their talk

-Speed Talks should be uploaded no later than 8:00 am on Friday

-Contributed paper talks for afternoon sessions should be uploaded no later than 11:00 am on the morning of their presentation.

-Contributed paper talks in the Saturday or Sunday morning session (10:30-12:00, or 9:30-11:30, respectively) should be uploaded no later than 8:00 am on the morning of the talk.


Contributed talks will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this year. Presenters will have 15 minutes for oral presentations, which includes 12 minutes for the presentation and 3 minutes for questions. Session chairs will interrupt any presentation exceeding 14 minutes in order to remain on schedule. All laptops hosting presentations will have Microsoft PowerPoint. Presenters will NOT be allowed to connect their own computers to the projectors. Digital projectors, microphones, and slide advancers will be available for all presentations.


All speed talks will be Friday between 11:00 and 12:30. Talks are limited to 5 minutes. This is enforced by having a fixed number of slides (20) that auto-advance every 15 seconds. You should turn this function on in powerpoint when you save the final version of your presentation: select “Transitions,” then “Duration,” then “Advance Slide After 00:15:00 (15 seconds),” and “Apply to All”.  If you want to spend 30 seconds on a slide, just have it duplicated in the slide deck, but remember that you may have no more than 20 slides total (including duplicated slides). The moderator will delete any slides beyond 20 from your presentation. Meeting organizers reserve the right to reject talks that do not conform to this speed talk format. Additional guidelines on these types of talks can be found at To keep to our tight schedule, there will not be time for questions after each presentation.


This year’s poster session will be Friday night during the AAH (7-9pm). In order to ensure our session can start on time, please arrive at 6:30pm to set up your poster. Also, we’d like to remind you that either landscape or portrait orientation is fine, but no poster dimensions may exceed 48”.


As a reminder, to foster a positive meeting experience for all attendees we have instituted a code of conduct for the meeting, which can be seen here: The code of conduct and related amendments to the WSN Bylaws will be discussed at the business meeting on Saturday. As always, all members are welcome and encouraged to attend that meeting.


THURSDAY WORKSHOP – Mental Health in Academia: How Can We Do Better?

Panelists: Angelina Zuelow, Sadie Small, Dr. Laura Jurgens, Dr. Niyatee Sukumaran

Thursday, October 31, 2019, 1800 – 20:15

All are encouraged to attend! Pre-registration is not required.

Academics are facing a mental health crisis. A recent Nature Biotechnology study suggests that graduate students are six times more likely to experience anxiety or depression than the general public (Evans et al. 2018). Student identity (ex. race or gender) and mentorship quality were found affect mental health. Given that a healthy student population is integral to scientific institutions, mental health outcomes in graduate school may follow a student throughout their academic career, and that poor mental health is generally pervasive in academia, identifying gaps in mental health resources at all career stages is crucial. This workshop will discuss the complexities of mental health in academia and identify possible solutions that institutions like the Western Society of Naturalists can implement.

For more info visit:


After the workshop on Thursday evening, WSN attendees are invited to meet up at Marina Grill Bar in Hotel Coral y Marina for a casual no-host mixer, beginning at 8:15 PM.


Merchandise may be picked up during the following times:

  • THURSDAY: 5:00 – 8:00 PM
  • FRIDAY: 7:30 – 8 AM and all coffee breaks
  • SATURDAY: 7:30 – 8 AM and all coffee breaks
  • SUNDAY: 8 – 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM-12 PM


At this year’s Día de Muertos gala, we will be featuring a traditional ofrenda (altar) to honor WSN members who have passed and include them in the celebration of the 100th meeting. If you would like to contribute a photo of a WSN member special to you, please fill out this google form.

Saturday evening after Presidential Address:

  • Silent Auction: Don’t forget to bring your silent auction items to WSN! Donations don’t have to be new or fancy. You could donate things that you have lying around at home (e.g. books, old science supplies, art) and proceeds fund student travel awards! Drop off items starting 11/1 @ 8 AM at the merch/registration table, and place bids by 11/2 @ 9:45 PM.
  • Limited Live Action: There will be a limited live auction for the tequila trophy and a few items of particular value (monetary or sentimental). Do YOU have a donation that you think might fit the bill? Contact the WSN student committee.
  • Escape Room: Following the auction, we will be holding an escape room-style competition. Teams of up to 6 competitors can enter for $150 per team. All money raised funds student travel! Sign up starting Friday evening at the merch table.
  • Live music will close out the night!

See you in Ensenada!

Your Secretariat