News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees

President's Report, 1999

America Journal of Botany is now online at site, and we appreciate all the things Scott Russell did (and continues to do) on this project.

Editor-in-Chief of AJB for the next 5-year term is Karl Niklas. We appreciate his hard work on AJB during his first 5-year term as Editor and are grateful he is willing to continue. Many thanks are due to the Committee to Recommend Individuals as Editor-in-Chief of AJB: Beryl Simpson (Chair), Peter Crane, Ned Friedman, Nels Lersten and Diane Marshall.

Collection of a complete set of AJB that could be scanned for the journal storage project (JSTOR) was successful. Many thanks are due the Mann Library of Cornell University and the various individuals who loaned volumes of AJB to JSTOR for scanning.

The Editor of PSB, Joe Leverich, ends his term of service on 31 December. We are grateful to Joe for all his fine work on PSB. Now, we are faced with the challenge of finding a new Editor of PSB. The Committee to Recommend Individuals as Editor of PSB [Allison Snow (Chair), Donald Galitz and Joe Armstrong] is working on a ranked list of applicants; however, there is still time for you to be considered if you are interested in becoming Editor of PSB.

Two complete sets of PSB have been donated to BSA: one by Sydney Greenfield (Jersey City, NJ) and the other by Herbert Hull (Tucson, AZ). The Society deeply appreciates these gifts.

Contributions to the Karling and Conant Funds were made by many BSA members, and this support for the future generation of botanists is gratefully acknowledged.

The Karling Award Committee is now a BSA standing committee; see report by Jeffrey Osborn, committee chair.

The Conant Committee for 1999 consisted of Dan Crawford (Chair), Judy Jernstedt, Ruth Stockey, Pam Soltis and Brian McCarthy. All their hard work in figuring out how to award the $8,700 in the Conant Fund is appreciated.

Many by-law changes were approved by the BSA membership via a ballot in the 1999 Spring Mailing. The Executive Committee spent many hours reading, thinking and emailing with regard to these by-law changes.

An Annual Meeting Coordinating Committee is now a new BSA standing committee; this is one of the by-law changes recently approved by the BSA membership. The Annual Meeting Coordinating Committee is charged with oversight of all logistical arrangements for the annual meeting.

The Annual Meeting Program Committee is charged with arranging the scientific program for the Society; the Program Director will chair this committee.

Membership in BSA without AJB has been discussed by the Executive Committee, AJB Editorial Board and the AJB ad hoc Task Force, and a few individuals wrote letters or emailed expressing their opinions. The decision has been made to delay any action on this matter until the financial impact of having AJB online can be evaluated.

ASPT decided to established a business office at the University of Wyoming.

BSA received a check for $4,527.00 from AIBS. This money is BSA's share of profits from the 1998 AIBS Meetings in Baltimore; 285 of the 2774 registrants at AIBS indicated they were members of BSA.

The Careers in Botany booklet is slated for revision, and a committee is being formed to work on this project.

Planning for future BSA meetings is being guided by our Program Director, Wayne Elisens, and the Society appreciates all his time, devotion, hard work and clever bargaining. See Wayne's report for an update on Botany-2000 in Portland, OR, and for the status of plans to meet in Albuquerque, NM, in 2001 and Madison, WI, in 2002.

The theme for Botany-2000 is New frontiers in botany, and the Plenary Session Committee for Botany-2000 [Carol Baskin (Chair), Barbara Hoshizaki, Chris Haufler, Wayne Elisens, Clyde Calvin and Brent Mischler] has been working hard.

Many things will be discussed during the course of the 1999 Annual meeting of BSA in St. Louis, including:

Thus, you can see that BSA is an active and vigorous society!

Joint social for CBA/ABC, BSA and SBM at IBC will bring together botanists from northern Canada to southern Mexico (quite a range of latitudes, climates and biomes!) for an evening of food, fun, awards and more (e.g., Doug Soltis will give a talk). It has been a real pleasure working with Denis Barabé (President of CBA/ABC) and Ken Oyama (President of SBM) to help Wayne Elisens and Peter Hoch organize this event.

The BSA membership greatly appreciates the opportunity to hold its 1999 Annual Meeting in Conjunction with IBC. Further, we express our deep gratitude to Peter Raven, Peter Hoch, Barbara Kitrel and Barbara Schaal for all their efforts in organizing IBC and facilitating the 1999 Annual Meeting of BSA.

