The 10th Annual Meeting of the MBWG was held at the Pine Ridge Lodge at Lake Tiak-O’Khata in Louisville, MS on February 23, 2012. Twenty-four members attended this meeting, which was held in conjunction with the 17th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network. In addition to research presentation and updates from committees and partners, the meeting featured a recap of the first 10 years of the MBWG along with presentation of several awards recognizing a range of categories.
9:00 – 9:15 am Registration
9:15 – 9:30 am Welcome, introductions, housekeeping
9:30 – 9:40 am Overview of the first 10 years – Chester Martin
9:40 – 10:00 am Old business
- Secretary/treasurer report – Stephanie Steel
- Accomplishments for 2011 – Chester Martin
10:00 – 10:20 am Elections
10:20 – 10:30 am Update on culvert/cave checks – Kathy Shelton, MMNS
10:30 – 11:00 am Committee updates
- Bat exclusion / bat house – need new chair
- Public outreach / education – Deb Freeman / Terri Jacobson
- Awards – Chester Martin
- Bridge replacement – Stephanie Steele
- Research / conservation – Alison McCartney
- Website – Monica Wolters
11:00 – 11:30 am Overview of last year’s mist net event / selection of 2012’s site and date – Becky Rosamond
11:30 – 12:00 pm New business: upcoming events
- SBDN meeting – beginning at 1pm through Friday; need help with silent auction
- Nature Fest – April 14, 2012
The MBWG celebrated its 10 year anniversary at Lake Tiak O’Khata, MS on February 23, 2012. The meeting was held in conjunction with the 17th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network. Chair Becky Rosamond presided over the meeting, attended by 24 members. Past-chair Chester Martin initiated the program with an overview of activities and accomplishments over the past 10 years and presented the 2011 accomplishments report. Stephanie Steele gave the Secretary/Treasurer report and announced the availability of a 10 year MBWG photo book that she had prepared especially for the group. Kathy Shelton gave a presentation on bat data collected at caves and culverts during 2010-2011 as part of a state-sponsored grant. Becky Rosamond recapped the 2011 mist net event held at Grenada Lake and announced that the 2012 MBWG event will be held on the Chickasawhay Ranger District of the DeSoto National Forest near Laurel, MS in late July.
The remained of the meeting consisted of committee reports, presentation of awards, election of officers and board members, and discussion of new business items. Current committees (with Chair/Co-chairs) include Mist Net Event/Annual Meeting Committee (Becky Rosamond), Bat Exclusion/Bat House Committee (Shea Staten and Dave Richardson), Public Outreach/Education Committee (Terri Jacobson and Deb Freeman), Awards Committee (Chester Martin), Bridge Replacement Committee (Stephanie Steele), Website Committee (Andrea Schuhmann and Joelle Carney), and Research/Cave Committee (Alison McCartney). Chester Martin presented MBWG awards in the following categories: Service Award (Becky Rosamond, Shea Staten, and Stephanie Steele); Research Award (Kathy Shelton, Jeanne Jones, Dave Richardson); Publication Award (Darren Miller); and Education and Outreach Award (Terri Jacobson, Deb Freeman, Alison McCartney). Dave Richardson presented Chester with a finely carved and polished walking stick on behalf of MBWG. Newly elected officers were Chair (Becky Rosamond), Vice Chair (Kathy Shelton), and Secretary/Treasurer (Stephanie Steele); new board members were Shea Staten, Andrea Schuhmann, and Zac Roth.
Members additionally discussed the status of current activities and future direction for the group. Kris Godwin expressed concern over the numerous bat exclusion issues in the state and use of improper techniques by untrained personnel. Kathy Shelton encouraged members to continue collecting bridge and culvert data since 2012 is the last year for the grant. The group will continue to emphasize education and outreach programs presented to a variety of audiences throughout the state. Becky Rosamond announced that the MBWG was scheduled to participate in the NatureFest Program at The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson on April 14, 2012, and that volunteers were needed to man our booth. Final comments were made regarding the many achievements and viability of the group and encouragement for continued success.