Volume 15, Number 3
FNA REPORT FROM BOTANY 2001 CONFERENCE
An FNA survey was conducted at the Botany 2001 meetings in Albuquerque, 12_15 August. Responses were collected from 174 people, a good cross section of the 1,000 or so participants. Some of the key numerical results follow. Additionally, FNA wishes to congratulate the winners of a drawing for a set of previously published FNA volumes: Ms. Julie Broughton, of Geological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Mr. Dan Stover, of the Department of Biology at West Virginia University, Morgantown.
1. An overwhelming percentage of survey respondents, 97%, rated the overall quality of the published FNA volumes as good (33%) or excellent (64%). This is a very encouraging result and a major endorsement from FNA colleagues; OUP may even use this information in publicity for upcoming volumes. It is possible that the circumstances of the survey, in which most respondents submitted their completed form to someone in the FNA booth whom they may have known, may have discouraged more frank responses. Even so, these results may be counted as extremely positive.
2. The FNA Web site is not being utilized by most respondents. The majority, 58%, reported that they seldom or never visit the site, while 18% said they visited yearly (an average of four times), and another 18% said they visited monthly (an average of two times). This result suggests that the site requires a significant makeover and upgrade to become more useful and well trafficked.
3. Nearly half of the respondents, 45%, indicated that they were made aware, or more aware, of the FNA series at a professional meeting. Another 34% said they became aware or more aware through a promotion received from OUP, and 33% learned of the series through a colleague. (Multiple responses to this question were permitted and counted.) This result emphasizes the importance of promoting FNA more vigorously at botanical and botany-related conferences and meetings, as has been urged by several members of the FNA Management Committee.
4. About one-third of respondents (33_37%) said that they purchased volumes 1-3, versus only 6-7% who were given the books. These percentages dropped to 22% and 5% respectively
for Volume 22, corresponding to the relative drop in sales of this volume.
5. Responses were varied regarding the highest discounted price range per volume that respondents felt the market would bear. There was a close split among the three price ranges of $90_$99, $80_$89, and $70_$79, with about 25% of respondents falling into each range. This information will be helpful in effectively shaping discount offers for members of botanical societies.
6. Significantly, a large majority, 78% and 74% respectively, rated the taxonomic treatments and keys as the most important elements of the books. Assessments of importance then dropped off as follows: 50% for illustrations, 45% for distribution maps, and 34% for guide to literature. (Since some respondents rated more than one element as "most important," we can take these results as indicating only relative importance.)
7. When asked about microgrants, 17% thought that a microgrant for research and travel would be helpful, with an average recommended amount of $1,410 (answers ranged from $1,000 to $5,000). Only 4% thought a departmental grant would help, with an average amount of $714 (ranging from $100 to $1,000). A small percentage of respondents thought that modifying the approach to preparing the content would help contributors: 6% cited distribution maps, 4% cited illustrations, and 2% each cited the keys and treatments.
8. When asked whether they would like to receive an e-mail newsletter from FNA, containing scientific and related news of interest to botanists and/or taxonomists, 56% responded yes and 38% responded no.
While these types of surveys are not infallible, there are a number of strong conclusions to be drawn from the above summary that will prove helpful as FNA plans its strategy for 2002 and beyond. In addition, carrying out the survey shows a willingness to invite feedback from FNA colleagues, which seemed to have immediate positive effects at the conference.
— Mr. Charles M. Levine, Executive Director and CEO, Flora of North America Association.
Review: Flora of China, Volume 24
Flora of China. Vol. 24: Flagellariaceae through Marantaceae, by Wu Zhengyi and Peter H. Raven (co-chairs, Editorial Committee). 2000. Science Press, Beijing, and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. [xii+] 431 pp., hardbound. ISBNs: 0-915279-34-7 (U.S. series); 7-03-008666-X/Q (China); 0-915279-83-5 (U.S.). $85.00.
