|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 397 July 3, email@example.com||Victoria, B.C.|
Created in 2000, the CBHL Annual Literature Award is given by the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) to both the author and publisher of a work that makes a significant contribution to the literature of botany or horticulture.
Order out of Chaos: Linnean Plant Names and Their Types by Charlie Jarvis (Linnean Society of London in association with the Natural History Museum, London, 2007), and Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns by Sue Olson (Timber Press, 2007), have won the 2008 Annual Literature Awards from The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries.
Charlie Jarvis's Order out of Chaos, a guide to plant names described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1708-1778), was the winner in CBHL's technical category, chosen both for its unique and substantive content combining history, biography, and scientific research as well as for its attractive design. "Today our need for stable knowledge about plants, including precise nomenclature, is urgently driven by population growth, increased consumption, habitat degradation, and other threats to the natural world that are causing us to lose plant species faster than we can identify them. . . . This book brings together a critical mass of information on the more than 9,000 plant names authored by Linnaeus in this 300th anniversary year of his birth." (Charlotte Tancin, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh).
The Linnean Society of London, publisher of Order out of Chaos, is a forum on natural history through debate, research, meetings, and publications as well as internationally important historical collections in the biological sciences. London's Natural History Museum promotes the discovery, understanding, enjoyment, and responsible use of the natural world.
[Ordering information: Jarvis, Charlie. 2007. Order Out of Chaos: Linnean Plant Names and their Types. Linnean Society of London. 1016 p. ISBN-13: 9780950620770 - Hardcover. Price: approx. US $250.- See: http://www.nhbs.com/order_out_of_chaos_tefno_150742.html ]
General Interest category:
Sue Olsen's Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns won CBHL's award in the general interest category. An internationally comprehensive reference to almost 1,000 ferns, most of which are shown in colour photographs, the book includes history and taxonomy as well as cultivation and propagation instructions. "For those not already fans of ferns, the author's infectious and informative style will convert . . . with that extra insight available only from a writer who knows her subject thoroughly." (Brian Thompson, Elisabeth C. Miller Library, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Seattle).
Timber Press (Portland, Ore.), publisher of Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns, publishes books on gardening, horticulture, garden design, sustainability, natural history, and the Pacific Northwest.
[Ordering information: Olsen, Sue. 2007. Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon. 444 p. (700 color photos, 4 b/w photos, 2 line drawings) ISBN-13: 9780881928198 - hardcover. Price: US $59.95 + shipping See: http://www.timberpress.com/books/isbn.cfm/9780881928198
The CBHL Literature Awards honour both the author and the publisher of works that make a significant contribution to the literature of botany and horticulture. This year's awards were announced June 4 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during CBHL's annual meeting, hosted by the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
CBHL is the leading professional organization in the field of botanical and horticultural information services. It recognizes the crucial importance of collecting, preserving, and making accessible the accumulated knowledge about plants for present and future generations. For more information, visit http://www.cbhl.net/
War had already come to envelop all of us, months before my marriage. In fact, I was a bachelor grad student at Stanford University on that awful Sunday of Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941); I was studying in my 5th floor Encina Hall room when it happened. It wasn't long after I married that I felt I should get involved in the War - and NOT as a buck private draftee. Some time in 1942, I had applied to the US Navy Japanese Language Program - to learn Japanese. The Navy was taking at first those US citizens (i.e. young men) who had grown up in Japan [and China]. The next round of trainees was to come from the pool of "egg-heads" with language aptitude and/or Phi Beta Kappa membership. I qualified on both latter counts! That was the start of a three year stint in the Navy.
It began in a miasma of the enlisted man's fate on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. Here we got processed along with other raw recruits - sailors: they gave us our medicals, enlisted man's uniform, "short-arm" inspection, severe haircut, duffle bag, etc. My wife, Lyle, and I finally said goodbye to Palo Alto to head for Boulder Colorado, which would be our home for 14 months.
The Navy Language School was housed on the campus of the University of Colorado, an idyllic setting with the east slope of the Rockies looming over the small city and campus. We found a fine place to live out the Boulder months, in the Pullman Apartments. Other Japanese Language families were neighbours: the Davises (Ewan & Harriet), Halsey Wilbur, Jean and Dean McKay. The Language Program was gruelling: six days a week with intensive sessions - reading, writing and speaking; then the showdown on Saturday - exam on the week's studies. Our instructors were mostly Japanese Americans (Nisei), including the head instructor, Professor Henry Tatsumi (Tatsumi had been the Japanese instructor at the University of Washington, a post to which he returned following the War).