I appreciate the honor of being President of BSA. The members of the Executive Committee, members of the Council, Chairs of the Committees, Editors, Business Manager and Representatives to Other Organizations are dedicated, hard-working people, and it has been a privilege and a joy to serve the Society with them.

- Carol C. Baskin

Past President's Report

The Past President chairs the Corresponding and Election Committees (see separate reports), evaluates nominations for the Young Botanist Awards, and organizes the Past President's Symposium.

1) Young Botanist Awards. Nominations for the 1999Young Botanist Awards were evaluated by a local committee, consisting of Spencer C.H.Barrett and Nancy G. Dengler, University of Toronto. Of a total of 22 nominations, 15 received certificates for Special Achievement as Young Botanists and 4 received Recognition as Young Botanists. Overall, the committee was very impressed by the dedication, enthusiasm and accomplishments of these young people and selected those actively involved in research or other special projects for recognition for Special Achievement. We thank Kim Hiser for looking after sending letters and certificates to all awardees early in May so that this recognition by the Botanical Society of America could be made public at the time of graduation.

2) Past President's Symposium. The 1999 Past President's symposium is organized as a general symposium of the International Botanical Congress in St. Louis. The theme of the symposium is "Leaf morphogenesis: from classical morphology to molecular biology" The goal of the symposium is to integrate knowledge gained from different approaches to the study of leaf development, including comparative morphology, mutant characterization, clonal analysis of genetic mosaics, and molecular biology, in order to evaluate the current state of knowledge and to identify future directions. . Speakers include Don Kaplan (UC Berkeley), Rob Martienssen (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories), Michael Marcotrigiano (University of Massachusetts), Michael Freeling (UC Berkeley), Neelima Sinha (UC Davis) and Darleen DeMason (UC Riverside). The symposium will be introduced by Hirokazu Tsukaya, University of Tokyo and funding from the Botanical Society of America will be acknowledged.

Nancy G. Dengler

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.
Columbus OH 43210-1293
Phone/Fax: 614/292-3519
Address Editorial Matters (only) to:
Joe Leverich, Editor
Department of Biology, Saint Louis University
3507 Laclede Ave., Saint Louis MO 63103-2010
Telephone: (314) 977-3903
Fax: (314) 977-3658

BSA Program Director Report

Planning visit for 1999 meeting: There was no planning visit for the 1999 meeting with IBC-16.

Coordination and assembly of materials for the annual meeting program: General information for 1999 meeting. Because the 1999 meeting was held in conjunction with the XVI International Botanical Congress and the program was subsumed into the IBC meeting, a "General Information" flyer was included in the fall 1998 BSA mailing. The flyer included information about the nature of the 1999 IBC scientific program, submission of contributed posters, and procedures for scheduling BSA sectional business meetings and social events.

Call for Symposia. There was no "Call for Symposia" distributed for the 1999 meeting. A "Call for Symposia" for the 2000 meeting was posted on the BSA website and distributed in the spring 1999 mailing with a proposal submission deadline of 1 July 1999. Symposium proposals were submitted to sponsoring sections and then forwarded to the BSA Program Director.

Call for Workshops. A "Call for Workshops" for the 2000 meeting was posted on the BSA website and distributed in the spring 1999 mailing with a proposal deadline of 15 October 1999. This is the first call for workshops ever initiated by BSA.

Call for Papers .There was no "Call for Papers" distributed for the 1999 meeting.

AJB Abstract Supplement. There was no abstract supplement for 1999.

The 1999 program: Council and business meetings, and social functions: There was no scientific program for the 1999 meeting. The final BSA program consisted of the pre-meeting Executive Committee meeting (Saturday, 31 July), Council meeting (Sunday 1 August), Business meeting (Tuesday 3 August), AJB editorial board luncheon (Tuesday 3 August), Social for North American botanists at the Missouri Botanical Garden (Thursday 5 August), and the post-meeting Executive Committee meeting (Saturday 7 August).

There was no separate Past-President's symposium for 1999 (see above). The "Social for North American botanists" is cosponsored by the Canadian Botanical Association (CBA/ABC) and the Sociedad Botánica de México (SBM). An address by the president-elect, Doug Soltis, will be presented at the social.

