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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/482

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
hyphenated word was joined on the previous page because of the intervening image.— Ineuw talk 02:47, 11 November 2013 (UTC) (Wikisource contributor note)

map and illustrations are taken.

Early last year an expedition was organized and embarked in a sailboat, designed for the circumnavigation of the Salton Sea and an examination of its contacts with the adjacent desert vegetation. Six stations were selected from which under varying conditions the succession of vegetation will be studied as the water recedes. The maximum depth of the water is 84 feet, and it is expected that most of it will evaporate in about ten years. Its width is from five to twenty-five miles, and each year new stretches of beach will become available for occupation by plants. The level of the lake fell about one foot by June 1, and two or three feet six months later. At that time the strip of saline shore left bare had not been occupied by plants.

The Desert Laboratory has under way various other studies in acclimatization and the influence of physical features on vegetation. Thus four stations have been chosen at elevations, respectively, of 2,200, 2,700, 6,100 and 8,000 feet, and transplantations cause marked structural changes in the plants. Attention is given to the determination of whether these changes are transmitted and persist in localities other than the one in which they originated.

 

JOHN SAMUEL BUDGETT

It is becoming that honor should be paid to those who sacrifice their lives for science. One of the strongest props of militarism is the instinctive respect commanded by the soldier who is ready to die for his country. It should be widely known that in laboratories and in the field men of science are quietly at work with dangerous organisms, with poisons and explosives, exposed to disease, accepting risks for the advancement of science and the welfare of man greater than those to which the soldier is liable.

A fitting tribute to one of this company of scientific martyrs has been paid in the publication of a volume in memory of John Samuel Budgett, who died from fever contracted in several visits to the jungles of South America and Africa. He had gone in search of zoological material and especially to study the development of Polypterus, which is one of the two surviving forms of the great group of fishes that flourished in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic periods.

The memorial volume, which is beautifully printed by the Cambridge University Press, contains a biographical sketch of Budgett by Professor A. E. Shipley, a collection of his zoological papers and several papers by Mr. Richard Assheton and others, consisting of the completion of the work begun by Budgett on the material that he had collected.

Budgett was born at Bristol in 1872. Like nearly all those who have done good work in natural history, he showed early his interests and aptitudes. As is so often the case, his father was keenly interested and naturalists visited his house; he was irregular in his school attendance and did not do very well at examinations. Before he completed his course at Cambridge, he went with Mr. Graham Kerr to the Gran Chaco of Paraguay in search of Lepidosiren. The expedition was brilliantly successful and brought back a large supply of specimens of tnis practically unknown lungfish, including eggs and larvæ in all stages of development. Budgett's first paper was an account of the batrachians of the Paraguayan Chaco, published in 1898.

After obtaining his degree, he took up with dauntless courage the search in Africa for Polypterus, about whose habits and development nothing was known, but whose primitive condition might be expected to throw light on the origin and relationship of fishes. In search of these fishes Budgett visited the Gambia, the Victoria Nile and the Niger, undismayed by innumerable difficulties including malaria