Volume 24 of the Flora of China is the sixth in the series and includes 22 families, 131 genera, and 1,335 species. Six genera and 652 species are endemic to China. Three indexes are also included: one for Chinese plant names, the second for the pinyin transliterations, and the third for scientific names. The arrangement of the genera and species is taxonomic, a modified Englerian system. Therefore, in order to rapidly find species accounts in very large genera, such as Allium, considerable use of the index is necessary. I agree with other reviewers that an alphabetical arrangement in the text would be more user-friendly and would save considerable wear and tear on the binding. Each taxon has the basic synonymy, provincial distribution, chromosome numbers (when available), and phenology. The descriptions are 130 words or fewer but are more than adequate and generally parallel with each other. The keys are dichotomous, indented, and, at least for Allium, which has 138 species in 150 couplets, unambiguous and—most important—they work!
— Dr. Terry Jacobsen, Assistant Director, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
Manuals of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs, Plants Available
Blackburn Press announces that the second edition of Alfred Rehder's Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs Hardy in
North America Exclusive of the Subtropical and Warmer Temperate Regions is back in print and now available for purchase. The Manual of Cultivated Plants: Most Commonly Grown in
the Continental United States and Canada, by L. H. Bailey, is also available as a reprint. Information on both books and how to order them can be found at http://www.blackburnpress.com/horfor.html, or by contacting Frances Reed at (937) 228-7077 or freed@blackburnpress.
com. The publisher welcomes suggestions for other titles that should be considered for reprint.
The Bryophyte Flora of North America (volumes 27_29 of FNA) project will move its Web site from the New York Botanical Garden to the Buffalo Museum of Science. Since February of 1999, Dr. Barbara Thiers has developed the BFNA Data Center at New York into an excellent resource that has facilitated the provisional publication of many treatments. However, now that she has been given additional responsibilities at the Garden, it will be impossible for her to give further attention to the demands of the Web site. Her dedication and creativity is appreciated by the bryophyte community. The new Web site at Buffalo will be the responsibility of Lead Editor Dr. Richard Zander and will focus on provisional publication of treatments for the BFNA. Any further electronic development of the information in the treatments will be the responsibility of the FNA site at Harvard after publication of the BFNA in hard copy.
VOLUME 26 NEARS PUBLICATION
FNA Volume 26, Liliales and Orchidales, is nearing completion. All of the illustrations and most of the maps are finished, and a large majority of the treatments have been sent to the Missouri Botanical Garden for typesetting and indexing. When these tasks are complete for all families, the volume will be sent to Oxford University Press. Volume 26 should be ready for publication before the end of the year.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Receives Grant
The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, California, has been awarded a $900,000 grant by the W. M. Keck Foundation to explore the relevance of newly emerging kinds of data, generated by new techniques such as DNA sequencing, to the traditional field of evolutionary and systematic botany. The project will take place over a three-year period and will be led by Drs. Elizabeth Friar, Mark Porter, and Travis Columbus. The research is expected to develop ways to integrate data from these new techniques with conventional methods in order to increase understanding of how plants evolve.
To accomplish this task, the Botanic Garden will undertake an intensive
research effort, titled the Data Analysis and Integration in Systematics Initiative (DAISI). The Initiative will pursue the following goals: 1) to use new laboratory techniques to deepen
insight into the systematic relationships and evolutionary processes of plants; 2) to explore novel ways in which traditional and modern types of data can be integrated; and 3) to
disseminate new integrative approaches for data collection, management, and analysis to a wide audience of researchers in basic and applied fields.
University of Michigan Herbarium Prepares for Move
The University of Michigan Herbarium is preparing for a move to temporary quarters off campus. While the actual move is scheduled for late January through early March 2002, access to the collection and library will be impacted both before and after that date. Anyone planning to visit the herbarium should do so before 31 October 2001 or after 1 June 2002, and should contact the appropriate curator in advance of their visit. Most of the collection will not be accessible from November to May, and space for visitors to work will not be available during the actual move.
Any loan requests should be made immediately. The vascular plant collection (including Pteridophytes) will be closed for loan activity from 31 October 2001 to 1 June 2002; the fungus collection plans to resume loan activity on 1 April 2002. Information on the other collections can be obtained through the appropriate curator. Loan requests made during the move could be delayed for weeks or even months.
All shipments to the herbarium should be limited between November 2001 and April 2002. The herbarium staff will not be in a position to process loan returns, exchanges, etc.
