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Manuscript review and a hidden gem

February 21, 2011

We all arrived at the center about 7:30 am for a light breakfast, followed by a planning session to arrange the work priorities for the week. First, Ellen was given the grand tour of the facilities and upon return we sat down to take a look at the current version of the manuscript on the conservation of freshwater snails of the United States and Canada. The committee working on this manuscript is comprised of about eight malacologists from the United States and Canada. A spreadsheet with all of the species of freshwater snails, their common names and distribution by state had already been compiled and the conservation status of each of the 800+ snails completed. We have a rough draft of the manuscript with tables, plates and literature cited. Now comes the hard part, sitting down in the conference room with the text projected on the screen at the end of the room. The four of us read the text, comment on the composition, wording and if the comments are factual. This can be quite tedious, with frequent discussions on how to correctly word a sentence.

Lunch was out at a local gas station — well actually an old, converted gas station with a great selection of wine, cheeses and great sandwiches — a local oasis. After lunch, food was procured for the rest of the week’s lunches. Now back to reading and revising. This ground on for hours until dinner was called. We made great progress in explaining terms so that anyone could understand the biology of these snails, and why species are endangered or extinct while other species are widespread and common. Freshwater snails turned out to be the most imperiled group of aquatic animals on the planet — 74 percent are imperiled at some level.

—Art Bogan

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