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36th Annual Meeting--July 20-24th

Hosted by Michael Draney, Vicki Medland, and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Annual Meeting Photo

AAS 2012 group photo

Photo with participant numbers and key to the numbers (use this to find out who is in the photo!)

Download High resolution 8X10 inch (pdf) 22.5M

Download Lower resolution (jpg) 7.86M

Latest News

We have been upgraded to a newly remodeled apartment building with private rooms! You will still share common space (kitchen, living area, and bathroom) with 2-5 others, but each person will have a private bedroom. Linens and towels are included.

Abstracts are now available for preview. If you are an author and would like us to make changes to your abstract please email


Registration will be online via credit card at

Please review the accomodations and food sections before your register. If you are having trouble registering via the website contact Mike Draney at If you do not have access to the internet and cannot register online call Kim Mckeefry at 920.465.5032 with your registration and credit card information.

Presentations, Posters, and Abstract Submission

Submission of abstracts will be online at

The deadline for submision is July 7th, but early submission will be greatly appreciated. Abstracts should be limited to 250 words. Note that our database does not accept text mark-up like bold or italics, however we will properly format all taxonomic names as we prepare the abstracts for the meeting booklet. If you have any unusual formatting requests email them to Mike Draney at

Oral Presentations: Contributed oral presentations should be in PowerPoint format. Each talk will last 15 minutes; 12 minutes for the talk and three minutes for questions. Please bring your PowerPoint presentation on a thumb drive, and load it on the computer before the start of the session in which you will be presenting. All oral presentations will be in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall Room 210. Please check that your talk displays appropriately on a computer other than the one you generated it on. It is safest to save all images as jpg files, to assure cross-platform display.

Posters: Poster can be a maximum of 4 feet wide and 5 feet tall. Posters will be on display in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall for the duration of the conference, with a formal poster presentation on Saturday afternoon, July 21 from 3:30 to 6. Please set up your poster up on Friday, July 20 if possible.

Student Competition

Students must be a member of the AAS. Membership information can be found at If the presenter is from a developing nation and cannot afford to join the society, contact the membership secretary (contact information available on the AAS website) who will find a membership sponsor for the student.

The student must include a statement during their abstract submission explaining whether the work to be presented is part of a master’s thesis, a doctoral dissertation, and whether it is the culmination of the graduate project or just a small component of that project.

The presentation must represent a completed body of independent or joint research in which the student’s contribution has been substantial. If co-authored, the student must be first author. Entry is limited to one poster or one oral presentation. Previous first-prize winners of the Student Paper award are not eligible. However, runner-ups are eligible, and past poster winners may compete in the oral competition and vice versa.

Complete competition guidelines: pdf, doc

Casual Night Presentations

Presentations should be embedded in a Powerpoint format if possible (contact Vicki Medland if you have special video requirements).   All presenters MUST contact Rick Vetter ( prior to July 7.   

Photo Display Submissions

A photo display will be ongoing in the conference common area on our 48 inch screen. If you would like to submit photos for the display please send Vicki Medland ( photos or powerpoint slides formatted for 16:9 display (10" X 5.63" landscape).


July 20 (Friday): Arrival and registration, Cofrin Center; welcome reception at the Lenfenesty Courtyard adjacent to the meeting rooms.

July 21-23: Talks and Poster Sessions at the Cofrin Center.

July 21 (Saturday): Traditional Green Bay Tailgate Dinner - bratwurst, burgers, traditional sides and a selection of Wisconsin microbrewed beers on the scenic Shorewood Golf Course on campus. Discounted rounds of golf will be available from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

July 22 (Sunday): Casual Arachnid Night featuring slide shows, videos, or anything else relating to arachnids, but of a less technical nature than the regular presentations and suitable for a general audience that includes children. Presentations can be of variable length. Please contact Rick Vetter( , to get on the schedule.

July 23 (Monday): Banquet, at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on the UW-Green Bay Campus.

July 24th (Tuesday):   Field Trip to Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula (see below).  

Accommodations and Food

On-campus apartment housing is available. Each air-conditioned apartment includes 2 shared bedrooms, bathroom, full kitchen and living room. Linens and towels are provided, but kitchen equipment and dishes are not. The charge is per person depending on occupancy. Families are welcome.

Internet access is available in the apartments and Wi-Fi is available throughout campus.

