We extend our warmest invitation to the 2013 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (JMIH) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meeting will take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque, July 10 – 15. The 2013 JMIH includes the 29th annual meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society, the 56th annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, the 71st annual meeting of the Herpetologists' League, and the 93rd annual meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. It also coincides with the 100th anniversary of Copeia.
The beautiful Rio Grande ('Rio Bravo del Norte') and the adjacent cottonwood gallery forest (the 'bosque') bisect Albuquerque into east and west sides. The Rio Grande valley has been inhabited for thousands of years by the Pueblo Native Americans, with two of the twenty-one Pueblos (Sandia and Isleta) located north and south of the city, respectively. Albuquerque was founded in 1706 by the Spanish and named for the Duke of Alburquerque (the 'r' was eventually dropped). Over the centuries, the city has grown into a multi-cultural metropolis of approximately 840,000 people. Despite its rapid recent growth, the city has retained an old-time 'neighborhood' persona and sometimes quirky charm. It is flanked by the farming communities of the North and South Valley that lie along the river, with fields irrigated by centuries-old acequias (ditches). The Nob Hill District is located near the University of New Mexico, and has preserved a number of 'Route 66' architectural icons with lots of local shopping, pubs, and restaurants. To the west is the newer part of the city surrounded by volcanic rocks that form the Petroglyph National Monument, and to the east are the Sandia Mountains, or watermelon mountains (ca. 10,600 feet at the peak), named because of their brilliant red sunset hues that resemble a slice of watermelon. All of these areas offer excellent outdoor activities and numerous hiking and biking trails.
Known to locals as the 'Duke City', the city is steeped in Spanish and Native American culture and traditions that offer outstanding (and spicy!) cuisine, a unique and elegant architectural style, and stunning art and jewelry. The cultural and natural diversity of the city and surrounding landscape make it a great place for a scientific meeting. The city supports over 3,000 shops, including those of the historic Old Town Plaza. In addition to restaurants specializing in our own distinctive New Mexican cuisine, numerous other dining opportunities abound in Albuquerque's thousands of restaurants. At least seven outstanding craft breweries contribute to the dining and night-life experience. The city hosts art and natural history museums, The Albuquerque BioPark, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and nearby national parks and monuments. The city also is the home of the University of New Mexico and the Museum of Southwestern Biology. Finally, the RailRunner train runs a daily schedule to Santa Fe, New Mexico, dropping you off within easy walking distance of the Plaza. In short, there is much to enjoy here, in addition to what is sure to be a wonderful scientific exchange at our meeting.
The Albuquerque Convention Center (ACC), located in the center of the city's downtown, is New Mexico's premier meeting venue. In addition to 27 versatile meeting rooms, the facility features 167,562 total square feet of exhibit space, a 31,000-square-foot ballroom, and a state-of-the-art 2,350-seat auditorium. A broad range of services are available including audiovisual support, sound and lighting, security, and high-speed and wireless internet connectivity. Hotels and downtown restaurants and pubs are in easy walking distance to the ACC, and the Alvarado Transportation Center where buses and trains can be boarded is within four blocks.
The city lies just north of the intersection of three major biomes: the Chihuahuan desert, the Great Plains Prairie grassland, and the Great Basin. July weather is typically warm and sunny with an average maximum daytime temperature of 94 F° (34.5 C°), but usually low humidity (it's a dry heat!). Evening temperatures are comfortable and range from the mid to the upper 60s (18° - 20° C). Afternoon rains and lowered temperatures (a 10-degree F drop is not uncommon) are possible if summer monsoon rains materialize, so be prepared with a light jacket and/or umbrella in your backpack. Our monsoon season typically lasts from July through September, but onset is sporadic and variable in intensity depending on Pacific Decadal Oscillation cycles.
On behalf of the local committee, I invite you to what is guaranteed to be a fun and productive meeting in Albuquerque with plenty of opportunities for scientific interaction, a unique and relaxed cultural setting, and lots of places to explore and enjoy. We are looking forward to seeing you in summer 2013.
Tom Turner, LHC chair
Local Host Committee
Lex Snyder, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico
Steve Ross, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico
Tom Giermakowski, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico
Steven Platania, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico
Norman Mercado-Silva, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico & Universitario de la Costa Sur, Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexico
Mason Ryan, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico