FLORA OF NORTH AMERICA - Newsletter - Vol 9, No 3-4

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Volume 9, Number 3-4
October-November-December 1995

Nancy R. Morin and Judith M. Unger, co-editors

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The most important news that we have is that the National Science Foundation has awarded Flora of North America a three-year grant of $900,000, for 1995 through 1998. The grant funds an upgrade in our computer system, coordination of map data, and an informatics coordinator, and partially supports the managing editor and database manager, an editorial assistant, and overhead costs. We consider this grant to be a remarkable indication of support from the community for this project. Our goal with the help of this grant is to improve the efficiency and the quality of the service that the Organizational Center can provide to the project.

Editorial Committee News

The FNA Editorial Committee met 8--9 October 1995 at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Michael O. Moore, of the University of Georgia, was welcomed as the project's new regional coordinator for the southeastern U.S. He will also be family editor for Xyridaceae, Mayacaceae, Commelinaceae, and Eriocaulaceae in Volume 11--monocots except Poaceae, and most likely will take on other family assignments. Important issues of interest to FNA participates that were discussed at the meeting are reported here.

A management committee was established, as had been recommended at the 1994 meeting of the editorial committee. Membership will consist of one member from the Information Management Committee, five members from the editorial committee of which at least one will be from among the Bryologists, one from the U.S., and one from Canada, and one from the final reviewers; the convening editor is the seventh member. The members are determined by nomination and vote. Terms will last for two years; members may serve multiple terms, consecutively. The inaugural members are David Murray (chair until April 1, 1996), Alan Smith (chair beginning 1 April), George Argus, Theodore Barkley, Nancy Morin, John Schnase, and Barbara Thiers. The purpose of the management committee is to facilitate consensus decisions in a timely manner. Members receive questions and issues requiring clarification from the Editorial Committee or from the Organizational Center staff.

The original estimate of 13 volumes (expanded to 14 after volume "1" was split) did not fully take into account the number of infraspecific taxa to be treated, the additional information since added, or the length of discussions. In addition, descriptions for taxa in large groups are necessarily longer than expected in order to include all features in the key and keep the descriptions parallel. Oxford University Press-New York has pointed out that the books as now planned will be too large to bind satisfactorily. The pteridophyte treatments, especially discussions, were longer than they will be for most other taxa, so it is not possible to accurately extrapolate from Volume 2 the average species/page ratio. Once we have this information from Volume 3, we will publish a revised list of volumes. The production schedule remains the same, regardless.

Ron Hartman reported that he and colleagues at University of Wyoming have surveyed all relevant taxonomic literature and determined that 1103 new taxa have been described from the U.S. flora in the last 20 years.

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The Flora of North America (FNA) project is a cooperative program to produce a Flora of the plants of North America north of Mexico. The FNA Newsletter is published quarterly by the Flora of North America Association to communicate news about the FNA project and other topics of interest to North American floristic researchers. Readers are invited to send appropriate news items to: FNA Newsletter, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166, U.S.A.

John Schnase, who became a member of the FNA Informatics Committee in 1994, is now director of Missouri Botanical Garden's new Center for Botanical Informatics. He presented an overview of a plan to improve work efficiency by using new technology. In a phased approach, we will develop the ability to work on manuscripts collaboratively and interactively within the office on our local area network, within the editorial committee on the Internet, and among working teams of author, editor, reviewers, and regional coordinators on the Internet. The FNA World Wide Web home page has been removed from the Washington University web server and will reappear soon on the FNA server. We also plan to use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) whenever possible to distribute manuscripts.

The committee discussed strategies for using spreadsheets to prepare descriptions. Spreadsheets will make it much easier to see that a character state is missing or that a character or term has been treated inconsistently; it will be easier to check keys against descriptions and much easier to make standard formatting changes such as moving a character from one place to another. Using macros, it is easy to convert the spreadsheet into formatted, concatenated text. We will work closely with authors to help them use this approach.

The importance of having a working checklist for future volumes was reiterated. It is essential that we know the names of taxa to be included and the order in which they will be treated in order to organize the illustration plates, keep the maps and bibliographic files in order, and for a number of other purposes. In the future, authors will be asked to provide, within a year of their acceptance of an invitation to write a treatment, an ordered list of taxa that will be recognized. We understand that this may change somewhat as preparation of the treatment progresses.

FNA is considering establishing additional Editorial Centers, at which some of the editing that is currently concentrated entirely at the Organizational Center in St. Louis could be done. Institutions that have expressed interest in participating in this way are the Harvard Herbaria and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

The Bryophyte editors recommended that bryophyte treatments be made available on the World Wide Web as soon as they are completed, to facilitate review. Checklists will be prepared for mosses and hepatics. The first third of the bryophyte manuscripts are due 1 January 1997.

Several stylistic and editorial issues were clarified at the meeting. Plants "of conservation concern" will be illustrated whenever possible. Recognition of a plant as of conservation concern is based on the author's evaluation of information received from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Office of Endangered Species.

FNA ranges are documented by specimens, and one citation is requested for each state, province, and territory in which a taxon is found. The in-text statement of distribution is a list of each state, province, and territory for which there is documentation. The shaded area of the map will normally reflect the documented range of the species as accurately as it can be represented. Where a species is expected but cannot be documented, that fact should be mentioned in the discussion.

Introduced taxa, naturalized or found frequently outside of cultivation, are to be included in the Flora. Plants persisting merely through repeated reintroduction or by virtue of perennial habit after their initial introduction are not considered naturalized; they must reproduce themselves in the wild, spread, and ultimately become part of the vegetation. However, plants can be included if they have been repeatedly planted, are long-lived perennials, and persist long after evidence of cultivation has vanished (as on abandoned farms) so that they appear to be spontaneous occurrences. We recognize that introduced plants often are not well-collected. The distribution should reflect what can be determined from specimens; it is understood that some taxa may actually be more widely distributed.

Organizational Center News

We were pleased to have an open house at the Organizational Center on 6 October 1995, in association with the annual Missouri Botanical Garden Systematics Symposium. Many FNA authors, reviewers, and others were able to tour the office and chat with each other and the staff and editors.

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The reception held during the 1995 AIBS meeting in San Diego last August, at which the FNA CD-ROM was previewed, was very well attended. Many people sampled both the design elements of the CD-ROM and the refreshments provided by Oxford University Press-New York (OUP). Representatives from OUP and Autographics, Inc., the company responsible for the design and programming of the CD-ROM, were available to answer questions. The first release of the CD-ROM is expected this spring.

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Nancy Morin returned to Missouri Botanical Garden in early October after spending two months at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris studying European Campanula and four months at The Natural History Museum in London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, preparing a synopsis of Campanuloideae (Campanulaceae). She kept in touch via email during her physical absence from the office.

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The FNA office installed six new Gateway 2000 computers with Pentium processors and Windows 95 software. Debbie Kama, FNA database manager, set up the hardware and transferred the software and data from the old equipment and local area network (LAN) to the new equipment and LAN file server. A new Macintosh computer was installed for map production. It is exciting to have state-of-the-art equipment, because it will speed up the processing of information to our authors and reviewers. The new equipment will also allow us to use spreadsheets for descriptions and the information can still be easily converted to text when final copy is needed for the publisher.

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Invitation letters were extended to 80+ potential Asteraceae authors in July and August. About half have responded. The remainder of the invitees are encouraged to respond so that assignments can be finalized. Those who agree to write treatments will receive instructions and a sample treatment prepared specifically for Asteraceae, and the list of names to be accounted for. The Guide for Contributors will be revised within the next several months; meanwhile treatments in Volume 2 can serve as a guide to format.

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We are beginning to mail Volume 11 manuscripts to regional and taxonomic reviewers. Regional reviewers have had a well-deserved vacation from being inundated with manuscripts for Volume 3, and we hope they are rested and ready for a steady stream of Volume 11 manuscripts.