Reservations for on-campus housing can be made online at the time of registration.

UW Green Bay is located in a residential area and there are no hotels available within walking distance.

In addition to meeting refreshment breaks, lunches and dinners will also be catered for the meeting. Breakfast buffet ($5.50) and catered lunches ($9.00) and dinners ($11.00-$13.00) will be available at the student union directly across from the meeting area. There is also a small café and coffeehouse located on campus. Sandwiches can also be purchased at the golf course which is a short walk from on-campus housing. There are a number of excellent restaurants located in the Green Bay area, but unfortunately none of these are within walking distance of the campus. A restaurant guide will be included in your meeting packet.

Special Events

A welcome reception and opening pizza mixer will take place on the evening of July 20. It will be held in the Lenfestey Courtyard adjacent to our meeting rooms. Included in registration fee. There will be a cash bar.

Saturday evening dinner will be a traditional Green Bay Tailgate featuring bratwurst, burgers, traditional sides. Selected Wisconsin microbrewed beer will be available for sale. ($11.00) The event will be held on the scenic Shorewood golf course located on campus. Discounted rounds of golf will be available between 3 and 6 PM.

The AAS graduate student organization is co-hosting a student event, Saturday night on the town, with local students; details will be announced at the meeting.   Please contact AAS graduate student representative Alexander Sweger ( for more information. 

Sunday after dinner we will have a casual arachnid night, featuring slide shows, videos, or anything else relating to arachnids, but of a less technical nature than the regular presentations.   Presentations can be of variable length.  If you plan to present anything, you must contact meeting host Mike Draney ( in advance, so I can schedule everyone and accomodate technical needs.  

The meeting banquet will be held in the Grand Foyer of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. The banquet and annual auction will be held on Monday evening in the grand foyer of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts located on the UW Green Bay campus. The 2500 square-foot Grand Foyer is a magnificent space that features the remarkable Weidner Center Chandelier by artist Dale Chihuly, which beautifully compliments two Wisconsin Hardwoods oil paintings by Rodger Bechtold. $50 ($30 students)


Monday July 23 - This year’s auction features several rare books from the personal library of the late Dr. Joseph A. Beatty, including O. Pickard-Cambridge’s 2 volume Biologia Centrali-Americana (1889-1905), McCook’s 3 volume American Spiders and their Spinning Work (1889-1893), and Bonnett’s  three volume Bibliographia Araneorum, the predecessor of Platnick’s World Spider Catalog. 

We will also be auctioning off a set of Dr. David Penney's monographs on fossil arachnids: Penney, D. (2008) Dominican Amber Spiders: a comparative palaeontological-neontological approach to identification, faunistics, ecology and biogeography; Penney, D. & Selden, P.A. (2011) Fossil Spiders: the evolutionary history of a mega-diverse order; Dunlop, J.A. & Penney, D. (2012) Fossil Arachnids.

Field Trip

We have planned a collecting trip to Toft Point Natural Area in beautiful Door County, WI. We will depart Green Bay around 8 am on the July 24 (Tuesday) and drive about 1 hour 15 minutes to Toft Point and spend the day hiking, collecting spiders, etc. Box lunches will be provided. We will stop for dinner in Door County before returning to the UW-Green Bay campus. Remember a hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and insect repellant. Price including lunch is $35 ($25 for students)

Collecting spiders and other arachnids is encouraged, but we ask that you provide any identification information to Michael Draney (whether you identify material on-site or 10 years later).   Seven species of Opiliones and 127 spider species from 19 families have been recorded from the site so far.  A list of arachnids recorded from the site will be provided, and Mike Draney will buy a drink for anyone contributing new species records for the site.  

