ANNUAL REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH COMMITTEE - 2008

The International Committee met had a large and enthusiastic meeting and has decided to do a series of activities for direct outreach:

  1. We made contact with nations around the world and are working on a series of articles nation-by nation which outline major Universities, Botanical societies and researchers in these nations, for the information of BSA members, to be put on the web.
  2. We have a site on the web page under meetings " International Meetings" Our members and bill's staff are updating this regularly. We hope that BSA members when traveling and when looking for meetings in various nations, will access this.
  3. We are deciding on nations to give complete sets of the Amer. Journal of botany to. Many developing nations do not have a complete set inside the whole country. We will also give an on line subscription to a key botanist who can share the information with students and researchers. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Peru, and Bulgaria, Thailand and being considered now. There have been needs from nations and offers from BSA members for equipment to be sent to these " special " nations such as microscopes, etc. We have a subcommittee looking into this.
  4. After discussion at our meeting, the first nation with whom we will have a formal exchange will be Peru. We plan to have exchanges each 2-3 years on various continents ( South Africa or Tanzania, Thailand, Papua New Guinea,and east Europe were runners up and are being explored for 2010 and beyond with distribution throughout regions being key). We have made contact with the Peruvian Botanical society and nine outstanding botanists (from biodiversity to forestry to agriculture to ecology). We have submitted a planning grant and have an invitation to plan a workshop to learn about one another's research. (Peru has more species than USA and Canada combined, has the largest number of endangered species in South America, has 28 ecosystems, has excellent paleo-botanic resources, has 85000 km sq marine and coastal waters almost unexplored botanically, has agriculture 11000 yr old with hundreds of cultivated species we do not presently eat in USA, has 50% of the nation covered with forests, the large part of which is intact and some virgin). This is a botanical treasure , it is safe for researchers, and funded by US government agencies. We hope this BSA -Peru alliance will yield many years of joint research for our BSA members in all disciplines. We plan a workshop in Peru for BSA members either 2009 or 2010. We have a committee composed of 9 distinguished Peruvian scientists and 9 BSA . We have a draft program. We will produce a book " Botany in Peru " on the web after the meeting . The Peruvians are very anxious to learn about our web site, software for organization of meetings, all our new technologies including distance learning. They specialize in systematics, biodiversity, seed physiology, ecosystem description . They are very receptive to an Alliance with the BSA. We are seeking further funding including airline reduced fares, and grants.
  5. I was in India in December and have an offer to put our web site link on an India Universities web site. We have good contacts there. This nation is ripe for an exchange workshop with BSA. There are thousands of Botanists in India.
  6. I have been asked to speak about riverine and marine pollution at a meeting of Academy of Sciences and Club of Rome in Romania in May followed by Bulgarian Academy the next week. I am making links with botanists there for the BSA future. These two nations have mountains, riverine, coastal, marine ecosystems and great unexplored botanical resources. These nations are anxious to work with us at the BSA.
  7. Our committee members have written excellent articles about Botany in their nations “ Botany in Bulgaria: and “Botany in Pakistan “ and range from Europe to Australia & New Zealand, and Peru which have been prepared for the web site and for Plant Science Bulletin to educate members about universities, research, environment, forests, journals, and societies and meetings in these nations.
  8. Two of our women members, volunteered their biographies to Women in Science. One from Pakistan and one from Sri Lanka, making our Women profiles international.
  9. At the Vancouver meeting , have organized the first in what we hope are a series of BSA symposia " How to work Internationally" with international funding information, access of International internet resources of Plant science information, and how to chose international journals and publish international work , how to import or export living or specimen material internationally other important facts for working abroad. HOpefully these will be articles for Plant Science bulletin.
  10. We have nominated a series of persons for Corresponding members from developing nations around the world.
We are strongly moving forward with meaningful activities for all our members, young and old, researchers and educators and of all disciplines within botany.

Anitra Thorhaug, Chair BSA International Outreach committee