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MINUTES OF THE SEVENTH ANNUAL MEETING.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, LINCOLN,
December 29, 1896. The seventh annual meeting of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences was called to order at 2 P. M. in room 15, Nebraska
In the absence of the president the vice president, H. B. Duncanson, presided.
In accordance with the provision in the constitution, the chair appointed as a nominating committee C. E. Bessey, H. Brownell, and E. M. Hussong.
The report of the secretary, including the minutes of the last annual meeting was read, together with the report of the custodian, and the following recommendations of the executive committee were submitted:
First-The appointment of a committee, to consist of the executive committee together with two other members of the Academy, to consider and act in the matter of having the proceedings published by the state.
Second–That the following by-laws be proposed at the annual meeting for adoption by the Academy:
1. Volumes of the proceedings of the Academy shall be sent only to members whose dues are paid.
2. Papers may be read before the Academy by members only, except on order of the executive committee.
3. In order to be published in the proceedings, papers must be in the hands of the secretary within thirty days from the date of reading.
4. All titles of papers to be read at the annual meeting must be in the hands of the secretary two weeks before the annual meeting.
Third-That the following amendments to the constitution be proposed and recommended:
Amendment to article 3, section 3: Instead of "two directors,” to read “four directors."
Amendment to article 4, section 1: "The annual meeting shall be held in the city of Lincoln, on the afternoon and evening of the day before Charter day, and on Charter day, unless otherwise ordered by the executive committee.”
It was further recommended that the treasurer be authorized to sell back numbers of publications III. and IV. together for 25 cents, and that the price of 50 cents be placed on the last issue; that the secretary be authorized to secure other publications in exchange for those of the Academy, and that the library of the University of Nebraska be officially designated as depository for the exchanges and library of the Academy.
The report of the secretary, the minutes of the last meeting, and the general recommendations of the executive committee were adopted by successive motions, as were also the amendments to the by-laws as proposed by the executive committee, together with the first amendment to the constitution, changing the number of directors from two to four.
The proposed change in the date of the annual meeting was discussed at some length. An informal vote showed ten members and visitors in favor of the present date, eleven in favor of Charter day, and twelve in favor of a date about Thanksgiving time. Voted that for next year the annual meeting be held on the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving day.
The treasurer's report was referred, without being read, to an auditing committee to be appointed.
The annual address by the retiring president, E. H. Barbour, who had been unexpectedly called to Washington to read a paper before the Geological Society of America, was by permission of the academy read by H. B. Ward for the author. The
subject of the address was “Academies of Science: Their Economic and Educational Value.'
Two connected papers, "Continued Biological Observations," by Henry B. Ward, and “A New Plankton Pump,” by Henry B. Ward and Charles Fordyce, were then read. Following these came a short “Report of Progress in the Study of the Fauna of the State," by Laurence Bruner:
“This state is exceedingly rich in forms of life. I can call to your attention a few examples of this. Our birds in Nebraska number 416 species, as against 364 species for Kansas. I have found in the state 280 to 290 species of grasshoppers. In the study of our butterflies we have ascertained that upwards of 125 distinct forms occur in the state of Nebraska, and each year we add new forms to these. In the collection of tiger beetles in this state we succeeded in bringing together 40 different
