|and zoology in the wing near what was then Students Building. A large common lecture hall merged the two sciences; a staircase before the lecture hall branched from its base to the left and to the right, and, as late as the early 1960's, new faculty members were reminded, only half in jest, that botanists proceeded upward on the right-hand side, zoologists on the left.
In 1928, Wayne Manning joined the Faculty; his extensive collections form the backbone of the present representation of the local flora. Among Manning's discoveries of importance for the student of freshwater ecology was the first valid Massachusetts record of Wolffia columbiana discovered in a small pond near Mount Tom. Wolffia, the smallest of the flowering plants, is now an important local component of euthrophied ponds and impoundments, covering great expanses of the surface of these waters. Mr. Manning also discovered, in an ancient oxbow in the town of Hatfield, Cabomba caroliniana, a submerged aquatic plant which had never, until that time, been encountered farther northward than New Jersey. Cabomba persists in that oxbow till the present, flowering and competing successfully with the native vegetation; the Manning collections help to date the time of its arrival and form the basis for continued studies of the role of this exotic in the oxbow vegetation.
In 1966, the Departments of Botany, Zoology, and Bacteriology and Public Health were merged into a single Department of the Biological Sciences. That same year the plant collections were moved to their present location on the second floor of the newly constructed science center. Neither merger nor relocation was accomplished without a certain trauma; nonetheless the collections, enlarged by purchase, gift, exchange of specimens with other herbaria, and labors in the field by students as well as faculty, have been, in recent years, useful in several kinds of work. The emergence of the new science of biosystematics, wherein experimental methods are applied to problems of classification, and the swelling of students in the five-college area have changed the emphasis of herbarium use. Throughout the nation, mass collecting of herbarium specimens by students near universities has endangered too many plant populations. While field trips are a common and popular feature of courses at Smith College, collecting of the less common plants is now done in connection only with specific projects.
A good herbarium must serve at least four basic functions. Perhaps the most important of these at Smith is its role as a reference collection for checking the identities of plants collected in these scientific studies. Within the last few years, for example, a number of students and faculty have been engaged in research along the Mill River, the stream that originates in the Goshen Hills, flows south