History & Bylaws

History of INCDNCM

The International Northwest Conference on Diseases in Nature Communicable to Man (INCDNCM) began, in 1946, as a child of the International Great Plains Entomological Conference (IGPEC). The two organizations held consecutive meetings in 1947, in Hamilton, Montana. From 1948, the INCDNCM has held an annual meeting, each summer to bring together scientists from the western United States and Canada to discuss informally current research in the field of diseases in nature communicable to man. Examples of topics include tularemia, tick-borne viruses, various fevers, and the plague.

Membership included researchers from U.S. Public Health Service installations, state or provincial public health agencies, and state or provincial colleges and universities. Officers of the INCDNCM originally only numbered two, a president and a secretary. By 1951, after the organization showed so much growth in membership that a vice-presidential office was added. Traditionally, the secretary elected for the upcoming year was associated with the agency hosting the next year's meeting.

The annual conference, according to the INCDNCM's constitution, is held during the late summer. Because the organization includes members from north and south of the 49th parallel, every third year it meets in western Canada (Saskatchewan, or British Columbia).

In 2001 INCDNCM was renamed the International Conference on Diseases in Nature Communicable to Man dropping the Northwesern portion of its name while still retaining its distinct acronym. This move reflected the desire of INCDNCM to be viewed as continent wide in scope and not just meant to attract a regional audience

Yearly, the organization issues proceedings of the annual meeting. These are made available to attendees and are for sale to research libraries. Typically a transcription of a participant's paper, or a submitted written version, and a script of subsequent discussion of the the topic are part of the proceeding. In later years, only abstracts of of papers were included. Minutes of the annual business meeting, held sometime during each conference, and a printed version of the R. R. Parker Memorial Address were also part of each proceeding.

In the mid-1950s, requests for copies of INCDNCM proceedings from the previous half decade, prompted the organization to create the office of Custodian of the Proceedings, or Custodian of Back Issues. William L. Jellison, a Ph.D. parasitologist with the Rocky Mountain Laboratory from 1929 to 1960, took on this office and continued to serve loyally through the mid-1980s.

Doctor Jellison also assembled a collection of materials on tick fever research at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory, in Hamilton, Montana, from the early 1900s to the 1970s. This also includes a gallery of photographs of INCDNCM Honorary Members and accompanying award certificates. Jellison had housed his artifacts in the Ricketts Memorial Museum, a building three miles northwest of Hamilton, that originally served as the Canyon Creek Schoolhouse. Later, it housed a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever research station, predecessor to the Rocky Mountain Laboratory. Jellison moved his tick fever research collections and INCDNCM memorabilia, in the late 1970s, to the Ravalli County Museum, located in the Old Courthouse, in Hamilton.

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Jul 3, 2009, 8:22 AM