The NOC annual symposium is the highlight of the year for many native orchid enthusiasts. This four day event was initiated in 2002 in North Carolina and has been held every year since. Other venues have included: Alberta, California, Delaware, Florida, Manitoba, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ontario, Oregon, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
A typical symposium includes two days of lectures by well-known individuals who are highly respected in their field. An overview of the history, culture, geology and natural history of the venue is included. In addition, research topics, travelogues, conservation reports, taxonomic changes and other related subjects add to the interesting lecture line-up. There are also two days of field-trips to nearby sites which have been staked-out by local NOC volunteers and students. It is normal to see between ten and twenty species of orchids. The symposium is timed to coincide with peak bloom times so most of the plants are in flower. Photography opportunities abound.
A most enjoyable feature of the symposium is the chance to socialize with old friends as well as the opportunity to make new ones. Many lasting friendships and professional relationships began at the annual symposium.
Olympic Peninsula Symposium Postponed ... Again
With so many uncertainties facing symposium organizers, the NOC Directors sought input from our membership. We thank the nearly fifty members who responded. The results were clear; an overwhelming majority (70%) wants to preserve the Olympic Peninsula event but nearly the same number are not prepared to participate this year. Covid-19 concerns (including vaccine distribution, travel restrictions and venue availability) were most often cited. Therefore, on January 12 the decision was made to re-schedule this much anticipated event for June, 2022. Those who are already registered will be contacted directly and given options regarding their registration fee.
The survey also posed alternatives to the usual symposium format. As a result of significant member interest, plans are now underway to provide a series of virtual meetings which will take place during the course of the next year. These meetings will include presentations by experts in various areas of general interest, summaries of research conducted by Case Grant recipients and virtual field trips to important orchid habitat or conservation projects led by NOC members. In June 2021 our annual meeting will also be conducted virtually. In addition, we will attempt to organize mini field trips to be held in various parts of the US and Canada at peak blooming time for specific orchid species. They will be led by NOC members and the number of participants will be limited by Covid restrictions, logistics and other considerations.
We hope you will avail yourselves of the opportunity to participate in these events. Please advise if you are willing to lead a mini field trip and/or make a virtual presentation. Reply using the form on the CONTACT page.