Bahama Symposium

 

Celebrating 30 Years of the Flora of the Bahamas: Conservation and Science Challenges

An International Symposium (October 30 - 31, 2012) at the

The Bahamas National Trust and The College of the Bahamas

 

   
William T. Gillis, by courtesy of Michigan State University. From left to right: Helen Correll, Priscilla Fawcett, and Donovan Correll holding copies of the Flora of the Bahama Archipelago.
Plant hunting expedition jointly arranged between the Bahamas National Trust and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in March 2012. From left to right: Ethan Freid, Brett Jestrow, Jason Lopez (Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden), and Mark Daniels (The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve).

 

Introduction, Scientific and Organizing Committee & Program

The Bahamas National Trust, the College of the Bahamas, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and Florida International University are putting together a symposium entitled: "Celebrating 30 Years of the Flora of the Bahamas: Conservation and Science Challenges" that is taking place October 30th and 31st, 2012. This announcement is to invite those interested in Bahamian Biodiversity to attend the symposium. We  have a section for posters and we would like to encourage researchers and graduate students to present their results using this avenue. We also plan to publish the symposium proceedings in The Botanical Review  and, the Editor-In-Chief of this journal (Dr. Dennis W. Stevenson) will process the submissions (CLICK HERE to download the authors' guidelines for Botanical Review). This announcement and new developments about the symposium will be posted regularly at this web-site (www.fairchildgarden/bahamas).

1.- Scientific Committee:
Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega (Professor, Florida International University and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden)
Dr. Ethan Freid (Botanist, Bahamas National Trust)
Dr. Brett Jestrow (Herbarium Curator, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden)
Dr. Dion Hepburn (Chairman of Department of Life and Applied Science, College of the Bahamas)

2.- Organizing Committee:
Tamica Rahming (Director of Science and Policy, Bahamas National Trust). TRahming@bnt.bs
Eric Carey (Executive Director, Bahamas National Trust). ECarey@bnt.bs
Dr. Dion Hepburn (Chair, School of Chemistry, Environmental and Life Sciences, The College of The Bahamas).
            dhepburn@cob.edu.bs
Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega (Professor, Florida International University and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden). ortegaj@fiu.edu

3.- Symposium Background:
Sponsored by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the US National Science Foundation the latest comprehensive flora of The Bahama Archipelago was published in 1982. This project was initiated by William T. Gillis, but the final work was authored by Donovan Correll and Helen Correll (illustrated by Priscilla Fawcett). Since its publication, 30 years ago, this flora has played a major role in Bahamian education, research, and conservation as it is still the best available catalogue for plant biodiversity of this archipelago. The Bahamas National Trust has a mandate for plant conservation management in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and in the last 30 years it has been using this flora as the “manual” for its floristic activities. However, after recent discussions between conservation biologists involved in the symposium we believe the time has arrived to evaluate what we know about plant biodiversity in the Bahamas and what conservation and research challenges lie ahead. After these discussions we feel that the 30th anniversary of the publication of the flora of The Bahama Archipelago will be a good moment to organize a symposium to discuss these issues in an open arena. In the last 30 years many new research tools have been developed, but we also have many new environmental challenges. This is particularly relevant in the Bahamas, where in the last 30 years: (1) a network of national parks has been established and (2) new botanical gardens with a strong conservation mission have been recently created or are about to be established.

4.- Symposium Agenda:
October 30 (Tuesday):

Morning and afternoon at the College of the Bahamas (New Library of Oakes Field Campus, Thompson Boulevard). Oral and poster presentations (see below list of speakers and agenda). Each talk will last 30 minutes, including 5 minutes for questions.  Buses will pick up participants at West Bay Street at the eastern most entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay (click HERE to download map showing the area where the bus will pick up the participants who are attending the event at College of the Bahamas). Buses will pick up participants at the entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay at 8:00 AM. Once the event at the College of the Bahamas is finished buses will pick-up participants at the College of the Bahamas at 4:30 PM; participants then will be dropped at the entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay.

