MEETING OF THE PALEOBOTANICAL SECTION, B.S.A.
Albuquerque, New Mexico 14 Aug 2001
1. Call to order and comments from the Chair, Kathleen Pigg at 3:42 pm.
2. Minutes of the 2000 Business Meetings (distributed by mail) were approved.
3. Report on the Bibliography of American Paleobotany. Willy Taylor reported that the Bibliography of American Paleobotany for 2000 is hot of the presses, and being mailed out during August.
4. Report on the status of the Section (Secretary, Steve Manchester). The Paleobotanical Section currently has 353 members. The Section sponsored an active program for Botany 2001, including 51 contributed papers and posters submitted by members of the Paleobotanical Section. A paleobotanical dinner and auction was held Monday, August 13, 2000, at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, attended by 68 people. Prior to the Paleobotanical Dinner, there was a tour of the Paleontological Collections of NMNH at 4:00 pm, courtesy of Spencer Lucas. Two paleobotanically oriented pre-conference field trips were held: "Paleoecology of the K/T Boundary in the Raton Basin, New Mexico and Colorado", Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 11,12,led by Gary Upchurch, and "Pennsylvanian floras of the Albuquerque area", Sunday,August 12, led by Sidney Ash and Gene Mapes.
The Bibliography of American Paleobotany for 2000, including the current membership directory for the section, has been published and was distributed members and institutional subscribers in August 2001. Additional copies are available for $18. The Paleobotanical Section continues to receive donations in support of endowment funds, including the Cookson, Becker, Cichan, and Remy funds. Each year, proceeds from the sale of anonymously donated "campaign" buttons (this year: "Dead Plants Tell No Lies") go to the Paleobotanical Endowment.
5. Treasurer's Report. The attached report shows status of our accounts over the past four quarters, and over the preceding two years. As indicated, our endowment funds suffered losses due to bad market conditions in the second quarter of 2001. Cumulatively over the past four quarters, each of the endowment funds lost about 0.08% in interest. Our standing remains excellent, with a total of $75,894.79 in our combined accounts, representing a 12-month increase of $8,731.12 . Auction and button proceeds from Botany 2001 (which will be posted for the next quarter, and not included in the current summary) were $1426.
6. Steve Manchester reported on the 2001 BSA Council Meeting which was chaired by Pat Gensel. The meeting began with a discussion addressing two questions: what should the BSA be offering its members that it currently is not, and what directions should the society take in the future? There was agreement that the society could do more to communicate relevant public affairs news from Washington, although our constitution does not permit lobbying (should this be changed?). Future efforts will be aimed to expand our international memberships. Annual reports were delivered by the president, secretary, treasurer, BSA meeting Coordinator, Program Director, Editor of American Journal of Botany, Editor of Plant Science Bulletin, Webmaster, and others, all of which were subsequently published in Plant Science Bulletin, Vol 47, no. 3. New officers of the BSA are Joe Armstrong, treasurer; Scott Russell, President-Elect; and Jim DiMichele, Council Representative on the Executive Committee. Ten BSA Karling student research awards of $500 each were distributed this year based on a selection from 33 competitive applications. One of these went to a member of the Paleobotanical Section: Alexandru Tomescu for his project on in situ land plant fossils of the early Silurian of Virginia. Funding will continue at the same level for the 2002 competition.
Membership dues for BSA have been restructured (lowered!), with basic dues rates reduced due to savings associated with electronic publication of the American Journal of Botany. The new rates for regular members are $45 per year including online access to American Journal of Botany (add $55.00 for option of receiving printed American Journal of Botany); for student members, the new dues are $30 per year including online access to AJB (add $35 to receive printed AJB).
Karl Niklas, American Journal of Botany Editor-in-Chief, noted that the backlog of manuscripts for AJB has been reduced by 35% over the past year, attributed in part to the increase in page numbers per issue over the past year. Free access to online American Journal of Botany will end in February 2002. After that date, access will be provided to members and subscribing libraries, and to nonmembers by ìpay per view.î
7. Reports on recent conferences.
a. Pat Herendeen reported that the MidContinent Paleobotanical Colloquium was held at George Washington University, Washington, DC, June 1-3, 2001 with attendance of about 35 people. There was a Friday afternoon reception and open laboratory at the University, with exhibits on current projects, and demo sessions on the department's new variable pressure scanning electron microscope. Fifteen contributed papers on various paleobotanical topics were presented on Saturday, followed by a banquet and invited lecture by Bruce Smith on the archaeological history of plant domestication. The program concluded with an inside tour of the National Arboretum on Sunday morning.
b. Kathleen Pigg reported on the North American Paleontological Convention held in Berkeley, California, June 26 to July 1, 2001. The conference was a success with good participation by paleobotanists, including a paleobotanical symposium organized by Diane Erwin, ìchanging perspectives of Tertiary paleobotany in North America and several other symposia with paleobotanical input, including "Evolution of High latitude biota Cenozoic paleontology and stratigraphy of the John Day basin USA," and "Evolution of Grass dominated ecosystems during the late Tertiary." A preconference field trip was organized by D. Erwin and H. Schorn.
c. David Dilcher reported that the international meeting on Climate and Biota of the early Paleogene was held in Powell, Wyoming, July 3-8 2991. The 5-day conference included two field trips, and a full schedule of lectures and posters excellently organized by Amanda Ash and Scott Wing.
