News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees, Part I

BSA Enjoys August Meeting in Montréal

The annual meeting of the Botanical Society was held August 3-7 in Montréal at the Palais des Congrés de Montréal. The participants agreed that the Montréal meeting was one of the most successful in the past few years. The meeting was hosted by the Canadian Botanical Association/ L'Association Botanique Du Canada. Montréal was a beautiful and appropriate setting for the gathering of Botanists. The Montréal Botanical Gardens were made available to meeting particpants, and many enjoyed an afternoon or more visiting its beauty.

This year the Society met jointly with the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, the American Fern Society, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the International Society for Ecological Modeling, the Mycological Society of America, and the Torrey Botanical Society. A large number of symposia and contributed paper sessions were offered in addition to the important business meetings of the Society and its various sections. There are a number of reports from this meeting in this issue of the Plant Science Bulletin, and additional reports will appear in future issues. The Past-President's symposium, organized by Barbara Schaal, focused on Future Trends in Molecular Evolution.

Looking to the future, The Botanical Society will be meeting again with AIBS in August, 1998 in Baltimore, Maryland. The 1999 meeting will be held in Saint Louis, Missouri in conjunction with the XVI International Botanical Congress. Planning is proceeding for a BSA meeting in 2000 in Portland, Oregon.

PSB is Now on the BSA Website!

Thanks to the efforts of Scott D. Russell at the University of Oklahoma, the Plant Science Bulletin is now available in electronic format! He has converted the content of the 1997 issues of PSB, and it is now available at

The Botanical Society hopes that having the PSB content available via the internet will expand its availablity for members and non-members alike.

Editor's note: Scott Russell deserves special thanks for doing such an outstanding job of maintaining the BSA website, and thanks in particular from the PSB Editorial Committee and the Editor for getting PSB on-line!

ISSN 0032-0919
Published quarterly by Botanical Society of America, Inc., 1735 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210
The yearly subscription rate of $15 is included in the membership dues of the Botanical Society of America, Inc. Periodical postage paid at Columbus, OH and additional mailing office.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:

Kim Hiser, Business Manager
Botanical Society of America
1735 Neil Ave.
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Phone/Fax: 614/292-3519      email:

Reports from the Committees:

Archives and History Committee:

The main business of the Committee this year was the Society's request for biographical information on John Karling, for the Karling Awards, the first of which will be given out this summer.

Other than Karling, there is no news from the Committee. The archival material is still in the possession of Jim Mauseth in Austin, Texas, and no new material has been received over the course of the year.

The report on Karling:

John Sidney Karling was born in Austin, Texas on 2 August 1899. He had a BA (1919) and MA (1920) from the University of Texas and a Ph. D. in Botany from Columbia University (1923). He stayed at Columbia, as an instructor (1925-27), assistant professor (1927-35) and associate professor (1935-48), then went to Purdue as a full professor. He was head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue from 1948-1959, then Wright Distinguished Research Professor until his retirement in 1965. He remained active for many years after his retirement.

Karling was a specialist in the systematics and evolution of zoosporic fungi, especially the Chitridiales. His other professional interests included cytology and the production of natural rubber and chicle. From 1927 to 1932, he worked on chicle production with the Tropical Plant Research Foundation in British Honduras (now Belize), in association with his first cousin, C. L. Lundell. Like many other botanists of his generation, Karling went to South America during World War II to carry out field inventories of strategic natural products; he was a field director for rubber exploration in Brazil in 1942 and 1943.

Karling belonged to several scientific societies, and served as recording secretary (1930-34), corresponding secretary (1934-40) and president (1941) for the Torrey Botanical Club, and secretary (1945-51) and vice president (1952) for BSA.

- Alan Whittemore, Chair

Conservation Committee:

Our activities included the following:

- Tim Spira, Chair

Corresponding Members Committee

The Corresponding Members Committee consisted of Past Presidents Grady Webster, Harry Horner, and Barbara Schaal, Chair. Two positions for Corresponding Members became vacant in the 1996-1997 year. The membership of BSA was invited to submit nominations for Corresponding Members. Nominations consisted of a nominating letter and supporting letters from other plant scientists. Three outstanding nominations were received. The Corresponding Member Committee will submit for consideration the names of Dr. Shoichi Kawano, University of Kyoto, Japan, and Dr. Hong De yuan, Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences.