Our brief time outs [at Boulder] came on Saturday afternoon and Sunday - a little R&R, both locally and in Denver. I loved hiking in the foothills above Boulder, in the shadow of "The Flatirons", the tilted sandstone formations of the eastern Rockies. We would take infrequent trips to Denver, usually by train. The quaint Colorado & Southern RR had a branch line into Boulder. In fact the train backed into Boulder on its way from Cheyenne to Boulder. Our favorite "watering hole" in Denver was the Brown Palace Hotel, a grand old, vintage hostelry.
Other limited diversions intruded on the perpetual "Nihongo" grind. All the Navy Language Officers partook of daily (or weekly?) Und?, a mix of callisthenics and for me, basketball. The exercise session was brief, usually held outside, between the language building [which one was that?] and the Gym. Some of us language students then finished off the Und? session with a brisk pickup basketball game.
Another diversion was a weekly all-student assembly, presided over by LT Conover [G. Kenneth] and the School's headmaster, Professor Tatsumi [Actually, Susumu Nakamura was the head instructor and Florence Walne was the director until Glenn Shaw replaced her, I believe Tatsumi Sensei may have been Nakamura's deputy head instructor, but I have no evidence]. The only memory I have of these sessions was the singing of the JLS song . it will never go away!: "Sekai no hakiri, oyobu made". The assembled students persisted in giving the last three words a raucous ending, accenting the "bu"! I later met Professor Tatsumi at the University of Washington where we both served on the faculty, he as head of the Japanese language program and I in Botany. Professor Tatsumi had, in his later years at Washington, produced several small phrase books in Romaji Japanese. He set the type and printed the same at his home!
Learning Japanese was an unrelenting challenge. We worked our way through six or so volumes of the Naganuma Kaigun Tokuhon ("Navy Readers"). With the help of our Nisei instructors and several dictionaries, courtesy of the USN (I still have them!), we learned to write and decipher Kanji as well as Japanese script, Katakana and Hiragana. A major event of our Boulder months was the birth of our first daughter, Janet Muriel; she was born in Boulder Community Hospital on November 5, 1943. Janet was less than a year old when we left Boulder, first to Los Angeles, to leave Lyle and the baby with my parents, while I went off to the Pacific.
My first tour of duty beyond Boulder was brief and illuminating, both from the Navy's and me-as-tourist standpoints. I was sent by train to New York City for a kind of "Officer's Finishing School" (by then I had my officer's commission, Ensign; out of gob's uniform as Yeoman 2nd Class, and into an officer's uniform with one stripe.) Few of the Navy's traditions and practices had intruded on the Language School agenda. So our Boulder graduating class, a gaggle of newly fledged ensigns, was to get a quick indoctrination. We were put up in the Henry Hudson Hotel, not far from Central Park.
The brief encounter with Navy "regs," enemy aircraft recognition and basic shipboard protocol took two weeks, so coated with this thin veneer of Navy ritual and lore, I was assigned to my next post, Pearl Harbor; but not without a brief and final leave in San Francisco. Lyle and I were together again, for the last time until the War was over. We made the best of our brief togetherness in San Francisco: sightseeing and relaxing. Then we parted, Lyle back to my parents, the A.W. Kruckebergs and Janet, and me to Hawaii on a slow troop ship.
Pearl Harbor had become the epicenter of Naval operations in the Pacific. I was assigned to a small "filament" in that complex network of intense activity - "an overkill". The unit, JICPOA (Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Area) was a stone's throw from CINCPAC, Admiral Nimitz's headquarters. I remember seeing the admiral out for a walk with his dog in the evenings. The JICPOA section to which I was assigned was the Captured Document Center. I was given the task of translating items on chemical warfare - presumably because I was a biologist.
From 1600 hours to midnight, my lot was the dull monotony of converting Japanese to English, with constant recourse to the Japanese/English dictionaries at hand. Daytime was much more to my liking, spiced up with social and academic contacts at the University of Hawaii. The campus was situated in Manoa Valley, just back of Honolulu. It was a lovely campus in those days, richly planted with tropical trees and shrubs.
