Thomas J. Rosatti
I was born in Rhode Island ("Cradle of Botanists"), but raised and educated in Michigan. After three more or less unfocused but happy years of undergraduate work at the University in Ann Arbor, I attended a lecture by Herb Wagner and immediately thereafter declared myself a botany major, without ever having taken a botany course of any kind; Herb and Ed Voss later served as co-chairmen of my dissertation committee. In 1983, the University conferred a doctorate on me for having indulged my curiosity about the relationship between the hairs and the habitats of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, the bearberry. After that, it was on to the New York State Museum, to work with Norton Miller, in Albany, and Carroll Wood, at Harvard, on the Generic Flora of the Southeastern United States. In producing treatments in this series for the Apocynaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Campanulaceae, Plantaginaceae, Pontederiaceae, and Sphenocleaceae, I established myself as a true generalist, also known in botanical circles as a floristician.
It was this credential, and a 1985 Oldsmobile, that brought me to Calilfornia in 1987, to become the Scientific Editor of The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. For the next five years or so, I spent most of my professional time trying to maximize agreement between written accounts of various plant groups in the flora, on one hand, and the actual plant material involved, on the other; at present, I remain involved as one of six Editors of the Jepson Flora Project, which deals with many areas of continuing research on the Flora of California.
Dr. Thomas J. Rosatti has been employed in the Jepson and University Herbaria since 1987, as Assistant/Associate Specialist (1987-1992) and then Museum Scientist (1992 to present); since May 1999, he has been working half-time in the Herbaria and half-time in Equipment Management, as an Equipment Auditor in support of the Capitalized Asset Program. From May 1992 until April 2000, he served as Project Coordinator of the Specimen Management System for California Herbaria (SMASCH), an effort to capture, store, and distribute over computer networks data from each of about 350,000 specimens of plants collected outside of cultivation in California and housed in the herbaria. Currently, he is one of six Editors of the Jepson Flora Project, Scientific Editor of the Jepson Online Interchange for California Floristics, and Editor of the Index to California Plant Names. In these roles he is involved with setting goals and editorial policies related to research on the Flora of California; selecting experts to contribute taxonomic treatments for various forms of presentation, including paper-based publications as well as online resources; editing various products for scientific accuracy; maintaining a list of scientific names that have been applied to plants in California; producing taxonomic treatments for plant groups that have not been assigned to outside experts; and developing electronic identfication keys and a means of presenting them on the Jepson Online Interchange. He serves as a referee for botanical journals and NSF grant proposals.
His major research efforts during the period 1 July 1998 to 30 June 2002 have included:
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