Botany 2006 - The Centennial CelebrationBotanical Society of America: Botanical Conference Information

Workshop Descriptions


W-1 Writing Floristic Treatments: A workshop for Authors and Editors

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Presenters: Nancy Morin, P. O. Box 333, Point Arena, CA 95468; E-mail;
James Zarucchi and Kay Yatskievych, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299

This workshop will sharpen authors' and editors skills in preparing and writing treatments for major floristic projects. Included will be considerations for consulting herbarium specimens, on how to organize information for large taxa, on nomenclature and bibliography, and on how to provide information for illustrators. Furthermore, the entire editorial process (used by Flora of North America) as it affects authors and editors will be covered, from initial submission through composition. The workshop is open to all authors and editors of floristic treatments, actual or prospective, even though the emphasis will be on FNA approaches.

W-2 Strategies for Guiding Student Investigations

8:00 am - 10:00 am

Presenters: Claire Hemingway, The Botanical Society of America, Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri, 63166 -;
Beverly Brown, Dakota State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Science Center, Madison, South Dakota, 57042;
Donna Hazelwood, Dakota State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Science Center, Madison, South Dakota, 57042;
Valdine McLean, Pershing County High School, 1215 Franklin Ave., Lovelock, Nevada, 89419;
Carol Packard, Sisters Middle School, Box 2099, Sisters, Oregon, 97759;
Rahmona Thompson, East Central University, Department of Biology, 1100 East 14th St, Ada, Oklahoma 74820;
Barbara Schulz, The National Academies, The Teacher Advisory Council, 500 Fifth Street, Washington, DC, 2001;
Marshall Sundberg, Emporia State University, Biological Sciences, Box 4050, Emporia, Kansas, 66801;
Patrick Sweeney, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Biology Department, One University Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri, 63121

A critical challenge in science education, from precollege to university, is the need to enhance students and teachers' inquiry and investigation experiences. The recent publication of America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science emphasizes that most laboratory experiences do not meet design principles that promote student understanding of science content or process. Join K-16 educators to share strategies to help students ask and answer better questions, develop scientific reasoning skills, understand the nature of science, and learn science content in context. We will present our experiences using the Scientific Inquiry through Plants project as a framework to discuss common hurdles and solutions for implementing inquiry approaches. The workshop will also have hands-on explorations of student preconceptions, ways of promoting scientific habits of mind, and guiding students in keeping a research journal, designing, and interpreting experiments.

W-3 MorphBank: An Open Web Repository for Biological Images

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenters: Austin Mast, Dept. of Biological Science Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida 32306 Phone: 850 645 1500 Fax: 850 644 9829 -;
Fredrik Ronquist, Dept. of Computer Science and School of Computational Science Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306;
David Gaitros, Dept. of Computer Science and School of Computational Science Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306;
Greg Riccardi, College of Information Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306 Phone: 850 644 2869 Fax: 850 644 0058

Many biological disciplines draw important conclusions from images. These disciplines include comparative morphology, anatomy, and histology, morphological phylogenetics, taxonomy, and paleobiology. However, many of these images cannot be published due to page constraints in journals, and thus they are not widely available. MorphBank is for these images what GenBank is for genetic data - an easily accessed storehouse with added functionality tailored to the disciplines using the resource. This workshop will introduce participants to MorphBank, particularly what the technology now offers to morphological phylogenetics and the remote annotation of natural history specimens. Participants will be guided through the MorphBank interface, including the submission and annotation of images and the creation of access privileges for collaborations at early stages. This is a great opportunity for potential users to view and comment on the design of this emerging resource.

W-4 Developing a Hands-on Distance Education Laboratory in Nonmajors General Biology

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenters: James E. Mickle, Department of Botany Box 7612 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 27695-7612, Phone: (919) 515-9050 FAX: (919) 515-7519;
Patricia M. Aune -

This workshop is based on a distance education nonmajors general biology laboratory course that is hands-on and has few "virtual" (internet-based) activities. Students are mailed kits that contain basic materials and a manual to complete the activities, although some supplies must be obtained by the student. Lab exercises emphasize biological principles but are safe in a household setting. The workshop will demonstrate some lab activities, discuss strategies for development of a distance laboratory course, and provide materials and opportunities for discussion toward development of lab units for your own situation.

