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The ambitious and expansive Intermountain Flora Project spanned three generations of botanists and the better part of a century. Conceived in the 1940s by Bassett Maguire, the project began in earnest in the 1960s, driven by Maguire's students Arthur Holmgren and Arthur Cronquist. By the time the first volume of Intermountain Flora was published, in 1972, Noel Holmgren (son of Arthur) and Patricia Kern Holmgren (Noel's new bride) had joined the project and committed themselves to seeing it through to completion. In August 2012, forty years after that first volume, the final volume of Intermountain Flora was published. Colleagues, friends, and admirers of Noel and Pat Holmgren marked the momentous occasion by contributing papers to this celebratory volume.
William R. Buck was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1950. He received his B.S. from the University of Florida with a major in botany in 1972. His M.S. was from the same university in 1974, with a master's thesis on Selaginella. His Ph.D. was from the University of Michigan in 1979 with a specialization on moss systematics, mentored by Howard Crum. He began at The New York Botanical Garden right out of graduate school. His research has focused on relationships of pleurocarpous mosses and moss floristics. He has conducted fieldwork on six continents but has been most active in the West Indies, French Guiana, and most recently the Cape Horn Archipelago in southernmost Chile. He has also done extensive collecting throughout eastern North America. In addition to bryophytes, he also collects lichens, lichenicolous fungi, and (most recently) bryophilous fungi. He learned his editorial skills from Clark Rogerson and began editing Garden journals in 1981. In this capacity he has primarily been involved in the editing of the Memoirs of The New York Botanical Garden as well as compiling the Index to American Botanical Literature. Additionally he has been Editor of Evansia (1984-1989) and The Bryologist (2005-2009). His favorite comment to authors is "Strive for consistency!" William R. Buck's Author Page
The major focus of my research is the floristics of eastern North America. Specifically, my research entails study of the identification, geographic distribution, frequency, ecology, and conservation of plants growing wild in this region. The chief aim of this research is revision of Gleason and Cronquist's Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada (The New York Botanical Garden Press, 1991). The Gleason & Cronquist Manual is the latest in a rich tradition of books on plants of northeastern North America published by New York Botanical Garden staff. Since Nathaniel Lord Britton published his Illustrated Flora in 1896, the goal of these books has been to enable the user to correctly identify plants growing in the wild in a vast region. The geographic coverage of the Gleason & Cronquist Manual encompasses all or portions of 22 states of the U.S.A. and five Canadian provinces. Major advances in botanical science since the last edition of the Manual mean the time is ripe for a revision. In addition, I conduct research in plant systematics. Much of this research is devoted to revisionary systematics of sedges, particularly the genera Carex and Rhynchospora (Cyperaceae). Carex, with about 2000 species, is the largest genus of flowering plants in North America and one of the world's largest genera. Data from field, laboratory, and herbarium studies permit me to describe new sedge species, reconstruct their phylogenies, and improve their classifications. I am especially keen on utilizing phylogenetic trees to understand sedge morphology, chromosome number variation, and biogeography. I also study the systematics of the Western Hemisphere Pitcher Plants (Sarraceniaceae), carnivorous plants with pitcher-like leaves functioning as traps. Despite their inherent interest and popularity in horticulture, pitcher plants remain poorly understood. I am applying novel approaches to study their systematics. Robert F.C. Naczi's Author Page