Volume XXVII  No. 33 • Aug. 22, 2003

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Resignation - top

  • Karen Cook, librarian, Library Learning Center

Crooks returns to BHSU after deployment with the National Guard - top

Cal Crooks, director of graphics and media at Black Hills State University, is back on the job after spending four months on active duty with the National Guard 
as a part of the 129th Public Affairs Detachment from Rapid City.

Crooks, longtime BHSU employee who has been employed there for 35 years, is glad to be home and back in a routine at BHSU. His unit was called due to the threat of a national emergency and assigned to a reactionary task force for 

Homeland Security as a part of Enduring Freedom/Noble Eagle.

“Whether it [terrorism attack] be nuclear, chemical or biological, the taskforce had the duty of responding to any possible 

Cal Crooks, director of graphics and media at Black Hills State University, is back at work preparing equipment after serving four months of active deployment with the National Guard.
national terrorism acts. Fortunately, that didn’t happen,” Crooks said, “and although the task force remains in effect, we were taken off the taskforce.”

Looking back on the experience, Crooks says his unit used the active duty time as an opportunity to take part in advanced training opportunities. After the initial first month spent on combat training, Crooks and his unit were given the opportunity to produce a weekly news show that aired on a public access channel in Ft. Riley, Kan. In addition to videotaping and producing that program, press people in the unit put together an entire travel magazine.

“Our unit got training and experience that we wouldn’t get otherwise,” Crooks said.

Crooks said his unit was deployed the quickest of any unit. They were alerted on a Wednesday and activated a week later. Crooks said the most frustrating part of the experience was not knowing where they were going, what they would be doing, or how long they were expected to remain activated.

“The hardest thing was not knowing,” Crooks said. “For me, as first sergeant, it was difficult.” He indicated that others would come to him for explanations and although he would tell them what he knew, the plans would change frequently. First, the group expected to go to Iraq, later they were told they would be located somewhere else overseas and eventually they ended up at Ft. Riley, Kansas.

Although his unit is currently off active duty, he indicated that the Public Affairs unit could still be mobilized to serve in Iraq.

Crooks said one of the highlights was serving as an escort for Patrick Miller, one of the early POWs in Iraq, and the family of another soldier who was killed. These people were honored during a football game military appreciation day at the University of Kansas in what Crooks describes as a very emotional ceremony.

Crooks met the group before the game, accompanied them as they took the football out to the field, sat with the group in the press box during the game, and participated in the half-time show. Crooks even had the honor of calling the unit to attention to present arms during the national anthem. He then remained in the receiving line as people met Miller and the family members of the deceased soldier.

“People were thanking us for serving our country. I am by no means a hero. These people were the heroes and I was honored to be there,” Crooks said.

After serving his country through active deployment, Crooks now returns to serving BHSU as he prepares for the fall semester and returns to a routine at work and home.

Black Hills State will hold ribbon cutting for Meier Hall - top

Clare and the late Josef Meier

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Thursday, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m. for the newest building on the BHSU campus, the Clare and Josef Meier Hall, named to honor the founders of the Black Hills Passion Play.

The ribbon cutting and brief program, including a musical performance by BHSU faculty, will be held outside the main entrance near the southeast corner of the building. Johanna Meier, daughter of Clare and Josef Meier, will speak on behalf of the Meier family.

Clare and Josef Meier Hall, located in the center of the campus, is an $8.25 million 44,919 square foot building which includes a 300-seat recital hall, choir and band rooms, faculty studios, classrooms, soundproof practice rooms, conference rooms, instrument storage areas, keyboard, listening and piano labs and faculty offices. The building will be in use for the fall 2003 semester.

For more information contact Steve Meeker, vice president for Institutional Advancement, at 642-6385.








Registration for Black Hills State University is Sept. 2 - top

Black Hills State University is preparing for the fall 2003 semester. Classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 3.

Registration for students who have not yet registered for fall classes will take place Tuesday, Sept. 2. BHSU representatives will be available to help students register from 8 a.m. until noon in the Market Place of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.

Students who have preregistered may continue to make changes to their class schedule through Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Student Union Market Place. The last day to drop a non-block course with a refund is Sept. 12.

With the continued use of the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) system, the payment and financial aid disbursement time frame only includes two days. Students who completed all the paperwork for admissions and financial aid, including loan counseling, by Aug. 15 will receive refunds at fee payment if their aid is greater than their bill.

Students who have confirmed enrollment (with the enrollment verification card) and taken care of their bill in advance won’t need to check in. All other students should go through the payment and financial aid disbursement process. To keep payment lines as short as possible students are advised to follow the schedule, which is sorted by last name. If the schedule conflicts with a class, students should go through fee payment during an open time slot. All payments or financial arrangements must be made before 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4 or a late fee will be assessed. Classes will be released for students who have not checked in or returned the enrollment verification card by Sept. 4 at 4 p.m.

