Welcome to the Washington, DC Marine Aquarium Society! As they say, membership has its privileges, and this club is all about you! However, in order to fully enjoy the benefits of this wonderful educational society, please read through and be familiar with these guidelines for member conduct. As a member of a community, you are responsible for following all of these rules of conduct and are held accountable for them, whether you have read them or not!
Table of contents:
- WAMAS Mission Statement
- WAMAS Classes of Membership
- Benefits of WAMAS Membership
- WAMAS Forum
- General Forum Etiquette
- Special Forum Rules
- WAMAS Forums Legal Stuff
- WAMAS Officers and other contact information
- WAMAS Charter
The Washington D.C. Area Marine Aquarist Society, Inc. (WAMAS) is a 501(c )3[b] non profit educational society dedicated to the husbandry of marine life in a captive environment. Our mission has many facets:
- To exchange information with one another, thus sharing our collective knowledge on successful husbandry of the animals in our care and promoting education on advanced captive husbandry practices.
- To promote captive propagation and exchange of ornamentals within our organization and encourage conservation both within and outside of the aquarium trade.
- To encourage public outreach through Internet presence and interaction with the marine aquarium trade.
- To further our understanding of the oceans and ocean life by providing education on the current status of the world's coral reefs and ongoing research in the scientific community regarding coral reefs.
We welcome you to join us, as we try to further our understanding of the reefs and ocean life of this
P.O. Box 8831
Reston, VA 20195-8831
Individual - $20 per year
Family - $35 per year*
Teacher - $10 per year **
Students - Free! **(Students in grades K-12 and undergraduates/graduates pursuing degrees in marine sciences)
* Family, as used for membership purposes, is defined as couples and their dependents living in the same household.
** Applicants for student and teacher memberships must provide proof of eligibility and eligibility must be revalidated annually.
- Students in K-12: Provide a copy of a school ID, report card or other documentation issued by the school that includes the student's name, name of school and grade.
- Undergraduates/graduates; Provide a copy of a current class schedule clearly listing marine-related classes and/or a transcript showing a declared major in the marine sciences.
- Teachers: Submit a copy of their school ID card to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to join or renew your WAMAS membership
Notice 1: Remittance of dues using PayPal results in immediate forum access. Payment by check or money order can result in delays of up to 1 or 2 weeks. If your application has not been processed in accordance with these expectations, please send a message to email@example.com. and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
- Using a web browser, go to http://wamas.org/join.php, fill out the WAMAS application and submit your payment via the PayPal link or by sending a check or money order to the address listed below.
- Using a web browser, go to http://wamas.org/join.php, fill out the WAMAS renewal application and submit your payment via the PayPal link or by sending a check or money order to the address listed below. You may only renew within 30 days of your subscription's expiration. You will also receive reminder e-mails when your subscription is near expiration.
If you do not wish to, or are unable to use PayPal for your membership payment, please mail your check or money order made payable to WAMAS to:
P.O. Box 8831
Reston, VA 20195-8831
- Connections and interaction with local reefers
- On-line support provided by fellow members
- Quarterly meetings
- Social hours and events
- Guest speakers
- Great contests
- Road trips
- Opportunities to buy, sell or trade equipment, fish and corals
- Participation in member-arranged group buys (saves money for all!)
- Discounts from many local and Internet vendors
- The opportunity to support educational and conservation effort
- The opportunity to support community outreach efforts
- And more!
WAMAS maintains a forum at http://www.wamas.org/forums/. This forum exists to support a Reef Educational Community that will allow participants to meet each other, share information about success and failures of reef keeping, and gain a general to specific education of the reef keeping hobby.
WAMAS forum membership is divided into seven categories, each with varying levels of access and benefits.
- Bulletin Board Member
- Access to public areas of the WAMAS forums
- Attendance at WAMAS meetings and other events (may require a surcharge)
- Same benefits as BB Members
- Posting rights to "Vendor News" forum
- Access to public and member-only areas of WAMAS
- Attendance at WAMAS meetings and other events (free or reduced price)
- Discounts from many local and internet vendors
- Combined benefits of Vendor and WAMAS Member!
