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From: "Dr. Tom Croat" Thomas.Croat at mobot.org> on 2001.05.01 at 15:37:46(6346)
Dear Mary Jane:

The IAS does support directly aroid researchers from a variety
of underdeveloped country workers all over the world. This includes
some active and serious students in four countries in Latin
America. We clearly do not have enough money to make grants
for research but some of us have independently pooled resources
to fund research of at least one Latin American student. Though
this was not a direct function of the IAS it was the IAS that brought
us together and also allowed us to be introduced to the student.

The International Aroid Society was also instrumental in
organizing and helping to fund the types of International Aroid
Conferences that you and others attended in St. Louis in 1999. I
am sure that they will continue to do so. At our Annual meeting in
Miami last September the IAS sponsored a series of three public
lectures which helped to increase attendance. These events are
the primary source for funding, not only for IAS events in Miami but
for general operational expenses such as publishing Aroideana,
production of the Newsletters and sponsorship of aroid researchers
from underdeveloped countries. Naturally we could do a lot more if
we have more members, including production of more issues per
annum of the journal. The IAS is really a team effort and much of
the work falls on just a few volunteer workers who are expected to
do massive amounts of work. Those of us who are not present on
the scene and thus can not take part in the day to day needs of the
organization do our part by being members and to some extent by
not asking "Is what we get worth it?". By working together we have
put together a spectacular array of information both as published
papers in Aroideana as well as a wonderful webpage. If people
are not using it they should because it is increasingly useful. Not
only should people be using it but it would be good to think of ways
that they can help make it richer. There are many genera that are
not well represented yet and it does not take an expert to pull
together good information to add to the web page. Improvements
can always be made over time. There should be more in one's life
than simply measuring what one obtains from an organization but
one should also think how he or she could contribute. Collectively
we know a lot, individually we are pretty uninformed. So
cooperation is the key to success.

I have asked Trisha Frank specifically if we have some
information that could be sent to prospective members and
hopefully we can encourage more of the Aroid-L participants to
consider participating in a bigger way, in other words, in becoming
members of the IAS.

If you have any more specific questions I would be glad to try to
answer them.


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