W-5 Using the Original and Newly ImprovedVersions of C-Fern® in Inquiry-based Teaching

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenters: Les Hickok, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology M407 Walters Life Sciences University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 phone and fax: 865-974-6215 -

C-Fern®, a derived strain of the tropical fern Ceratopteris, is a simple and rapidly developing organism that is adaptable to teaching a wide range of biological principles. All stages of sexual reproduction following meiosis take place within a two-week period. During this time, single-celled spores give rise to multicellular male and hermaphrodite gametophytes that produce large numbers of actively swimming sperm. Visualizations of sperm (including chemotaxis), fertilization, and embryo development can be made at 20X or higher. This allows for basic developmental and genetic principles to be introduced to students in a powerful and visual manner. The presence of distinct gametophyte sexual types encourages active student investigations into the basic controls of sexual differentiation. Low expense and easy maintenance, along with rapid development, permit C-Fern to be used successfully under constraints commonly encountered in the classroom/laboratory. For both teaching and student research purposes, focusing on early stages of gametophyte development allows many experiments to be completed in a very short time. A newly derived strain of C-Fern® that develops from spore-to-spore in under 65 days will be introduced at this workshop. Successful sporophyte culture of this strain can be readily accomplished in 16 oz. plastic bottles, allowing students to become fully engaged with the entire life cycle over an 8-10 week period. Participants will be provided with and will work with cultures of all stages of the life cycle.

W-6 Preparing Figure Files for Publication

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Presenters: Jeff Monson, Art Department, Allen Press (publisher of American Journal of Botany); Beth E. Hazen, Production Editor, American Journal of Botany; E-mail:

Jeff Monson, supervisor of Allen Press's Art Department, will introduce participants to the basics of preparing figures for print publications using Photoshop. Participants may bring their own laptops and Photoshop and submit questions in advance to Beth ( or bring questions and figure files to the workshop.

Topics will include
• Basic graphic types: vector vs. raster (pixel); when to use them
• Most common problems, with real examples: resolution, file format, image compression, image mode, fonts
• Photoshop basics: image mode, resolution and resizing, making composites, labeling
• Question and answer: submit questions or files in advance (until 5 days before the meeting starts) or at the session

W-7 Integrating Digital Imaging Into the Laboratory Curriculum

8:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Presenters: Bruce W. Robart, Department of Biology University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Johnstown, PA 15904 -;
Pamela Diggle, Department of Biology University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Johnstown, PA 15904;
Kim Ziance, Department of Biology University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Johnstown, PA 15904;
Bruce K. Kirchoff, Department of Biology University of North Carolina P.O. Box 26170 Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

During traditional flora, morphology, anatomy and general biology laboratories, observed materials are documented with hand-drawn images that are often very poor representations of the actual materials or if rendered more exactly, are tedious to obtain. While serious students may take the added time to properly document these materials, many others adopt a "see and flee" attitude. Digital images of biological materials, on the other hand, can be easily obtained by a variety of means: digital cameras, digital microscopes, and flatbed scanners. Our laboratory sessions are designed so that students collect and properly label images of available materials to illustrate their laboratory manuals and document their answers to laboratory exercises. We have discovered that not only do students synthesize what they have learned from textbook and lecture, the process of obtaining these images also actively engages students in the learning process through cooperative learning with each other and the instructor. The sense of accomplishment in this creative act generates positive feedback that further motivates students in the learning process. Students can also use images to share on websites or as study guides for quizzes and lab practicals. In this half day workshop we will showcase various student projects, demonstrate how to obtain digital images (computers and digital imaging devices will be available for use), and illustrate other uses of digital images such as video capture and 3-D rendering of serial sections. During this workshop, participants will also be encouraged to develop and share their own laboratory exercises that incorporate this technology.