8. Announcements from Chair
a. Upcoming meetings
1. 2002 Mid-Continent Paleobotany Colloquium; March 1-3, Gainesville, Florida.
2. Botanical Society of America; Madison, WI; August 3-7, 2002.
3. 6th European Paleobotany - Palynology Conference, Athens, Greece, August 29- September 2, 2002
4. Botanical Society of America; Mobile, AL; July 26-31, 2003.
5. IOPC-VII; Argentina, 2004
b. Deaths of members. A moment of silence was observed in memory of Beth McIver and Tatsuaki Kimura.
9. Old Business - Chair
a. Webmaster - An amendment to the bylaws, adding a new officer, the Web Manager, with a three year term, was passed unanimously. The revised wording for Article II of our bylaws now reads: "The officers shall be a Chair, a Secretary-Treasurer, a WEB MANAGER, and an Editor of the Bibliography. ... THE WEB MANAGER SHALL COORDINATE WITH MANAGER(S) OF THE MAIN BSA WEB SITE, AND FACILITATE THE MAINTENANCE, UPGRADING, AND UPDATING OF WEB PAGES WITH CONTENT PERTINENT TO THE MISSIONS OF THE PALEOBOTANICAL SECTION. THE TERM OF THAT OFFICE IS THREE YEARS." Chuck Daghlian was thanked for his continuing service, and it was agreed that the first election of Web Master should be held at our annual meeting in 2002
b. Field research fund proposal. Following up on the discussion at the previous business meeting in Portland, Paul Strother and Bruce Tiffney submitted a written proposal to establish a fund to support small grants for exploratory field travel funds. The proposal was distributed along with the meeting agenda, and brought to the floor for discussion. Opposition to the proposal centered around whether such a fund might dissuade paleobotanists from seeking funds competitively through other existing sources at their own institutions and other external funds such as the Paleontological Research Fund. Discussion in favor of the concept noted smaller institutions may not have the resources to provide even minimal funds for travel. A motion to accept the proposal as written (Bill DiMichele, seconded Tom Taylor) was unanimously voted down.
10. New Business - Chair
a. IOP news-Gar Rothwell, Secretary of the International Organisation of Palaeobotany (IOP), reported that the web site for IOP is in transition and a new site address, reflecting the transition to the new Secretary will be announced soon. Timely distribution of the newsletter is now enhanced by online accessibility. It was announced that the next International Organizaton of Paleobotany Conference will be held in Argentina in 2004.
b. Election of new Honorary members. Following nominations by Patrick Herendeen and William Dimichele, Aureal Cross and Sergius Mamay each received a unanimous vote for their Honorary Membership status within the Paleobotanical Section. Each was sent a congratulatory letter by the Secretary.
c. Isabel Cookson Award. Patrick Fields announced for the Committee, which also included Sharon Klavins, Gene Mapes, and Bonnie Jacobs, the winner of the Cookson best student paper award in Paleobotany: Aude Soria for her presentation on "Development and architecture of a Gondwanan representative of the late Devonian genus Pietzchia (Cladoxylopsida)", coauthored with Brigitte Meyer-Berthaud, and Stephen E. Scheckler. The selection was based on several criteria, including general significance of the research, clarity of presentation, quality of graphics, and the handling of questions asked following the presentation.
d. Moseley Award. Two awards were given this year, recognizing student papers in the Developmental and Structural and/or Paleobotanical sections that best advance our understanding of the anatomy and/or morphology of vascular plants within an evolutionary context. Kathleen Pigg announced for the committee, that Genaro Hernandes-Castillo received the award for his presentation, "Evidence from compound pollen cones in Paleozoic conifers," coauthored with Gar Rothwell and Gene Mapes.
e. BSA image library - Jim Mickle called attention to the excellent web image collection maintained by the BSA at <http://images.botany.org/> and noted that paleobotany is underrepresented. Jim urged us to help expand the breadth and quality of paleobotanical images because the library is an important resource for teaching. Information on how to submit images can be found at the web address cited above.
f. Nominating Committee for 2001-2004 Secretary-Treasurer (Ruth Stockey, Stephen Scheckler, Don Tidwell) nominated Kathleen Pigg. Dr. Pigg was elected unanimously as our new Secretary-Treasurer of the Paleobotanical Section.
g. Nominating Committee for 2001-2002 Section Chair (Wilson Taylor, Jane Knaus, Pat Herendeen) nominated Bonnie Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs was elected unanimously as our new Chair of the Paleobotanical Section.
h. Recognition of Service. The following individuals were applauded for their service: Sidney Ash, our local host in Albuquerque, for organizing local functions including the reception at his home, Pat Gensel for serving as BSA President, Dan Chaney for managing the auction, Jim Mickle for hawking buttons, Pat Herendeen, Jane Knaus, Steve Scheckler, Ruth Stockey, Wilson Taylor, Don Tidwell for serving on nominating committees; Brian Axsmith, Bonnie Jacobs, Ruth Stockey, Willy Taylor, and Don Tidwell for chairing contributed paper sessions; Sidney Ash, Gene Mapes, Gary Upchurch for leading field trips; Chuck Daghlian for maintaining the web site; Willy Taylor, editor, Kathleen Pigg, Chair and Steve Manchester, Secretary-Treasurer.
11. Adjournment was at 5:07 pm.
Respectfully submitted, Steve Manchester 10/12/01