Wayne Elisens

Editor's Report, Plant Science Bulletin

  1. Publication Schedule - Four issues of Plant Science Bulletin have appeared in the last year. All issues have appeared on schedule.
  2. Number of pages - For volume 44, quarterly issues ranged from 32 to 40 pages; the average is 32 pages. This is similar to previous years, and accommodates present needs. There is no backlog of material at this time.
  3. Books received - In the last year, Plant Science Bulletin listed 133 books received to be considered for review.
  4. Books Reviewed - Sixty-two books were reviewed in Plant Science Bulletin in the last year.
  5. Articles - We continue to seek quality articles of general interest to the membership. PSB received favorable response after we reprinted the first article from the first issue of PSB (entitled "The Challenge to Botanists" from 1955) in the Spring 1999 issue. We have also been fortunate to have several outstanding contributions from the Teaching Section.
  6. Editorial Assistance - From September 1998 through May 1999, Ms. Marlo Morrow was Editorial Assistant. Her work-study position was partially supported by the Department of Biology at Saint Louis University.
  7. Electronic Publication - The contents of Plant Science Bulletin continue to be available on the BSA website, thanks to the outstanding efforts of Scott Russell. His tireless efforts are truly valuable in making PSB available world-wide.

Joe Leverich, Editor

Editor's Report, American Journal of Botany

  1. Publication status
  2. Year MS Received Total Pages Papers
    1998-1999 301 1,8201 1812
    1997-1998 325 1,802 212
    1996-1997 323 1,728 181
    1995-1996 325 1,618 176
    1994-1995 352 1,673 185
    1993-1994 322 1,513 178
    1992-1993 282 1,460 184

    1 An average of 152 pages per issue; 15 articles per issue; 10 pages per article.
    2 171 regular papers; 7 brief communications; 3 special papers; 3 book reviews.

  3. Status of current manuscripts
  4. Status 1998-1999 1997-1998 1996-1997 1995-1996 1994-1995
    Accepted or at Allen Press 113 105 92 95 92
    Tentatively accepted and in revision 48 57 75 58 54
    Out for review 73 68 42 46 45
    total 2343 209 199 191 232

    3Does not include 58 "split decision" manuscripts currently out for revision by authors (see footnote 4).

  5. Summary of production schedule
  6. 1998-1999 1997-1998 1996-1997 1995-1996 1994-1995
    Receipt to editorial decision          
    excluding split reviews 1.1 1.0 1.1 ~1.0 < 1.0
    including split reviews 1.44 1.7 6 6 6.5
    Receipt to publication 7.55 7.7 8 11 13

    4 Out of the 298 manuscripts received this budget year, 135 (> 45%) received a "split decision"; rejection rate in this category was ~ 40% (rejection rate is otherwise 25%).
    5 All manuscripts; an average of 7 months for normal manuscripts not receiving split reviews; an average of 4 months for brief communications; < 3 months for special papers.

    Our "receipt to publication" statistic can be improved in only one of two ways: increase rejection rate or increase number of pages (and cost) per issue.

  7. Highlights of 1988-1999 budget year: Between 15th Jan. and 3rd June, the e-AJB received, on average, 10,749 (835 requests per week from 1,423 unique hosts per week (activity varied little over a 24 hour cycle; indicates world-wide usage). Three mentions of the AJB in ScienceNews and other popular press science journals. Reduction in time allotted authors to revise manuscripts has improved our "receipt to publication" statistic, but this is artificial (see footnote 4). The use of an electronic review site has reduced costs and turn around time. We have launched a "reviewer survey form" on the BSA Internet webpage (data to be downloaded into the AJB Editorial Office computer). All past issues for the JSTOR project have been located and are being scanned for electronic access.
  8. Issues and recommendations for 1999-2000: Strongly recommend we increase rejection rate of manuscripts (rather than pages per issue) to increase "time to publication" statistic. Do we publish symposium proceedings in the AJB? Editorial Board has discussed this issue in light of our option to purchase software to launch a new, totally electronic journal devoted to the publication of BSA symposia and other "special" events [e.g., Past-President's Symposia; BSA (and IBC) symposia]. Continue free-access to the e-AJB. Revenues gained by advertising in the e-AJB. Electronic submission of manuscripts for review.

Editorial Committee for Volume 45
Nickolas M. Waser (1999)
Department of Biology
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521
P. Mick Richardson (2000)
Missouri Botanical Garden
P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166
Vicki A. Funk (2001)
Department of Botany
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C. 20560
Ann E. Antlfinger (2002)
Biology Department
University of Nebraska - Omaha
Omaha NE 68182
Norman C. Ellstrand (2003)
Department of Botany and Plant Science
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521-0124
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