News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees, part 2

Reports from the Sections:

Bryological and Lichenological Section

The Bryological and Lichenological Section participated in the joint American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS) and Mycological Society of America (MSA) Meetings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 11 - 16. The meetings included a pre-meeting bryology and lichenology foray to the Luquillo Mountains, a society mixer and the annual ABLS breakfast. The scientific program included 24 contributed presentations and 8 contributed posters. To encourage student participation in the annual meeting, the section is providing $600 toward travel awards for graduate students, and $100 toward the A. J. Sharp Award for outstanding student presentation. Five students competed for the l998 award, which was won by Abbey Rosso (Oregon State University) for the presentation "Responses of shrub epiphyte communities to overstory thinning in forests of western Oregon." The 1997 award went to Katherine Preston (Indiana University) for her paper, "Ecological and developmental studies on the dwarf male breeding system of the moss Dicranum scoparium in the North Carolina Piedmont," with honorable mentions to Tracey Mattock (University of Alberta) and Walter Bien (Drexel University).

Paula DePriest, Chair

Developmental and Structural Section

The section continues to have high levels of activity associated with the annual meeting. During the past year, the first fund raising drive was undertaken to establish travel grants for students to attend annual BSA meetings. Two separate programs for travel awards to student members of the Developmental and Structural Section of the Botanical Society of America were established. In total, over $2,800 was contributed by the members of the section and an additional match of $2,500 was committed, bringing the total amount raised this past year to over $5,300.

The goal for each of these funds is to encourage and support student attendance at the annual BSA meeting. Each travel award will be in the amount of the student registration fee ($85 this year) for the current annual BSA meeting. There is no requirement for a student to present a contributed paper in association with either of these travel awards. At the 1998 annual meetings, 7 student members of the Developmental and Structural Section received awards!

Vernon Cheadle Student Travel Award Endowment-In honor of the memory of Dr. Vernon Cheadle, the goal of this endowment is to grow the principal over the long term, while making travel awards to several students per year to attend the annual meetings of the Botanical Society of America.

Developmental & Structural Section Student Travel Award Fund-An annual drive to generate contributions from the sectional membership to support student attendance at the annual meetings of the Botanical Society of America. Donations will be solicited in units equivalent to the current student registration fee (this year, for example, $85). In essence, each contributor will effectively sponsor the attendance of one or more students.

At the 1998 Developmental and Structural business meeting, an election was held for the next chair of the section. Professor Jean Gerrath (University of Northern Iowa) was elected and will hold this office for the next three years.

William (Ned) Friedman, Chair

Ecological Section

At the 1998 meetings, the Ecological Section is sponsoring a symposium entitled "Consequences of plant responses to spatial and temporal heterogeneity, " organized by Irwin Forseth and Alexander Wait, University of Maryland. Co-sponsorship is provided by ESA. Contributed papers from our section total 49 and posters 30.

We annually sponsor awards for the best student paper and poster. Judging this year is being organized by Carolyn Keiffer, Miami University. Winners last year were Michael Ganger, University of New Hampshire for best paper "The ecological implications of ramet context: a case study," and Maureen Kerwin, Miami University for best poster "Pollen and pistil effects on pollen germination and tube growth in selfing and out-crossing populations of Clarkia tembloriensis (Onagraceae) and their hybrids." This year for the first time, we presented travel awards to graduate students presenting a paper or poster; we made six awards of $100 each. The recipients were Kevin Bums, UCLA, Amy Faivre, University of Arizona, Carolee Franklin, Ohio State, Siti Nor Hidayati, University of Kentucky, John Lambrinos, UCLA, and Cynthia Riccardi, Ohio University.

Section officers were just elected for the next three year term (1998 - 2000): Chair - Maxine Watson, Indiana University, Vice-Chair- Elizabeth Lacey, UNC Greensboro, and Secretary - Massimo Pigliucci, University of Tennessee.

Brenda B. Casper, Chair

Historical Section

One paper and one poster are being presented at the Baltimore meeting. The Historical Section is co-sponsoring a symposium with the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) at next year's International Botanical Congress in St. Louis. The title of the symposium is 'Towards an International Preserving Botanical Documentation: Critical Problems and Potential Solutions."

Larry J. Dorr, Secretary-Treasurer

Paleobotanical Section
The Paleobotanical Section currently has 343 members (265 regular members, 18 emeritus regular members, 39 affiliate members, 4 emeritus affiliate members, and 17 honorary members). This represents an increase of 37 members since last year.

The Section has a program for the Baltimore meeting with 38 contributed papers, 3 posters, and an informal presentation session. Of the contributed papers, 13 are student papers which will all be in competition for the Isabel Cookson Award, and 6 will be in competition for the Maynard Moseley Award. In addition, many members of Section will be presenting papers in other sections and participating in several symposia. The Section will hold its annual mixer and banquet on Monday evening, August 3, 1997. The Second Annual Paleobotanical Auction will immediately follow the banquet. Items to be auctioned will be those donated by members and friends of the Section and will include materials such as books, reprints, photographs, slides, humorous items, etc. Student presenters received complimentary tickets to the Paleobotanical Banquet. The annual business meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4,1998. The Section also sponsored a pre-meeting tour of the paleobotanical happenings at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) and George Washington University, both in Washington, DC.

