News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees

Reports from the Committees

BSA Annual Meeting Committee

The 1999 Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with the International Botanical Congress held at America's Center, St. Louis, MO from 1-7 August 1999.

The scientific program and fieldtrips were subsumed into the IBC program. The BSA meeting program only consisted of the following social events and meetings: Executive Committee meeting (Sat, 31 July; 2:00 to 6:30 PM), Council meeting (Sun, 1 Aug, 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM), Business meeting (Tues, 3 Aug, 7:30 to 9:00 AM), AJB Editorial Board Luncheon (Tues, 3 Aug, 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM), Social for North American Botanists (Thurs, 5 Aug, 7:00 to 10:00 PM) at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Executive Committee meeting (Sat, 7 Aug, 4:30 to 6:30 PM). There is no Past-President's symposium. The address of the President-Elect, Dr. Doug Soltis, will take place during the Social for North American Botanists.

Wayne Elisens, Chair

Archives and History 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. Over the past year, the Committee has dealt with two requests for information, one concerning the history of the Darbaker Award, the other concerning the role of the University of Wisconsin, and particularly Charles Reid Barnes, in the foundation of the Society.

Alan Whittemore, Chair

Conant Travel Award Committee

The Conant Committee (Judy Jernstedt, Brian McCarthy, Pamela Soltis, Ruth Stockey, and Dan Crawford) awarded travel grants to 31 people in support of attendance at the International Botanical Congress. Three awardees are nontenured professionals, two are postdoctorals, 20 are graduate students. Recipients include attendees from three foreign countries. Awards of $325 were made to those traveling from greater distances and $225 were made to those within one travel day of St. Louis. The awardees giving posters were asked to display the BSA logo and acknowledgement of Conant Travel grants in a corner of their posters, and those presenting symposia papers were asked to mention the support.

Dan Crawford, Chair

Conservation Committee

This year our activities included:

  1. Kayri Havens attended the Native Plant Conservation Initiative (NPCI) 1999 Action Agenda meeting in Austin, Texas. BSA is a cooperator with NPCI. The action agenda for conserving native plants of the United States resulting from that meeting should be finished this fall, at which point it will be forwarded to the BSA president.
  2. Reviewing for possible BSA endorsement a number of conservation-related statements.

Kayri Havens, Chair

Corresponding Members Committee

The Corresponding Members Committee is forwarding three nominations to BSA Council for approval.

Prof. Friedrich Ehrendorfer -- Department of Higher Plant Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Austria

Prof. Wolfgang Hagemann -- Institute of Systematic Botany and Plant Geography, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Prof. Jerzy Rzedowski - Centro Regional del Bajio, Instituto de Ecologia, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico

Nancy G. Dengler, Chair

Education Committee

The committee continued work on several major projects:

Improvement of Pre-College Science Education

Digitized Botanical Images

Participation in Workshops of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL)

Additional Goals for 1999-2000:

Final Comment

David W. Kramer, Chair

Elections Committee

There were elections for the offices of President-elect and Program Director, with two nominees for each office. Patricia G. Gensel, University of North Carolina, was elected President-elect and Jeffrey M. Osborn, Truman State University, Missouri, was elected Program Director.

Nancy Dengler, Chair

Karling Graduate Student Research Award Committee

Purpose and Funding: The purpose of the Karling Graduate Student Research Award is to support and promote graduate student research in the botanical sciences. To be eligible, a student must be a member of the Botanical Society of America (BSA), a registered full-time graduate student, have a faculty advisor who is also a member of the BSA, and not have won the award previously. Funds for the Awards come from interest on the Karling and the BSA Endowment Funds, and from the sale of BSA logo items.

Committee Organization: During the previous two years, Karling proposals were submitted to the BSA Disciplinary Sections, reviewed and ranked by sectional officers, and then forwarded to the BSA Executive Committee for further review and funding decisions. This year has been the first year that the Karling Graduate Student Research Award Committee has been charged with the entire process. The Committee revised and distributed the "Call for Applications," reviewed all proposal submissions, made funding decisions, and communicated with all applicants.