New students can move into the residence halls Monday, Sept. 1 at 8 a.m. Returning students may then move in Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. All students must check-in outside the Student Union before going to a residence hall for move-in. At check-in, new students will receive their student ID, room assignment card and other information. Residence hall move-in continues until 2 p.m.

Students can make arrangements for meal plans, parking permits and email and internet accounts Sept. 2-5 in the Student Union Market Place. Student IDs from last semester will be activated when students enroll. Replacement IDs are available in Woodburn Hall room 214 for a $10 charge.

For more information about fee payment or registration contact the enrollment office at 642-6044.

(According to last name)


Wed 9/3

Thurs 9/4

























Professor emeritus adds more than 2,000 specimens to large fungal collection at BHSU herbarium - top

The herbarium at Black Hills State University recently received 2,000 specimens of macrofungi, lichens and slime molds from professor emeritus Audrey Gabel and former students Elaine Ebbert, Kristie Lovett, Sarah Herrins, and Steve Mullen. The specimens represent many of the collections made in the past five years in Gabel’s study of the fleshy fungi of the Black Hills and surrounding area.

More than 250 new records 
fungal species from the 
Black Hills and the surrounding area and nearly all of the South Dakota state records are represented in the collection. Other herbaria of the state 
and surrounding region have 
no collections, or very limited 
Dr. Audrey Gabel, professor emeritus at Black Hills State University, and Elaine Ebbert, BHSU science graduate who now works for the Nature Conservatory, examine one of the fungi specimens in the BHSU Herbarium. Gabel recently added 2,000 specimens of macrofungi, lichens and slime molds to the collections. Gabel is also working on a field guide describing the mushrooms and other fungi of the Black Hills.
collections of fungi. The fungal collection will serve as baseline data for all future studies in the region, and as an indicator of forest health, climate and distribution of the fungi during the years of the collection.

This donation is a major contribution to the BHSU herbarium and increases the usefulness of the collection for current and future generations of students, land managers and researchers. Gabel expects the collections to become even more useful as DNA analysis becomes more prevalent.

Gabel explained that fungi are extremely important to the balance of life on Earth.  They, along with bacteria, serve as the major decomposers and recyclers of organic material. In addition, most fungi and nearly all plants have intimate relationships (mycorrhizae) that allow the plant to better take up water and essential elements. Fungi also protect plant roots from some other organisms. Many forest trees will die without the fungal association. The types of fungi present are good indicators of the health of the forest.

Gabel and a former student, Elaine Ebbert, are preparing a field guide describing the mushrooms and other fungi of the Black Hills. Steve Babbitt, BHSU associate mass professor, is serving as the photo editor. Linn Nelson, BHSU assistant mass communications professor, is design editor for the book which will be published by BHSU.

The field guide should be available from the BHSU Bookstore and other bookstores throughout the region in the spring of 2004.

The university’s herbarium was established shortly after the establishment of Dakota Territorial Normal School (which is now BHSU) in 1883. The earliest specimens in the collection date to the 1880s. The herbarium now holds more than 30,000 specimens and is growing rapidly. The general collection includes a large number of specimens from the Black Hills and the surrounding region.  Most of the specimens are angiosperms (flowering plants) with some gymnosperms (mostly conifers).  Almost all of the 1,500 species of plants from the region are represented in the collections.  Grasses are especially well-represented.

Many of the early specimens of the herbarium were collected by Frank L. Bennett, a faculty member from 1917-1949.  Other collectors include James Rominger, a faculty member in the late 1950s, and Myrtle Kravig, who added nearly 1,000 plants to the collection. Her collection of botanical books is also housed in the herbarium.  J. R. Thomasson, a faculty member from 1977-1982, contributed a number of extant and fossil specimens.  Collections of about 3,000 specimens by retired professor Mark Gabel are also present.

In addition to specimens from the Black Hills and the surrounding region, the herbarium contains specimens from many countries throughout the world. Many plants from the Hawaiian flora were given to the collection by Otto Degener. Degener is noted for publishing Flora Hawaiiensis. Another well-known contributor is P.A. Munz, author of California Flora.

The BHSU herbarium is home to one of the largest collections of Miocene age plant fossils from the Great Plains of North America. At least 10,000 individual fossils from throughout the Great Plains are housed there. Type collections of several fossil species from J.R. Thomasson and Mark Gabel are held in the collection. Grasses (Poaceae), hackberries (Celtis, Ulmaceae) sedges (Cyperaceae) and borages (Boraginaceae) are well represented.

The herbarium has grown rapidly in the last decade. An additional small room has been added which was immediately filled with specimens. Fossil plants were added to the collection beginning in the 1980s with the Mark Gabel collections.  Beginning in the late 1990s Audrey Gabel added specimens of macrofungi, lichens and slime molds.

For information about the herbarium contact the College of Arts and Sciences at

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