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Future/Past Meetings SVP 71st Annual Meeting Summary

Photos courtesy of Neffra Matthews, Vicki Meyers and Eric Scott.

November 2-5, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

A record 1,398 delegates attended the SVP 71st Annual Meeting in Las Vegas (Nevada, USA), which broke the previous record of 1,223 attendees in Pittsburgh, 2010. The meeting’s success was guaranteed by the efforts of the hard-working and gracious 2011 Host Committee, which included:

 Stephen Rowland, Co-Chair Lee Hall 
 Aubrey Bonde; Co-Chair Jerry Harris
 Joshua Bonde Andrew Milner
 David Elliott Eric Roberts

They exceeded expectations at every turn – from providing an excellent example of how to give a public talk, given by guest speaker Jack Horner to an exceptional special presentation by Dr. Brett Riddle. Details of the meeting schedule can be found in the meeting circular.

There were 861 abstracts submitted, which is the second highest number of submissions after the Bristol meetings of 2009. You can view the 2011 abstracts online or order the printed edition of the abstract book  through

A special thanks to the 2011 Program Committee for all of their hard work in putting the program together:

 Jonathan Bloch, Co-Chair Ted Daeschler  Emily Rayfield
 Anjali Goswami, Co-Chair  David Evans  William Sanders
 Jason Anderson  David Fox  Bruce Shockey
 Paul Barrett  Nadia Fröbisch  Mary Silcox
 Brian Beatty  Christian Kammerer  Michelle Stocker
 Kerin Claeson  Johannes Müller  Rebecca Terry 
 Kristina Curry Rogers        


And Mariam Nargolwalla, the abstract volume copyeditor.

The four symposia covered:

  • Vertebrate Diversity Patterns and Sampling Bias
  • To Fins, Limbs, Wings and Back Again
  • Climate Change and Vertebrate Response in the Evolving Arid West of Plio-Pleistocene North America
  • The Evolution and Ecology of Terrestrial Ecosystems of Campanian Laramidia (Western North America)
  • Workshops provided exceptionally useful information for the novice and expert alike and included:
  • Phylogenetic Comparative Methods Workshop
  • Travel and Expedition Medicine Workshop (at UNLV)
  • Protection of Vertebrate Fossil Resources, Including the PaleoPark Initiative Workshop
  • Effective Poster Design Workshop

Field trips included:

  • Vertebrate Paleontology of Pleistocene Ice Age Lakes and Groundwater Discharge
  • Deposits of the Mojave Desert and Southern Great Basin
  • Tracking Early Jurassic Dinosaurs in Southwest Utah & the Triassic Jurassic Transition
  • Vertebrate Paleontology of the Late Pleistocene Tule Springs Local Fauna, Upper Las Vegas Wash, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Mesozoic Vertebrate Paleontology of Valley of Fire State Park, Southern Nevada
  • Vertebrate Paleontology of Death Valley National Park, California


Thanks to the Education & Outreach Committee who organized the Education & Outreach Poster Session, which featured eleven remarkable posters presenting novel approaches to informal educational outreach. The E&O Committee also led the Children's Workshop on Dinosaurs and Animation, which was held on November 7 at the Las Vegas Museum of Natural History, and the Educators’ Workshop, “Topics in deep time, geology, paleontology, evolution, and Darwin,” which was held November 1 at Del Sol High School.

Louis Taylor and the SVP Development Committee raised funds to benefit the SVP Education & Research Fund.

Auction Committee Co-Chairs Brent Breithaupt and Scott Williams led the “Viva Las Vegas” themed auction that brought in $22,838 for the SVP Education & Research Fund.

Throughout the conference, including the Development Reception, Student Roundtable, Auction, and Exhibit hall, we were raising funds for the Japanese Rescue Relief Fund. The total raised at SVP this year was $7,393.

The Student and Postdoctoral Liaison Committee raised more than $1,200 selling raffle tickets and received pledges from SVP members for 20 student memberships which were given as prizes at the Student Roundtable Forum and Reprint Exchange while at the same time gaining valuable information from experts in SVP on a dozen topics as diverse as "Masters/PhD advice" and "paleontological consulting." Proceeds from the raffle benefit the SVP Education and Research fund.

A special thank you to SVP's meeting sponsors and exhibitors whose contributions and efforts enhanced the meeting experience for all attendees in a big way.

The heart of SVP and related business was covered at the Annual Business Meeting (ABM) and Open Executive Business Meeting (OEBM). I presided as President, committees gave reports, and the Executive Committee answered questions from the floor. We saw veteran SVP volunteer Julia Clarke (outgoing Member-at-Large) rotated off the Executive Committee to make way for Christian Sidor (incoming Member-at-Large). Minutes from the Annual Business Meeting are available in the Members Only Area of the SVP website.

Now we're turning our sights on Raleigh, North Carolina, USA (October 17-20, 2012). Mark your calendars and make your plans now!

Philip Currie, SVP President


View photos from the meeting!