A changing environment of temperature and resource availability impacts the ecology, evolution, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology of animals. This symposium is devoted to discussion of how animals live in a seasonal world. Below is information about the 15th International Hibernation Symposium in Las Vegas, Nev., and hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Symposium Contacts

Frank van Breukelen
Email: frank.vanbreukelen@unlv.edu

Jenifer Utz
Email: jenifer.utz@unlv.edu

The conference will take place in Las Vegas, Nev., USA from Sunday, July 31, 2016 to Thursday, August 4, 2016. There will be an optional outing on Friday August 5, 2016 for interested parties. We will hike to Cathedral Rock on Mt. Charleston, have lunch, and then explore the Mob Museum.

The registration fee of $250 covers the banquet, morning and afternoon coffee breaks, conference materials, and meeting room rentals. We will likely support a number of students and post-doctoral fellows. The deadline for registration is March 31, 2016. Late registrations will be accepted through Friday, June 3, 2016.

As per the agreement at the last meeting, we will publish papers in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B instead of contributed book chapters. Please note that manuscripts will be due within 30 days following the meeting. The journal’s standard of rigor will be maintained and all papers will go through the typical peer review process.

A program of oral and poster abstracts will be compiled for the meeting. A form for abstract submission (same form for both oral and poster) may be downloaded from the Related Links section to the right. In order to be considered for a talk, abstracts are due by April 1, 2016. In order to encourage recent data, abstracts for poster presentations may be submitted now or as late as June 3, 2016.

The venue is the Suncoast. As requested by some individuals, the Suncoast is removed from The Strip (site of most of the big casinos) but a bus service allows for easy access to The Strip. Although the current hotel rooms are lovely, they should be renovated before we arrive. There are 426 rooms and suites. The Suncoast is a smaller venue by Las Vegas standards. Typical occupancy at that time of year is approximately 100 rooms so we will be the dominant party. Despite its small size, the Suncoast is near to shopping areas (Downtown Summerlin & Tivoli Village) as well as many nice restaurants and golf courses. The property offers expected amenities for a Las Vegas resort including a bowling alley, movie theater, a liquor store with reasonable prices and a good selection, a spa, a fitness center, etc. The Suncoast is approximately 10 miles (16 km) northwest of The Strip and 6 miles (10 km) from Red Rock National Recreation Area.

Hotel reservations are to be made directly with the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. To receive our discounted rate, you must provide the group code: A5HSC07

Reservations can be made over the phone at 866-636-7111 or online. The deadline for room reservations is May 31, 2016.

Deluxe room rates will be: $55 per night (Sunday through Thursday and $99 per night (Friday and Saturday) for single or double occupancy. For those desiring a golf course view, rooms are $70 and $114 per night. Most rooms are ~500 sq ft (46 m2) although there are some other options including 2500 sq ft (230 m2) suites that are available.

We suggest those requiring assistance with finding suitable roommates post at the Facebook site.

Additional Hotel Policies

  • There is an additional charge of $20 per night for triple occupancy, and quad occupancy is not allowed by the hotel (children age fifteen and under, in the same room with parents in existing bedding, are free).
  • All rates are subject to a Clark County room tax, currently 12 percent. This tax is subject to increase without prior notice.
  • Suncoast has a mandatory $12.99 per room, per day resort fee that is in addition to room and tax charges. Benefits include access to the 24-hour fitness center, pool, Wi-Fi in the guest rooms, self-parking, single serve coffee brewers, in-room safe, in-room refrigerator, scheduled airport shuttle service (reservations required), unlimited toll free and local telephone calls, wake up service and paging.
  • Check-in for individual arrivals begins at 3 p.m. Check-in for group arrivals begin at 4 p.m. Check-out time is at 12 noon. Hotel agrees to make rooms available prior to the stated check-in time and to extend late check-out to guests on a preferential basis, if available.
  • First night’s room and tax will be required at the time of booking. The following methods of payment may be used for deposit: company check, American Express; Diners Club; MasterCard; Discover; VISA; JCB; Money Order. Hotel accepts company/personal checks for payment of deposits only and must be received a minimum of 30 days prior to arrival date.