- Same benefits as Vendor member
- Static Links/Banners and other forms of advertisement supported
- Dedicated vendor forum area
- Table/booth at WAMAS meetings
- Same benefits as SponsoringVendor member
- Rotating banners and other additional forms of advertising supported
- Complimentary access to WAMAS member areas in the forum
- Same benefits as a WAMAS member
- Monitoring privileges ability to read, post, modify or delete ANY post in MOST forums
- Same benefits as a WAMAS member
- WAMAS member selected by the officer to help the club fulfill certain projects
- Has access to specific forums only visible to other committee members
- Same benefits as WAMAS Member
- May read, post, modify, or delete ANY post in MOST forums
- Access to entire WAMAS website
- Same benefits as a WAMAS member
- Elected officials of WAMAS. May read, post, modify or delete ANY post in ANY forum
- Additionally officers control the creation, deletion or modification of the topical areas within the forums
Bulletin Board Member and Vendor access to the WAMAS Public Forums is free. All other categories require active membership in WAMAS. See "WAMAS Classes of membership" for information about joining WAMAS and Vendor Terms of Service for information about vendor membership criteria, terms and conditions.
WAMAS is a family-oriented site with participation open to people of all ages, races, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, political affiliations (etc.). Users (i.e., forum members) of this site are expected to practice restraint when posting opinions that may be offensive to other users. Users are also expected to be tolerant of views and opinions posted by other and to refrain from use of derogatory terms, vulgar language or to otherwise incite arguments with other users. WAMAS officers and moderators reserve the right to remove, relocate or edit any post that they feel may be illegal, immoral, disruptive or contrary to the mission and purpose of this site.
Considering the real-time nature of this message board, it is impossible for us to review all messages or confirm the validity of information posted. Please remember that we do not actively monitor the contents of posted messages and are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. The messages express the views of their author, not necessarily the views of WAMAS or any entity associated with WAMAS.org. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary. This is a manual process, so please realize that we may not be able to remove or edit particular messages immediately.
This forum uses moderators whose job it is to encourage the fruitful, respectful interaction of its members and to ensure that the forum rules and all applicable law are followed. From time to time, action may be taken editing, moving or removing posts, and may necessitate follow-on contact with the member by the moderating team. All contact by and with the moderating team in performing or responding to these actions shall be respectful. Egregious or repeated violations of this rule will be referred to the WAMAS Board of Directors for review and action, and may result in a temporary suspension of posting privileges or banning from the forum.
Please keep in mind that text based conversations can lack the subtleties of voice or face-to-face communication. There are ways to add some of the subtleties of verbal and face-to-face communication into a text-based medium. The incorporation of textual and visual cues can help to convey your message in its intended tone. Some methods include the use of emoticons such as smilies to indicate humor, the use of tags to indicate your intentions i.e. /joke, or the use of ALL CAPS to indicate shouting. As with normal conversation, shouting is considered rude and should be avoided. Additionally, remember everyone here has different experience levels and comes from different walks of life. Please refrain from nitpicking or engaging in personal attacks. If you disagree with someone, by all means point out what you disagree with and clarify respectfully why you disagree. That is a constructive discussion. Calling someone names and stalking them is not constructive. Personal attacks and divulging any personal information is strictly prohibited and can result in sanctions being levied.
Finally, please be considerate of the thread topic and do not divert the discussion. This is known as hijacking and is also considered to be rude behavior. The rules of etiquette are by no means exhaustive and are only strong suggestions. For egregious violations of these suggestions the moderators may delete posts, warn posters, or remove threads. Severe violations may result in suspension or revocation of access and/or termination of WAMAS membership.
In addition to the guidelines contained in General Forum Etiquette, specific rules have been established for some forum areas. Violation of any of these rules may result in deletion of the posted information, warning, suspension or termination of access to the WAMAS forums.
- Announcements: Forum for posting general club information.
- Club News: Announces meetings and other important club events posting restricted to club officers.
- Tank Tours: Open to all members to post information regarding attending or hosting a tank tour.