1998-1999 Committee Membership:

1999 Submissions: Forty three proposals for Karling Graduate Student Research Awards were submitted in 1999. A summary of the submissions by BSA sectional affiliation is as follows:

Bryological/Lichenological 1
Developmental/Structural 4
Ecological 8
Mycological 2
Paleobotanical 3
Physiological 1
Pteridological 1
Systematics 22
Tropical 1

The Committee was generally impressed with the overall quality of the proposals and found that there were a greater number of excellent proposals submitted than there were Awards available.

1999 Awards: Ten Karling Graduate Student Research Awards will be presented at the 1999 BSA 'Banquet.' Each awardee will receive a certificate and a $500 Award. The 1999 awardees are as follows:

1) Ms. Laura Boykin Affiliation: University of New Mexico
Yr & program: 1st, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Systematics
Advisor: Timothy K. Lowrey
Proposal Title: "Evolutionary relationships of Orcuttieae (Poaceae) revealed: Transition from land to water?"

2) Ms. Amy B. Carroll
Affiliation: University of Missouri-Columbia
Yr & program: 3rd, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Ecological & Physiological
Advisor: Candace Galen
Proposal Title: "Responses of floral traits to drought: Implications for attractiveness to pollinators"

3) Ms. Ranessa L. Cooper
Affiliation: University of Alberta
Yr & program: 2nd, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Developmental and Structural
Advisor: David D. Cass
Proposal Title: "Structural adaptation of endemic willow taxa (Salicaceae) to the Lake Athabasca sand dunes"

4) Ms. Tara Forbis
Affiliation: University of Colorado at Boulder
Yr & program: 2nd, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Ecological
Advisor: Pamela K. Diggle
Proposal Title: "Sexual reproduction and genetic structure in alpine plant communities"

5) Ms. Kristina M. Hufford
Affiliation: University of Georgia
Yr & program: 4th, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Tropical
Advisor: J. L. Hamrick
Proposal Title: "Viability selection at three early life stages of the tropical tree, Platypodium elegans"

6) Ms. Tatyana Livshultz
Affiliation: Cornell University
Yr & program: 3rd, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Systematics
Advisor: Melissa Luckow
Proposal Title: "Systematics and evolution of ant associations in Dischidia R. Br. (Marsdenieae, Asclepiadaceae)"

7) Mr. J. Chris Pires
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Yr & program: 5th, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Systematics
Advisor: Kenneth J. Sytsma
Proposal Title: "Integrating biosystematics and phylogenetics: Floral diversity, polyploidy, and serpentine endemism in the recently resurrected plant family Themidaceae"

8) Ms. Valerie Reeb
Affiliation: University of Illinois at Chicago and The Field Museum
Yr & program: 1st, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Mycological
Advisor: Francois Lutzoni
Proposal Title: "Monophyletic circumscription of the family Acarosporaceae and the genus Acarospora (lichen-forming ascomycetes), and the origin of polyspory"

9) Ms. Jennifer A. Tate
Affiliation: University of Texas at Austin
Yr & program: 3rd, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Systematics
Advisor: Beryl B. Simpson
Proposal Title: "Systematics and evolution of Tarasa (Malvaceae), an enigmatic Andean polyploid genus"

10) Mr. Michael Zanis
Affiliation: Washington State University
Yr & program: 3rd, Ph.D.
BSA Section: Systematics & Genetics
Advisor: Doug Soltis
Proposal Title: "Molecular systematics and floral evolution in monosulcate angiosperms"

Jeffrey M. Osborn, Chair

Membership and Appraisal Committee

An attempt was made to contact approximately 320 members of the Botanical Society of America who had previously agreed to serve as campus representatives for the Society - the responsibilities of representatives are to distribute recruiting materials and promote membership. On average, 65 percent of those contacted responded, with over 90 percent of them agreeing to continue in their role as campus representative. Materials including posters will be distributed prior to the beginning of the academic year. In order to increase the number of representatives, as well as the campuses represented, all members having e-mail addresses will be contacted in late July or August requesting their participation, as well.

