years of 25botany LICHENOLOGY IN NORTH AMERICA 1947-1972 JOHN W. THOMSON1 In assessing the advances of lichenology in North America during the pastquarter century it is essential to have an understanding of the situation as itexisted at the start. The literature was not very abundant, nor was it readilyavailable to many people in understanding or in fact. The then recently pub-lished manual by Bruce Fink (1935) was highly technical and difficult to use.His excellent Lichens of Minnesota (1910) with more comprehensive descrip-tions was occasionally on the secondhand market. Some of us were able topurchase Tuckerman's North American Lichens (1881, 1888) and used thesewith some difficulty in understanding how terms should be applied to the lichensat hand. The very fine literature of Europe was unavailable to most would-belichenologists because of its rarity in libraries as well as language barriers. Themonographs on North American lichens were rare indeed-Willey (1890) onArthonia, and Berry (1941) on Parmelia. The brightest spot was with respect tothe genus Cladonia. The very great and penetrating works on this genus byAlexander Evans and his prompt and willing help to beginners plus the aid heenlisted of Raymond H. Torrey fostered an interest in these lichens, especiallyalong the East Coast. Other workers active in lichenology in this period included A. W. C. T. Herre,who had just returned from his long stay in the Philippines working on fishes andresumed work and publishing on lichens. His 1913 thesis on the lichens of theSanta Cruz Peninsula is still very valuable. Herre worked for a time at StanfordUniversity before he was required to retire but continued to be helpful to manyby correspondence. Carroll W. Dodge had published on the Antarctic lichens(Dodge & Baker, 1938) but also had several students, including E. C. Berry,George A. Llano, and E. D. Rudolph. Grace Howard at Wellesley College wasworking on the lichens of the state of Washington which she published (1950)after her retirement and in association with the University of Washington. Atthe University of Michigan Joyce Hedrick Jones continued as curator of theBruce Fink collections which had been acquired by that university. Severalstudents, including Henry A. Imshaug, were being guided by the University ofMichigan mycologist, Alexander H. Smith. The New Jersey rhododendron growerGuy G. Nearing, who had been interested by Raymond Torrey in lichens, was 1 Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.ANN. MIssoURI BOT. GARD. 61: 45-55. 1974.