During the past year the Paleobotanical Section has been raising money for its various endowment funds, with special emphasis on the Winfried Remy and Renata Remy Fund. This fund was established in 1997 and will endow the Remy and Remy Award, for the best published paper in Paleobotany or Palynology during the foregoing year. The Section received two applications for Karling Student Research Awards this year, one of which was funded to Susana Magallon-Puebla (University of Chicago). The Paleobotanical Section has also recently inquired about formally affiliating with the American Geological Institute.

The Bibliography of American Paleobotany for 1997 was mailed to members and to 38 institutional subscribers in May 1998. Copies will be provided for the BSA Archives and for the editor of the Plant Science Bulletin. Others may purchase copies for $18 each.

During the past year the Section has also continued to maintain a paleobotany News List (PALEOBOT) on the internet and a homepage on the World Wide Web. To subscribe to the list, interested persons should send an e-mail message to <> containing the following message: < subscribe PALEOBOT your name >. The WWW homepage can be visited at <>or via the BSA homepage.

Jeffrey M. Osborn, Secretary-Treasurer

Phycological Section

The Phycological Section, BSA, did not participate in this year's annual BSA meeting. We will be actively involved in the 1999 meeting in St. Louis, where among other things, we will be sponsoring a symposium centering on the green alga Volvox, convened by Annette W. Coleman.

The section is currently conducting an election for the three year position of Chair, with the new Chair to be announce in mid-August.

Daniel E. Wujak, Chair

Physiological Section

The Physiological Section had 10 contributed papers and 9 posters at the meeting in Montreal. The business meeting was attended by ten people. Lunch was provided during the business meeting. We focused our attention on planning a symposium for the Baltimore meeting. To this end, Pete Straub organized a symposium on American Beachgrass. We also discussed officer elections which will come up at the meeting in Baltimore. Henri Maurice indicated that he will not serve as section chair or council representative when his term is up in 1998. None of the attendees expressed interest in serving as section chair or as council representative.

Henri Roger Maurice, Chair

Pteridological Section

The Pteridological Section cosponsored with the American Fem Society, a half day of contributed papers and a full day symposium on the Conservation Biology of Pteridophytes organized by Tom Ranker. In addition, the section continues to contribute to support the Annual Review of Pteridological Research which is published by the International Association of Pteridologists. This year the section elected Tom Ranker to a three year term as Secretary/Treasurer, the term of Dave Conant having expired.

Dave Conant, Secretary-Treasurer

Teaching Section


National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

The teaching section of the BSA joined with ASPP educators to support a plant education booth at the annual meeting of the NSTA meeting in Las Vegas this April 16-19. The booth included numerous living plants such as the rapid-cycling brassica (Fast Plants) and dwarf wheat used in the Farming in Space growing systems, CFerns, liverworts/club mosses in miniature bottle biology gardens, and Sockheads.

About 2,500 teachers stopped by to find out more about the plants and plant teaching materials. Paul Williams, Dan Lauffer, and Coe Williams from ASPP were joined by Ethel Stanley and Rob Reinsvold from the BSA Teaching Section to support nearly continuous teacher participation in the booth projects and widespread interest in using plants in the classroom.

Located diagonally from the NASA booth which featured the Fast Plants/NASA Collaborative Ukranian Experiment, the booth proved to quite popular. Tom Dreschel (NASA) sent teachers over to the colorful, plant-crowded booth as they began to ask about the plants featured in the Farming in Space Exhibit. BSA materials such as the brochure on Careers in Botany, Botany for the Next Millennium, and Next Millennium posters were quickly picked up as were Fast Plant materials describing several projects focused on classroom experimentation with rapid-cycling brassicas and the ASPP Plant Cubes. In addition, the booth personnel conveyed their enthusiasm and expertise in using plants as model organisms for learning biology.

A special thank you to Kim Hiser and Julia Schmitt for their help in getting the BSA materials to the site!

We are quite pleased to share the success of this collaboration with plant educators from the ASPP with the BSA members and would like to ask individuals who are interested in future collaborations to contact Ethel Stanley ( or Rob Reinsvold ( by email or meet with us during the AIBS meeting in Baltimore.

Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences

On July 2 at University of Wisconsin- Madison, the workshop "Toward Literacy in Plant Biology" was co-sponsored by CELS and the ASPP. Participants were invited from the ASPP membership, representatives of other professional societies, and University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty who teach a wide range of plant-based courses to discuss the ASPP compilation of "Principles of Plant Biology - Concepts for Science Education." Undergraduate plant science education, the identification of its underlying principles, and the roles of professional societies were explored by the group in a series of breakout sessions and mini-presentations. A lively discussion of the publication of teaching articles provided a capstone experience.

