Ronald William Hodges, 83, died at his home in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday, December 10, 2017. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine Rita Snyder Hodges, after 39 years of marriage. Ron was born on August 7, 1934, in Lansing, MI, an only child to parents Elma and Lester Hodges, and became interested in Lepidoptera at age six upon finding a freshly emerged Luna moth in the backyard of his Michigan home. He stated his intent to update Holland’s “Moth Book” as a ninth grader. He received his BS degree in 1956 and his MS degree in 1957 from Michigan State University, where he was strongly influenced by Roland Fischer. He went to Cornell University to work with John Franclemont. During this period he did extensive field work in New York, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, and Ecuador. He became deeply interested in the microlepidoptera, particularly the Gelechioidea, and was awarded a PhD degree in 1961. He received a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and commenced to work on genera of Gelechiidae. This project was interrupted when he accepted a position with the Systematic Entomology Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service located in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. He had several roles in the Laboratory, including laboratory chief. He stepped down from this position to continue field and laboratory research on gelechioid moths. At the Smithsonian, he met Elaine, a scientific illustrator, and they married in 1967; Ron adopted her two sons, Steven and Larry. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association for Zoological Nomenclature (president 1993-95), American Entomological Society, Entomological Society of America, Entomological Society of Canada, Entomological Society of Ontario, Entomological Society of Washington (honorary member, 1999), Michigan Entomological Society, the Lepidoptera Research Foundation, the Lepidopterists’ Society (president 1975-76), Maryland Entomological Society (president 1973-74), Ohio Lepidopterists, Northwest Lepidoptera Society, Sigma Xi, and Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica. He received the Thomas Say Award from the Entomological Society of America for his editorial oversight of Moths of North America in 1990, the Karl Jordan Medal from the Lepidopterists’ Society for research on gelechioid moths in 1997, and he was elected an honorary member of the Entomological Society of Washington in 1999. Ron was active until retirement in the Washington Biologists’ Field Club since being elected in 1963. He was president from 1976 to 1979 and participated on various committees and work and field days. He was for many years the lead cook in the kitchen. In 1997, Ron and Elaine retired to Eugene, Oregon, where he continued to work on moths (an illustrated, annotated key to genera of North American Gelechiidae) and, until 2011, to edit and publish The Moths of America North of Mexico. Gardening with a highly diverse array of plants and developing and maintaining a collection of mainly pleurothallidine orchids also have interested him in retirement. In his spare time, Ron gardened a highly diverse array of plants, enjoyed classical music and paired gourmet meals and wonderful wines. Survivors include Steven and Susan Hodges of Santa Barbara, California, and Lawrence Hodges of Germantown, Maryland; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; his cousin Ann Haseltine of Ishpeming, MI; and Elaine’s siblings and their families; . Ron will be remembered for his big heart and generosity. He loved to share his garden, food, wine, music passions with his many friends and family. Sensitive to every dangling participle, “can I?” and “may I?” were distinguished, as were the salad and dinner forks. He is missed.
Our member Dan Nicolson died on June 2, 2016. He will be greatly missed by all members
To: WBFC Board
From: Neal Woodman, Chair of the Research Committee
Subject: FY-2017 semi-annual report on activities of the Research Committee
Committee Members: Ralph Eckerlin, John Lill, Suzanne Peurach, June Wen.
The Research Committee accepts and reviews proposals for funding to support research on the natural history of the Mid-Atlantic Region. The committee encourages proposals that focus on the Potomac drainage, with particular emphasis on research on, or directly related to, the natural history of Plummers Island.
Individual research awards have a maximum limit of $5,000, although the committee welcomes small projects with lower funding requests. WBFC Research Awards may not be used for principal investigator salaries or publication costs. Individuals can apply directly to the WBFC Board for financial assistance with publication expenses related to research of interest to the WBFC.
Publications from WBFC Grants
We currently have documentation of WBFC support for 18 publications in an impressive array of journals that includes Oecologia, Animal Welfare, Marilandica, Ethology, and Evolution.
Please remember to send electronic copies of publications resulting from research funded by WBFC to the chair of the Research Committee.
2017 WBFC Research Awards
The deadline for the receipt of proposals for the 2017 WBFC Research Awards was January 15, 2017. The Research Committee was authorized by the Board at its April 2016 meeting to increase spending up to $30,000, but with the actual amount to be determined annually by the Committee Chair in consultation with the Treasurer regarding overall spending objectives of the WBFC. Based on current financial conditions, actual funding by the Research Committee remained at an upper limit of $20,000.
Response to the 2017 call for proposals was good. The committee received 16 complete proposals for a total of $61,239 in requested funds. The average request was $3,827, with a range from $900 to $4995. From these, the Research Committee voted to fund 9 proposals (56%) in part or in full for a total of $20,000.
Awards are officially made for one year, although funds are available until January 1 of the following year. After that date, any remaining funds revert back to WBFC. Hence, 2016 funds will be available to awardees through 1 January 2018; 2015 awards are available through 1 January 2017. Unspent funds from awards made in 2014 and earlier have reverted back to WBFC and the accounts closed.
An annual report for the 2016 research awards will be due January 1, 2018, unless a final report has already been submitted. See grants awarded section to view.
“The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was established in 1948 and is the highest award that can be granted to a career employee within the Department of the Interior. The award recognizes employees for outstanding contributions to science; outstanding skill or ability in the performance of duty; an eminent career in the Department; an outstanding record in administration; an outstanding contribution to equal opportunity in government; an outstanding contribution to energy conservation; or any other exceptional contribution to the public service.”
Al came to NMNH in 1973, and his record of service both to the Department of the Interior and to the Smithsonian Institution have been truly remarkable in scope and impact. Please join me in congratulating Al for this honor, so richly deserved.
Dates have been set for the following events so that you may plan to be there:
Autumn 2017, Work Day: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Autumn 2017, Oyster Roast: Saturday, November 4, 2017 (rain date: November 5)
WBFC members are encouraged to bring their own coffee mug to Shad Bake and Oyster Roast.
Remember the Shad Bake is always the Saturday closest to May 1st and the Oyster Roast is always the Saturday closest to November 1st, unless otherwise notified.