Sunday, December 2, 2012

2012 Goldie Award

Each year, the Field Botanists of Ontario try to recognize an individual (or organization) whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the advancement of field botany in Ontario. This is done annually by awarding the recipient with the John Goldie Award named in honor of John Goldie, one of the earliest field botanists in the province. The selected recipient for 2012 (sixth edition) of that Award was Peter Ball.

Peter Ball arrived to start work at the University of Toronto’s Erindale Campus in 1969. Prior to this, he was a student at the University of Leicester and later, during his post-doctoral years, was at the University of Liverpool. At Liverpool, he commenced working with the editorial board for the Flora Europaea. Flora Europaea is a 5-volume encyclopedia of plants published between 1964 and 1993 by the Cambridge University Press. The purpose of that project was to describe all the national floras of Europe in a single, authoritative publication covering all wild or commonly cultivated plants in that area. Peter was one of the editors of two of the early volumes that included Volume 2 published in 1969 covering the Rosaceae to Umbelliferae and Volume 3 published in 1973 covering Diapensiaceae to Myoporaceae. Peter worked extensively on several of the big families, especially Chenopodiaceae and Brassicaceae. During his work on Flora Europaea, he did a lot of work on tracking down and verifying records for Albania. Naturally, this prepared him for helping all of us accurately determine our invasive plants, as well as sedges.

After he arrived at Erindale, Peter was instrumental in advancing the importance of the herbarium there, building on Coventry's collections through his various students as well as his own collecting. The herbarium has served as a repository for vouchers from many of the ESA studies and life science inventories going on during the 1980s (Halton, Peel, Norfolk, SW Ont., etc.). As well, he served as the mentor to some especially notable botany students including Tony Reznicek, Bill Crins, Jocelyn Webber, and Bruce Ford.

Before and after his retirement to the status of Professor Emeritus, Peter generously helped out a great many people with determinations of large numbers of specimens, often in the very difficult plant groups. He has also been very generous with his time in reviewing lists, articles, etc. Very relevant to FBO, along with Bill Crins, Peter helped conduct a lab workshop on the identification of sedges at Erindale as well with as the follow-up field trip to the Turner-Mahon Tract near Campbellville.

 More recently, along with Tony Reznicek, he has been active in Flora North America (FNA) project as one of the Editors of Vol. 23 (the Cyperaceae) including treatments in Carex and Kobresia. He also authored treatments of Salicornia, Arthrocnemum, and Sarcocornia in the Chenopodiaceae. As well, he has additional treatments of various mints in preparation for that volume. In addition to the FNA, he authored the treatments of Eriophorum, Parnassia, and Salicornia in the Jepson Manual for California.

The Field Botanists of Ontario are therefore very pleased to award the 2012 edition of the Goldie Award to Peter Ball in recognition of his extensive contributions to the legacy of botany in Ontario and further away to all of North America and to Europe. We are truly fortunate to have someone of Peter’s abilities as a resource to resolve difficult plant identification problems in our own area.

Monday, August 20, 2012

2012 AGM

Field Botanists of Ontario’s 28th Annual General Meeting Saturday
Sunday September 15 and 16, 2012
Elbow Lake

The AGM will be held at the Elbow Lake Nature Conservancy of Canada Reserve, in eastern Ontario, just north of Kingston. Four trips (two on Saturday and two on Sunday) have been organized for your enjoyment and our leaders will take you to various botanical hotspots of the Kingston area.

Field Trips: Saturday 15 September 2012

Elbow Lake Nature Reserve (Nature Conservancy of Canada)
Leader: Eleanor Thomson 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Nature Conservancy's Elbow Lake Nature Reserve is a rugged and beautiful area characteristic of the Frontenac Arch. We will be exploring the northern part of the property, which has high granite ridges and deep wooded valleys. Forests typical of the Frontenac Arch Till Plain are dominated by Sugar Maple, White Ash, Red Oak and White Oak, with strong Carolinian elements such as Shagbark Hickory, Blue Beech, Swamp White Oak, Rock Elm and Black Maple. We will not go either fast or far but there are no trails so we will be bushwhacking on rough terrain.

St. Lawrence Islands National Park
Leaders: Josh Van Wieren and Mary Beth Lynch
9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Experiencing the beauty and uniqueness of the 1000 Islands Region doesn't require a trip off the mainland. We will visit the Mallorytown Landing prescribed fire site and explore the Jones Creek Trail system. The fire site is approximately 0.4 hectares and is a study site for pitch pine management, evaluating the success of alternative methods for pitch pine regeneration. The Jones Creek property provides examples of the Frontenac Arch's rugged landscape and protects an astounding diversity of plant and animal life. We will hike through mature hemlock, pine and oak communities and view Jones and Mud Creek as we cross over an impressive wetland boardwalk.