The meal plan accommodates breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the buffet on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as well as breakfast and lunch on Thursday (banquet night). We have arranged for a discounted rate at the buffet, so the cost for the aforementioned 11 meals is $125. If you choose to purchase this meal plan, you will receive a gift card with a balance of $125 when you check in at the hotel. This card can also be used at other restaurants on the property, however the other restaurants are typically more expensive so individuals choosing to dine elsewhere are personally responsible for covering the added expense. Meal plans are purchased through the registration form and can be purchased for guests traveling with you.

Las Vegas is hot during the summer. Typical high/low for Las Vegas is 103/80 °F or 40/27 °C for Aug. 1. Relative humidity is often in the single digits during the summer. We can experience summer monsoons so there may be a slight chance of rain. The meeting venue will be well air-conditioned (pack a sweater/jacket if you tend to feel cold). Those planning to spend time outdoors should bring lightweight clothes, hats, sunscreen, water, etc.

Participants should fly to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Despite being one of the larger airports in the country, McCarran is surprisingly accessible. It is located very close to the Strip within Las Vegas. Sunday’s activities will consist of a reception that evening so please plan accordingly. The Suncoast is located at 9090 Alta Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89144.


There is an airport shuttle service based on a “first come, first served” basis which is run by the casino that will take you the 14 miles (22 km) from the airport. This shuttle is not intended for group arrivals so please plan accordingly. Please contact the Front Desk at 877-677-7111 or 702-636-7111 to review the scheduled shuttle times and make reservations. Currently, the shuttle runs from the airport at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. You must reserve your space on the shuttle 48 hours prior to arrival. Please see this link for more information.

Rental cars

McCarran has a large off-site rental car facility. Signs near baggage claim will lead you to the shuttle. You will exit the facility and make a right onto Warm Springs Road. At Las Vegas Boulevard make a right towards The Strip and you will be taken to the freeway. You will want to make a left to reach the Interstate 15 freeway. There is free parking at the casino.


Taxis are available near the baggage claim area. The cost for up to 5 people should be approximately $44 each way.


There is a very convenient bus service with limited stops. The route is called the Westcliff Airport Express (Wax). This bus service connects the Suncoast with a major shopping destination, The Strip, and the airport (each trip is $2 and passes are available).

Visitors traveling to the United States from all countries (including the visa waiver countries i.e., Europe, Japan, Australia) are required to register personal details online at least four (4) days in advance of travel. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a free, automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form you usually complete enroute to the United States. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years. DHS recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin travel plans.

Visit the Visa Waiver Program website for official information about the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), as well as a link to a list of visa waiver countries.

Visa Information

Meeting attendees are encouraged to apply for visas as early possible. Registration refunds will not be issued for denied visas after March 1 2016. Because of new U.S. State Department regulations, U.S. embassies and consulates may require a face-to-face interview for most non-immigrant visa applications. You should apply for your visa at least 6 months before the meeting. For more information, please see the U.S. Department of State Web site to contact the nearest embassy or consulate. As part of security procedures, many applications for visas are sent to the State Department for a security review. Visit the State Department website or the International Visitors Office website for more information.

Requesting an Invitation Letter

If you would like to request an invitation letter from the International Hibernation Society for your visa application, please send an email to frank.vanbreukelen@unlv.edu.

Guidelines for a Successful Visa Application

  • Apply for visa at least three (3) months in advance. For countries that are on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, the State Department suggests applying for a visa eight (8) months in advance.
  • Provide your entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States, at the time of visa application.
  • If completion of travel plans is contingent upon early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application.
  • Provide proof of scientific status.
  • Provide meeting brochure and letter of invitation.
  • Provide evidence that you are intending to return to your country of residence. This includes such things as:
    • family ties in current country of residence
    • property ownership
    • bank account
    • an employment contract or statement from employer showing that position will continue after the dates of the meeting
  • Requirements vary by passport-issuing country and citizenship (not merely residency).