[Taxacom] Sub-professionals

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Tue Jun 23 12:26:21 CDT 2009

You are a trained professional with all the necessary support you need
to do "identifications." 

The word "subprofessional" comes from an evaluation of the state of
taxonomy called "The Steere Report" back in the '70s or early '80s. I no
longer have a copy but it calculated that each professional needed 1.5
support staff (as "subprofessionals") per professional (what a dreamer),
and gave estimates on needed funding. (I need a car, too.)

If subprofessional means support staff, then it is the wrong word for a
certified identifier. I think once one is certified, one is really on
one's own, sink or swim, like the rest of us. 


Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Non-post deliveries to:
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Phil Jenkins
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:15 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Sub-professionals

I've been watching all the messages go by the last few days, and have
the word "subprofessional" go by, tossed around like it was a well-known
well-defined object that was immediately recognizable on sight. I have a
in the taxonomy of a small group. I am a Curatorial Specialist, Senior,
Human Resources tell me. I identify a few thousand plants a year for
agencies, students, the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Poison Control, the
public and at times for consultants (who get charged for the service). I
work in a herbarium that will be a half a million specimens before I
I spend most of my time identifying plants from bales of hay, stomach
contents, and scraps from people who "wouldn't dream of hurting a native
plant". I take on all comers. Since I don't have a PhD. in Systematics,
am I the Director of the herbarium I work in, I'd like to ask if I am
of them". A subprofessional. Is there a consensus out there? Thanks for
helping me to better understand my identity.
Phil Jenkins  ARIZ


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