|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 343 February 10, firstname.lastname@example.org||Victoria, B.C.|
Scott Sundberg, director of the Oregon Flora Project, died December 30, 2004 of cancer. He had struggled for many years, most of them privately, with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Yet it was cancer, only diagnosed in September 2004, which led to his passing.
Scott Donald Sundberg was born on February 10, 1954 in Eugene, Oregon. Scott began his botanical career as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon. Among Scott's early scientific mentors were Prof. George Carroll and his wife, Fannie. Scott was involved in studies at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, where he collected the type specimen of a rare lichen, Nephroma occultum. Scott became fascinated with plant taxonomy, and soon was conducting independent study projects in the University of Oregon Herbarium. Scott benefited from working with two herbarium curators: recently-retired Georgia Mason, and newly- hired David Wagner. Scott graduated from the University of Oregon in 1978 with a B.Sc.(Honors) in Biology. From 1978 to 1980, Scott was employed as a botanist for the Bureau of Land Management, Coos Bay District. During that period, he gained considerable experience with the flora of southwestern Oregon. He made numerous noteworthy collections, and discovered new localities for many rare plant species.
In 1981, Scott moved to Austin, Texas, to begin graduate studies at the University of Texas. He worked under the supervision of Prof. Billie Turner, and, like almost of all of Turner's students, Scott turned his attention to the composite family. Scott's taxonomic research in the Asteraceae continued throughout his career. Scott received his Ph.D. in Botany in 1986. His dissertation was entitled "The Systematics of Aster Subg. Oxytripolium (Compositae) and Historically Allied Species."
Scott met his wife, Linda Hardison, in Austin. They married in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 13, 1986. In 1986, Scott began a one-year post-doctoral position at Ohio State University, working with Prof. Tod Steussy. The following year, Scott returned to the Pacific Northwest as Linda began her Ph.D. studies at the University of Washington. Over the next several years, Scott taught courses and conducted plant systematics research in the Department of Botany. From 19911994, Scott was a Botanical Consultant for Ebasco Environmental, Inc. in Bellevue, Washington. During that time he conducted rare plant surveys throughout Oregon and Washington.
Scott moved to Corvallis, Oregon in early 1994, and Linda joined him in 1996 after completing her dissertation. Scott was hired to oversee the integration of the University of Oregon and Oregon State University Herbaria. Soon after, Scott initiated the Oregon Flora Project. In 1999, Scott was promoted to a Research Assistant Professor. The same year, Scott and Linda's son Matthew was born.
Scott's 29 scientific publications include taxonomic papers (descriptions of new species, nomenclatural changes, and new classifications), laboratory-based investigations in plant systematics, and treatments for checklists, field guides, and floras. The majority of his publications concern the composite family. In addition, Scott has contributed numerous articles to the Oregon Flora Newsletter. A complete list of his scientific publications will appear in that publication.
Scott devoted the last decade of his life to the Oregon Flora Project. As Coordinator, he directed over 230 volunteers and supervised over 60 student and several professional employees. He established the Oregon Flora Newsletter, the Oregon Vascular Plant Checklist, and the Oregon Plant Atlas. It is tragic that Scott did not live to see the completion of his dream, a comprehensive Flora for the approximately 4,500 Oregon plant species. However, his activities created an extremely strong foundation for the continued growth of the Oregon Flora Project. The Flora will serve as an enduring legacy to Scott's commitment to botanical education, and the documentation and conservation of Oregon's unique and diverse flora.
A memorial service celebrating Scott's life was held January 16, 2005 in Corvallis, OR. Memorial gifts in his honor can be made to NPSO--Oregon Flora Project, and mailed to P.O. Box 402, Corvallis, OR 97339.
Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 9, 2005 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/connelly/211310_joel09.html
The thermometer on Whidbey Island last weekend hovered in the high 30s, and a cold rain was pounding our corner of the Puget Sound convergence zone.
"Isn't this terrific?" exclaimed landscaper Ginny Snyder as the drops poured down our faces.