- Barbara Schaal, Past President

Council Representative to the Executive Committee

Two major items of business were completed during the past year. First I was able to follow up on an offer from Wadsworth Publishing, and ultimately from their parent company, International Thomson Publishing, to host our web site free of charge. An agreement between the Society and Thomson was signed and provides for a two year period to see how things work out.

The second item of business completed was getting Scott Russell (University of Oklahoma) to serve as the webmaster for the Society. Scott has taken the idea of BSA web site from the preliminary stages to a very nice site that is loaded with information. Indeed, the site is an award winning effort, thanks to Scott. For those who have not looked at the site, it is well worth the minor effort. The entire program for these meetings is posted, along with Section pages and Society information.

- Charles P. Daghlian, Council Representative

Education Committee:

The committee prioritized three goals. The committee's announcement in Plant Science Bulletin (Vol. 42, No. 4, Winter 1996) generated interest in several of the projects.

Educational Resources on the BSA Web Page

GOAL: As a service to members and to biology teachers everywhere the Committee will publish links to plant biology educational resources on the BSA WWW page.

STATUS: Scott Russell has completely redesigned the BSA web page [] and is maintaining it. Several committees, including the Education Committee, have contributed toward this goal. There is a link to "Botanical Links"[] which takes you to a list of hundreds of resources for botanical research and teaching. The Education Committee has agreed to send Dr. Russell URL addresses of new resources to be added to this list. Also, the Teaching Section has links of interest to educators [ ~bquest/bsateach.html] SCOTT RUSSELL DESERVES ALL THE CREDIT FOR THIS. THE WWW PAGE IS A TRULY REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT FOR BSA.

Teacher Workshops

GOAL: We want to encourage BSA members to offer teacher workshops in plant biology, at national teachers' meetings and on college and university campuses, as a means of improving K-12 science education.

STATUS: We have asked committee members and BSA members at large to send us information on successful teacher workshop design and implementation so that this information can be shared with other members for implementation on their campuses. Rob Reinsvold at University of Northern Colorado has agreed to gather this information and then find an appropriate means of disseminating it, perhaps in a "Teacher Workshop Organizer's Kit." We are also considering the possibility of organizing a "Workshop on Workshops" for next year's meeting.

Several BSA members suggested that we offer workshops for the K-12 teachers at our annual meetings and invite teachers to attend. After much discussion, the consensus is that we will have little success in attracting teachers to BSA meetings because of the cost involved and an agenda of limited interest to them. Instead of bringing teachers to botanists, we need to take botanists to the teachers... at their own professional meetings. The problem with this is that university travel funds are limited and many BSA members would not get support from their universities for this kind of travel. Thus, we are proposing to Council

Motion: That the Council approves a sum, not to exceed ca $1500 (for travel, lodging, and registration fees) for BSA members to attend national, regional, or state meetings of organizations like the National Association of Biology Teachers and/or National Science Teachers Association for the purpose of presenting workshops on plant biology in the K-12 curriculum.

At the same time, we will approach NSF and/or other funding agencies to see if we can get a grant for this purpose. Rob and I already know of several members willing to do this. If the Council approves the expenditure, our committee would review such proposals from members and authorize the payments upon proof that the workshop had been presented.

Digitized Botanical Images

GOAL: To explore the possibility of digitizing the BSA's collection of +/-700 35mm slides, then to make the images available through a web page or CD-ROM or both.

BACKGROUND: The BSA owns a teaching slide collection of +/- 700 35 mm slides which are sold to members and non-members through the Business Office for a fee that is intended to cover the cost of copying the slides. This creates work for the Business Office, probably barely covers expenses, and the collection is largely unknown and unused by educators. The collection was assembled by the Teaching Section which voted several years ago to turn it over to the Business Office. At the business meeting of the Teaching Section on Tuesday we will ask their approval, in principle, of this project.

STATUS: We have received responses from several individuals offering to help with this project. They have expertise in digitization and storage of slide images: Ethel Stanley (Director of Field Testing, BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, Dept. of Biology, Beloit College, WI), Laurent Meillier (BSA member, botanist for a wholesaler of botanical products in Long Beach, CA), Damon Waitt (Asst. Professor of Biology at Southwestern University, TX), and, especially, Thomas W. Jurik (Dept. of Botany, Iowa State University). We have exchanged a number of e mail messages but this is a complex subject with issues that are difficult to resolve. We wanted to meet here in Montreal but too few of us are attending this meeting. The discussion will continue by e-mail. However, before we proceed with the project, we would appreciate having the advice/consent of the Council:

Motion: Provided the Teaching Section concurs in the Education Committee's recommendation, the Council approves, in principle, digitizing the BSA teaching slide collection for "publication" on the BSA web page or on CD-ROM or both. A detailed plan for the project will be proposed by a subcommittee of the Education Committee and further action on the project must be considered by the Council.

