Skip to main content

AAAS Pacific Division Convenes 16-19 June in Las Vegas

Organized loosely around the theme “desert science,” the annual meeting of the AAAS Pacific Division is expected to draw hundreds of science students, faculty, professionals and members of the public to the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus, 16-19 June.

The meeting will cover a broad range of scientific topics. Several of the symposia and lectures will focus on desert, water and climate issues while others will explore cancer research, science and feeling in the arts, STEM education and more.

“In its almost 100 years, the Pacific Division has met only twice in Nevada, both times in Reno (1927 and 1946) and never in Las Vegas. Thus, we are long overdue to return to Nevada and are excited to meet on the University of Nevada campus in Las Vegas this year,” said Roger Christianson, executive director of the AAAS Pacific Division and professor of biology at Southern Oregon University.

This event will be the 94th annual meeting of the Pacific Division, the oldest of the four AAAS regional divisions. It will be held with the Arizona/Nevada Academy of Sciences and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. The meeting is open to the public, but registration is required for most events.

“The organizing committees have developed a wonderfully diverse program of high scientific merit for this meeting. Plus, the geographic location of Las Vegas provides for many opportunities for exceedingly interesting and scientifically stimulating field trips. It is our hope that as many folks as are able will join us on the UNLV campus and take full advantage of all that the meeting has to offer,” Christianson said.

The program includes over 15 symposia plus workshops, oral and poster presentations in a range of scientific disciplines, and several public lectures.

A series of field trips will showcase a variety of the region’s engineering and natural history highlights, including Hoover Dam, Tule Springs Fossil Beds and Zion National Park.

Program Highlights

Sunday 16 June

  • A public panel discussion on the future of scientific publishing.

Monday 17 June

  • A public lecture, “Las Vegas: Sustainable?” by Dr. Robert E. Lang, non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-director of Brookings Mountain West, professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and director of The Lincy Institute;
  • A symposium on risk assessments for juvenile fire-setters and bomb-makers;
  • A symposium on forensic and clinical psychological science issues in anti-terrorism;
  • The Pacific Division Presidential Address, “Of One-Eyed Sheep and Hedgehogs,” by Dr. Owen M. McDougal, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Boise State University, and 2012/13 President of the AAAS Pacific Division.

Tuesday 18 June

  • A public lecture on new frontiers in cancer research, by Rafael Malagoli Rocha, Department of Pathology, Hospital AC Camargo, Liberdade São Paulo, Brazil;
  • A symposium on climate change, sustainability and water resources in the arid West;
  • The Pacific Division student awards banquet.

Wednesday 19 June

  • A public lecture, “The Incredible Contributions of Nikola Tesla,” by Dr. Michael Pravica, associate professor of physics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas;
  • A symposium on the management of endangered species in the American West;
  • A symposium, “Dinosaurs and Their Neighbors: Mesozoic Paleontology and Paleogeography of Nevada.

AAAS Divisions

AAAS’s four regional divisions—Pacific, Arctic, Caribbean, and Southwestern and Rocky Mountain (SWARM)—serve as regional networks for scientists, organizing meetings on regional issues and promoting publications from scientists active within the division.

The Pacific Division includes more than 30,000 AAAS members from California, Hawaii, Idaho, western Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and all other countries bordering or lying within the Pacific Basin, with the exception of mainland Mexico south to Panama. All AAAS members in good standing, and who reside or work within the specified boundaries of a regional division, are automatically included as members of that regional division.


View the program for the 2013 AAAS Pacific Division Annual Meeting.