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Special Activities

As always, there will be a 5k Fun Run as part of the annual meeting in Providence, RI. In addition, volleyball is back. This year we will make these fun events more of a challenge. In honor of this year’s recipient of the NABS Award of Excellence, Dr. Pat Mulholland, we will be offering the opportunity for runners, volleyball players, and non-participants to contribute and pledge in support of the ALS Association. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is an illness that Pat has been battling for two years. To help support research for a cure for ALS, we would like to encourage individuals or teams to seek sponsorship, and see if we, as a scientific society, can make a difference.

Scientists Support ALS Research

The option of providing pledges and sponsorship in support of ALS research is pretty simple. When you register for the Annual Meeting and also register for either volleyball or the 5k run, you will see the option of linking directly to the ALS website (http://webri.alsa.org). You can easily set up your individual or team sponsorship and set a goal. Send the link to friends, family, colleagues, who will want to support the effort. For this event, we are partnering with the Rhode Island Chapter of the ALS Association, which is very excited about working with our society on this important campaign. Together, we can make a difference.

All NABSters and other interested parties can support this great cause. You do not need to be a runner, walker, volleyball player, just someone who cares. We will have a “Pat Mulholland Team” page linked through the ALS Association’s Rhode Island Chapter’s homepage for all who want to contribute to ALS research. Come out and support the 5k and volleyball tournament. We will all have a good time!

Donations: Make a donation

5k Fun Run

The weather in Rhode Island in May is usually fantastic for running, so many fast times should be expected. The race is planned to take place in Roger Williams Park at the southern edge of Providence. This 173 ha park, named after the founder of Providence and one of the founders of the state of Rhode Island, is a beautiful park, elaborately landscaped, with many historic structures. This park is often considered to be “one of the finest urban parks in the U.S.", containing 7 lakes, and the Roger Williams Park Zoo. The route includes some rolling hills, but the beautiful setting will make this an extremely pleasant little trip through the Park. Race coordination and timing services will be provided by +Organization Plus+ Road Race Management Services, North Kingstown, RI.

Volleyball Tournament

Thanks to Maria Aliberti Lubertazzi, there will once again be a volleyball tournament. Since we are in Rhode Island, this will be a beach volleyball event (well, on sand, even if not at the beach). The tournament will take place at sports complex in nearby Cranston, RI, and should be an exciting event for all of you volleyballers out there.

Registration for the 5k Fun Run or Volleyball tournament: $30.00 (includes event t-shirt)

Pre-Meeting Excursion

Note: If certain minimum levels of participation are not met for any trip, that trip will have to be cancelled, and all fees will be refunded.

Narragansett Bay Boat Tour - Sunday, 22 May

Providence is located on the largest estuary in New England, Narragansett Bay. The bay covers over 380 km2 and contains over 30 islands, both small and large. One of the islands is occupied in part by the unique cultural city of Newport, and several other islands constitute the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.  The Narragansett Bay supports large recreation, commerce and fishing industries, and is a very important resource for the state of Rhode Island, and surrounding areas. The Bay is also constantly under threat from coastal development and industrial pollution, among other things. This boat tour of Narragansett Bay will be guided by Save the Bay, a local organization devoted to the protection and restoration of Narragansett Bay through science, education and restoration efforts. The boat tour will highlight scenic points, and explore environmental issues and restoration efforts, including the heavily developed upper bay. The trip will also feature a marine creature trawl. A visit to Save the Bay headquarters will include a tour of their new “green center”, featuring its stormwater management regime. It would be hard to beat a boat-ride on the bay, a great way to get excited about the meeting soon to start. Departure from the Westin Hotel at 12:30 pm.

For more information, visit: http://www.savebay.org
Leader: Members of Save the Bay, Narragansett Bay
Cost: $50.00, which includes transportation to the Save The Bay Center
Limit: 30

Post-Meeting Excursions

Note: If certain minimum levels of participation are not met for any trip, that trip will have to be cancelled, and all fees will be refunded.

Block Island and Cape Cod trips take place on Friday, 27 May, 2011, the day after the meeting officially ends. A pre-meeting trip, the Narragansett Bay Boat Tour, is planned for Sunday afternoon (1:00 – 4:00 pm), 22 May 2011, before things really get going Sunday evening. All the trips will depart from the Westin Hotel. Tentative departure time is 8:00 am for all trips, except the Boat Tour which will run Sunday afternoon.

Some of these trips (i.e., Block Island), make excellent weekend getaways should you want to extend your stay in Rhode Island a couple of extra days.

Block Island, RI - Friday, 27 May

Block Island is a small island lying just over 19 km off the coast of Rhode Island, only 6,200 acres in size, but 40% of the island is preserved. There are over 40 km of walking trails open to the public, 27 km of free, public beaches, dramatic bluffs and many preserved open spaces including Clay Head Preserve, Fresh Swamp Preserve, the Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve, Rodman’s Hollow, and more. We plan to visit a couple of reserves, with an expert from the Rhode Island Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. The diverse array of habitats on the island support over 40 state and federally listed rare or endangered species, including the globally endangered American burying beetle (very cool “bug”). Because of the incredible natural, and cultural history of this small island, the Nature Conservancy has designated Block Island as “One of the 12 last great places in the Western Hemisphere.” The island is easily accessible by ferry for day (or overnight) trips from either Newport or Point Judith (both of which are a half-hour drive from Providence), and the best way to explore the island is by bike or moped. There are easily seven or eight places to rent bikes (or mopeds) on the island, some of which are within easy walking distance from the ferry landing. When you combine the natural beauty of the island, with 50 stores and specialty shops, many wonderful bars and restaurants, you quickly understand why a trip to Block Island is well worth the effort.

For more information, visit: http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/rhodeisland/preserves/art3146.html

Cost: $65.00, which includes transportation to and from the ferry, and $18.95 for the ferry to Block Island (same-day, round-trip service from Point Judith, RI). If participants choose to explore the island by bike or moped, they should anticipate added cost for rental. Lunch on your own.
Limit: Up to 40, depending on transportation

Cape Cod National Seashore - Friday, 27 May

A day-trip from Providence to Cape Cod National Seashore in nearby Massachusetts will offer guided walks and drives through spectacular coastal scenery and fascinating ecosystems. Like Block Island, the Cape includes a diverse array of habitats, terrestrial, marine and freshwater, including coastal plain ponds and dune swales, and the visit will be at the height of the spring season.  There are also many marine habitats, including tidal flats, salt marshes, and soft-bottomed benthos. Cape Cod was a terminal moraine at the end of the last glacial period, and the sandy soils and strong winds provide a unique setting for stunted coastal forests, pitch pine-scrub oak barrens and kettle ponds, among other things.  With the major stress of human development over the last century, the National Seashore is a treasure for both research and recreation in New England. This trip provides the opportunity to visit what is truly a national treasure, a “can’t miss” trip for all.  Satellite image, from National Park Service web page, others courtesy of Maria Aliberti Lubertazzi.

For more information, visit: http://www.nps.gov/caco
Cost: $65.00 (includes box lunch)
Limit: 20, depending on transportation

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