The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
catalogued to date 1,863 specimens collected by John R. Bozeman. Most were collected in Georgia, the field
sites for his graduate work, but Bozeman also collected throughout the
Southeastern United States. As only
about 10% of the vascular plant specimens are catalogued, without doubt more
will be found. NCU has a single fungal
specimens collected by Bozeman, Polyporus hydnoides from Pierce County, GA collected in
Bozeman graduated from Georgia Southern
College in 1961 with a Bachelor in Science, and in 1986 he received the
Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater.
Russell Bozeman was a dynamic young man from Georgia with all the needed
qualifications [to continue the
herbarium specimen exchange program in the University of North Carolina
Herbarium]. He was hard-working, pleasant, and neat, in addition to having a
sound botanical background and a basic understanding of the Herbarium and its
problems. He had come to UNC in 1961
to work under Albert [Radford; Director of the Herbarium] towards a Master’s degree in Botany. During the next four years he took all
available courses in taxonomy and ecology.
He collected with Harry [Ahles] and Albert [Radford] on numerous field trips, and worked part
time in the Herbarium for several terms.
In 1965 he received his MA degree and was well on his way toward a
PhD, when he decided he needed to get a job in order to support his growing
family. Therefore, he accepted a
position as instructor of Biology at Georgia Southern College [in
Statesboro, GA]. In 1966 he was offered the curatorship at UNC with the option of
working simultaneously toward completing his PhD, an attractive solution to
several problems. Accordingly he began
as curator on June 1st, just two weeks after Harry’s [Ahles] departure.
[Harry Ahles left the University of North Carolina
Herbarium because the University installed air conditioning. Ahles spent the
rest of his career at the University of Massachusetts in, one assumes, a
non-air conditioned herbarium.] It was understood that this would be a
two-year job, according to John’s wishes.
again the Herbarium became a neat, well-run institution. He lined up to the
same height the name plates on all the steel cases; they had not all been
purchased from the same company. This
required a little drilling, but John was very handy with tools. In fact, if doing something more
efficiently necessitated a gadget of some sort, he would simply make it, and
at little or no cost to the department.
Some of his ingenious devices are still used in the Herbarium today [including] a
wedge-shaped frame on casters for holding folders at waist height for
convenient filing into the cases.
his greatest contributions to the growth and development of the Herbarium was
his efficient handling of the huge and badly neglected exchange program. Since 1962 the yearly average sent out had
been slightly over 3,000 specimens.
During his first year, John shipped out 70,431 specimens which reduced
the backlog considerably. In two years
he had sent out over 118,000 plants and was instrumental in collecting more
than 135,000 specimens, of which some 95,000 were for the exchange
program. All this was in addition to
supervising the mounting and filing of 41,960 vascular specimens for our own
the end of this second year, John decided he would need more time to finish
his PhD. His primary interest was
teaching. Accordingly, he asked to be
relieved of his curatorial duties as of January 31, 1968. He was offered an instructorship in Botany
by Dr. Greulach, the chairman of the department,
who took this opportunity to congratulate John on “the unusually effective
manner” in which he had served as curator.
“We are most pleased with the way in which you have assumed
responsibilities and have discharged your duties.” Of course Albert [Radford]
regretted losing such an excellent curator, but for some time he had known
that John’s real interest was in ecology.1
“Floristic and edaphic studies of the
Altamaha River sand ridge, Georgia” was Bozeman’s Master’s thesis (1965),
followed by his Ph.D. thesis (1971) “A sociological and geographic study of
the sand ridge vegetation in the coastal plain of Georgia.”
Bozeman served in various capacities within
the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, including Program Manager for
the Freshwater Wetlands & Heritage Inventory Program (1989) and Program
Manager of the Georgia Natural Heritage Program (1995).
glabra at Temple Flat Rock in Wendell, NC
Photo by Suzanne Cadwell, 27 April 2013
Bozeman, John R. (1965) Floristic and edaphic studies of the
Altamaha River sand ridge, Georgia.
M.A. Thesis, Botany Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel
Bozeman, John R. (1968)
A note on Gymnocarpium dryopteris (L.) Newman in North Carolina. Castanea
Bozeman, John R. (1971)
A sociological and geographic study of the sand ridge
vegetation in the coastal plain of Georgia.
Ph.D. Thesis, Botany Department, University of North Carolina at
McCormick, J. Frank, John R. Bozeman, and Stephen Spongberg. (1971)
A taxonomic revision of granite outcrop species of Minuartia (Arenaria). Brittonia
Bozeman, John R. and George A. Rogers (1986) This very curious tree. Tipularia
(November 1986): 9.
Radford, Laurie Stewart.
1998. The history of the Herbarium of the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC
1908-1998. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Herbarium. story.