What can we do?

Mary Barkworth stipoid at CC.USU.EDU
Wed Oct 23 17:25:12 CDT 1996

Yesterday I attended a meeting of USU's Athletic Council.  The Athletic
Director informed us that the President and Provost have told him to develop
a polished, powerpoint type presentation on the Athletic Department - for
use in presentations to students and corporations.  Yes, it will be slick,
and topic 1 will be Academic Excellence.  For various reasons, it was
depressing, but I suspect our Pres, Proc. and Athletic Director know what
they are about as far as raising money for what seems to be the part of the
university dearest to them.

Suggestion: either individually or at the societal level (ASPT or ASC are
you listening?) or both, we could develop such presentations.  They could be
run on their own (but with a taxonomist in the vicinity to answer
questiosn)- not for the AIBS, but for when our institutions have an Open
House - or perhaps for use to trustees or the local chamber of commerce or

I am sure that there are some guidelines for making successful presentations
_ like focus on the positive - what we do already, with concrete examples.
Those with the leisure (laugh laugh) and inclination, could develop a
presentation that emphasizes the contributions of people using their own
herbarium (or museum or collection, sorry, I am a plant person).  Keep it
short, stupid is another maxim that I often forget (obviously).  [Another
alternative is to persuade a student, possibly someone in an area such as
communications, English, or poli sci to do it]

If a society decided to develop such a disk, it would have to be more
general, but I would argue for leaving that rosy periwinkle off and keeping
to plants that occur in one's own country.  And please, plants are
fascinating and important not just for being able to allow humans to survive
longer, but because they are intriguing and beautiful.  Let us not
underestimate the importance of non-botanists who enjoy knowing more about
plants - and might be persuaded to help facilities and individuals that
foster greater understanding of plants. There are lots of "pretty flower"
books on the market because they sell.  We probably will not get research
level bucks from such individuals, but we might get help in maintaining and
supporting the claims of herbaria (please make necessary translation for
collections of non-plants - and for applicability in countries other than
the U.S.A.).

Mary Barkworth
Intermountain Herbarium
Utah State University
Logan, Utah 84322-5305

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