RickStepp

December 9, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I have never been more excited about what the future holds for this community of scholars and practitioners in economic botany.  Our Society has growing global chapters and is moving in an ever more international direction.  As you know, we are in the midst of planning our first ever meeting in Africa to be held jointly with the Indigenous Plant Use Forum.  We are also working hard on fundraising for this meeting, so that we can help more members attend. 

I'd like to ask for your help as we enter the holiday season and come to the end of the year. If you'll recall from my last message, an anonymous donor has offered to match any donations 1:1 to the society (up to $1000 total)Several of you have stepped forward and generously donated but we’re not quite there yet to meet the match. The donor has agreed to extend their challenge until December 31st. Please consider supporting our students and our society.  Just CLICK HERE to make a donation that secures the future of our mission.

GIFT MEMBERSHIPS:
I encourage your efforts to recruit new student members from your labs and classrooms. Give a NEW student a gift membership for only $10.  We also invite you to take advantage of the opportunity of giving gift associate memberships to colleagues from developing countries at the rate of $10. This is an easy way to introduce new members to our community.

PLANTS AND PEOPLE:
Some of you receive our bi-annual Society newsletter in print.  For those of you that do not, make sure that you read the latest issue online.  It contains news from the annual meeting, information about classes and workshops, as well articles about some of our award winners from the 2014 annual meeting in Cherokee, North Carolina.

SOUTH AFRICA SEB/IPUF 2015
Through the hard work of our president-elect Cassandra Quave, IPUF chairman Ben-Erik Van Wyk, IPUF Secretariat Dr. Emmy Reinten and SEB/IPUF liaison Thomas Brendler, we now have our website up and running with preliminary details about the conference. This is one of the most exciting locations for an SEB meeting in the history of our society. It presents an wonderful opportunity to attract new members from the region and strengthen our existing chapters in Africa. I’d also like to think it represents an important development in our society becoming a truly international one. For those of you based in the Americas, it obviously means a larger financial commitment due to airfare. However, it is inexpensive once you arrive, with hotels and meals costing a fraction compared to some of our recent meeting locations. We’ve been able to negotiate an excellent registration rate that includes all meals (except breakfast) as well as a free mid-conference field trip.

For the plants and the people,
Rick Stepp, President
Society for Economic Botany
 
Mission: To foster and encourage scientific research, education, and related activities on the past, present, and future uses of plants, and the relationship between plants and people, and to make the results of such research available to the scientific community and the general public through meetings and publications.

Society for Economic Botany
4475 Castleman Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Ph. 314-577-9566, Fx 314-577-9515
www.EconBot.org


 

November 19, 2014

Dear Friends,

First of all, I want to thank you for your past support of theSociety for Economic Botany.  You and your contributions to our field are the reason we have such a wonderful mission-driven community.  Our journal, Economic Botany, has published some fantastic work this year so I hope you have been checking out the articles through your membership.  We are in the midst of planning a fantastic joint conference for 2015 with the Indigenous Plant Use Forum in Clanwilliam, South Africa.  You won't want to miss the meeting this year!

GIFT MEMBERSHIPS:


I encourage your efforts to recruit new student members from your labs and classrooms. Give a NEW student a gift membership for only $10.  We also invite you to take advantage of the opportunity of giving gift associate memberships to colleagues from developing countries at the rate of $10. This is an easy way to introduce promising young professionals to our community. In addition, student memberships are just $30 for those that join on their own, so please pass along the news about what a valuable membership SEB provides.  We would certainly like to grow our student population, so please consider this invitation.

Also, an anonymous donor has offered to match any donations 1:1 (up to $1000 total) to the society between now and December 1st. So as we move into the holiday season, please consider supporting our students and our society.

SOUTH AFRICA SEB/IPUF 2015
Through the hard work of our president-elect Cassandra Quave, IPUF chairman Ben-Erik Van Wyk and SEB/IPUF liaison Thomas Brendler, we now have our website up and running with preliminary details about the conference. This is one of the most exciting locations for an SEB meeting in the history of our so

ciety and it is the first time that we have met in Africa. It presents an wonderful opportunity to attract new members from the region and strengthen our existing chapters in Africa. I’d also like to think it represents an important development in our society becoming a truly international one. For those of you based in the Americas, it obviously means a larger financial commitment due to airfare. However, it is inexpensive once you arrive, with hotels and meals costing a fraction compared to some of our recent meeting locations. We’ve been able to negotiate an excellent registration rate that includes all meals (except breakfast) as well as a free mid-conference field trip.

We’re also working hard on fundraising for this meeting and, while I can not share all of the details at present, we have made some progress. A prominent publisher has offered to help with student travel costs.

I look forward to seeing you next year in South Africa!

All the very best,

Rick Stepp
President
Society for Economic Botany


 

October 20, 2014

Greetings Friends and Colleagues,

Since I last wrote in July, we have been making steady progress in the planning of our joint meeting next year in Western Cape, South Africa with the Indigenous Plant Use Forum. The dates will be June 28th through July 2nd, 2015. We expect to have a call for papers up on the website before the end of the year, along with additional details about the venue, field trips, transportation etc. The location of our meeting is one of the most botanically significant places in the world and I encourage everyone to find some extra time beyond the meeting to travel around the beautiful landscape. Although the region is inexpensive relative to many previous annual meeting locations in the USA and Western Europe, we are actively fundraising to provide travel stipends for students and indigenous scholars.