Leo P. Bruederle

Merit Awards Committee

Three people were selected to receive BSA Merit Awards for 1999: Dan Crawford, Ohio State University; Barbara Schaal, Washington University; and Tod Stuessy, University of Vienna. These awards will be presented at the BSA Social on Thursday, August 5.

Greg Anderson, Chair

Maynard F. Moseley Award Committee

The Maynard F. Moseley Award was established in 1995 to honor a career of dedicated teaching, scholarship, and service to the furtherance of the botanical sciences.

Committee Structure and Purpose: The purpose of the Award, as stated in Article X, Section 4 (f), is as follows: "Moseley Award" consisting of a chair appointed by the President and two other members, chosen by the President in consultation with the Developmental 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.

1998 Award Recipient: Michelle McMahon (Washington State University), for her paper entitled "Corolla-androecium synorganization in the flowers of the tribe Amorpheae (Fabaceae)"

1999 Committee Membership:

1999 Award: A Moseley Award will not be presented in 1999, as the annual meeting will be held in conjunction with the International Botanical Congress (IBC) and the majority of student presentations will be posters. The decision to not present a 1999 Award was made at the 1998 BSA Annual Meeting and took into consideration the formal guidelines for the Moseley Award, logistical issues planned for the IBC that were discussed at the 1998 BSA Council meeting, and the plans for other 1999 BSA student awards.

Jeffrey M. Osborn, Chair

Web Page Committee

The Web Page Committee was formed by a 1998 amendment to the bylaws. The charge of the committee is to maintain the Society's Webpage and advise the President and the Council on policies and changes necessary for effective Internet communications. During the past year, the BSA site there have been over 239,000 page requests from over 100 countries. The web page includes the following major sections (use in % for the past 6 months in parentheses): Announcements (6.23%), Botany in the News! (0.54%), American Journal of Botany (42.63% of which 36.96% is abstract use), Plant Science Bulletin (13.30%, of which 11.79% is full electronic text access), Careers in Botany (6.09%), Botany for the Next Millennium (3.79%), an Online Directory, Annual Meeting Sites (2.97%), Membership Information Pages (bylaws, awards, officers)(1.83%), Section Home Pages (1.51%), WWW Botany Sites (3.53%), and Web Site Statistics (1.13%). The home page accounted for 15.70% of the visits, so the "average visit" reached a depth of five pages. New features: "Botany in the News" gathers articles about plants from the media (usually ABC News, which in contrast to most sites, has a stable archive). Although the archive is not commonly used, the feature is prominently featured on the home page and receives more attention during the school year. The "Careers in Botany" site moved from OU to the BSA server late in April; "Careers" is a very popular site, receiving about 17% of the hits in May and June. Many of the visitors are K-12 students looking for information on careers as part of a school assignment, and others are interested in careers in general. American Journal of Botany abstracts - posted on the BSA server for 1997 and 1998 - became redundant with the opening of the AJB Online site at http://www.amjbot.org/ on January 15, 1999. Past abstracts have now been removed from the BSA server and a hyperlink has been placed on the error page to the abstract site at AJB Online.