Field Trips: Sunday 16 September 2012

Menzel Mosses!
Leader: Jennifer Doubt
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Menzel Centennial Provincial Nature Reserve was created in honour of Oivi Menzel, and protects one of the largest examples of open and treed fen in southeastern Ontario. Although peatlands such as fens are characteristic of Oivi Menzel’s native Estonia, they are rare in southern Ontario, and this is an excellent opportunity to get to know some of the bryophyte flora that dominates much of our Canadian wilderness as well. Fens, well-known as botanically rich wetlands, can be truly sumptuous reservoirs of bryophyte abundance and diversity. Bring your hand lens, or borrow one for the morning. Walk leisurely (and trust us, no-one does leisurely quite like a bryologist) along a 2-km (each way) trail and boardwalk, examining mosses and liverworts and getting to know their character and local ecology as you pass through a series of habitat types. Stay for lunch at Mud Lake, the trail’s turn-around point, if you can spare the time! This nature reserve is about 23 kilometres (by road) north west of Napanee. Depending on the route, it’s 75 – 85 km from Elbow Lake, basically to the west, which should be handy for people heading back to the Toronto area.

Helen Quilliam Sanctuary of the Kingston Field Naturalists
Leaders: Anne and Barry Robertson
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

The 500-acre Sanctuary property has typical Shield habitats with deep woods, beaver ponds and open rocky areas. We will visit all of these on a short trail and also view a bog, check out a local suntrap and take in a view of a typical small lake. Some species we will see are restricted to the granite soils, while others are on the northern edge of their distribution in this transition zone on the edge of the Frontenac axis. Interesting species expected in this location include: Black Spruce (Picea mariana), Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata), Tamarack (Larix laricina), Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia), Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), Steeple-bush (Spirea tomentosa), Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Ditch Stonecrop (Penthorum sedoides), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), Cotton Grass (Eriophorum sp.), Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis), and Reindeer Lichens (Cladina sp).

Annual General Meeting and Dinner
Field Botanists of Ontario 
Saturday September 15, 2012
Elbow Lake Nature Reserve
5:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Directions: From the east: 
Off Hwy 15, take Chaffey's Lock Rd, go through the village of Chaffey's Lock, cross the Rideau Canal Bridge, go west approx. 2km past Indian Lake Rd and turn left onto Queen's University Rd. From the west: 
From Perth Rd, turn right onto Opinicon Rd. (just north of Perth Road Village), follow road for approx. 20km; then turn right onto Queen's University Rd.. Following Saturday’s field trips, we will meet at the pavilion of the Elbow Lake property.

The evening’s program is as follows:

5:00 – 6:00 Social hour: an opportunity to meet and chat with fellow FBO members.
6:00 – 7:00 Dinner buffet (meat and vegetable lasagna), followed by tea, coffee and dessert.
7:00 Feature Speaker: Brenda Van Sleeuwen, Conservation Biologist - Eastern Ontario. Her presentation will explore the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s work in eastern Ontario. The presentation will highlight NCC’s planning process, including land acquisition and stewardship by taking you on a virtual tour of its properties in eastern Ontario.
8:00 – 9:30 2012 Annual General Meeting

Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Field Trips

The 2012 field trips are out and they have been added to the website and the calendar. Sign up soon so that you don't miss out on any!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Korea Report now available online!

Current FBO Vice President Chris Zoladeski has made available his
Illustrated Journal of Travels into South Korea During the Year 2010 online for those who are interested in the tales of his adventures in the Far East with Steve Varga and Mike O'Brien. Enjoy!

Check out our Calendar!

FBO now has a google calendar! Subscribe or check it out on this page!

FBO Calendar

2012 Goldie Award

In order to continue the recognition process, FBO is seeking suggestions from the general membership regarding the names of suitable recipients for the award. Nominations for the annual award should be submitted to Bill McIlveen of FBO no later than July 1.

