2017 American Bamboo Society Annual Meeting


The 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Bamboo Society will take place in the island Commonwealth of Puerto Rico! We are working with the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez (http://www.uprm.edu/) and CoHemis – The Center for Hemispherical Cooperation in Research and Education in Engineering and Applied Science (http://cohemis.uprm.edu/). We are extremely fortunate to discover this partnership, and look forward to bringing an excellent program and opportunity to Puerto Rico. Some of you may remember when there was an active Chapter of the ABS on the island of PR, and we hope that this annual meeting will ignite new energy into this region. Thank you to Jo Scheer of Tropical Treehouse, Mariano Robledo Diaz, and Pablo Acevedo for their local help with making this happen.

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us in Puerto Rico, November 1-5, 2017. Registration will begin July 1st – via our website, www.bamboo.org

The conference dates have been decided due to the rainy season. We felt it better to wait for what is normally drier weather, as we will have the opportunity to walk among the tropical bamboos of the USDA Tropical Agriculture Research Station (https://www.ars.usda.gov/southeast-area/mayaguez-pr/tropical-crops-and-germplasm-research/docs/main/), as well as visit bamboo plantations and gardens.

World Bamboo Pioneer Floyd McClure brought many of his tropical collections to TARS. From 1944-1954, McClure served as “Field Service Consultant on Bamboo” with the Office of Foreign Agricultural Service of the USDA, which took him again to six countries in Central and South America, as well as India, East Pakistan (Bangladesh), and the islands of Java and Luzon. Ultimately he was able to establish living collections of what he considered “elite” economic species in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. At the same time, he directed propagation studies at the Federal Experiment Station in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico (now known as TARS, Tropical Agricultural Research Station). Also of historical note, the ABS hosted an international meeting at TARS in 1984, which later became known as the 1st World Bamboo Congress.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017: 

9am – 5pm   ABS Board of Directors meeting (site to be determined)

5pm – Meet and Greet. Welcome to Puerto Rico!

Thursday, November 2, 2017: Presentations on campus

8am – 9am   Registration, Coffee, Conversation

9am – 10am     Welcome Address, Susanne Lucas, President ABS and Dr. Ricardo Goenaga, Executive Director, TARS, Bamboo in Puerto Rico.

10am – 11am   Christopher Papadopoulis, Building Materials Research Updates

11am – 11:15am   Coffee Break

11:15am – 11:45am   Director Dr. Fernando Gilbes Santaella, CoHemis and Bamboo

11:45am – 12:45pm Pablo Acevedo, Engineer,

“An Alternative for Sustainability in Puerto Rico”

12:45 – 1:45 pm     Lunch

1:45pm – 2:45pm   Jo Scheer, Artist, Builder, Grower, Gardener

“Embracing the bamboo lifestyle- mistakes I’ve made”

2:45pm – 3:45pm   Mariano Robledo Diaz, Builder, Grower

Bamboo Housing Projects

3:45pm – 4pm Coffee Break

4pm – 5pm   Zach Gould, Architect Student

“The Grass House: Building w/ Bamboo in Washington D.C.”

5pm – 6pm Panel Discussion / Wrap up of Today’s Presentations

7pm Dinner

Friday, November 3, 2017

Presentations on campus

8am – 9am Registration, Coffee, Conversation

9am Welcome and Updates

9:15am – 10:15am Lynn Clark, Taxonomist, Bamboos of the Caribbean

10:15am – 10:30am Coffee Break

10:30am – 11:30am Robert Saporito, Nursery Owner,

“Beautiful Tropical Bamboos for Ornamental Landscapes”

11:30am – 12:30pm   ABS Annual Business Meeting

12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch

1:30pm – 2pm   Panel Discussion / Wrap up of Presentations

2pm – 5pm   Annual Fundraiser Auction

6pm Dinner

Saturday NOV 4/Sunday NOV 5: Field trips/workshops in Area Oeste

Stay tuned for full schedule and description.


The American Bamboo Society is dependent on generous donations to fund special projects and award grant recipients, as all dues income goes to administration of the organization. Our Annual Meeting Auction is always great fun, and a great way to support ABS through your donations and your bidding! This year, we are lucky to have long-time ABS member Jo Scheer agree to receive any donations you wish to send! If you have plants or other objects of bamboo (books, musical instruments, sculptures, etc) YOU WISH TO SHIP (rather than hand-carry) please get in touch with Jo.

Jo Scheer

Ship to Address:

HC-03 Box 6780

Rincon, PR 00677

Email : bamboo@tropical-treehouse.com

We are also very lucky to have willing volunteers to help us organize the donations to this annual fundraiser and help see the actual auction flow and raise money!

Hunter Vickers of Florida, and Landy Banks of California, will lead the team on the ground in Puerto Rico. If you have plants you wish to donate for the “live” auction, please contact Hunter.

Hunter Vickers : vickershunter@yahoo.com

If you have non-plant items you wish to donate for the “silent auction”, please contact Landy.

Landy Banks : banks.landy@gmail.com

Please stay tuned to the ABS website and to the American Bamboo Society Facebook page for updates and more information. The September magazine will have updates and all the info you need to know. Register early and save money!

If you have any questions, please direct them to ABS President, Susanne Lucas, president@bamboo.org

See you in Puerto Rico! Hasta pronto!

Here is more information about Mayaguez, the city where the conference will be held



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