SWFS Newsletter – February 2020

Dear SWFS Members,

Welcome to the Eighth edition of the SWFS Newletter.
First things first, I would like to recognize and thank Rob Ogden for his successful reign as SWFS President for the last four years. He skillfully helped shape many of the programs the society has to offer today, including the small grants application and the student mentor program. He has also spent many hours building relationship with the wildlife forensic science community and growing our membership.

I would also like recognize Brandt Cassidy, Dyan Straughan, Dianne Gleeson, Mary Burnham Curtis and Christina Lindquist for the dedication, involvement and expertise they brought to the SWFS board over the last several years. Thank you for the role you played on the SWFS board. This is the first significant board turnover that comes from the new policy of fixed term board appointment. We would like to introduce you to the new SWFS Board members. Please read on page 17 the SWFS Board Composition for 2019-2021.

For those of you who do not know me I am the Forensic Program Manager for the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic Laboratory and the new SWFS President. I have been a member of the Society since its inception in 2009 and have served in several Board positions. I look forward to this new challenge and I look forward to meeting many of you over the next four years.

We just wrapped up the 5th SWFS one-week scientific meeting in Denver, Colorado this past June. The conference was a roaring success which I invite you to read about on page …. The Denver Organizing Committee deserves a pat on the back for organizing a wonderful meeting. Please recognize; Rob Ogden, Dee Dee Hawk, Kim Frazier, Trey Knott, Lucy Webster and Adrian Linacre. The announcement of the 2021 meeting was made at the Denver meeting.

SWFS will be hosting the next conference at the Skukuza Rest Camp in Kruger National Park, Skukuza South Africa in June of 2021. Professor Antoinette Kotze of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has volunteered her laboratory to help host the meeting. The exact dates of the 2021 conference will be announced in 2020, however we currently expect it to be held around the second week in June of 2021.

The SWFS board has recently discussed several changes to the by-laws. The major changes that are currently under review are under the section 5.10: Vice Presidents. With the composition of the board changing there is a need for these roles to change as well. This position will be split into two separate roles. One Past-President that will serve a two-year term and one President-Elect that will serve a two-year term before ascending into the President role. The by-law changes are in their infancy at this time, they will be distributed for a vote later this year.

We’ve received the sad news the Hector Cruz-Lopez passed away in August. Hector was a great supporter of SWFS. He spent a full career with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), as part of the Institute and in the Division of Law Enforcement, pioneering wildlife forensic techniques used in the field today. Many of you may remember Hector as quite the dancer as the leader of the conga line at the Jackson Hole Banquet. His spirited involvement and devotion to wildlife will be missed.

Finally I would like to extend a vote of thanks to all of you that have contributed to the SWFS Newsletters, as well as to the production team that puts this wonderful work together.

Best wishes
Tasha Bauman

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