- Open to Guests (read-only), BB Members and WAMAS Members may read and post.
- No posting of sales, Want to Buy, Free, For Trade or similar transactions. Members leaving the hobby may be granted a one-time exception to post a single thread listing all items available for sale or donation.
- Absolutely no posting of personal information (e.g. phone numbers, email addresses, excerpts of email and PM discussions) of other members.
- For Sale/WTB/Free:
- "For Sale" posts must include prices for all items.
- Commercial sales are prohibited within this area.
- As in any business dealing, please use common sense and courtesy in your dealings. Be aware that as a member of a community, you should be respectful of the trouble others are going through to in order to sell something to or purchase something from you. Although WAMAS will not be responsible for any dealings that occur in this area, you may be held liable in a court of law should you renege on a responsibility you have agreed to!
- Group Buys and Trading Forum:
- Group buys are exactly what the name implies. It is a purchase arranged for multiple people by a single person or set of organizers. Taking part in a group buy is the choice of each individual member and WAMAS is not an official party to any of these, although contacting a vendor and arranging a WAMAS discount is allowed. The use of WAMAS is restricted to this, however, and WAMAS may not be used as a controlling party or responsible party in any group buy. If you intend to arrange a buy on behalf of the membership, please check with the officers before doing so to ensure that you have permission to use the WAMAS name in your dealings with any entity or person.
- The trading forum is designed to allow members to transfer something to another member without using cash as one component.
- As in any business dealing, please use common sense and courtesy in your dealings. Be aware that as a member of a community, you should be respectful of the trouble others are going through to in order to arrange a group buy or trade something to you. Although WAMAS will not be responsible for any dealings that occur in these areas, you may be held liable in a court of law should you renege on a responsibility you have agreed to!
- Auction Forum:
- Post the item for auction (picture required for livestock items, link to manufacturer for equipment)
- Post the initial bid amount plus minimum bid increment.
- Post the closing time and date for the auction. Forum time stamp will be the official time. I.e. if an auction ends at 12 noon, the last post with 12:00 timestamp and a qualifying bid is the winner.
- Only post to an auction topic if you wish to bid. If you have questions, PM the seller. It is their option to edit the original post, if necessary to address your question.
- If you post a bid, do not edit your post. If you are outbid, make a new post with a higher bid. If a post containing a bid is edited, that bid will be disqualified and removed by the moderators.
- The latest post/latest timestamp within the auction timelines and with the highest bid will be honored as the winner.
- Auction management and bid tracking is the responsibility of the seller.
- All sales are final, reneging on sales will result in a loss of posting privileges (sales or bidding) in this forum and a court of law may find you obligated to proceed with the sale.
- If an initial post lacks any of these items the moderators may delete the post without warning.
Please remember that we are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message.
You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this bulletin board to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law or commonly practiced rules of civility and decorum. Additionally, discussion of politics for purposes of garnering political support or for a political agenda is restricted and discussion of religion is limited to postings in Refugium forum only as long as your views are otherwise acceptable under these guidelines.
If you violate these terms and conditions we reserve the right to implement corrective measures including, but not limited to:
- removing inappropriate content
- modifying the content of existing posts to remove inappropriate material
- removing threads that have or elicit inappropriate material
Repeated or egregious violations may result in suspension or revocation of posting privileges. Determination of what is considered to be repeated or egregious violations is subjective and this determination is at the sole discretion of the board.
The messages posted on WAMAS express the views of the author of the message, not the views of this bulletin board or WAMAS. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by using the report this post feature at the bottom of the post. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary.
You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this bulletin board.
Email The President
Term of office: Elected February 2012 for 2 year term ending February 2014
My addiction to marine tanks began in 1993 when I was in college. I needed something to do other than actually studying. Not as glorious as many, but it all has to start somewhere! A small 20 gallon tank gave way to a 40 gallon hex, then a 55 gallon, then a 75. Working at Tetra/SecondNature to put my way through college only fueled the fire, as well as a lot of free gear. It all came screeching to a stop in '95 when my roommate allowed someone a kid to pour 3 of my cereal box sized containers of food into the tank to "feed" while I was gone for the weekend. I could smell it before I opened the door to return...
