And yes, there is a certain amount of organizational skill involved in establishing and/or running an aquarium society. Most societies have an inner group of a few very dedicated members. Yet, the more participation by the general membership, the more diversity the organization will have. I highly recommend becoming a member of a local aquarium society if at all possible, and should none exist in your town give some thought to starting one. You cannot be the only one in your community that is interested in this hobby!
As for my present level of experience, must look backwards in time and thank several people for their help as I hold them in the highest esteem. First, Dr. William T. Innes who got me started in the freshwater hobby somewhere in the mid-forties with his wonderful book "Exotic Aquarium Fishes." Second, a person who I will always consider my mentor, Jacques Cousteau - the world's leading environmental educator. His written and photographic endeavors fueled my interest in the wellbeing of our environment.
As for the present, Martin Moe Jr., Charles Delbeek and Julian Sprung are three individuals who have greatly enhanced my knowledge base. I respect their environmental views, acknowledge their expertise, and applaud their enthusiasm. All aquarists have benefited from their willingness to share their wisdom. Last but not least, I consider Sam Gamble not only a personal friend, but also a mentor who has opened my eyes to the importance of the microbial world and what wonderful potential exists there to improve the closed system. It's he who has enlightened me as to why plenum systems are extremely efficient. It's he who has taken the mystery out of the processes occurring in plenum systems. And, it's he who has helped me help those reading my articles and books with defined information and the exciting possibilities for the future.
And really 'last but not least,' sincerely hope this vast effort is found useful for those about to enter or are already enjoying this immensely educational hobby!