The Biology of the Rattlesnakes barbecue took place at the Chiricahua Desert Museum the day after the end of the BOR symposium in Tucson. Despite the distance from Tucson many people attended the barbeque, including notable herpetologists Jonathan A. Campbell (who had presented the banquet lecture on the final night of the symposium), co-author with William W. Lamar of probably the most important herpetological publication on the Americas: The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere - a two volume set. Also present was David L.Hardy, an MD with a burning interest in snakes and the often field colleague of Cornell professor and highly respected snake ecologist HarryW.Greene.
Mark and Jonathan A. Campbell,
eminent neotropical herpetologist and author
at the BOR barbecue
and with Jonathan's wife Tanya Dowdey,
in front of Tell Hicks prints
photographs by Tell Hicks
At a later date, after the IHS in Fort Worth, the Chiricahua Desert Museum was the venue for another barbecue, this time for the keen young students who had attended the American Museum of Natural History Herpetology Field Course. This field course, which ran from 24 July until 3 August 2011, was held at the AMNH Southwestern Research Station at Portal, New Mexico. Speaking to participants at the barbeque afterwards, it seems to have been highly successful with over 60 taxa of reptiles and amphibians seen.
I recalled a British herpetological field course, led by Tony Phelps, back in the late 1970s in Dorset, during which we found all six native mainland reptiles. But that the opportunity to attend the AMNH field course had been available when I was starting out in herpetology.