Meeting details, Nomenclature, NW Vertebrate news, technology & naturalists

The Ps and Qs of Nomenclature

Seems like every year some graduate student is creating a new tongue twister from your favorite latin species names.  Remember when Anaxyrus was Bufo and when we had a Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) instead of a Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus)? We won't even talk about when there was only one Rhyacotrition.  Luckily for us there are institutions out there keeping track of the changes.  Last year there was a big shake up in the world of Ichthyology when AFS released its controversial 7th edition of Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico in which all common names for fish are capitalized. To keep up with current taxonomic information just check out the inside back cover of NW Naturalist or the following references:
Reptiles and Amphibians
Fish  $$

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Last year has been put to bed and 2014 is still largely a blank field notebook for many naturalists in the Northwest. Santa has bedded down his Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus montanus) in the plush old-growth moss and fed them a New Year’s feast of lichens. And as we settle into our chairs to read the instruction manuals for this year’s pile of electronic gizmos from our holiday plunder we may pine for simpler times when work revolved around a pair of well-worn boots, a sharpened pencil, and a note book. As we glance between our new “pad's" instructions (likely online), the Winter 2013 issue of NW Naturalist, and coffee cup we likely hear news of Edward J. Snowden leaking NSA material about our electronically recorded conversations and drones flying (legally) over six US states. We might start to wonder what good this far flung and user friendly technology is doing for the naturalist and the world around us?


As budgets, and perhaps field staffs, continue to shrink or disappear, we as scientists and natural resource stewards will be well served to keep abreast of technological advancements and how we can utilize these new devices and services to increase and improve our ability to collect data and conduct research. Even me, a wary luddite of a NW naturalist that will always carry a paper map and rite-in-the-rain notebook (but where’s that pencil!?!) in an overly large and filthy backpack, cannot hide my enthusiasm for some new technologies and their applications.

An excellent opportunity to learn about a few of many emerging technologies is via one of our upcoming plenary presentations (below).
 Consider checking out Aerosensor Northwest , a new NW company co-founded by an SNVB life-time member that is bringing affordable remote sensing opportunities to your fingertips, or a smart phone app that allows you to instantly document and geo-reference wildlife vs traffic interactions on your commute or weekend walk.  If you have a favorite application or website you find fun or invaluable to you work with NW vertebrates let us know so we can share it with others in future editions of the Murreletter.

Plenary Presentation, 2014 Joint Meeting, Pasco, Washington, February 3-7, 2014
Applications of Unmanned Vehicle Systems to Wildlife Research and Management in the 21st Century.

David M. Bird, Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Biology in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec will explore possible applications
of UVS of all types and sizes to help meet the needs of today’s wildlife biologists and managers and to delve into the limitations faced by those wishing to utilize UVS in terms of costs, size, practicality in the field, regulations, etc.


The upcoming meeting is looking to be an exciting one with over 100 abstracts submitted from four societies there is something for everyone:

Below is small taste of the of the many workshops and sessions you can look forward to:Agriculture and Wildlife, Road and Fauna Interactions, Wildlife Conservation on Working/Private Lands, and Next Generation Sequencing and Genomic Approaches to Wildlife Management and Conservation. To learn more about the meeting's workshops, presentations,field trips and more please visit 

In other exciting news we are saving paper (and money) this year by posting all presentation abstracts online.  A general program that includes the schedule and presentations is online now and will be available at the meeting.  You will be able to use your computer or smartphone to access the abstracts online (but please remember to keep them on silent during talks).
 We all owe Mike Passmore of WA TWS a big thanks for the long hours spent putting the program together. The web address for the abstracts will be distributed when the page(s) is up and running. For those of you out there out there absent SNVB clothing and swag fear not we will have our classic line of designer clothing along with some new ways to show your support to SNVB and be the envy of the campus or workplace fashion club elites.
To all you NW naturalist paprazzi out there remember to bring printed images for this years photo contest.  In addition to impressing everyone at the meeting, this years top photos will be displayed (with the photographer's permission) in the next edition of the Murreletter!

Last but not least remember to give a big thanks to the SNVB (and other societies) members that put long nights and heavy thought into pulling this meeting together for everyone to enjoy again this year.

News and Events

Northwest PARC announces 
Year of the Salamander  to the excitement of  Caudataphiles world wide.  Check out the resources provided at including the State of the Salamander publication and monthly newsletters and monthly calender for your enjoyment.

The Pacific Northwest lab hopes to start the worlds first Lamprey Hatchery

2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference launches April 30th

Northwest Ecological Research Institute launches a new website:
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The Murreletter Vol 22  Issue 1
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