Bahamas Natural History Conference

Bahamas Natural History Conference

There has been a great amount of scientific research done throughout The Bahamas over the past decades. However, much of the information on the natural history of this country was accessible only through libraries overseas or by paying for access to journals. Conferences are a great avenue for getting this important information to the resource managers, decision makers and the public at large. The Bahamas Natural History Conference (BNHC) is the first of its kind on New Providence and aims to get the information to the government officials, students and the majority of the population in The Bahamas. The goal of the conference is to inspire new avenues of research and cooperation across disciplines while highlighting the benefits of research of the environment, economy and human society of The Bahamas.

BNHC Conferences In Review

The first Bahamas Natural History Conference was held in March 2013 under the theme, Highlighting the Importance of Research, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship, and attracted local and international researchers, educators, natural resource managers, students and naturalists. With over 100 abstracts received, the conference created a forum to encourage interdisciplinary research and conservation in The Bahamas. Many attendees attested that this conference marked the beginning of a more direct dialogue between the scientific community and national decision-makers.

The theme for BNHC 2014, Discovering Our Ephemeral Isles was inspired by David G. Campbell’s book, The Ephemeral Islands, the first comprehensive natural history account of The Bahamas. The conference took place in the week of March 3rd – 7th. David G. Campbell, along with Her Deepness, Dr. Silvia Earl were among the special speakers. One of the major focuses of the conference will be to hold a special IUCN workshop to develop a Bahamas Species and Ecosystem Red List.

BNHC 2016 was the first to start the biennial rotation. The theme for BNHC 2016, Reversing the Decline, emphasized the need to not only protect the remaining resources of The Bahamas, but to also work towards a future where biodiversity is thriving better than it is today and was executed during the week of March 14th – 18th. The conference had 73 scientist oral presentations, 5 COB student presentations and 13 poster presentations. The total attendance of the conference was the largest to date at 496 (mostly COB students). Special speakers included the Director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Pete Marra, and the world renowned wildlife photographer Melissa Groo.

Stay tuned for information regarding BNHC 2018!