In 2000, my wife and I vacationed in Bermuda. Seeing the beautiful colors in water, she allowed me the setup the 75 again, with no idea what can of worms she allowed me to open up. I think the current 280 gallon reef display, and the 125 FOWLR has pushed that initial OK to its max. Though I still consider (and always will) myself a newbie in the hobby, I have enjoyed watching my tanks blossom into a thriving reef. Joining WAMAS and the internet reef community truly has been the most significant impact on that success. Since joining the club, my learning curve increased exponentially, realizing that I knew very little. Actually, the more I learn, the more I realize there is even MORE to learn.
One way I thought I might help those that have helped me so much in this hobby was to run for office, and help the organization where I could. Helping organize MACNA was a huge feat, but it really put the club on the map, and helped gain increasing recognition with speakers and vendors. I have thoroughly enjoyed helping plan meetings, socials, and other reef (and non-reef) related events, while meeting all of our members along the way.
I'm DBARTCO, on pretty much all the boards, with the VT logo (Go Hokies!).
Email The Vice President
Term of office: Elected February 2011 for a 2-year term. Term ends February, 2013
I have always been interested in marine aquaria but didn't get my first one until I was in college. During my sophomore year I bought a tank for the house I lived in and after my arowana was eaten by a snakehead I dumped the system and converted over to salt. My first fish were two yellow tail blue damsels and two three stripe damsels. This was back in the day when I had big chunks of dead coral that I bleached every month or so and large chunks of crushed coral and dolomite in my tanks. After a year of keeping an aggressive tank I finally moved over to a reef tank and have been hooked ever since.
A few years ago I moved from Illinois to Virginia and decided that the tank was too much to bring so I gave everything away to friends. While here I became a teacher and decided to put a 15 gallon tank into my classroom. It was a huge hit and I was then referred over to WAMAS by some people on Reef Central. Even though I considered myself a veteran reef keeper I have found that this club has a wealth of knowledge and wonderful people in it. Wanting to give back, I threw my name in the hat to become and officer and have enjoyed it ever since. It's great meeting other "fish geeks" as my wife calls me, and this community is one of the best I have been a part of.
I look forward to continuing to work with WAMAS and to push education and introduction of marine aquaria to our youth. I think that this is the key to conservation, getting the kids to appreciate what they might one day not have. By working with them today, I hope that they become the leaders for tomorrow and help to bring the reefs back into shape so that we can enjoy them for years to come.
Email The Secretary
Term of office: Elected February 2011 for a 2-year term. Term ends February 2013.
I got my start with freshwater aquaria when Santa Claus brought me a 10-gallon setup when I was five years old, and have maintained tanks pretty much ever since. As a SCUBA instructor I have been interested in marine life for years, but it was only in March of 2008 that I decided to take the leap into marine tanks. At the time I thought it would probably not be much different than keeping freshwater tanks - you just add salt, right? Thank goodness I took the time to stop by some of the local fish stores to ask questions, and one recommended that I join WAMAS. I jumped right in and began with a 90 gallon full reef tank, armed with the great advice of WAMAS members, and now maintain six thriving saltwater tanks. I consider WAMAS to be a circle of friends as well as a wonderful resource, and look forward to working to further our mission and support the organization in any way I can. If you have any questions about WAMAS, please feel free to drop me a line! You'll see me in the forum - I'm Hilary.
Email The Treasurer
Term of office: Elected February 2012 for 2 year term ending February 2014
I started in reefing back in 2006. After purchasing a 120 gallon tank, various equipment and building a stand, I found myself on a one year temporary assignment in DC. This put my 120 on hold, but I started a BioCube 29 in my apartment. I found WAMAS soon after and discovered the wealth of knowledge that was available. I then decided to move to DC permanently and once I purchased a house, I set up my 120 and purchased another 120 from a WAMAS member that became my FOWLR. My addiction to the hobby has only grown and I now have both of these 120s running along with a 40L frag tank attached to the 120 reef.