Here, too, we plan to explore the possibility of outside funding from NSF and/or other funding agencies to underwrite the cost of digitizing and/or distributing the images. Until we develop a definite plan, the exact costs are unknown. Our goal would be to make the images available free (or at minimal cost) for educational use. One suggestion is to offer the slides, at lower resolution, free via our web page and then to publish them on CD-ROM at higher resolution, for sale (profit for BSA?!), to publishers and others.

Other Projects Considered by the Committee:

Ask a Botanist

GOAL: To establish and maintain a consulting service on the Internet that would assist students with their questions about plants.

STATUS: We had only one response to our notice in PSB until recently when Charles Daghlian asked me about the status of this project. Chuck has said he is not interested in taking the lead at this time but he and I will continue the dialogue. Again, there are many questions that are best debated and decided in a meeting. In the meantime, many students, professors, and teachers are using the "Plant-ed" listserve[] for this purpose. The only problem with relying on that listserve is that it was created to meet the needs of professors and teachers, not students. It is feared that many people will drop off the list if we start being bombarded with questions from students. See also Jonathan Monroe's article on Plant-ed in PSB,42(4): p. 109.

Publication of Plant Biology Laboratory Activities

GOAL: To publish hands-on, discovery-type plant biology exercises for use in schools as well as at colleges and universities.

STATUS: Darlene DeMason, as you know, drafted a format for such exercises but, to my knowledge, there has been little, if any, response. Committee members decided that this required an enormous effort in terms of gathering and editing the material, and opted to postpone action until some of our other goals are met. However, at our Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon Gordon Uno will be reporting on his discussions with the National Association of Biology Teachers. NABT is interested in publishing, in cooperation with BSA, a collection of plant biology activities reprinted from The American Biology Teacher.

Expert Review of Plant Biology Manuscripts for Publishers

GOAL: To offer assistance to publishers who are seeking professional review of manuscripts for plant biology books.

STATUS: We received a request from Child's World, a publisher of children's science books, asking for someone who would review manuscripts for a series of children's books on ecology. The first manuscript, reviewed by Education Committee member Dan Gilmore, was "Evergreen Forests" written for grades 3-4. We have asked the publisher to note in the book, "Manuscript reviewed under auspices of the Education Committee of the Botanical Society of America by Dr. Dan Gilmore,....[followed by Dan's credentials.]" The publisher was very pleased with our prompt, positive response and intends to ask us for names of botanists willing to review other titles. The committee will encourage other publishers to use this service. While professional review of manuscripts is standard practice for college textbooks and reference works, it is not common in the field of children's science books except for post-publication reviews in Science Books and Films. We want to review before the book is in print.

- David W. Kramer, Chair

Election Committee Report

The Election Committee consisted of Christopher Haufler, Darleen DeMason, Linda Graham, Daniel Crawford, and Barbara Schaal, Chair. The membership was solicited by mail for nominations for the offices of President-Elect and Secretary. The nominees from the membership as well as those submitted by committee members were considered and a slate of two candidates for each office was determined by consensus. Candidates for President-Elect were Dr. Carol Baskin, University of Kentucky, and Dr. Judith Verbeke, University of Arizona. Candidates for Secretary were Dr. Pamela Soltis, Washington State University, and Dr. Peter Hoch, Missouri Botanical Garden. All members received ballots which were returned by mail. The results of the election are:

President-Elect: Carol Baskin
Secretary: Pamela Soltis

- Barbara A. Schaal, Past President

Esau Award Committee

Katherine Esau Award Committee members: 1996: Michael Christianson, Chair, Elizabeth Harris, William Friedman; 1997: Elizabeth Harris, Chair, William Friedman, Thomas Rost (unable to attend 1997 meetings) Judith Canne-Hilliker, substitute.

Twenty-one student papers were given, nine of which were in co-competition for the Mosely Award, and four of which were in co-competition for the Sharp Award. The Katherine Esau Award was presented to Kenneth M. Cameron for his paper entitled "Foliar architecture of the reticulate-veined vanilloid orchids." The paper presented documented an exhaustive comparative study of the leaf vasculature of each genus in the large clade of the vanilloid orchids. Reticulate venation in other monocot taxa was reviewed as well. The data presented were then placed in the larger context of the ongoing molecular studies being carried out by the author. Mr. Cameron gave his paper in a very professional and confident manner.