Hardened Northwest residents have learned a basic truth: Gray is beautiful. The rains sustain us in a multiplicity of ways. We ski on the winter snow pack. Gradual runoff, lasting through early summer, makes the Columbia Basin bloom and generates inexpensive electric power.
Melt from glaciers and ice fields as far distant as the Canadian Rockies keeps up the flow through fall, when October rains send salmon up rivers and begin the cycle all over again.
It is disturbing, then, that our region is starting to feel effects of global climate change in a drip, drip, drip kind of way.
The climate impact researchers at the University of Washington have made gloomy not-so-long-term predictions: The snow pack will shrink. The runoff season will grow shorter. Glaciers will disappear.
Somehow, public opinion has been slow to respond. "Global warming" isn't a term to elicit worry: Many of us head south to warmer climes during the winter.
Alarmist scenarios, the mega-droughts and monster hurricanes envisioned by some scientists, have created feelings of helplessness. What can be done about something global and unstoppable?
Chiefly, we ignore Cassandra-like warnings. Ex- Sens. Warren Rudman and Gary Hart headed a task force that predicted a major terrorist act on U.S. soil. The government and the public paid no heed. Our media paid more attention to the breakup of movie stars' marriages.
We should be reading signals coming our way on the climate front.
Back in the late 1950s, scientists began to study the advances and retreats of North Cascades glaciers.
Arthur Harrison of the University of Washington mapped advances of the Coleman and Roosevelt glaciers on Mount Baker. The Coleman Glacier was chewing up slide alder along its flanks. Two tongues of the Roosevelt Glacier curled around the ends of a vertical cliff.
The remote South Cascade Glacier came under intense scrutiny at the same time. It appeared pretty healthy, except during the long, hot summer of 1958.
Not so today. The glacier has retreated markedly in years since. Between 1958 and 2001, the South Cascade Glacier lost about one- third of its water volume.
A few miles north, the National Park Service has monitored the North Klawatti and Noisy glaciers. Each has lost three feet or more in thickness in just a decade.
In the Wenatchee Mountains, hikers in the Enchantment Lakes (myself included) have witnessed rapid disappearance of the Snow Creek Glacier during the past 30 years. Three glaciers in the vicinity have vanished altogether since 1969.
Water from these glaciers does vital work. Melt from the Snow Creek Glacier helps sustain salmon in Icicle Creek. It is used for irrigation in the Wenatchee River Valley. It passes through turbines of seven dams on the Columbia River.
Another signal is provided by the vast expanse of dead or dying forests in British Columbia.
The province has been hit by the worst-ever insect infestation of a North American forest. The mountain pine beetle, the size of a grain of rice, is responsible.
Intense, fast-moving forest fires have been sparked in beetle- infested regions. A burn roared out of Okanagan Mountain Park into Kelowna suburbs two years ago. Another destroyed a hamlet west of Kamloops.
Climate has made the invasion possible. The beetles used to be held in check by sudden cold snaps in fall and winter, and sustained frigid winters in interior British Columbia.
"Successive hot, dry summers combined with mild winter in much of central B.C. have allowed the beetle to multiply, and even expand its range to areas that were once historically too cold for the insect to survive," reports the B.C. government.
Before acting, must we wait for further "evidence" -- forest fires, droughts and rising sea levels?
"It's like putting brakes on a supertanker," Robert Corell, who supervised the work of 300 scientists in the justreleased Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, recently warned a U.S. Senate committee.
On Mount Baker, in the late 1950s, a big black bear on Bastille Ridge felt challenged by the UW's Harrison's measuring devices and ripped several of them apart.
It's like that today. A seminar at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., is reserved for industry- financed scientists to rip apart the latest evidence of climate change.
The Bush administration won't even acknowledge the problem. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has termed administration performance on the issue as "disgraceful." McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D- Conn., have tried and failed to pass legislation cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Some initiative has come from the state level. Outgoing Gov. Gary Locke was part of a bipartisan West Coast Governors Global Warming Initiative. The govs called for relatively modest measures such as government purchase of fuelefficient cars and developing renewable energy sources.
In Olympia today, a state Senate committee takes up a bill to require that new cars emit 30 percent less carbon dioxide, 20 percent fewer toxic pollutants, and up to 20 percent fewer smog- causing pollutants.
