31 Dec 2010
On December 28, 2010 the Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research (SWCHR) Board of Directors voted unanimously to bestow an Honorary Life Membership on William E. 'Bill' Haast in recognition of his lifetime of work involving venom extraction and venom research. Bill is the first person to be made an Honorary Life Member of SWCHR. He was born December 30, 1910 and operated the Miami Serpentarium located south of Miami, Florida from 1947 until 1985.
After living in Utah for a few years Bill and his wife Nancy returned to South Florida where Bill is the Director of the Miami Serpentarium Laboratories in Punta Gorda, which extracts and provides venom from numerous species of venomous snakes worldwide for medical and research purposes. During his long career of working with some of the world's most deadly snakes, he has experienced in excess of 170 venomous bites.
While SWCHR's primary focus is related the herpetofauna of the American Southwest, according to SWCHR Board Member Hans Koenig, "the influence that William Haast has had on modern herpetology transcends any regional or national boundaries."
The SWCHR Board of Directors arranged for Bill's wife to make the presentation of his Honorary Life Membership plaque to him on December 30th to commemorate his 100th birthday.
Congratulations Bill and welcome to SWCHR.
24 Jan 2011 (Update)
Below is a note recently received from Bill Haast regarding the Honorary Life Membership that the SWCHR Board of Directors bstowed on him: