1998 - Mt. Crested Butte

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The 3rd International Butterfly Ecology and Evolution Symposium was held in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado, USA on August  15-19, 1998.  Over 140 researchers attended the conference, from 19 different countries representing every continent except Antarctica.  As e-mail had become more functional by 1998, an e-mail database of participants was constructed, both to facilitate further communication among participants and to help future meeting organizers.  The Colorado meeting was organized by Carol Boggs & Ward Watt; Charles Remington served as honorary President.  Talks were held in plenary session so that all talks could be heard by everyone, and posters were also presented.  Topics ranged from ecology through the emerging field of evo-devo to genetics and conservation biology.  The conference banquet was held at Mt. Crested Butte.  That dinner also honored Charles Remington and Paul Ehrlich, who were both present.  People who could trace their academic lineage in one way or another to those two were asked to stand, and nearly three quarters of those present stood.  On another evening, a dinner was held at the nearby Rocky Mountain Biological Lab.  Commemorative t-shirts were available at the conference, and attendees also took advantage of the many local hiking opportunities.

Talks presented at the meeting, along with selected poster presentations, were updated and expanded as chapters in a book published in 2003 by the University of Chicago Press, edited by Carol Boggs, Ward Watt and Paul Ehrlich, and titled “Butterflies: Ecology and Evolution Taking Flight”. 

Partial funding for graduate students and researchers from under-developed countries came from the US National Science Foundation.  The small amount of residual funding from conference registration went towards support of needy attendees at the later Leiden and Rome meetings.

At the last plenary session, Paul Brakefield volunteered to organize the next meeting in Leiden, in 4 years’ time.  The consensus among attendees was that the meetings should be alternated between Europe and North America, at a minimum, with forays into Latin America, Asia (including Australia) and Africa, as opportunity permits.  The rationale for site rotation was to allow participation on at least an occasional basis by students or others with meager funds from a given continent.

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