Good evening everyone!
We've had some exciting developments today that need everyone's attention please.
I was contacted earlier today by Joshua Ream, the President of the Alaska Herpetological Society ( http://www.akherpsociety.org/
). I was wrongly informed that they were inactive, and happily found out that is most certainly not the case at all! He found my post for MSHS on iHerp of all places, and got in touch with me to specifically discuss MSHS and AHS working together in our shared efforts, and interests. : ) I immediately joined AHS (it's $10 for an annual membership).
When I replied to his first email, I proposed a merging of the two societies. I will include a part of his response here, and I ask that everyone please give it your attention. Additionally, if you would all go to their website, and read through it, I think it will help everyone in making their decision.______________________________"... please consider [a merge with AHS] thoroughly with your membership before making that move. Even if MSHS remains a separate entity, we can plan to partner in pursuit of shared interests and goals. The mission statement of AHS is as follows: The Alaska Herpetological Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the field of Herpetology in the State of Alaska. Our mission is to promote sound research and management of amphibians and reptiles in the North and to provide opportunities in outreach, education, and citizen science for individuals who are interested in these species.As it stands, AHS is made up of individuals that are primarily interested in the native and introduced herpetofauna of Alaska. It sounds as though your organization is comprised largely of pet owners and hobbyists and we would definitely like to see this stakeholder group become an active part of our organization. I am going to recommend to our Executive Board that a standing committee be formed to address the issues and concerns of pet owners and hobbyists. Our bylaws permit me to appoint the chairman or chairwoman of these committees and I would invite you to take a leading role in this capacity if you are interested in doing so.... Over the next year we have a number of events planned that we invite your members to participate in. Some of these include herp outings, camping trips, volunteer informational tables at statewide events and an October conference in collaboration with Alaska Audubon. We also have a 2013 calendar photography contest that is ongoing. Ideas and suggestions for events are always welcomed and appreciated. Please have your members take a look at our site to get a feel for who we are and what we do. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns from your membership and how they would feel about a potential merger...Joshua T. ReamPresident - Alaska Herpetological Society"_____________________________Joshua has also posted additional information himself, AHS, and his hopes in forming a partnership with MSHS on our Facebook page. Please take the time to read his comments (under the **UPDATE: AHS*
post).*Then, if you would, please respond with your feedback on:1.) Merge vs. partnership, 2.) Chairperson, 3.) Any additional questions, comments, ideas, suggestions.
: )Please respond as soon as possible directly to myself, Sam, and/or on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MidnightSunHerpSociety .
I hope to hear from as many of our own members as possible on these points please. Speaking for myself, it does appear as though a partnership would be best in order to cover all the areas/issues of both native species, conservation, captive keeping, non-native species, the greater reptile community, etc.
Also, I wanted to say that I am absolutely willing to volunteer to be the chairperson as suggested. It would be thrilling. Before I move forward with that though, I wanted to open it up to the membership of MSHS for any other interested parties to volunteer, or nominate someone else. I am admittedly not the most qualified person in MSHS by far, and I do have rather limited experience to date. I would not be opposed to someone else stepping up to fill that position. If no one else volunteers, or is nominated, I will happily take it on. : ) I am always interested in having others take on leadership roles for us though (internally as well), so please don't hesitate if you are interested. Reminders:
We are trying to get our local meetings started as soon as possible. So far, Thursdays from 7:00pm-8:00pm appear to be the best time to schedule local get-togethers. If this works/does not work for your schedule, please contact myself, or Sam, with the time that would be best for you. I am aiming for the best possible turn out for our local meetings. Drinks, and a light snack will be provided. Please inform us if you have any food allergies, specific dietary requirements, etc., and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Please respond as soon as possible directly to myself, Sam, and/or on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MidnightSunHerpSociety
Also, please share with us if you are participating in the Wood Frog Monitoring Project! We'd love to hear how you're doing so far, see your photos, etc. : ) ANNOUNCING:
One of our members, Jennifer Hunt, created a Yahoo Group for us: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MidnightSunHerpetologicalSociety/
! If everyone will please join up, we would greatly appreciate it. Our members will be able to upload photos, files, post links, polls, invite others, promote the page, and send messages. This will increase the activity levels, and interactions between members far more than our Facebook page, and Stickam group allows. Everyone will be able to select options allowing them to receive every message as it is posted, opt for a "digest version" where everything is sent in one email, or view the messages on the group page only. Jennifer has also suggested that if there is enough interest, a classifieds application can be added for members to sell their used items, supplies, animals they are breeding, post adoptions, etc. She has suggested several other ideas that the Yahoo Group can cover, and all are very exciting. Please thank her for doing so when you get a chance on our Facebook page, or the Yahoo Group page. : ) I look forward to everyone joining as quickly as possible to help us get started. : )
I have a feeling I'm forgetting something, but I will sign off here for now. : ) Good luck to all who are doing presentations for Snake Awareness Day on Monday! I look forward to hearing how your presentations went, and seeing any/all photos/videos you have to share afterwards! : ) From all of us to our MSHS mothers, we will you all a very Happy Mother's Day this Sunday. : ) Thank you, and enjoy your weekend everyone! : )
Mrs. Melissa J. Walker, Founder
Midnight Sun Herpetological Society