Critical information to be provided with the nomination includes:
Name of recipient (and his/her contact information)
Name of nominator (to be kept confidential) and their contact information
A statement by the nominator concerning the nominee's contributions to botany in Ontario as befits the award.
Supporting letters or other documentation whenever possible

2011 Goldie Award

In August 2011, Dr. Jim Pringle completed 48 years of service as the Plant Taxonomist at the. Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton becoming the longest-serving employee at that institution. But it is not simply his long tenure at RBG that makes him an important figure in the field of botany in Ontario. During his career, not only has he made (and very importantly, still making) fundamental discoveries in science, he has been sharing his knowledge with both the scientific community and with amateur botanists alike. The Ontario Field Botanists are pleased to present the 2011 John Goldie Award to Jim Pringle in recognition of his combined contributions at all levels of botanical expertise, locally and internationally.

Dr. Pringle joined RBG in 1963 as a young Ph.D. graduate from University of Tennessee, where he completed his dissertation on the taxonomy of the Pneumonanthae, a section of the Gentian botanical family, in eastern North America. He went on to become a prolific scientific and technical writer and has described and named more than 15 new species and subspecies of plants. His particular area of interest and expertise deals with systematics and evolutionary relationships of vascular plants. He is also an expert in identifying plants in both the horticultural and natural botanical worlds, and has been involved in the systematics and taxonomy of lilacs and trilliums among other groups. Dr. Pringle is a world authority on the Gentianaceae (Gentian family), one of the largest families of flowering plants. In two recent scientific papers, for example, Dr. Pringle published the first botanical descriptions and official scientific names of nine new species of dwarf Gentians in the genus Gentianella, all from Peru.

He is one of the contributing authors of The Flora of North America, an ambitious project that will eventually see a full description of the entire plant biodiversity of the continent. His specific contributions deal with the likes of Gypsophila, Surianaceae, and Syringa. His publication list exceeds 100 technical papers (too many to list here) on diverse plant species but the Gentianaceae are particularly well represented amongst those.

Working in co-operation with systematic botanists at many other institutions, Dr, Pringle investigates problems of classification, describes species new to science, and contributes portions of floristic manuals, especially on the Gentians. He has written, or has in preparation, revised classifications and descriptions of this and other plant groups for the floras of North America, Meso-America and portions of South America. In collaboration with colleagues at McMaster University, he has combined comparisons of genetic information with other techniques in evolutionary botany to examine the probable ancestry of lilacs suspected to be of hybrid origin. This technique has also been of great value in his ongoing studies of the status, distribution and relationships of rare and potentially endangered polyploid species of Solidago (goldenrods) in the Great Lakes region.

Dr. Pringle’s other research interest is in botanical history, in which he is acknowledged as the world’s leading expert on the history of Canadian botanical exploration. Between 1985 and1995, he contributed fully half of the material published in RBG’s own scholarly journal, Canadian Horticultural History. He has also studied “heritage plants” in Ontario horticulture represented by plants persisting after cultivation at abandoned farm and village sites. Dr. Pringle has contributed greatly to the field botany community in Ontario, including publishing technical bulletins on the common asters and goldenrods of southern Ontario, the trilliums of Ontario, and also checklists of spontaneous plants at Royal Botanical Gardens.

More specific to the activities of the Field Botanists of Ontario, Jim has led at least nine field trips since the organization was first formed. Although he has shown some preference for visiting Chaffey’s Locks and the Lake Opinicon field station, he has undertaken field events in other locations. He has, to his credit, led two of the more novel or interesting trips organized by FBO. One of these was the survey of plants that had become established in the inner city of Hamilton and Burlington Beach. Another particularly memorable trip was to look at ghost town botany in Haliburton. As well as leading trips for FBO, Jim has regularly led botanical trips for the local Hamilton Naturalist Club and the RBG. As well, he is an expert field ornithologist, and frequently leads bird-watching and plant-identification hikes.

In 2004, a new species of tree, Macrocarpea pringleana, was named in Dr. Pringle’s honour. M. pringleana is a one- to five-metre tall resident of the Amazon-facing slopes of the Central Andes, just north of the equator. Though specimens of this species have been collected and deposited in herbaria around the world for decades, it is only recently that it has been fully described and named. Fittingly, this species is a member of the Gentian Family. Jason Grant, the author of the official description of the plant, recognized Dr. Pringle’s lifelong study of the Gentianaceae and his contribution to the Flora of Ecuador, in which he wrote the extensive chapter on gentians.

It is with much pleasure that the FBO presents the John Goldie Award for 2011 to Jim Pringle, a most deserving recipient. The award recognizes the things that he has accomplished to date but we aware that there are more learned publications from him in press and pending and that he intends to keep sharing his great knowledge with others. Congratulations and Thank You, Jim!