Marshall D. Sundberg

Current Position
Roe R Cross Distinguished Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, Emporia State University, Kansas.

Research Interests
Floral initiation and development, vascular differentiation, ecological and evolutionary plant anatomy, biology instruction and curriculum design.

BSA Service
Editor, Plant Science Bulletin (2000-2014); Director-at-Large for Education (2013-2015); Steering Committee (founding member), PlantingScience (2004-present); Membership and Appraisal Committee (chair) 1997-98; Careers in Botany Committee (chair) 1993-95; Education Committee (chair) 1991-93; Teaching Section (Chair) 1985-6; and membership on other committees at the Society and section levels including: Publications Committee; Strategic Planning Committee, recognition committees including: Distinguished Fellow Award, Emerging Leader Award, Charles E Bessey Award, Katherine Esau Award, Samuel E Postlethwait Award and Emanuel Rudolph Award. BSA Symposium organizer: Botany 2013 “Yes, Bobby, Evolution is real”; 1991 “The Commission on Undergraduate Education in the Biological Sciences; 1985, “Learning Theory and its Application to the Teaching of Life Science.” International Botanical Congress Symposium organizer: 2017 “Overcoming Plant Blindness”; 2011 “Improving Botanical Capacity”; 2005 “Building Botanical Literacy”. Botany/Plant Biology Congress, 2007, Short course co-organizer “ Implementing Teaching Innovations.”

Other Service
American Institute of Biological Sciences (several committees and Director-at-Large, 1992-95), National Science Foundation Panelist (16 panels, 3 programs), American Philosophical Society Panelist ( 7 panels, 2 programs), Editorial boards: CBE-Life Science Education (2001-2018), Journal of College Science Teaching (2010-15, 2017-20), Kansas School Naturalist (2008-present). The College Board, SAT Biology Development Committee (2015-2020).

Statement of Interest
I am a botanist, and proud of it. And, I am honored, and humbled, to be a candidate to serve the Society as its President. I did not join the BSA until I was a graduate student, but I was turned on to the AJB by my undergraduate advisor who regularly brought in articles from the Journal to update information in every botany course I took. Since that time the Society has been my academic and professional home and I have been an eager and active member. During 2009-11, I served as a BSA representative to the Botanical Capacity Assessment Project, an ad-hoc organization of professional botanists mostly NOT in academic settings. This was not entirely foreign to me because I have collaborated with horticulturalists throughout my career. But I quickly realized how little I knew about the breadth of non-academic opportunities in the plant sciences (and how unprepared I was to counsel my advisees about alternative career choices). We identified a looming problem of staffing critical plant science positions in a variety of disciplines (Sundberg et al, 2011, BioScience 61(2):131-138). International, federal and state agencies, as well as NGO’s, private industry and, of course, education are facing the loss of experienced plant scientists. That future is becoming our present. Addressing this problem will be my primary goal as President of the BSA. Younger members of the Society, the grad students, already recognize and address this problem with special programs early during the annual meetings to bring in speakers and representatives from non-academic plant science specialties to help inform members of some of the “non-traditional” opportunities that are available. I will encourage and support broadening these Society-sponsored activities. The PlantingScience program has expanded our reach to several of the applied plant sciences, including production of new, more applied, modules. I will seek to build on this connection to expand professional collaborations and development opportunities between our membership and that of other professional plant societies. The culminating meeting of the Botanical Capacity Assessment Project was held at the Chicago Botanical Garden. The garden had a slogan on their t-shirts that is even more relevant today - - “Plant Science will save the planet.” We know we must. But it will take the combined voice of all plant scientists to convince the world of what needs to be done. I want to help bring BSA to the forefront of this effort.