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            Ducks, geese, and swans (i.e., waterfowl of the Family Anatidae) are important worldwide, ecologically, environmentally, and economically. Arguably, no family of birds has been studied, hunted, and benefitted from conservation more than waterfowl.  Given global significance of waterfowl, a group of over 20 ecologists are part of a scientific committee planning an international symposium, Ecology and Conservation of North American Waterfowl (ECNAW).  ECNAW will convene Sunday-Thursday, 27-31 January 2013 at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, USA (http://www.peabodymemphis.com/).  Memphis has a large international airport facilitating easy air and ground travel to and within Memphis, respectively.  Local arrangements are being coordinated by ECNAW co-chairs, Rick Kaminski and Brian Davis, MSU.

            Members of the scientific committee include scientists and conservationists who have studied waterfowl and their habitats for varying lengths of time and have published their work in international outlets.  They are affiliated with governmental agencies, universities, or private organizations in the United States, Canada, or Europe.

            ECNAW will be an all-waterfowl meeting especially for anyone interested in waterfowl science and conservation worldwide.  However, avian and other ecologists from around the world are encouraged and welcome to attend and participate in ECNAW.  Indeed, ECNAW will be a forum for scientists and conservationists investigating and conserving migratory birds and their habitats.

            No all-waterfowl symposium has convened in North America since the Ecology and Management of Breeding Waterfowl in 1987 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (Batt et al. 1992; University of Minnesota Press).  Because 25 years have elapsed since this meeting and our understanding of waterfowl throughout their annual cycle and range has grown enormously, this symposium is needed to synthesize current knowledge of waterfowl and their habitats and help guide science and conservation of these birds in the 21st century.  Additionally, the symposium planners decided ECNAW would be a joint meeting of the North American Duck Symposium (NADS) and Workshop, the North American Arctic Goose Conference, and the International Sea Duck Conference.  Thus, ECNAW will be the originally scheduled NADS6 meeting.

            ECNAW will feature experts addressing the (1) state of our understanding of the ecology and conservation of waterfowl, and (2) future needs to sustain waterfowl populations, their habitats, and hunting.  Morning plenary sessions are being organized by the scientific committee and plenary presenters.  


            Afternoon concurrent sessions will follow morning plenary sessions with the intent to connect themes between morning and afternoon meetings.  Plans also are developing for a unifying synthesis session on Thursday afternoon to culminate ECNAW and aggregate its major messages and directions for waterfowl science and conservation in the 21st century.  Moreover, there will be two evening poster sessions, workshops, and special sessions in response to a call for proposals, plus field trips to view wintering waterfowl and habitats in the legendary Mississippi Alluvial Valley.  Selected review papers will be published in a special volume of the international on-line journal, Avian Conservation and Ecology.  Finally, waterfowl watching and hunting will be available before and after ECNAW relative to the 2012-2013 hunting season.

            As has been the tradition of previous NADS conferences, ECNAW will provide an outstanding forum for students to present their research in oral and poster formats, gain professional experience, earn credit from their university, and network with professionals from around the world.  A call for student presentations and competition for awards will follow in spring 2012, along with the general call for presentations in concurrent afternoon sessions.

            So, mark your calendars to attend ECNAW, among the largest and most comprehensive waterfowl symposium ever convened in North America.  As we say in the South, y’all come to ECNAW, Sunday-Thursday, 27-31 January 2013, at the historic Peabody Hotel, with its own flock of Anas platyrhynchos peabodii.”


Sincerely, the Co-Chairs,

Richard M. Kaminski, Ph.D.
Professor and James C. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation Mississippi State University, rkaminski@cfr.msstate.edu

J. Brian Davis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Waterfowl & Wetlands Ecology
Mississippi State University, bdavis@cfr.msstate.edu

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