Sunday, April 22, 2012

1895. The Botanical Work of Government

The amount of botanical work that has been undertaken by the national government is perhaps unknown to all except those who come in direct contact with it. Thinking that such information would not only be of interest to botanists in gen- eral, but would also be of service to the work itself, the chiefs of the various divisions were asked to furnish the following information, which was given very promptly and courteously. At present four distinct divisions of botanical work are organ- ized under the Department of Agriculture, although other di- visions also do a certain amount of work that may be fairly called botanical.

1.DIVISION OF BOTANY. The total appropriation for the Division of Botany for the year ending June 30,1895, is $38,- 6oo. The appropriation made for the year ending June 30,
I896, is $33, 8oo, the new Division of Agrostology having been separated from the Division of Botany, as indicated be- low. The employees who are engaged in strictly scientific work, exclusive of those engaged in semi-technical, editorial and clerical work, and the temporary field agents, who are employed only during the collecting season, are as follows:

Mr. Frederick V. Coville (Cornell University), as chief of the division, is engaged principally in its administrative work but is also doing some monographic and local botanical work on plants of eastern Washington and eastern Oregon.

Mr. -7. N. Rose (Wabash College), as assistant botanist and honorary assistant curator, has general charge of the herba- rium, makes the majority of critical miscellaneous identifica- tions, and is also engaged in working upon collections of Mexican plants.
Mr. L. H. Dewey (Mich. Agric. College) is engaged upon investigations of weeds, collating information of all kinds re- garding them; and combining this information into form for popular use.

Mr. G. H. Hicks (Mich. Agric. College; Univ. of Michi- gan) has charge of the pure seed investigations of the Divis- ion, maintaining and adding to the collection of seeds, and
i895.] Botanical Work of the Government. 265
testing commercial samples with reference to their purity and germinative capacity.
Mr. C. L. Pollard (Columbia College) is acting as assistant curator of the herbarium, and is engaged at present in num- bering specimens already mounted, distributing newly mounted material, and arranging the plants properly upon the shelves.
Mr. A. G. Pieters (Mich. Agric. College; Cornell Univ.) is acting as an assistant of Mr. Hicks, and is engaged partic- ularly in making germination tests of commercial seed.
Mr. V. K. Clesnut (Univ. of Calif.; Univ. of Chicago) is engaged upon an investigation, both pharmacological and physiological, of poisonous and medicinal plants.
Mr. Marcus E. ones (Iowa College) is engaged in working up a report on the collection of plants made by him in south- ern Utah and northern Arizona during the season of i894.
Messrs. Scribner, Kearney and Smith are also connected with this Division until July i, but their work will be men- tioned in connection with the new Division of Agrostology.
The work of the Botanical Division during the corning year will in the main be an amplification of the lines of work already under way, and possibly the assumption of one or two addi- tional investigations.

2. DIVISION OF VEGETABLE PHYSIOLOGY AND PATHOL- OGY. It will be noted that "Physiology" has been added to the title of this Division by the last Congress, enabling work which had already been begun to be prosecuted upon a broader basis, and recognizing the fact that in the study of diseased plants the normal life processes must first be understood be- fore the diseased organism can be studied intelligently. The appropriation for the year ending June 30, i895,was $26, ioo; for the year ending June 30, i896, it is $26, 300. The care of the extensive collection, correspondence and system of index- ing is shared by all the staff at Washington. The laboratory investigations are conducted at Washington, Eustis (Fla.) and Santa Ana (Calif.), and are in charge of the following staff:
Mr. B. T. Galloway (University of Missouri), as Chief of the Division, has charge of the administrative work, general direction of all investigations, and edits all bulletins and re- ports. In such time as is left to him, he is investigating the conditions affecting the health of plants under glass, and also one or two groups of fungi.

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