 

October 31 (Wednesday):
A.- Morning: Field-trip to vist: (1) Primeval Forest National Park and (2) the airport pine forest. Lead by Dr. Ethan Freid and Dr. Brett Jestrow. We are not certain about the number of slots that we will have available in the buses; therefore, please indicate in your registration email if you are interested in joining this field trip. Participants will be registered for this field trip on a first-come first served basis. Buses will pick up participants at West Bay Street at the eastern most entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay (click HERE to download map showing the area where the bus will pick up the participants who are joining  the field trips). Buses will pick up participants at the entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay at 8:00 AM. We will have water, drinks, fruit and light snacks for the field drip.  Participant can have lunch on their own when the field trip finished and they are dropped off in Nassau.

B.- Afternoon (~starts at 5:00 PM). Reception at the Retreat Gardens, Headquarters of the Bahamas National Trust. Buses will pick up participants at West Bay Street at the eastern most entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay (click HERE to download map showing the area where the bus will pick up the participants to attend the activities at the Retreat Gardens. Buses will pick up participants at the entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay at 4:00 PM. Once the event at the Retreat is finished buses will pick-up participants at the Retreat at 7:30 PM. Participants then will be dropped at the entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay.

      B.1.- Tour to the garden living collections lead by Dr. Ethan Freid.

      B.2.- Welcome words by Neil McKinney President of Bahamas National Trust.

      B.3.- Lecture: "Bahamas National Trust Program to Advance Botanical Education, Research, and Conservation." by Eric    
               Carey (Executive Director of the Bahamas National Trust.

5.- Oral/poster presentations and speakers (Symposium October 30th)
Morning section will be chaired by Mr. Eric Carey. Afternoon section will be chaired by Dr. Dion Hepburn.
Buses will pick up participants at West Bay Street at the eastern most entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay (click HERE to download map showing the area where the bus will pick up the participants to attend the activities at College of The Bahamas). Buses will pick up participants at the entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay at 8:00 AM. Once the event at the College of the Bahamas is over buses will pick-up participants at the College of the Bahamas, at 4:30 PM. Participants then will be dropped at the entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay.

1) 8:30 AM Dr. Dion Hepburn, Chair, School of Chemistry, Environmental and Life Sciences, The College of The Bahamas

2) 8:40 AM Mr. Lionel Johnson, Dean of Pure and Applied Sciences, College of The Bahamas

3) 8:50 AM Dr. Earla Carey-Baines, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, College of The Bahamas

4) 9:00 AM Hon. Kenred M. A. Dorsett, Minister of Environment and Housing, Government of The Bahamas

5) 9:10 AM Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega. Introduction to the symposium.

6) 9:15 AM. Key-note speaker: Dr. W. Hardy Eshbaugh (Peter Raven Award recipient 2008). Miami University.  "The flora of the
                    Bahamas, Donovan Correll, and the Miami University connection"

7) 9:45 AM. Dr. Ethan Freid. "Plant endemicity on the Bahama Archipelago"

8) 10:15 AM. Dr. Lee B. Kass, Cornell University. "Contributions of William T. Gillis to an understanding of the Bahama Flora: an
                       historical perspective"

9) 10:45 AM Coffee Break

10) 11:00 AM. Dr. Michael Vincent, Miami University. "Systematics, taxonomy, and the new flora of the Bahamian Archipelago"

11) 11:30 AM. Dr. Brett Jestrow. "Bahamian plants, molecules, phylogenies, and living collections: A journey started in 1963"

12) Noon Lunch (there is a campus cafeteria near the library where attendees can purchase lunch between $8-$10)

13) 1:30 PM. Dr. Dennis Stevenson, The New York Botanical Garden, "The New York Botanical Garden and the making of the
                        Bahama flora, 1920"

14) 2:00 PM. Mr. Eric Carey, Director of the Bahamas National Trust. "Plant conservation challenges in the Bahamas"

15) 2:30 PM. Dr. Carl Lewis, Director of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Concluding remarks.

