[Coral-List] more about 12ICRS

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Thu Aug 11 17:09:21 EDT 2011

A few new messages have been posted asking us to figure out a way to attend the 12th ICRS meeting.  Price is still a serious issue for me, and so I imagine it will be for many of those who hope to attend. Airfare, lodging, and field trips are all about twice what I have paid for meetings in the Indo-Pacific in the past.

I was shocked at the costs of the field trips! I have just  been on a wilderness (and diving) in remote parts of Venezuela that required small planes to access them, many guides, camping along remote rivers, etc etc, and I paid way less that the cost of 4 days at Heron or Lizard Island that do not even include the scuba diving!  The pre and post tours are luxury tours than I certainly cannot afford even as a senior faculty member at a US university.

Based on the comparison sent out by GJ Gast comparing 2008 and 2012 fees adjusted for currency fluctuations, it seems that the ISRS registration fees are in fact much higher (double or more) than the 2008 fees.  The budget of $3M for a 5 day meeting of ca. 2000 people divides out to $1500 per person or $300 pp/pd.  That is a lot!  It is not clear how the cost per participant per day can be so high!  What does each person get for this in addition to lunch and coffee breaks?  In the past, banquet tickets have been optional and additional to registration fees, as have been field trips.  Basic meeting costs should be mostly subsidized by sponsors, and registration fees should mostly only cover basic cost of being at the meeting, not for plenaries or AV equipment, or organizer fees.  If insufficient sponsorship was obtained, so that total costs of holding the meeting was passed on to participants, that is a problem and should have been made public sooner to alert us to the upcoming problem with funding for the meeting.

I feel bad for our colleagues the meeting organizers who I am sure worked on planning the meeting in good faith, , but I feel that somewhere they lost their way, and have unrealistic expectations of what we coral reefers expect and can afford for a scientific conference, even an international one.  Unless something drastic happens (e.g. a much reduced registration fee that doesn't include much other than authorization to hear the talks and view the posters, and coffee breaks), I will be one of the many that will not be there for the 1st time since 1977.  Maybe Cairns was too expensive a choice of where to hold the meeting.  Townsville was great  last time around.


Alina Szmant

Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Professor of Marine Biology
Center for Marine Science and Dept of Biology and Marine Biology
University of North Carolina Wilmington
5600 Marvin Moss Ln
Wilmington NC 28409 USA
tel:  910-962-2362  fax: 910-962-2410  cell: 910-200-3913

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