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So I got back fo the SASI Conference a couple of days ago. The actual name of the conference is "Invertebrates in Education and Conservation Conference" ... but we all call it SASI.

The conference was lots of fun. It was both heartening and frustrating to see how other facilities run their bug zoos. I have only worked in two so I have a relatively limited view of how bad the problems we face are or how advanced our actual exhibits are.

I was really thrilled to find that our butterfly woes are nothing compared to other places. Though my staff is likely to pull their hair out at any given time - we are golden compared to a lot of places out there.

I was frustrated in finding how many well planned exhibits there were out there that would be worlds easier to service than ours are. I was practically drooling over some ant exhibits that were pictured during the papers and really wish that we could have done some more research before putting our own together - but then hindsight is 20/20.

I am not really big on networking but I did actually get out there and meet some people. I have a contact in California now who was an amazing conference buddy and possibly even willing to go to ComiCon with me in the future (WooHoo!). I also actually spent a lot of time with some people from my facility that I never get to see. The director of education and one of her staff was there. I was able to go on some collecting trips with her and it was awesome getting to know them. Odd that it took traveling several states away to do so but I am really happy with the time I did get to spend with them.

I also met some other people in passing and I think I will email some of them to try to pick some stuff up and offer my own meager resources in trade.

I think my favorite part of the conference was the papers. The collecting got a little old because you were out on the field with ~30 other people - many of which were more experienced in this environment so I spent half the time trying to get somewhere that wasn't picked over. The papers, though, reminded me of my college years and the joy of finding out new information. I learned a lot of great notes on husbandry and even a few on managing and education. I hope to implement some of them and see if they will work for us but even if they don't it might lead to a completely new approach that will.

Yeah. I might seriously consider trying to find some sort of course work here in something I find interesting. I didn't realize how hungry I was for such an outlet. I am also seriously considering trying to find a way to get access to some scientific journals in my field.

I will post some pictures soon but I have about 160 to go through and figure out what is worth keeping. Sadly my camera kicked it on this trip so I am going to have to save up for another one but then that simply gives me an excuse because the old girl was ~ 4 years old.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
Glad you had a good time!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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