We received the following response to an article by David Murray in the last newsletter: As curator of a relatively small regional herbarium, I was pleased to read "Strategy for Loans" in the volume 9 #2 Newsletter. The points made are very true and, as I read them, I was struck with some additional thoughts which further makes the point that much may be gained from borrowing from regional herbaria.

First of all, floristics, even on the much studied Eastern U.S., has taken a big leap forward in the past few decades. The Endangered Species Act has focused a great deal of attention on rare species and the environment. Emphasis on rare species has been particularly refined by very excellent work of state natural heritage programs which have further focused field efforts (both their own and those of the botanical community at large) on specialized habitats. The result is that a remarkable number of new discoveries have been made; new state records, significant range extension, new stations for many very local species some of which were thought to have been extirpated, and so on.

Virginia alone has been averaging about six new state records per year of native species over the past five years! Small regional herbaria are the repositories of those collections almost exclusively, not the large eastern institutions whose mission and resources are generally directed elsewhere. Another position to be made is that even if the specimens are not at a given regional herbarium, its curator or collection manager will generally know about new kinds and be able to direct the investigator to the appropriate source for additional details.

Large eastern herbaria are often the source of the most historically interesting collections but these are generally provided with but scant details. The more recent collection are a far richer source of information of the sort needed for a better Flora such as habitat descriptions, elevation ranges, etc.

Lastly, I'd like to second the point that smaller regional herbaria would be willing to send material for study. We'd not only be willing but can usually do so relatively quickly. My plea, however, would be that investigators please not make requests until they are ready. We use our collections routinely and find it a great inconvenience to have large groups entirely missing for many years. I could cite a surprisingly large number of loans which have been out for 6, 8, even 10 or more years. --Thomas F. Wieboldt, Associate Curator at Massey Herbarium (VPI)


Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico, Volume 1 by Scooter Cheatham and Marshall Johnston with Lynn Marshall, covers 78 genera in alphabetic order (267 species and varieties) from Abronia ameliae (sand verbena) through Arundo donax (giant cane). One to two volumes a year are to be published for the 12 volumes. Volumes 1 through 11 contain extensive scientific data and cultural data and lore on over 3000 species of native and naturalized plants. Volume 12 will cross-reference uses, chemical components, and common names. 592 pages, 304 color photos, 267 color distribution maps, 1 line drawing, 1 photo, 1 scale. Only 2900 copies of this first edition are available. For ordering information, call 512/928-4441, or write Useful Wild Plants, Inc., 2612 Sweeney Lane, Austin, Texas 78723.

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Plant Talk is a magazine designed for all who are interested in the conservation of plants. To help them, and to expand their numbers, it will provide encouragement, expertise and information--applying plant science to practical problems. Whether you are an expert or a beginner in plant conservation, Plant Talk will keep you in touch with new activities, developments, and techniques around the world. If you work on environmental issues other than plants, Plant Talk will tell you about what is happening in the plant world. If you are a botanist, Plant Talk will help you turn a personal commitment to the environment into practical action. At a time when many colleagues are suffering from too much information, Plant Talk is concise, clear, easy to read, and above all selective.

Each issue includes: a feature explaining the techniques of plant conservation (e.g. how to set up a seed bank) or giving general advice (e.g. how to write a successful grant application); an inspiring story of how conservationists have succeeded in saving plants in one part of the world; news of the threat to plants and their habitats around the world; reviews of Red Data Books--the vital books listing endangered plants; reports on new Floras and Checklists; information on new protected areas for plants. Reports on trade in rare plants will be a frequent feature. Editorials will provide a balanced assessment of key issues. The first issue in March 1995 reviewed Volume 1 and 2 of the Flora of North America.

Plant Talk is published by the Botanical Information Company Ltd, a limited company set up for this purpose and registered in England. Dr. Hugh Synge is the Director, and Dr. John Akeroyd is the Editor. Plant Talk is available only on subscription, and is published quarterly. If you would like to subscribe or receive a free introductory copy, in North America, write to Plant Talk, P.O. Box 65226, Tucson, Arizona 85728-5226, USA. Subscription rates are US$25 for an individual, and US$60 for an organization, with payment by U.S. check, banker's cheque, or Visa or Mastercard (need number and expiration date), with signature and full mailing address.