The BSA publication "Botany for the Next Millennium" was included in the packet of background materials distributed to workshop participants and the agenda for the meeting gave Rob Reinsvold, as Chair-Elect of the Teaching Section, a 30-minute slot to discuss this publication and contemporary issues in BSA. Marsh Sundberg, as an invited speaker, presented on assessment as well as pedagogical strategies for the classroom. Also in attendance was Ethel Stanley who represented the Association of College and University Educators as coeditor of the Biocide: Journal of College Biology Teaching as well as the BSA Teaching Section.


National Biology Teachers Association (NBTA)

The Teaching Section has organized a workshop for the NABT meeting in Reno during November 48, 1998. "Leave It to the Plants" will focus on using leaves to look more closely at the biology of plants. Plants are ideal organisms for teaching unifying concepts of biology. By treating the leaves on a single tree as a population, questions in ecology, development, biochemistry, and adaptation can be explored. Even though attached to the same tree, the morphology of each leaf is dependent on the localized, environmental conditions. For example, leaves of honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) are often t)innately compound in the early growth of the season and bipinnately compound later. Students can make hypotheses, gather data, and investigate some questions applicable to ecology, development, biochemistry, and adaptation. In addition, suggestions for modification of these activities will be provided along with construction plans for low-cost plant presses.

We think our efforts to impact K-12 education are working and should be continued. Rob Reinsvold submitted a formal proposal to the BSA Council for continued financial support. Last year, the Council voted to direct $1500 to the Education Committee towards educational out reach efforts. This year we would propose increasing the amount to $5000 to cover the cost of having a booth at the NSTA conference in Boston. If we can get 3-4 of the prominent plant societies side-by-side we will make significant impression at this national meeting that draws 12-16,000 teaching participants that include undergraduate faculty as well each year.

We are also considering the development of regional workshops like the NABT workshop on the effective use of plants to teach biological principles and would like to call on the general membership to support this proposal.


David Kramer has been selected to receive the 1998 Samual N. Postlethwait Award in recognition of his outstanding support and contributions to the Teaching Section. (This will come as a surprise to no one who has had the privilege of working with Dave on the myriad of educational projects he has contributed to in the past.)

SYMPOSIA (Papers and Posters):

Program Chair: J. S. Shipman reports the following contributions:

  1. BRICKER, JERALD S.* AND HENRY DERR. - Using an electronic mail (e-mail) listserver to support course related communications with students.
  2. CAMARA, M.D., H.S. CALLAHAN*, C.T. MELEAR, AND M. PIGLIUCCI. - Resolving the controversies: a workshop about teaching evolution. [Poster]
  3. EYSTER-SMITH, NANCY M. - World Wide Web: Its role in teaching botany, ecology, and economic botany.
  4. EZELL, WAYLAND L. - Evaluating introductory botany courses using pre-tests and post-tests.
  5. FARRAR, DONALD R*, SUSAN J ALDWORTH, AND HARRY T HORNER. - Development of an illustrated booklet and hypertext database of 100 species on the Iowa State University Campus.
  6. HIRREL, MARC*, JOHN S., JR. CHOINSKI, STEVE RUNGE, MIKE MORAN. - The use of computer workstations in general biology laboratories. [Poster]
  7. KRAMER, DAVID W. - Designing hands-on botany activities for K-8 classrooms.
  8. KRAMER, DAVID W. - Planning and implementing a plant biology workshop for K-8 teachers.
  9. LA DUKE, JOHN. - The use of learning summaries in systematic botany instruction: an alternative to exams.
  10. LIAO, LOUISE W. -What should college students know about plants?
  11. REID, PHILIP D.*, PAUL STEPHENSON, AND DAVID BICKAR. - A laboratory exercise for measuring changes in protein content and proteolytic activity during programmed cell death of daylily flowers.
  12. REINSVOLD, ROBERT J. - Effective strategies to enhance student learning of plant life cycles.
  13. ROSE, JAMES F. - Arbortags: teaching about trees. [Poster]
  14. STANLEY, ETHEL D. - Oh Phlox! A Visual Dataset for Undergraduate Biology.


Our web page was moved from a server at Beloit College to one at Illinois State University this year and is locally administered by Joe Armstrong. Despite an extensive delay in updating the page, the current page reflects the activities of the past year and the planning with several links. We hope to improve the web site by making activities from the workshops accessible there and keeping relevant educational links updated.

Ethel Stanley, Chair

Tropical Biology Section

The Tropical Biology Section, in collaboration with the Association for Tropical Biology, co-sponsored a plenary address by Thomas Lovejoy, entitled "Tropical Conservation Biology", and we cordially invite the membership of the Society to attend. The Tropical Biology Section co-sponsored a symposium with the Genetics Section on Population genetics and gene flow in tropical plants. In conjunction with the Ecology Section a contributed paper session was sponsored on Tropical Ecology.

Susanne Renner, University of Missouri-St. Louis is the chair-elect and will represent the Tropical Biology section to the BSA council for the next three years. After deciding to consolidate two officers positions, Andrew Douglas, Field Museum of Natural History, was elected to be the Program Chair/Secretary/ Treasurer for the next three years.

The Tropical Biology section's web page has been updated, and we hope will continue to grow. If you have sites or information that you think should be posted on this page, please contact either Susanne Renner or Joseph Armstrong.

Joseph E. Armstrong, Chair

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