Mr. Cameron was presented with the Award at the BSA Banquet. Further proof of his outstanding research was demonstrated when he also won the ASPT student paper award for his other talk given in one of the systematics sessions.

Thirty-one papers are to be judged for the Katherine Esau Award, the most ever. Eight of the papers are in co-competition for the Canadian Botanical Society's Cinq-mars Award. Nine student papers are in co-competition for the Mosely Award.

Thomas Rost (UC Davis) was slated to be the new incoming committee member. However, since he is unable to attend the meetings this year because of his duties as an associate dean, a replacement was necessary. Judith Canne-Hilliker (University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario), a BSA member in good standing, graciously offered to step in as a substitute judge on short notice. Tom Rost plans to fulfill the second and last years of his three-year tenure so a permanent replacement is not necessary.

Again, Jim Seago has done an excellent job scheduling the talks and grouping the student talks by subject matter for the convenience of the judges. With the most eligible student papers ever presented, it was indeed a monumental task.

- Elizabeth M. Harris, Chair

Mosely Award Committee


Article X, Section 4 (f): "Moseley Award" consisting of a chair appointed by the President and two other members, chosen by the President in consultation with the Development and Structural Section and Paleobotanical Section chairs, each serving three-year terms with one new member being appointed each year. The prize is awarded to a student who is the sole or senior author of a paper, orally presented in the Developmental and Structural Section or Paleobotanical Section of the annual meeting, that best advances our understanding of the plant anatomy and/or morphology of vascular plants within an evolutionary context.

1997 Committee

Ed Schneider (Santa Barbara Botanic Garden), Chair Jeff Osborn (Division of Science, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO) Pamela Diggle (Dept. EPO Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder (Larry Hufford, Washington State University has agreed to serve on the Moseley Committee in 1997-8, replacing Dr. Diggle)

Number of Papers to be Judged in 1997: Fifteen (15); eight (9) from Structural/Development; six (6) from the Paleobotanical section.

1996 Recipient

Ms. Ranessa Cooper, an undergraduate from Truman State University, for her paper entitled "Comparative Pollen Morphology and Ultrastructure of the Callitrichaceae".

1995 Recipient

Susana Magallon-Puebla, University of Chicago and Field Museum of Natural History "Floral remains of Hamamelidaceae from Campanian strata of Georgia". (First Recipient of the Moseley Award)

Action Items

Esau and Moseley Committees are meeting to ensure collaboration on judging and selection of awardees. Also Moseley Committee and Cookson Committees will discuss selections.

- Ed Schneider, Chair

Pelton Award Committee

Winslow Briggs has informed the Pelton Committee that there are sufficient funds in the Pelton Endowment held by the Conservation and Research Foundation (CRF) to make the Pelton Award at the 1998 AIBS meetings. It is the Committee's intention to request nominations for the 1998 award in an early Fall 1997 issue of Plant Science Bulletin and in an e-mail message to all members of the Developmental and Structural Section. The Committee is planning to submit the name of the selected n ominee to the CRF and the BSA Council by mid-Winter 1998.

The Committee would like to request the Council's opinion on one issue. We want to request that the Structural and Developmental Section sponsor a special presentation at the AIBS meetings by the Pelton Awardee, and we would like to know:

  1. whether or not the Council would approve of a Pelton Award presentation as a part of the BSA program, and if so,
  2. whether the award announcement and the seminar presentation should occur at the same meeting, or whether the announcement should be followed by a presentation in the succeeding year. Obviously, the former choice would require that the committee notify the nominee much earlier in the year than has been the customary practice. Your guidance on this issue is appreciated.

- Todd Cooke, Chair

Young Botanist Awards

The announcement soliciting nominations for the BSA young Botanists Awards was sent in a mailing to the membership and was printed in the Plant Science Bulletin. Nominations were due by March 1, 1997 and 36 nominations were received. An ad hoc committee was convened to evaluate the nominations. The committee was chaired by Barbara Schaal and had as additional members Walter Lewis, Washington University, and Joe Leverich, St. Louis University. Twenty five of the nominated students were awarded Certificates of Special Recognition and eleven students received Certificates of Achievement. Certificates were signed by President Crawford and mailed from the BSA office by the end of April. Letters were also sent to the nominating professors informing them of the student's success and thanking them for the nominations. Most student awardees received the certificates in time to be recognized during their University Graduation.
- Barbara A. Schaal, Past-President

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