Botany at the University of Hawaii during wartime was a Spartan enterprise, only two faculty, Charles Engard (physiology and anatomy) and Harold St. John (taxonomy). St. John was away for most of the time I was there as one of the several botanists employed by the government to find new sources of cinchona bark for the antimalarial drug, quinine. A third botanist whom I got to know best was Isabella Abbott, an algologist and ethnobotanist. She knew Hawaiian flora very well. She, her husband Don, and I met again at Berkeley after the War. Izzie proved to be a great and long lasting friend. She is now back in Hawaii after many years at Hopkins Marine Station near Monterey, California. We still correspond.
Besides TA-ing in general botany at the University, I could indulge in other botanical pursuits. Most memorable were hikes in the mountains back of Honolulu [Biologists and their nature hikes - like Bill Amos and Tom Polhemus].The Mt. Tantalus trail was the gateway to the remote cloud forests of the Koolau Range. I became rather adept at identifying the indigenous, often highly endemic flora. Dominating the lush slopes were the endemic acacia (A. koa, the useful Koa to Hawaiians) and Aleurites mollucana (the candle tree). Ohia lehua, Metrosideros spp., was also common.
The view from the ridges of the Koolau Range was spectacular. I could look down on Honolulu, Diamond Head, and Pearl Harbor on the leeward side of the Range. Then on the Windward side was the grand view of the Kaneohe beaches at the foot of the precipitous, vegetated cliffs - the spectacular "pali". Hikes were mostly with Dr. Engard (Chuck), Eddie Hosaka and Dick Cowan. Dick was then a chubby young Seabee, later to become a well-known legume specialist and chair of botany at the Smithsonian.
After several months of duty at Pearl Harbor (and fun and games at the University), I was shipped out for sea duty with the 3rd Amphibious Group, commanded by Admiral Connelly. My assignment on his flagship, the USS Appalachian, (AGC-1), was to serve as Japanese language officer on the intelligence staff; I must have set sail from Pearl Harbor. Our unit within the larger 3rd Fleet was a motley mix of attack transport ships, used to carry troops and provide landing craft for amphibious landings in the central and western Pacific.
My duties were simple, at first . before our first landing operation. I "stood watch" along with the other officers of the intelligence section of the Admiral's flag staff. Lt. Cdr. Stevenson was the officer in charge of our close-knit group. Watch duties were routine: logging in radio messages transmitted to our flotilla. Only months later did we conduct our true mission - landing troops on Japanese-held islands. After bypassing some of the lesser known Japanese strongholds, such as Yap, Palau, etc., did we finally see action - the Battle of the Philippines. General Douglas MacArthur had vowed to return to the Philippines.
It was our naval duty to help retake the islands, via bombardment and landing troops. The first assault was on the southern island of Leyte. This was a major operation with spectacular and massive naval and air bombardment of enemy island positions. Witnessing the assault on Leyte from the deck of our ship was a terrifyingly grand spectacle [As Robert.E. Lee said, looking at the carnage on the field of Fredericksburg, "It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it"]. Several nearby ships were either severely damaged or sunk by the then common suicidal stratagem of Japanese pilots - kamikaze, dive-bombing smack into our vessels. On the third day of the battle, MacArthur went ashore to utter those historical words, "I have returned." During this major landing operation and successful taking of Japanese positions on the island, I was called upon to use my Japanese language, mostly to interrogate Japanese prisoners. One night, en route to Leyte, I was sent to the radio room to monitor enemy voice radio - I utterly failed at this - too fast and too cryptic! After the liberation of Philippines, our fleet moved up to Manila Harbor on the Island of Luzon. There we began "staging" for the final assault and landing on the Japanese islands proper.
Botany was not wholly forsaken while I was at sea. I could get ashore from time to time: New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands and the Philippines (mostly Leyte and Luzon) [Sounds too much like Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin Napoleonic War sea tales, the naturalist Maturin going ashore to exotic isles to seek flora and fauna specimens.]. While we were in Manila Harbor, I got ashore to dabble in botany in an around Manila and southward on Luzon. Parts of Manila had been destroyed by the intense fighting. Somewhere in my Naval archives, I have a photograph of me standing in the totally devastated Manila Botanic Garden . only the sign remained! Somehow I was able to contact a prominent Philippine botanist, Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing, a most cordial gentleman. Beside visits to his home and his fine collection of orchids (growing outdoors!), he took me on a memorable trip south of Manila. Our main objective was Mt. Maquiling National Park, south of Los Banos. It was a bewilderingly rich tropical rainforest, made a bit scary by the few Japanese soldiers who has not yet surrendered. We stopped at Los Banos, which had been a flourishing Agricultural Experiment Station until the Japanese had turned it into a POW camp.
