A Message from the ASP President

KimPhillips.png

The past few weeks have seen devastating hurricanes and earthquakes affecting many parts of the Caribbean, southern United States, and Mexico. Our hearts go out to all of our friends and colleagues impacted by these events in Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas, and Florida. I encourage our ASP members to help in the recovery efforts as you are able. I am aware of efforts to assist in Punta Santiago and Cayo Santiago. Two GoFundme accounts have been set up, one for the employees of the Caribbean Primate Research Center and one for the field station.

The 40th annual meeting of the Society was held August 24 – 27 in Washington, DC, hosted by Amanda Dettmer. Amanda and Erin Kinnally, Chair of the Program Committee, put together a successful and exciting meeting – thank you for your dedicated efforts! As announced during the business meeting, Karen Bales will become the next Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Primatology. I am grateful to the efforts of the search committee, chaired by Matthew Novak, for conducting this important search.

The leadership of the Society, including the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and a few long-term members, met for a strategic planning session before the ASP meeting began. Guided by our consultant, Kathy Joyce, we reviewed the summary data collected from the member and lapsed member surveys. I will highlight three key findings from that survey:

  1. a majority of members are satisfied with the Society and believe ASP is a worthwhile organization to belong to,
  2. most individuals join because of the encouragement of a Professor, and
  3. the majority of members believe any dichotomy between field and laboratory primate researchers in ASP can be successfully addressed. [In fact, many individuals commented they didn’t think such a dichotomy existed.]

During the session we focused on crafting Mission and Vision statements, as well as articulating guiding principles for the Society. We are finalizing these statements and will be providing them to the membership soon for comment.

A comprehensive summary of the member survey is also being finalized and will be available shortly. A survey is being finalized to gather information regarding your experiences with the Society journal, the American Journal of Primatology. We expect to send that out in the next few weeks. Your responses will be important in guiding the future of the journal.

Block your calendars now for ASP 2018 in San Antonio, August 8 – 11, held at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk. Registration will open January 6. The deadline for symposia proposals will be February 3, and the deadline for oral & poster presentation abstracts will be March 17. Additional information, including registration fees, local attractions, etc. will be available shortly. 

I wish you a productive fall.

~Kimberley Phillips

President, ASP