Professionally, I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2002 with a B.S. in Computer Engineering. I practiced as a software engineer for 5 years before turning to program management. I am now a Program Manager, specializing in software system development. In addition, I am pursuing my MBA (graduating in 2011) with a concentration in corporate finance.
Email Member Relations
Term of office: Elected February 2012 for 2 year term ending February 2014
Born and raised a Navy brat, I spent most of my formative years within an easy bike ride of the Pacific Ocean, whether overseas or on the West Coast. As a teenager (in the mid-70's) and during my father's second tour of duty in Okinawa, Japan, I learned to snorkel in the crystal blue waters off that island. Abundant with hard and and soft corals, and brightly colored tropical fish, it was there that I fell in love with the beauty of coral reefs.
Life has a way of getting busy, even as time marches on, and lasting moments such as these retreat into memory. Sometime along the way, however, time and resources freed up, and these memories of those hours spent floating freely over beds of staghorn and other corals, and of butterfly and parrot fishes, regained my attention. It wasn't long after getting my entire family certified in SCUBA, that I would set up my first reef aquarium. Shortly thereafter, I stumbled across WAMAS while sifting through posts on RC.
WAMAS is a terrific community of people bound together by a common interest. I find myself continuously amazed at the closeness of our community, and at our willingness to help out fellow members whenever and wherever. It's a refrain that I've often heard voiced by other members, and it's what keeps me energized and working to serve as your Membership Director. Look me up on the Forum or drop me a line - I'm Origami.
WAMAS is incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is a non-stock based non-profit corporation.
We filed and received approval for 501(c)3 status with the IRS. Our corporate documentation is in PDF format and available
through the following links:
* Articles of Incorporation as filed with the Commonwealth on 25.August.2004
* Virginia Non-Stock Bylaws as approved by WAMAS membership at the special meeting held on 30.October.2004
* IRS Approval
WAMAS is giving you this notice to tell you how we may collect, use and protect nonpublic personal information about you in the conduct of its operation.
What Nonpublic Personal Information Do We Collect About You?
We collect non-public personal information about you from the following sources:
- Information we receive from you, such as information on applications or other forms, which may include your name, address, phone number, gender, birth date, and e-mail address.
- Information about your transactions with us, such as your account balance and (dues) payment history.
- Information about your membership status, membership history, and identities of persons covered under Family memberships.
- Information collected automatically whenever you interact with our website. For example, we may use "cookies" to obtain information when your web browser accesses our website. We may also log and retain your IP address history when registering, posting, or otherwise interacting with our website.
How Do We Use The Information That We Collect About You?
We may use the non-public personal information that we've collected from you in the following ways:
- To provide you with information of presumed interest such as
- Club activities, meeting notices and social events
- WAMAS-sponsored newsletters
- Private Message (PM) notices, and new posts to subscribed threads or forums
- To contact you regarding the status of your account with us, including
- Providing you with your membership ID card, and welcome packet (if available)
- Notification of account problems, renewal and cancellation
- Investigation and assessment of possible violations of forum guidelines, terms of service, or WAMAS policies
- To handle complaints and disputes
- To develop statistical demographics and analyses of the WAMAS membership in aggregate
- To conduct research, and to develop and improve our website and services
How Do We Protect The Information That We Collect About You?
We implement physical, electronic, and procedural security measures with the goal of protecting your personal information against unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure, or destruction. Despite our efforts to protect your personal information, confidentiality cannot be and is not guaranteed.
Does WAMAS Share the Information It Receives?
We respect your privacy and appreciate your involvement and participation in our community. We will never transfer or sell your personal information to a third party [without first seeking consent]. If we are legally obligated to disclose any of your information by court order, then we reserve the right to take whatever legal actions we deem necessary to protect your rights and that of the club prior to appropriate disclosure under the law.
Updates To The Privacy Notice
WAMAS may change this Privacy Notice at any time, and without notice. An up-to-date Privacy Notice will be posted on our website and available for inspection by the membership and by all users of our website.
Questions regarding this Privacy Notice should be directed to our Membership Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.