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Bromus L. of North America by Leon Pavlick, illustrated by Elizabeth Stephen, Peggy Frank, and J.R. Janish. This monograph of the genus Bromus treats the taxa occurring in North America north of Mexico. It contains new keys to species, species descriptions with habitats, synonyms, references, glossary, and an index. Of the 51 species of Bromus recognized, only three (having limited occurrences) are not illustrated. Of the other 48, 30 species and 4 subtaxa are newly illustrated, and all are mapped. This taxonomic treatment brings together extensive research by the authors, and advances in Bromus research since the last publication of such a monograph in 1900.

Bromus L. of North America is informative and useful for those concerned with grasses occurring in grasslands, forests and agricultural lands in North America. Because it includes Eurasia and New World adventive taxa, it will also be of interest to those involved with grasses in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Softcover, 160 pp, CAN$19.95, (US$ equivalent, or credit cards) available from the Royal Museum Shop, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8V 1X4, 604/356-0505, fax 604/356-8197.

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The Illustrated Key to the Seaweeds of New England is an attractive and usable key designed for students of phycology and for anyone with an interest in marine sciences. It includes 205 algal taxa commonly found on the open coast, estuaries, and bays of New England (40 green algae, 64 brown algae, and 101 red algae). The key is based on distinct macroscopic and microscopic features as well as environmental characteristics. The text does not require an extensive understanding of scientific terminology. Common descriptive terms are used for the major diagnostic characters, and unavoidable technical terms are defined and explained with illustrations throughout the work. Descriptions are accompanied by black and white photographs and drawings of live specimens or of herbarium mounts. A checklist, glossary and bibliography are also included.

Wire bound with laminated cover, 146 pages (1 1/2" by 11" format) with black and white photos and line drawings. ISBN 1-887771-00-X. $23.95 plus shipping and handling. Shipping and handling for the first book is $3.95 and for each additional copy is $2.50. Prepaid orders only; checks payable to R.I. Natural History Survey. Send to Rhode Island Natural History Survey, C.E. Education Center, E. Alumni Ave., University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881-0804. 401/792-5800; fax 401/792-2259.

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The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada Excluding Florida, Volume II, by Carlyle Luer - This classic hardcover volume--abundantly illustrated with color photographs and line drawings--contains detailed descriptions and keys to the genera and species treated, notes on the flowering season and derivation of the name, distribution maps, and a glossary.

Order No. 015-6, ISBN 0-89327-015-6; 363 pages; color plates; 1975; Hardcover, $41.00. Postage and handling on U.S. orders: $3.50 + 5% of subtotal; non-U.S. orders: $4.50 + 6% of subtotal. Make check payable to the New York Botanical Garden. Send orders to Scientific Publications Department, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York 10458-5126. PH: 718/817-8721; Fax: 718/817-8842.

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Turneraceae - Parte I Piriqueta by Maria Mercedes Arbo - In this monograph, a systematic treatment of the 42 species of Piriqueta is presented. (This is the second monograph of the series published in Spanish.) Forty-one of the species discussed are native to the area ranging from the southern United States to northern Argentina and Uruguay; the one remaining species is native to Africa. This treatment includes the morphology, pollination and dispersion, intergeneric and intrageneric relations, and geographic distribution of Piriqueta. Also included are sections on cytology and chemistry as well as maps and illustrations.

Order No. FLN 67, ISBN 0-89327-392-2; 1995; 157 pages; hardcover $22.50. Make check payable to the New York Botanical Garden. Send orders to Scientific Publications Department, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York 10458-5126. 718/817-8721; fax 718/817-8842.

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Taxonomy of Eupatorium Section Verticillata (Asteraceae), by Eric E. Lamont. The author provides a taxonomic treatment, including keys, complete synonymy, illustrations, distribution maps, and discussions of all taxa. Supplemental information covering taxonomic history, ethnobotany, flavonoid chemistry, cytology, palynology, putative hybridization, and phylogeny is also presented.

Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden, Volume 72; ISBN 0-89327-391-0; 1995; 67 pages, 33 illustrations; Order No. MEM 72; $14.00 Make check payable to the New York Botanical Garden. Send orders to Scientific Publications Department, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York 10458-5126. 718/817-8721; fax 718/817-8842.


The Barbara J. Harvill Botanical Research Fund for Floristic Research in Virginia announces that small research grants for floristic field work in Virginia and/or travel to herbaria are available to botanists without an institutional base of support for such work. This fund was endowed by friends and family of the late Barbara J. Harvill to encourage floristic and revisional work in Virginia. Most awards requested to date have been for mileage costs, but other expenses, such as lodging and certain kinds of field equipment (plant presses, for example) can also be covered.

Please send your letter of application for 1996 awards by 15 May to Donna M. E. Ware, Secretary, Virginia Botanical Associates, Department of Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187. Awards will be made by 15 June 1996.


The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden will hold a symposium entitled "Plant Evolution and Conservation on Islands - A Global Perspective" on 4 May 1996. Topics include phylogenetic patterns, floristic diversity, biology of rare plants, and conservation strategies. Speakers include Ian Atkinson, Bruce Baldwin, Sherwin Carlquist, Sarah Chaney, Vicki Funk, J.R. Haller, and William Halverson. The keynote address will be given by Peter Raven. Post-symposium events include excursions to selected California Channel Islands. For details please contact Dieter Wilken, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 1212 Mission Canyon Rd., Santa Barbara, California 93105 805/682-4726 x124; email: wilken@lifesci.lscf.ucsb.edu

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Conference announcement and call for papers for the annual conference for the Society for Ecological Restoration at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 20-22 June for the on-campus sessions and 17-19, 22, 23 June for the off-campus sessions in New York and New Jersey. Restoration ecology actively involves professionals, such as scientists, government officials at all levels, planners, designers, environmental engineers, and landscape architects, as well as individuals from public groups, such as non-profit environmental organizations, nature groups, and restoration volunteers assisting at all phases of projects.

Abstracts must be submitted by 15 February 1996 to SER'96 Conference, Blake Hall, Rutgers, The State University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903-0231. For more information contact Society for Ecological Restoration Conference, 1207 Seminole Highway, Suite B, Madison, Wisconsin 53711. 608/262-9547; fax 608/265-8557; email ser@vms2.macc.wisc.edu.


The Atlas of Vascular Plants of Utah is now digitized and available on the World Wide Web (WWW). You can find it by going to http://www.nr.usu.edu/Geography-Department. From the above address, click on the picture of the Columbine. Distributions are displayed as dot maps--one map for each of ca. 2500 species. For further information, contact Dr. Leila Shultz, Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, 617/327-4294, email shultz@oeb.harvard.edu.

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Upgrade to NAWEEDS and WEEDS 2.1. NAWEEDS is available to current owners of any version of WEEDS, NCWEEDS, NEWEEDS, SOWEEDS. NAWEEDS is a computerized weed identification program with a database for the United States and Canada. This database features: over 1370 species; all species in the regional databases; an on-line bibliography of over 90 floras and weed books; and a completely revised and updated user guide. Requirements are: DOS 3.2 or higher, 400 K RAM and 2.5 Mb hard disk space. Cost for a standard upgrade is $69.99 per copy; for an educational upgrade, $49.99 per copy.

WEEDS 2.1 is available to current owners of WEEDS, WEEDS 2.0, or WEEDS 2.0a only. New features in the western database are: over 1000 species; most western state noxious weeds; an on-line bibliography of over 90 floras and weed books; and a completely revised and updated user guide. Requirements are: DOS 3.2 or higher; 400 K RAM; and 2 Mb hard disk space. Cost for standard upgrade is $64.99; for an educational upgrade, $44.99 per copy.