In like manner, in the study of our wild bees, during the last two years we have gathered about 300 distinct species, collecting only during three months in the year at two places in the state. Nebraska is well adapted for these forms, as well as plants. I have been surprised that there is so little done in the collection of different forms. If we eliminate species after species, we would eliminate more titles than species-150 to 200 titles would include all that has been written on the animal life in this state. We have in the state something like 40 species of worms collected. In Arkansas there are something like 30 species recorded. We have of insects about 7,000 species in the collection of the university. The spiders, etc., which have been collected show that our fauna is very rich in these forms also. We have in the university a collection which numbers about 150 species, and 15 or 20 have been counted as not known. When we come down to the crustacea, there has been little done. Of fishes we know a little through the work carried out by the state fish commission. But we undoubtedly have a larger number of fishes that the fish commission knows nothing about. I remember of taking from 50 to 60 species from the Elkhorn river alone. Again, the reptiles of Nebraska are quite numerous. We have a paper by Taylor on the snakes of the state, but aside from this I know of no record of the reptiles. The birds have been pretty thoroughly studied, as we have working in the state about twenty-five good observers. The notes of most of these were brought together before the State Horticultural Society last year, and since then no additional forms have occurred, so the list is about completed. As to mammals, we know practically nothing in this state. In the early days we know that the buffalo, the antelope, two species of deer, the gray wolf, the brown bear, foxes, and panthers used to be found here. Thus far, then, we see that there has been little done in the way of studying the animal life of the state. The botanists have made a fair beginning in the study of the plants of the state, but the animals are much more numerous than the plants. I might say, in conclusion, that the reasons for a larger fauna in the state are these: Nebraska is located midway between the north and south; the southeastern corner of the state is barely 800 feet above the sea level, while the western part is almost 6,000. We have two large water courses and the variation of the surface is great. Therefore the variation in the animal life must be great. The time will come when a number of the forms that are now living in the state will be extinct, due to various changes brought about by civilization.”
* Since the studies were not yet brought to full completion, the author expressed a desire to withdraw the article from publication for the present. It is accordingly not printed in this volume of the Publications of the Academy.
“The Nomenclature of Nebraska Forest Trees” was the title of a paper by C. E. Bessey, and “Reflections on the Genus Ribes” were presented by F. W. Card. Papers on “Chalcedony-Lime Nuts from the Bad Lands of Nebraska,” by E. H. Barbour, “A Comparison Between Nebraska Diatomaceous Earth with that from Neighboring States," by C. J. Elmore, “What is Mathematics?" by Ellery W. Davis, and "A Family of Quartic Surfaces," by R. E. Moritz, were read and discussed.
The nominating committee reported the following list of officers for the coming year, and by vote the secretary was instructed to cast the ballot of the Academy for the same:
President, A. S. von Mansfelde, Ashland; vice president, E. H. Barbour, Lincoln; secretary-treasurer, G. D. Swezey, Lincoln; custodian, Laurence Bruner, Lincoln; directors, H. B. Ward, Lincoln, H. B. Duncanson, Peru, C. J. Elmore, Crete, H. Hapeman, Minden.
On motion the Academy then adjourned until 8 P. M.
December 29, 1896, 8 P. M. In the absence of the president and vice president, the meeting was called to order by the secretary and L. Bruner was elected chairman pro tem.
Voted that the directors of the Academy be an auditing committee to examine the books of the treasurer.
Voted that the committee to arrange for the publication of the proceedings by the state be the new executive committee, with two others chosen by the president. A. S. v. Mansfelde*
v and E. T. Hartley were appointed on this committee.
A paper on "Some Methods of Collecting, Preserving, and Mounting Fossils,' by Carrie A. Barbour, was read and then commented upon by C. E. Bessey as follows: “I want to express my gratification on this address. I have not heard of it myself, before. The one thing that it seems to me all this teaches us is that apparently destroyed remains may be preserved if we know how to take care of the material. It calls to my mind a number of cases a year ago. I found bones, tusks, etc., which I thought were entirely too decayed for use at all. The one thing that we must see that the people of the state know is that even a most thoroughly decayed specimen of a bone, if it is covered over and kept from the air until some expert can come and dig it out, may turn out to be of scientific value. These things can be saved long after a point where they seem to be beyond redemption."
A paper entitled “An Observation Upon Annual Rings in Tree Growth” was then read by Fred W. Card and discussed as follows by C. E. Bessey: "I should like to see this repeated a num
* As Dr. v. Mansfelde was an ex-officio member of the committee the chair later substituted the name of Dr. Bessey.