Tonmocon II (old thread)

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erich orser

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Hi All,

It's almost the New Year, and I felt the spectre ought to be raised regarding our next gathering. Florida has been suggested, which I'm more than happy with, provided we all get enough warning to find the time to go. Who has a vote? Who has suggestions? Who thinks the next one after this ought to be in Australasia or Europe? Got opinions? post 'em here!

Thanks for any tips or suggestions!

Erich Orser
 

OB

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Personally, I think two things:

1. It's a great idea, I think it would be fun to get to see the faces behind the avatars. OK, for me anyway...

2. Europe would for obvious reasons have my preference, if only for the quality of beer. UK? Regardless of the British views on food? Throw in some ammonite hunting for good measure?
 

tonmo

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You are so right Erich. I had such a great, incredible, fulfilling time at TONMOCON I. I will say that it was a LOT OF WORK to pull it off in a meaningful way (and no one knows that more than you and Melissa), but in the end it was more than worth it.

I do like the Florida idea -- I think everyone left the last event with the impression that that's where we'd meet next.

What's the deal with that new Atlanta aquarium? Wonder if that's a viable spot... I have no idea.
 

corw314

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Hmmm....I lost my original response....I think Florida or the new aquarium is a wonderful idea! Jess would be thrilled! And the new aquarium looks awesome!

Carol
 

cthulhu77

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I would have to say that, even though I voted for Florida initially...the new aquarium sounds better. Especially since it is a travel hub for every major airline too !
 

monty

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One thing that I really appreciated at TONMOCON I was the opportunity to visit research labs (MBARI and Hopkins) and interact with the academic folks. I suspect Florida may offer similar opportunities (although they may be less "all in one place" than the Monterey area was) but I don't know of anything like that in Atlanta besides the Aquarium proper. Not that I'm an authority on what's in Atlanta, or where the coolest research labs are, but a google for "cephalopod atlanta" didn't seem to turn up a lot of research papers in the first few pages. (Although there are some fossils in the floor tiles at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta). Searching for "cephalopod gatech" didn't pull up any major ceph research labs at Georgia Tech, either.

Also, I thought having a large number of locals to the Monterey area seemed quite helpful this year; I don't know how many Atlanteans we have who would help out... there seemed to be several Floridians who were enthusiastic, as I recall.

On the flip side, the new Atlanta aquarium does seem pretty darned cool. Do they have an associated research lab or anything? Their web site refers to their "4R" program (Rehabilitation, Relocation, Rescue, and Research) but it sounds more like husbandry than basic science from my quick read...

Monterey was probably unique in that there is a world-class aquarium, several world class research labs, and a large number of local or semi-local TONMOers, so I suppose wishing to duplicate everything from TONMOCON I in a different location is foolish, though... (Maybe NZ would have all of the above; being an ignorant American, I don't know how close all of you Kiwis and your labs and aquaria are to each other).
 

tonmo

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Good points Monty. BTW, price is going to definitely be a factor. Monterey was incredibly accommodatating... well, it was an expensive town and expensive to get there, but the convention hall itself (which was really our "home base") was remarkably affordable. Hoping that other places will extend similar facilities at a similar price... otherwise... I imagine those blaring bagpipes aren't as bad the 2nd time around. :biggrin2:
 

Cephkid

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The one lab I know of (in florida) is Harbor Branch Oceanigraphic Institute, and I don't know if they do anything more than the (mostly in-bus) tours...There is SeaWorld and Bush Gardens though...
 

erich orser

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Hmmm... I'd forgotten about the new aquarium in Atlanta. They've got a whale shark in captivity there... and it is, after all, where "Squidbillies" is produced. I'm definitely angling more for Florida, though. I'd love to get to see the Johnson Sea-Link in person.
 
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I'd like to bring up the possibility of making TonmoCon an every other year event. I've been involved in weeklong conferences/conventions, which is slightly different, but with classes, exhibits, vendors, etc. From the standpoint of putting them on, every two years is a lot easier. The people who make the arrangements aren't as likely to get burned out, and since it requires multi-state, and maybe multi-continent travel, the attendees have more time to save the necessary funds, so they can make their reservations early enough to get the best possible fares. If guest speakers or instructors (or researchers) are involved, it gives them more time to arrange their schedules. I don't know how many people attended TonmoCon one, but it's probably a lot easier to arrange if it's a fairly small group and everyone is responsible for his/her own accomodations. In time Tonmocon might get a lot bigger than the first one, and might expand to have more seminars, speakers, classes, tours, or whatever. I've been involved in site searches, scholarships, registration, and exhibits, and while some of that can be done on fairly short notice, some requires a lot more time. I would suggest that whatever location is chosen, if people have 18 months to plan for it, it will probably get better attendance than if they only have 6 months. How many of us in the states could afford to save enough to go to New Zealand in 6 months? I'd like to make it possible for everyone scattered around the globe to have a shot at going, no matter where we hold it.
 

cthulhu77

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LOL...the sad part is...we are planning for not 2006, but 2007. A well oiled machine has yet to rear it's head ! How long did we plan for the first one ? Anyone remember?
People like you are what make this group run so well...I couldn't organize a well-timed belch, let alone a large meeting. Tony, Melissa, Erich and the rest went to the ends of the earth to make the first one happen...I am sure they need a breather!

Do we want to poll on the Atlanta, Florida gambit?
 

tonmo

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Sorseress, you raise good points... I'm not sure I have it in me (or my bank account) for 2006... I think Greg's right, this is a 2007 thing...

cthulhu77 said:
I couldn't organize a well-timed belch, let alone a large meeting.
Burp!
 

Nancy

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I think you should add Galveston, Texas (a town on a barrier island along the Gulf coast near Houston) to the list of possible locations. If you go off season (spring is beautiful there), hotels can be reasonable and there are a number of conference facilities. I would imagine a visit to the NRCC could be arranged. Lots of other interesting things to do there, too.

Nancy
 
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