W-8 Techniques of Digital Image Enhancement for Teaching and Research

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Presenters: Ryan McMillen, Andrew Blackwell and Joel A. Long - Southern Illinois University -;

Images serve as a universal medium for communicating complex patterns and concepts in the sciences. With the advent of computers and superior imaging capabilities, the potential for these technologies to advance science is immeasurable. Therefore, knowledge of image enhancing software is an ever more valuable skill. Biological photographs and images captured from a variety of microscopes are often dull because hues and levels not been corrected (e.g., tones, brightness and contrast). Through a process of maximizing contrast and adjusting/ adding color, images may be enhanced substantially, thereby elevating quality in any biological teaching and research endeavor. Also, color-enhanced images from research tools such as scanning electron microscopes can provide attractive, informative and innovative learning resources. This workshop is designed to introduce and familiarize participants with the versatility of Adobe Photoshop® in image correction. The workshop will be divided into two 90-minute sessions covering basic and advanced techniques. The first session will focus on the topics of resolution, image size, cropping, adjusting levels and scanning procedures. The second session will focus on colorization of electron micrographs.

W-9 Becoming a GBIF Provider: Why and How

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Presenters: Mary Barkworth, Intermountain Herbarium Utah State University 5305 Old Main Hill Logan, Utah 84322-5305 -

The goal of the Global Biodiversity Information facility (GBIF) is to provide free access to specimens records in the world's natural history collections. This will facilitate many analyses that currently require an enormous investment of time. Becoming a data provider offers several benefits for herbaria. The workshop will provide an overview of these benefits, instruction on how to become a data provider, and a demonstration of the ways in which GBIF can already be of use.. Participants are encouraged to come with information about their herbarium database but this is not essential. Representatives of herbaria that do not yet have a specimen database are also welcome.

W-10 Scientific Inquiry through Plants: Developing New Inquiry Units

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Presenters: Claire Hemingway, The Botanical Society of America, Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri, 63166 -;
Marshall Sundberg, Emporia State University, Biological Sciences, Box 4050, Emporia, Kansas, 66801
Valdine McLean, Pershing County High School, 1215 Franklin Ave., Lovelock, Nevada, 89419;
Susan Singer, Carleton College, Department of Biology, 1 North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057;
Chris Martine, University of Connecticut, Graduate Program in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Rd., U-3043, Storrs, CT, 06269-3043;
David Spooner, University of Wisconsin, Department of Horticulture, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706-1590;
Beverly Brown, Nazareth College of Rochester, Biology Department, 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, New York 14618;
Suzanne Koptur, Biological Sciences, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33199;

The Scientific Inquiry through Plants project, led by the Botanical Society of America, is in its second year of connecting teachers, students, and plant science mentors. Students participating thus far have strengthened their inquiry skills primarily in investigations of seed germination. A new photosynthesis unit is in field testing. This half-day workshop provides an opportunity for K-16 educators to collaborate on new inquiry activities. Following a brief introduction on content criteria (activities will be inquiry based, allow for open-ended questioning by students middle school through college, and involve low-cost materials), the workshop will break into small thematic groups. Marsh Sundberg and Valdine McLean will lead a photosynthesis focus group. Susan Singer and Carla Streng will lead a genetics focus group. Chris Martine and David Spooner will lead an Economic Botany Section focus group. Beverly Brown and Suzanne Koptur will lead a pollination and biodiversity focus group. If you have an idea for a new inquiry activity, or an extension to an existing activity, join us to create exciting new ways for students to experience the adventure of doing real plant science.

W-11 Scientific Writing and Editing

Presenter: Beth E. Hazen, Production Editor, American Journal of Botany; E-mail:

Learn to:
• Correct common problems with grammar, punctuation, style, word usage, tables and figures
• Use commas correctly
• Recognize indicators that signal problems
• Write more concisely, eliminate unnecessary words
• Write complete, succinct captions for tables and figures

Workshop presented by Beth Hazen, manuscript editor for 10+ years, specializes in editing for non-native English writers. Pertinent areas of grammar, punctuation, terminology and word usage, and style will be discussed, with an emphasis on examples from manuscripts submitted for publication. Participants will receive a reference handbook, writing and editing for plant scientists, written by Beth, which expands on workshop topics. Questions for coverage in the workshop may be e-mailed to Beth ( until five days before the meetings start. Sample paragraphs for onsite editing may be sent until 2 weeks before the meeting.

Questions About Botany Meetings should be directed to: BSA Meetings Manager:
Johanne Stogran
Botanical Society of America Meetings Office
2813 Blossom Ave
Columbus, OH 43231
Tele: (614) 899-9356 - Fax: (614) 895-7866 - E-mail:
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