Auto manufacturers -- who have their way in Congress -- are fighting state action. Seven states, including California and New York, have adopted tighter standards.
Seattle, too, has begun to act: Global warming was an improbable, but welcome, theme of Greg Nickels' latest stateof- the-city speech.
"Some people will argue, 'This is a world problem. What can we do'?" reflected Jim Luce, the Vancouver, Wash., attorney who chairs the state energy facility siting council.
"We can do what is possible. Considering what's happening here, shame on us if we do not try."
Contents: L&C near St. Louis; changing Missouri R. (MR); e. woodlands; tall- grass prairie; restoring lower MR; Platte R., Lost Hills; L&C among the Mandans; Amer.'s Serengeti; upper MR; to the Rocky Mts.; Bitterroot Mts.; Snake, Columbia Rs.; forests at mouth of Columbia; in wake of L&C; biblio.; index.
Contents: hist. overview; Kansas-Missouri, Nebraska-Iowa; Dakotas; Montana; L&C sites of biol., hist. interest in cen., upper Missouri Valley; biblio.; index.
Contents: foreword by V. Klinkenborg; intro; descr. pt.; Lewis and Clark Herbarium; biblio.; note; no index.
The jewel in the crown (yes, it was a great 1984-85, 13 part TV series that I recently rewatched on DVD) of the expansionist phase in the history of the United States was the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-06). Botany and zoology were immensely enriched by this expedition, not only by its collections but also by the diaries of its participants, notably Captain Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809). Circa the bicentenary of the expedition we can expect a spate of LewisClarkiana: besides the aforelisted see also: G.E. Moulton (ed.), The journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, vol. 12, Herbarium of the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1999; for review see L.J. Dorr, Taxon 49: 620- 621), H.W. Phillips, Plants of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (2003), S.A. Ritter, Lewis and Clark's mountain wilds: A site guide to the plants and animals they encountered in the Bitterroots (2002), and G. Wells & D. Anzinger, Lewis and Clark meet Oregon's forests: Lessons from dynamic nature (2001) (respectively, see Taxon 52: 897, 172, 51: 628).
Munger & Thomas's little book (128 pages) is an engaging account of 25 plant species, Maclura pomifera (osage orange) to Oenothera cespitosa (gumbo evening primrose), chronologically arranged as they were encountered by the expedition, supplemented with fine watercolors and copious excerpts from Meriwether Lewis's diary. It is a work to savor. Phillips's aforenoted book is comparable but broader in scope, whereas Ritter's aforecited work also includes animals, but focuses only on the Bitterroot Range in Idaho and Montana.
The little book by Johnsgard (156 pp.), who has written extensively on Nebraska (see Taxon 45: 173, 51: 224), covers the Great-Plains segment of the expedition. It contains much natural history and is interestingly written, but its fine monochromatic illustration by Johnsgard (39 figures, 5 chapter vignettes, 6 maps) makes this work less colorful than the others mentioned here.
Botkin's scholarly work (303 pp.) is a well- written history and natural history of the entire expedition, a fine and ambitious overview with comparisons to present conditions. Illustration is copious: 13 B&W and 81 color photos/paintings, 4 line drawings, but, alas, no general map of the expedition. Botkin's fascinating slant on LewisClarkiana is his then- and-now comparisons, which are facilitated by some repeat photos (see R. Schmid, Taxon 47: 791-792). The book is a gem amidst the bicentennial Lewis-and-Clark effusia.
Contents: foreword by K. Dean Moore; intro; nat. hist. forests Ore.; unnat. hist. idem; political hist. wilderness (W) protections; political future forest W; long- term vision; Coast Ranges; Klamath Mts.; Cascades; slopes, foothills e. Cascades; Blue Mts.; afterword; notes; biblio.; 7 appendices; bionotes; index.
Contents: foreword by T.E. Lovejoy; intro; 26 chaps. in 4 topic areas, each w/ intro (structures; organisms; ecol. processes; conserv.--resp., 6, 10, 6, 4 chaps.); index.
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