Our fleet moved from Manila Bay north to Subic Bay, the long-standing base for the US Navy. But that was not to be. Instead, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought it all to an end. I was on board the USS Appalachian when we got word about the bombings. Having no inkling of the A-Bomb or the magnitude of the devastating impact on the two Japanese cities, we innocents there at Subic Bay simply were thankful that the bombing had brought an end to the War. The din of whistles and guns firing in Subic Bay that day celebrated the end of the conflict. But getting to come home was not immediate by a long shot!
With my modest proficiency in Japanese, I was put to use in the occupation efforts. Shortly after the historic surrender ceremony aboard the USS Missouri in Yokohama Harbor, I was attached to a small party of officers from the USS Appalachian who were charged with preparing the Japanese island of Hokkaido for occupation by the 80th Army Division. We were flown from Manila to Sapporo (in a DC-3) where I was to serve as interpreter between the US Naval officers and Japanese port officials. We stayed a few nights in the old Grand Hotel in the capital city, Sapporo. Many years later, in 1985, I revisited Sapporo and the new Grand Hotel, which keeps a memento museum room of the old western-style hotel.
I remember vividly walking the then forlorn streets of this, the biggest city on the Island. As we would saunter down the street near the Hotel, Japanese women would scurry to the other side. It seems that Japanese propaganda had made us enemy gaijin into ravishing, rape-bent fiends.
A few days later we went by special train (on our own, with cases of Sapporo beer!) to the harbour cities of Hakodate and Otaru. The readiness and willingness of the Japanese civilian authorities to cooperate fully was both surprising and reassuring. Our last stint on Hokkaido was a celebratory event, staged at the famous hot springs resort of Josankai. We had a festive, even a bit riotous, evening in the Japanese hotel, complete with "liberated" Japanese Scotch whiskey and beer; as well, the scene was embellished by the presence of Geisha girls. I had quite a time keeping our naval "bucks" in order; they mistook the pristine Geisha for Joro (whores).
After Hokkaido, there was still no "mustering out" for this language officer! I was shipped out to the Marianas Islands (Saipan and Tinian). There, many Japanese, Okinawan and Korean civilians remained, farm labourers interned by US forces. Their repatriation was our task. Two of us, Lt. Arthur Szathmary [an emeritus philosophy professor at Princeton University] and I, served as interpreters for the Navy's liaison with interned civilians. The camp at Tinian was a thriving enterprise with several "cottage industries": sake, shoyu sauce and GI-tourist trinkets. Our family cribbage board came from Camp Churo. Tinian had been mostly pacified by then [Telfer Mook had started a school for its children.]. So on off-duty times I would - you guessed it - botanize in the hills surrounding the sugar cane. I also enjoyed a bit of R&R on the fine sandy beaches, bathing in the tepid tropical waters.
Finally, I got my orders to muster out . to become a civilian again, the "decommissioning of ARK" took place near Los Angeles, so I could be home with my family and parents easily. I was eager to rejoin my young family, wife Lyle and two daughters. This final lap of my Navy career took place some time in early 1946.
After becoming a civilian again, it was my intent to return to academic life. The GI Bill generously offered that opportunity . and challenge. My application for graduate study was accepted by the University of California at Berkeley. So in the fall of 1946, I began graduate work towards a Ph.D. in Botany. In 1950, with doctorate in hand, I began a lifetime career in plant ecology and systematics at the University of Washington, reaching retirement at that Seattle institution in 1989. Still, I continue an active life as a plant scientist. Over the years my modest expertise in Nihongo faded. But I am still in possession of some conversational competence.
In 1989, I returned to Japan for a botanical tour of the archipelago, spending three summer months from Shikoku to Honshu, all the way to the northern tip of Hokkaido. Friendly Japanese botanists greatly facilitated that tour. And what modest Japanese I had retained was both useful and appreciated by the Japanese people I encountered. "Nihon no shokubutsu wa taihen omoshiroi'n deshta!" ["Japanese plants were very interesting."]
Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
BEN is archived at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/