Editors' column--centennial issues.
The four issues of the Journal for 2012 will focus as much as possible on the centennial celebration of the Tennessee Academy of Science (TAS). This issue initiates that celebration with a look back at one of the major early accomplishments of the TAS, namely the 1927 joint meeting with the American Association for the Advancement of Science George Webb's lead article provides historical perspective on this meeting, the second of its kind in Nashville and a gaudy feather in the crown of the fledgling TAS.
The 1930s witnessed another of the major accomplishments of the TAS, the founding of the Reelfoot Lake Biological Station. For three decades from the late 1930s to the late 1960s, this station was administered by Clinton Baker, whose administrative and custodial oversight led to many prominent field studies and consequent publications about the Reelfoot Lake area. Baker himself published a considerable body of work on the urogenital system of salamanders, as Dustin Siegel and Robed Aldridge relate in a short biographical note about Baker. Siegel, Aldridge, and Wilson then offer an addition to, and completion of, Baker's work on the male salamander urogenital system, by describing the system of the Rhyocotriton, thus connecting the early years of the Journal's publication record with today's record.
The Journal's Assistant Editor, Christy Carter, and co-author Mark McIntosh next take us from the far northwestern corner of Tennessee to its far northeastern corner, by providing a description of botanical features of five fens in Shady Valley. Their work led to the discovery of heretofore undocumented species at the five wetland sites they studied.
The remainder of this issue provides some customary material describing the last year of the first century of the Academy. Much that the TAS accomplished during 2011 is recognizably similar to what the Academy accomplished during most of its first 99 years of existence, as the minutes of our 2011 meetings and other summarizing documentation will attest. Maintaining Academy traditions while also fostering scientific discovery and dissemination are the twin foundation stones on which the TAS rests.
Interspersed with material about TAS activities during 2011 are some reprinted "flashbacks" to material originally printed in early issues of the Journal and in the even earlier Transactions I and II of 1912-1913 and 1914-1917, respectively; and by the way, these venerable documents are currently available online in pdf format via the JTAS website.
Christy and I hope you enjoy this issue of the Journal and hope to hear from many members with suggestions about other ways to celebrate the last century's Academy accomplishments in these pages.
Stephen J. Stedman Managing Editor
Christy T. Carter Assistant Editor