Toft Point contains several outstanding native plant communities concentrated on a 1-mile-wide peninsula along Door County's Lake Michigan coast. The natural area is bordered on the north by Moonlight Bay, and on the south by Baileys Harbor. There are more than two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, with areas of wave-cut dolomite cliffs. Stretches of limestone cobble beach, mixed with marly soil, are exposed during periods of low lake levels. The vegetation of the eastern shoreline, influenced by the cooling effects of Lake Michigan, consists of a narrow strip of relict boreal forest dominated by balsam fir and white spruce. The majority of the peninsula is wooded with a mesic forest of sugar maple, yellow birch, hemlock, balsam fir, and scattered white pine. To the north, along Moonlight Bay, is an extensive calcareous sedge meadow that grades into shrub-carr and wet-mesic forest dominated by white cedar with occasional paper birch and black ash. Pockets of tamarack swamp and alder thicket are embedded in the wetland. Extensive stands of hard-stemmed bulrush grow offshore in 1 to 4 feet of water offering cover and spawning sites for a variety of fish. The natural area provides habitat for more than 440 vascular plant species and one of the most diverse bryophyte (mosses and liverworts) floras in the state. Several orchid taxa and many rare plant species find refuge here. Toft Point, along with the adjacent Ridges Sanctuary, contains many area-sensitive bird species including seventeen species of nesting warblers. The site is named for Kersten Toft who received the land as compensation for his work at a limestone quarry nearby. Remaining on site is an historic kiln, which is the state's best intact example of the early circular kilns that once dotted parts of the Niagara escarpment. Toft Point is owned by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. The site is recognized by the National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark and was designated a State Natural Area in 1967.

Travel Awards

The American Arachnological Society announces a student and emeritus arachnologist travel award to aid students and retired arachnologists interested in attending this year's AAS annual meeting at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (July 20-24, 2012). Awards of up to $500 will be considered for undergraduate or graduate students, or to retired arachnologists with limited or no funding support who are presenting authors on a poster or oral presentation at the meeting. Applicants must be members of AAS. Priority will be given to individuals who have a demonstrated financial need that cannot be met by other sources (e.g. advisor, department or university), but all are welcome to apply. Funding for retired arachnologists is from the Schlinger Foundation.

To apply, please send an electronic version of the application

to Dr. James Harwood at, no later than May 18, 2012.


UW-Green Bay is 15 minutes from Austin Straubel International Airport, and even closer to the Greyhound Bus station.  Shuttle transportation to and from the meeting and these locations will be available to conference attendees.  The campus is two minutes from Interstate 43 and plentiful parking is available.  All meeting events are within easy walking distance of campus housing.  Bus service between the University and the City of Green Bay is available but does not run late at night, although taxi services are also available. 

About the University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution with an enrollment of approximately 6,600 students, exceptional academic facilities and affordable, high-quality programs at the undergraduate and graduate-degree levels. An interdisciplinary academic approach encourages students to be creative problem-solvers who value diversity, sustainability and community involvement. With a scenic bayshore campus and metropolitan mission, UW-Green Bay is convenient to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of the New North and Fox Valley regions. Excellent library and computer facilities, well-equipped classrooms, abundant fine arts opportunities, Division I athletics and premium student housing are prominent. Founded in 1965 and a member institution of the tradition-rich University of Wisconsin System, UW-Green Bay boasts more than 29,000 alumni. Graduates live and work worldwide, but many remain in Northeast Wisconsin to serve as the region’s teachers, health care professionals, business people, planners and civic leaders. The University is strongly linked to its community.

The campus is surrounded by a 350 acre natural area that includes over 6 miles of paved, gravel, and barked trails that pass through mesic forest, escarpment cedar, prairie, oak savanna, and lakeshore habitats. There is a nine hole golf course on-campus as well as a Frisbee disc golf course.

The meeting will be held in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, which includes over half of UWGB's classrooms, the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, Richter Museum of Natural History, and the UWGB Herbarium. The building was constructed to a LEED platinum standard and is regarded as a national demonstration for “green design” and energy-generating technology. Its revolutionary design utilizes a standing metal roof and “vision glass” as a solar energy source generating supplemental electricity, being the first of its kind in the United States. When combined with its efficient use of natural daylight, energy consumption is cut in half while enhancing its function as an exceptional academic center and natural museum, making Cofrin Hall one of the most innovative explorations of energy-saving technology.

About the City of Green Bay

Green Bay, Wisconsin is a small city of just over 100,000 located on the planet’s largest freshwater embayment, about 100 miles north of Milwaukee and 200 miles north of Chicago.  Home of the Green Bay Packers, it is the oldest city in Wisconsin. 

Green Bay summer weather ranges from hot and muggy to cold and wet.  We advise everyone to bring raingear and a sweater or fleece in addition to summer clothing and sunscreen.  We do not have black flies, but mosquitoes can be a problem in natural areas, and insect repellent is a must for those going on the field trip.