Submitted to: Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 5, 2004
Publication Date: June 28, 2005
Citation: Noel, G.R. 2005. Onta organizational structure and member involvement opportunities. Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America. p. 39-40. Technical Abstract: The history of ONTA began in 1967 when nematologists met in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico during the First Symposium on Tropical Nematology. Several of those nematologists met on December 2, 1967 in San Juan, Puerto Rico to form 'The Organization of Tropical American Nematologists'. Those who made the historic decision to form the society were Alejandro Ayala, Jesse Roman, R. Chevres-Roman, and L. F. Martorell of Puerto Rico, R. Barriga Olivares of Columbia, G. Blair of Trinidad, J. E. Edmunds of St. Lucia, and J. A. Winchester and A. C. Tarjan of the U.S.A. The first meeting was held in Sarasota, Florida in November, 1968 and was attended by 44 individuals from 10 countries. A. C. Tarjan was the first president. Those visionary nematologists formed the society with the anticipation of advancing the science of nematology in tropical America. The success of their efforts have been due to the willingness of individuals to take hold of their vision. In particular, Rodrigo Rodriguez-Kábana during a time that ONTA struggled to survive, preserved Nematropica as a viable journal. The old guard is stepping aside, and ONTA needs younger people to take hold of the vision of those nematologists who first met in 1967. There are many opportunities to serve in ONTA and to help keep the society viable. Foremost is for members to publish their research in Nematropica. The journal continually struggles to have sufficient numbers of high quality manuscripts. Members of ONTA do excellent research, and the rest of the agricultural community needs to know this. Two committees that need much greater involvement are the Honors and Awards Committee and the Nominations Committee. The Home Page Committee and Foundation Committee welcome more member participation. Historically, the Treasurer has been from Puerto Rico where ONTA is incorporated. In this time of electronic communication the Secretary does not have to be from the U.S. Perhaps the most critical positions in ONTA are the English and Spanish editors of Nematropica. Seriously consider volunteering for these two important positions. ONTA will remain strong only as long as more members are willing to make some sacrifice for the benefit of the society.