Blackjack at The Morton Arboretum

Participants of the 8th International Oak Society Conference (Oct 18 - 21, 2015) - click on the images to view high resolution versions

It's blackjack for the IOS. No, that's not a reference to Quercus marilandica. The International Oak Society turned up an ace and face card this year at The Morton Arboretum: 21 years to the day after the first IOS meeting took place, on the day following the Conference held on Monday, October 17, 1994, the Society held its 8th Conference at the same venue: Blackjack! (or, given our international scope: Vingt-et-un!). The 2015 coming-of-age was well attended by 188 registrants. Activities took place over four days, with satellite meetings going on during the day on Sunday, October 18th, and the Conference proper kicking off that evening with the Reception and Keynote Address delivered by Sara Oldfield of the IUCN Global Tree Specialist Group. Twenty-six presentations were delivered Monday through Wednesday, on topics ranging from hard-core genetics to the history of oak-rod baskets. In between, we had a choice of workshops one afternoon, a series of field trips in the Arboretum on another, and a superb Gala Banquet at the Morton’s Gingko Restaurant on Tuesday evening. There were also poster presentations to be viewed during our breaks and a highly successful silent auction running over several days, with frenetic bidding for the attractive items offered. You can view photos of the Conference in a photo gallery here, and you can look forward to more a more detailed report in the next issue of Oak News & Notes and the Proceedings in International Oaks No. 27. In the meantime, here are some mementos from 21 years back: the group photo taken in 1994 on the same steps in front of the Thornhill Education Center, and the Attendance Roster of the Inaugural Meeting (click on the images to enlarge). 

FRONT ROW, left to right: Nigel  Wright  (Pennsylvania),  Aytekin Ertas  (Turkey), Michael Melendrez (New Mexico), Stelian Radu (Romania), Damian Beardi (New York), Michael Beardi (New York), Mary Ann Dillon (Michigan), Amy Larson  (California),  Susan  Cooper (England),  George Ware (Illinois), Lisa Wright (Pennsylvania)
SECOND ROW: Tom Burleson (New Mexico), Ken Asmus (Michigan), Peter van der Linden (Illinois), John Pair (Kansas), Jamie Friend (England), Ron Lance (North Carolina), E.H. Peter Ahrens (New York)
THIRD ROW: David Johnson (Ohio), Rocco Damato  (Illinois), Tamara Trites (Ohio), John Gammon  (England), William Hess (Illinois), Harry Bailey (Georgia)
FOURTH ROW: Durell Nelson (Illinois), Greg Morgenson (North Dakota), Mark Coggeshall (Indiana), Mark Pitman (England), Sue  Shapiro (Wisconsin), Jim King (Illinois), Lawrence Slavicek (Illinois)
FIFTH ROW: Piers Trehane (England), Allen Coombes (England), Guy Sternberg (Illinois).

Attendance Roster from the Inaugural Meeting, October 18, 1994.

You can download the complete list of registrants in the 1994 Conference here (members only).
And here are other documents from the first Conference:

Program (in color!), click on the images below to enlarge:

 The First IOS Field Trip followed hard upon the First Conference. Here is the group photo and the trip agenda:

FRONT ROW (left to right): Michael Melendrez (New Mexico), Allen Coombes (UK), Aytekin Ertas (Turkey), Susan Cooper (UK), Jamie Friend (UK)
BACK ROW: Bill Hess (Illinois), Stelian Radu (Romania), Mark Pitman (UK), Tom Burleson (New Mexico), Mark Coggeshall (Indiana), John Gammon (UK), Lisa Wright (Pennsylvania), Guy Sternberg (Illinois), Nigel Wright (Pennsylvania)

(click on images to enlarge)

For comparison: group photo of Pre-Tour 2015 participants at Lincoln's Tomb

With thanks to Guy Sternberg for all photographs and documents from 1994.