New initiatives: (1) The Teaching Section's Slide Collection has been digitized largely through the efforts of Tom Jurik, Dave Webb and David Kramer, in cooperation with the Teaching Section and the Education Committee and the Webmaster. This has been mounted on a new server at OU located at: http://images.botany.org/bsa/. This server is a Pentium 120 operating under Linux providing a convenient interface to the 799 current images. If anyone has a newer computer that can be devoted to this, let me know! We hope to continue this through purchasing a slide scanner and soliciting future donation of teaching images. (2) The "Ask-a-Botanist" project has grown out of the one or two questions per day that I get on plants during the school term! Botanists are now accessible. I am planning to develop a listserv/website interface that will direct questions to a panel of botanist volunteers. The questions and their answers will be posted through the BSA web site. (3) We hope to develop further teaching resources to be available via the web pages on teaching using plants. (4) If you know anyone who would be particularly appropriate to serve as a member of this committee, please let Doug know, as we are still organizing this committee under our new "permanent committee" status.

Scott Russell, Webmaster and Chair

Ad Hoc Committee for the Endowment

Prior to the 1998 BSA Annual Meeting, then-President Nancy Dengler appointed a special ad hoc committee of six members to explore ways for significantly increasing the BSA endowment, especially the Conant Travel Fund and the Karling Graduate Research Fund. An immediate goal was to solicit contributions to the Conant Fund to support attendance at the International Botanical Congress in St. Louis.

A letter from the Committee requesting donations was included in the 1998 fall mailing to approximately 2,700 BSA members (all categories). Thirty-six members responded to this plea, with contributions ranging from $10 to $500, thereby raising $1,480 for the Conant Fund and $1,470 for the Karling Fund. Another $1,281 for the Conant Fund and $116 for the Karling Fund was included with members' renewals at the end of the year.

The challenges for the "development" committee for the coming year(s) include:

  1. Encouraging a greater proportion of BSA members to make these tax-deductible contributions to the Society;
  2. Devising and implementing an effective and sustained endowment campaign; and
  3. Setting a realistic goal and timetable for such a campaign.

Judy Jernstedt, Chair

BSA Meetings Organization ad hoc committee
I. GENERAL ISSUES
  1. Meetings Coordination. The committee recommended to the EC that a standing committee be initiated to oversee meeting logistics (The Annual Meeting Coordination Committee) and that an individual be identified to serve as BSA "meetings coordinator". The meetings coordinator would oversee logistics of meetings and act as a liaison between participating societies and the meetings management company. This would allow the Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Program Director to focus their efforts directly on the meeting program.

  2. Meetings Management. The committee recommended to the EC that, for the short term, BSA does not require additional paid staff to oversee meetings. The BSA can utilize services provided by Conferon and outsourced providers to manage its meetings.

    Conferon provides many meetings-management services based on commission income from contracts negotiated with hotels and suppliers. Services from Conferon include: initial screening for site selection, facilitating contract negotiations with hotels and suppliers (AV, transportation, exhibitor decorators, etc.), pre-meeting planning, and on-site assistance. Hotel commissions also pay for services of an Account Planner to oversee meeting planning and on-site assistance.

  3. Professional consultation. It was recommended to the EC that BSA continue using the services of an independent meeting consultant, and that his fee be increased to ensure continued and timely service. BSA has an agreement for contract and meeting consultation with Mr. Ed Suddath, executive director of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) based in Columbia, MD. Mr. Suddath provides an independent and experienced appraising of contracts and meetings-related items. He also provides input for our contractual dealings with Conferon.

II. BOTANY 2000 MEETING. Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR; 6-10 August 2000.

  1. Participating societies: ABLS, AFS, ASPT, BSA.

  2. Title and Theme: "Botany 2000"; New Frontiers in Botany in the next millenium.

  3. BSA local site representative: Clyde Calvin, Portland State University. Local support provided by other local botanists.

  4. Program development: Plenary lecture speaker committee, BSA Annual Meeting Program Committee, BSA Annual Meeting Coordinating Committee, ABLS, AFS, and ASPT programs.

  5. Meeting logistics:

    Contracts signed - Signed contracts in place with Oregon Convention Center (rental fee $13,300), host hotel (Doubletree/Lloyd Center), and overflow hotels (Best Western, Holiday Inn, and Comfort Inn).