16) 2:45 PM. Panel with speakers

17) 3:45 PM Coffee and Poster Presentations


6.- Symposium fees/registration, accommodation, abstract, poster, proceeding guidelines.
6.1.- There are no symposium attendance fees. We are aiming for the general public to also attend the symposium; therefore the event aims to have a strong community and outreach component. To register for the symposium just send an email to Javier Francisco-Ortega (ortegaj@fiu.edu). We also would appreciate to receive details of: (1) the hotel where you will stay, (2) if you plan to join the field trip trips (October 31), (3) if you plan to attend only the symposium talks at the College of the Bahamas (October 30), (4) if you plan to attend only the reception at the Retreat (October 31), and (4) if you plan to attend the activities offered both at the College of the Bahamas and at the Bahamas National Trust (October 30 and October 31).

6.2.- There are no hotels near the College of the Bahamas or the Retreat Gardens. However, there are several hotels along W Bay Street and Bay Street where you should be able to find accommodation. We are planning to provide transportation from a designated point near  the hotel area (see below) to the College of the Bahamas, to the Retreat (Bahamas National Trust), and to the field trips. Buses will pick up participants at West Bay Street at the eastern most entrance to Long Wharf/Arawak Cay (see above pick-up schedule times, click HERE to download map showing the area where the bus will pick up the participants to attend the activities at College of The Bahamas). A passport is required to travel to the Bahamas, but visa is not needed for American Citizens and Legal Residents.

Potential hotels are:
British Colonial Hilton - Nassau: Number One Bay St, Nassau N 7148, Bahamas, Phone: (242) 322-3301
Towne Hotel (40 George Street  Nassau PO BOX N-4, Bahamas, Phone: (242) 322-8451)
Nassau Palm Hotel (West Bay Street, Nassau 19055, Bahamas, Phone: (242) 356-0000)
El Greco Hotel (West Bay Street Nassau, Bahama, Phone: (242) 325-1121)
Nassau Junkanoo Resort (West Bay & Nassau Street Nassau, 8191, Phone: (242) 322-1515)
There are also several hotels near the airport but transportation from this area to Nassau is not inexpensive.

6.3.- Abstracts of posters and lectures from speakers should be send by email to Javier Francisco-Ortega (ortegaj@fiu.edu) before September 30th 2012. Each abstract should have a maximum of 250 words. Although the talks of the symposium have a focus on the Bahamian flora we want the symposium to also be an opportunity for biologists and environmental scientists to show their results. Therefore we welcome posters in any area of environmental biology pertinent to the Caribbean Islands and South Florida including both marine and terrestrial systems. Abstracts will be posted in the website of the symposium as we receive them.

6.4.- Posters should not be more than 3 feet (121 cm) wide by 3 feet (121 cm) high.

6.5.- The deadline to submit manuscripts to The Botanical Review is December 16th; however, we encourage participants to send their submissions to this journal just around the time of the symposium (CLICK HERE to download the authors' guidelines for Botanical Review). We will have a limited number of pages for the issue of the he Botanical Review devoted to the symposium proceedings. Manuscripts need to be sent to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Dr. Dennis W. Stevenson (dws@nybg.org). Please indicate in the cover letter that the manuscript is part of the symposium proceedings.


For more information call or email The Bahamas National Trust at  (242)-393-1317 or science@bnt.bs.

 

Acknowledgements

Our gratitude to The Bahamas Environmental Fund which has a provided a grant to support the symposium.

 

Current News & Symposium Highlights

Click here for Symposium Flier

Click here for Symposium Programme

Click here for informative brochure on plant biodiversity and conservation in the Bahamian Archipelago

Over 100 attendees joined the symposium, the vast majority of them were students from the College of The Bahamas. The symposium led to several formal and informal meetings (click here to see symposium images). The organizers and participants committed for future environmental biology, education, and conservation actions. The most immediate one will be to foster a National Conference on Natural History of the Bahamas that will be organized by the Bahamas National Trust and the College of the Bahamas. This Conference will take place in March 2013.


Abstract Presentations

Click here for Abstract Presentations.

 



 

 Updated: November 11, 2012