INDEX NOMINUM GENERICORUM ONLINE
A new Web interface is available for the Index Nominum Genericorum (ING) database, which lists generic names for plants. Speed is much improved and new options for searching and reporting are provided. The database can now be searched by family, author, or the name/basionym of the type. The help file on the new search form and the introduction on the ING home page give additional search tips and described the limitations of the ING database.
The new URL for the Web version of ING is http://rathbun.si.edu/botany/
ASSISTANT/ASSOCIATE CURATOR, Missouri Botanical Garden, needed to initiate a modern taxonomic treatment of Manihot (Euphorbiaceae). For more information, including candidate requirements, visit the Missouri Botanical Garden Web site at www.mobot.org, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Interested candidates should send a curriculum vitae and the names and addresses of three references to the Missouri Botanical Garden, Human Resource Management, Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299. The position is open until filled.
HERBARIUM CURATOR, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. For more information, contact Dr. Patricia Gensel, Biology Department, CB #3280, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280; (919) 962-6937; firstname.lastname@example.org.
CURATORIAL/COLLECTION ASSISTANT, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Herbarium. For more information, contact Steve Boyd, Curator, at (909) 625-8767 ext. 248, or email@example.com. The position will remain open until filled.
CURATORIAL ASSISTANT, The New York Botanical Garden. To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three references to: Ms. Clairbel Irizarry, Human
Resources Department, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458-5126, or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about the position, please
direct them to Ms. Jacquelyn Kallunki, email@example.com. The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.
BRIT ADDS ADMINISTRATIVE
Mr. Justin Allison has joined the staff of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) to serve as the Administrative Assistant in the Institute's FNA Editorial Center. His duties center around the synthesis of the three volumes treating the Asteraceae, and so he will work closely with Dr. Ted Barkley of the Compositae Editorial Committee. Specifically, Justin manages the flow of manuscripts from the author, editing and review, and finally the synthesis into the final product. Originally from Houston, Justin earned a degree in biology from Sul Ross State University, where he worked closely with Dr. A. M. Powell, who is well known among synantherologists. Justin spent several years in the nursery business before taking his position with FNA.
OREGON FLORA PROJECT
RECEIVES TWO GRANTS
The Oregon Flora Project has been awarded two grants that will significantly advance its goal of producing a new Flora of Oregon. A National Science Foundation grant, entitled "Personal Digital Field Guides: Mobile Access to Comprehensive Regional Flora," is a collaboration of the Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering (PIs Cherri Pancake and Joe Hanus) and the Oregon Flora Project (PI Scott Sundberg). Funding will support development of software architecture and tools for creating electronic floras. The resulting personal digital field guide (PDFG) will be comprehensive and extensible. Users will be able to personalize the way they navigate through the flora, selecting the amount and type of information presented, as well as how and when it will be accessed. In the second grant, funding from the Bureau of Land Management will be used to develop county- level checklists for the state of Oregon, based primarily on the databasing of specimens housed in the Oregon State University Herbarium. The Oregon Flora Project anticipates hiring two full-time staff members this fall. For further information and job announcements, visit http://www.oregonflora.org, or send e-mail to Scott Sundberg, firstname.lastname@example.org. DEATHS
HERBERT GEORGE BAKER, a professor of botany and integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, for 33 years, died on 2 July 2001 at Piedmont Gardens in Oakland, California. He was 81. Dr. Baker served as the director of UC Berkeley's Botanical Gardens from 1957 to 1969.
BERTIL HYLMO, botanist and expert on Cotoneaster, died on 20 June 2001 in Bjuv, Sweden, at the age of 86. Dr. Hylmo was a frequent visitor to the herbaria and arboreta of the United States, collecting and cataloging Cotoneaster. He cofounded Findus, a fruit and vegetable processing industry that was sold to the Nestlé group in 1963.
CHARLES WERTH, Associate Professor of Biological Science at Texas Tech University, died in July 2001. An expert on ferns, Dr. Werth coauthored the treatment of Aspleniaceae in Volume 2 of the Flora of North America.
CLARK T. ROGERSON, retired mycologist and Senior Curator at The New York Botanical Garden, died on 7 September 2001 in Ogden, Utah. Dr. Clark was a specialist in the Hypocreales and was also interested in floristic work, particularly in his native Utah. He was 83.
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