Educational copies of NAWEEDS and WEEDS 2.1 are available only to bona fide educational institutions. All prices include shipping and handling within the U.S. Make checks payable to: Weed Diagnostic Lab, Department of PSES, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-2339. For more information, please contact the Weed Diagnostic Lab; 208/885-7831; fax 208/885-7760; email: weeds@uidaho.edu.


PLANT ECOLOGY / TAXONOMY POSITION: The University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Department of Biology, invites applications for a tenure-track ASSISTANT PROFESSOR to begin fall 1996. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in botany, ecology, or related area. We are especially interested in candidates having expertise in vegetation ecology or plant systematics. The successful candidate is expected to teach undergraduate courses (plant ecology, plant taxonomy, botany, and biology) and to develop a research program involving undergraduate students.

Letters of application should include a curriculum vitae, statements of teaching philosophy and scholarly interests. Review of applications will begin 1 December 1995 and will continue until the position is filled. Applications should be addressed to Dr. William H. Baltosser, Chair of the Faculty Search Committee, Department of Biology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2801 S. University, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204-1099. *EO/AAE

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The Missouri Botanical Garden is accepting applications for three positions in the Bryology Laboratory. Immediate openings are available for one post-doctoral researcher and two graduate-level students. These positions are funded through a five year PEET grant (Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy) from the National Science Foundation to undertake a monograph of the Pilotrichelloideae (Meteoriaceae, Musci). These PEET grants have been established to enhance expertise in taxonomy and are designed to train new taxonomists in a broad array of taxonomic techniques.

The Pilotrichelloideae project will have three aspects: traditional revisionary, molecular, and cladistical. The project will also produce a bryological World Wide Web homepage for existing as well as project-generated bryological information, and will seek new and innovative ways to synthesize and disseminate information gathered during the project.

We seek candidates interested in actively participating in classical monographic research while learning and incorporating molecular and cladistic analyses within the study. Post-doctoral candidates should have a Ph.D. in botany or related field; bryology research experience preferred. Molecular and cladistic work desired.

The tenure for each position may be for the full five years of the project subject to individual performance and program progress. The graduate student positions include full tuition at one of the area universities and a stipend.

To apply, please submit curriculum vitae, along with names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references. Non-US citizens must also indicate their present visa status. Send information to: Missouri Botanical Garden, Human Resource Management, P.O. Box 399, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-0299. email rland@admin.mobot.org; fax 314/577-9597.

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The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania has a postdoctoral assistant position open for someone to work on the preparation of a field manual of the vascular plants of Pennsylvania. The position will involve writing keys and descriptions of selected taxa, field testing keys written by others, working with a botanical artist to organize illustrations for the manual, assisting in the development of random access, computerized keys using Delta software.

We are seeking someone with a Ph.D. in plant taxonomy or systematics, field and herbarium experience, knowledge of the flora of Pennsylvania or adjacent states, experience in using and writing identification keys, experience with Delta. Additional qualities: excellent writing skills and meticulous attention to detail. Starting date to be determined by availability, but by 1 July at the latest. Duration: 2 years with the possibility of a third year contingent on funding. To apply send letter, transcripts, and names of three references to Ann F. Rhoads, or for further information contact: Ann F. Rhoads, Director, Flora of Pennsylvania Project, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, 9414 Meadowbrook Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118 215/247-5777, ext. 134; fax 215/248-4439; email rhoadsaf@pobox.upenn.edu

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The Department of Plant Biology, Louisiana State University, is seeking a herbarium collections manager beginning 1 June 1996. Qualifications include a master's degree in vascular plant systematics and one or two years related experience or a Ph.D. in that area. Experience with herbarium data base management systems, a publication record sufficient for graduate faculty status, and a familiarity with the regional flora are desirable. The collections manager will perform the daily activities of the herbarium, assist collection users, and maintain the quality of the collections. To apply please send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three referees to: L. E. Urbatsch, Department of Plant Biology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-1705. The application deadline is 1 March 1996 or until a suitable candidate is found. Inquiries can be sent by email to lurbats@unix1.sncc.lsu.edu. Louisiana State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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