After a two week vacation, I was happy to return to work and begin answering your e-mail and phone messages. I was especially happy to hear that many of you are enjoying the December issue of The APS Bulletin. Your notes and e-mails are very much appreciated!


As always, the New Year brings changes, such as an increase in postage for both Canadian and All Other Countries, but dues and advertising rates will remain the same.


For those of you whose dues expired December 31, 2014, please renew by January 31, 2015 to be included in the 2015 Yearbook.


Important dates to remember for the 2015 Convention:


April 10 — The last day to pay your convention fee without the addition of a late fee.


April 13 — The last day to make hotel reservations at the APS rate.


May 13–17 — See you in Louisville!!!


Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015, Claudia

Claudia Schroer, APS Editor

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Please welcome Kristin Jurik of Ames, Iowa, as the new APS Treasurer. This appointment was made by the APS Executive Committee after the resignation of Patricia Farley, as of October 1, 2014.






About Me — Kristin Jurik, APS Treasurer: I’ve been growing peonies since the early 2000s. Every year my collection of peonies and depth of knowledge about them grows. In turn, my appreciation for the plant, the hybridizer and the seller is enhanced.

I fell in love with plants when my second grade class walked from my elementary school to the Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We were celebrating the school year’s end with a picnic lunch. I was introduced to my first peonies.

Later, I became an outdoor education major at the University of Michigan. The program further enhanced my love for plants. I especially enjoyed canoeing, camping and learning about plants in the wild on class trips to the interior of Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada. I managed to take that class twice.

I expanded my love and respect for nature and plants while spending five summers at the University of Michigan Biological Station. It is at the station where I met my husband, Tom.

Besides living at the Biological Station, Tom and I also lived in an apartment on Washington Heights in Ann Arbor, which is located just up the hill from the Nichols Arboretum’s collection of peonies. I was fortunate this past June to see those peonies in bloom again, just prior to attending the APS convention in Ohio.

In 1985, Tom got a job as a professor of botany at Iowa State University, so we left Michigan for Iowa. Tom is in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, after the traditional Botany Department was reorganized.

We now live on acreage just two miles northeast of Ames. We raised two daughters here. Our home overlooks the South Skunk River. Our house is nestled amongst native mature trees, overlooking a former farm field that is now gardens, playfield and prairie. Most of my peonies are in the plain below our house. We walk down amongst hostas, spring ephemerals and other woodland plants to reach my growing collection of peonies. Interspersed among the peonies grows a vast array of iris, both non-bearded and, lately, bearded. Lilies, daylilies and other perennials are mixed in. We also have trails through the forest and along the river.

We grow some fruit trees, small fruits and a vegetable garden. I grow peonies because our multitude of deer that hover between the house and the river—morning, noon and night—do not eat them. We can look at the peonies and enjoy the view of the river and various birds, such as eagles, herons, ducks, geese, owls, orioles and bluebirds, from our house windows and deck.

I currently teach aqua aerobics. I love the water. I am a certified life guard and occasionally work at the outdoor aquatic center in Ames. I run the scoreboard for all Iowa State home volleyball games. Kayaking, biking, cross-country skiing and reading are what I like to do when I am not in the garden. •