In August, I attended the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Sacramento, California. Despite the large size with thousands of attendees, economic botany had a vital presence. Their were presentations from long time SEB members Jocelyn Mueller, Nancy Turner and others in conjunction with the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of ESA. I was pleased to see a recent winner of the society's Klinger Book Award prominently displayed in the book exhibit-Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany by Robert Clarke and Mark Merlin. Scott Herron, president-elect of the Society of Ethnobiology, was also in attendance and we took some time to reflect and brainstorm about future collaborations and build on the partnership that we established in Cherokee, North Carolina earlier this year.

I would like to notify you of a new ethnobotanical fellowship named after the recipient of our Distinguished Economic Botanist award in 2000, James Duke. The fellowship is funded by the ACEER (Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research) Foundation, a dynamic organization dedicated to the conservation of the environment and cultures in the Amazon. Two $1,000 research fellowships will be awarded. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2014. I hope that some of our members apply for this wonderful opportunity.

The latest issue of Economic Botany (Volume 68, Issue 3) is out and, as usual, is worth a read from cover to cover. On behalf of us all, I send much appreciation to editor-in-chief Robert Voeks and the entire editorial staff for their tireless efforts.

Students are central to our society and we're fortunate to have an active student committee developing new initiatives. I'm pleased to announce that they've created a new blog (open to everyone). Please have a look... http://sebstudentblog.com/

Finally, a reminder that it will soon be time to renew your membership for the Society. Stay connected to this fabulous community. Be thinking about students who might benefit from a $10 gift membership in SEB. Gift memberships can be given at the time of your renewal, or throughout the year.

For the plants and the people!
Rick Stepp, President
Society for Economic Botany


 

 

July22, 2014

 

Greetings Friends and Colleagues,
 
It was a great pleasure to see many of you at our recent annual meeting in Cherokee, North Carolina. It was a tremendous success and we were honored to be the guests of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in such a beautiful setting. The meeting marked the first time that we have held a joint meeting with the Society of Ethnobiology and we look forward to doing so again in coming years.  There were over 290 attendees from 25 countries at the 2014 conference which made for a collegial and truly international exchange of ideas and research. 

Jan Salick was awarded the 2014 Distinguished Economic Botanist award and gave a memorable and inspiring talk. Sunshine Brosi was awarded the Charles B. Heiser, Jr Mentor Award. Other awardees include: Tegan McGillivray (University of Wisconsin-Madison) - Schultes Award, Michael McCampbell (Frostburg State University) - Fulling Award, Janessa Aneke, (Emory University) - Student Poster Award, and  William Balée - Klinger Book Award for Cultural Forests of the Amazon: A Historical Ecology of People and Their Landscapes. Congratulations to all! I would like to personally extend my heartfelt thanks to the many people who made it happen, especially conference organizers Gail Wagner and Denise Glover
 
I am excited to announce that our next SEB meeting in early July, 2015 (exact dates will be announced soon) will be held in Western Cape, South Africa in collaboration with the Indigenous Plant Use Forum. We have seen tremendous growth in the membership of our African chapters and a meeting in Africa is long overdue. It is also a very affordable location, with lodging at a fraction of the cost of an average location in North America or Europe. As many of you know, the Western Cape is a botanical paradise, with the greatest non-tropical concentration of vascular plant species in the world and home to an entire floral kingdom with 69% endemism. We will be meeting in the center of production for rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) and field trips are planned to meet farmers and producers. The area is also known for some of the most spectacular rock art and natural beauty in the world. For those of you unfamiliar with our partner, the Indigenous Plant Use Forum, they are an interdisciplinary society that was started to promote the cultural, socio-economic and scientific benefits to be derived from the sustainable use of the southern African flora. They are a dynamic group with many interests similar to our own. I will have additional details about the meeting in my next communication to the membership and information will be added to the website as it becomes available.
 
The latest issue of our journal, Economic Botany, is online.  If you haven't explored the exciting new articles, I encourage you to do so.  Just log in with your SEB log in at www.econbot.org to view current and past issues.
 
Dedicated members are the core of any society, and I greatly appreciate all of your support for SEB’s work and mission. SEB has strengthened its international profile during the last few years, and I am very happy to report that the number of members from outside the US is steadily increasing.  Our journal's most recent Impact Factor is 1.925 which represents an over 2x increase in the last five years. We also have actively been supporting botanical education efforts through the Open Science Network and PlantingScience.
 
We are in particular need of increasing our student membership.  Please continue to be ambassadors for our Society by encouraging students and other colleagues around the world to join us in our mission. You can provide a $10 gift membership to a student at any time. 
 
The Society for Economic Botany is what we make of it and I encourage you to get involved: volunteer for a committee, submit news and notices to the newsletter, make suggestions for what you would like to see at future meetings and make yourself heard. Please do not hesitate to contact me or anyone else on council if we can be of assistance.
 
For the plants and the people, onwards!
Rick Stepp, President
Society for Economic Botany
 

Mission: To foster and encourage scientific research, education, and related activities on the past, present, and future uses of plants, and the relationship between plants and people, and to make the results of such research available to the scientific community and the general public through meetings and publications.

Society for Economic Botany
4475 Castleman Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Ph. 314-577-9566, Fx 314-577-9515
www.EconBot.org