    Total contracted room block:

    Fri Sat Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur

    8/4

    8/5

    8/6

    8/7

    8/8

    8/9

    8/10

    60 241 400 500 500 413 65
    Total room nights blocked = 2179

    Contracts needed - Registration, AV services, Exhibit decoration and exhibit coordination, Transportation, Airline discount provider, etc.

    Services where bids have been received - Registration, Exhibit coordination

    Items under development - Budget, Exhibitor prospectus, Botany 2000 logo, T-shirt production, promotional and registration materials

  6. Fall planning visit: Thurs 30 Sep to Sat 2 Oct in Portland, OR: Local reps + program officers for participating societies + BSA meetings coordinator + account planner from Conferon.

III. BOTANY 2001 MEETING. Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque, NM; 12-16 August 2001.

  1. Site selection: Site visits were conducted and bids received from Albuquerque and Reno. The committee recommended that the EC select Albuquerque as the 2001 meeting site, and that Reno, NV should be considered for future meetings as a potential site. There was more local support in Albuquerque and the convention center bid was very competitive.

  2. Participating societies: ABLS, AFS, ASPT, BSA. Possible juxtaposition with IOPB meeting.

  3. Title and Theme: Title and theme under development.

  4. BSA local site representative: Tim Lowrey, University of New Mexico. Local support provided by other local botanists.

  5. Meeting logistics:

    Contracts signed - Signed contracts in place with host hotel (Hyatt), and overflow hotels (Doubletree, Ramada, Plaza Inn). Letter of agreement signed with Albuquerque Convention Center (rental fee $5,000).

    Total contracted room block:

    Fri

    Sat

    Sun

    Mon

    Tues

    Wed

    Thur

    8/10

    8/11

    8/12

    8/13

    8/14

    8/15

    8/16

    73

    340

    440

    500

    500

    420

    50

    Total room nights blocked = 2323

    Contracts needed during FY 2000 - Albuquerque convention center, registration, exhibit coordination.

    Items under development - Budget, Exhibitor prospectus, logo for meeting, promotional materials.

IV. BOTANY 2002 MEETING. Pyle and Lowell Conference Centers and UW campus buildings, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 3-8 August 2001.

  1. Site selection: Site visits were conducted and bids were received from two venues in St. Paul, MN (St. Paul convention center, "RiverCentre"; U of Minnesota-twin cities campus) and three venues in Madison, WI (Dane County Exposition Hall, Monona Terrace, UW-Madison campus). Although transportation to Madison is a minor concern, the brand new UW Pyle Center has state-of-the-art AV, has no rental fee, and is large enough to hold our meeting with few outside rooms necessary. Campus dorm and hotel space is extremely reasonable. Local support at UW-Madison was exceptional.

  2. Participating societies: ABLS (under discussion), AFS, ASPT, BSA, CBA. Possible inclusion of PSA and International Association of Wood Anatomists.

  3. Title and Theme: Title and theme under development.

  4. BSA local site representative: Ray Evert, University of Wisconsin. Local support provided by many other local botanists.

    Contracts signed - Signed agreement in place with UW-Madison Pyle Center and convention services. 133 campus hotel rooms reserved; a large number of dorm rooms are available (150 reserved).

    Contracts needed during FY 2000 - Overflow hotels near campus (at least three)

    Items under development - Budget, Exhibitor prospectus, logo, promotional materials, recruitment of PSA and International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA).

V. BOTANY 2003 MEETING. southeastern USA, particularly near Gulf or Atlantic Coasts under consideration.

  1. Site selection: Potential venues will be reviewed and visited by Meeting Coordination committee members during 1999-2000. A recommendation will be forwarded to the EC.

VI. BOTANY 2004 meeting venue open for discussion.

  1. Site selection: A revised proposal is due shortly from the RiverCentre in St. Paul, MN to hold the 2004 meeting. Local support and preliminary bid was very competitive. An excellent and reasonably-priced venue for our meeting.

Wayne Elisens, Chair

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