Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/202

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198

��POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

��trustees on October 28. On October 31 there was a university convocation, when President Butler made a commem- orative oration and degrees were con- ferred on distinguished alumni. There was a banquet of the alumni in the evening and various other gatherings. Perhaps the most interesting event, as witnessing the continual growth of the university, was the dedication of the building for physical education of Teachers College, erected and furnished at a cost of $400,000 and the laying of the cornerstones of a chapel, of a school of mines building and of two dormi- tories. The school of mines is built in the same general style as the four buildings for the sciences already erected. The dormitories must be ad- justed to a city environment, where land is expensive, the two city blocks on the side of which they stand having cost $2,000,000. In connection with the celebrations, there has been pub- lished by the Columbia Press a history of the university prepared by Dean Van Amringe and other authorities, which is a work of interest not only to alumni, but also to all who are concerned with the history of higher education in the United States.

THE FORESTS OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. Me. William L. Hall, in charge of forest extension of the Bureau of For- est ry, has drawn up a report on the forests of the Hawaiian Islands which is of some general interest. The for- ests are of two entirely different kinds, which in no case meet. Those near the sea-level consist of a single species, now covering at least fifty thousand acres, all of which sprang from a single algaroba tree, which grew from a seed planted in 1837. These forests have considerable economic value. They supply cord wood and posts, and live stock feed on the pods. The land occupied by these trees is mostly worth- less for any other purpose; they are so hardy and so fully appreciated by the people that they will be cared for with-

��out any special action on the part of the government.

The conditions are different in the case of the native forests, which cover or formerly covered the mountains of the islands. These forests, which con- sist of lehua, koa and other native trees are tropical in character, containing none of the familiar trees of the north temperate zone. The trees are not very valuable commercially, but the forests themselves are said to be of the utmost value in conserving the water supply of the islands. There is an abundant and luxuriant undergrowth with a great quantity of humus, pos- sessing an enormous capacity for hold- ing water. When the forests are cleared, either purposely or by accident, there is danger that there will not be enough water conserved to supply the sugar plantations. These supply the chief industry of the islands, the ex- ports of sugar being valued at some $25,000,000, ninety-six per cent, of the total exports of the islands. The for- ests have in part been destroyed in a curious way. Cattle were introduced into the islands in the eighteenth cen- tury and Avere turned out to run at large. They trampled down and ate the undergrowth, without which the ground dries up and the shallow-rooted trees die. Goats, pigs and deer also run wild in the forests. In view of the conditions cooperation of some character is essential, and the people of Hawaii have through their legis- lature passed a bill creating a forest reservation, and appropriating $28,000 annually for its\ support. A trained forester has been appointed, and the work is being carried forward with the cooperation of the Division of Forestry of the Department of Agriculture.

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS. Professor Clemens A. Winckler, the eminent chemist, died at Dresden on October 8, at the age of sixty-six years. — Professor Nils Finssen, of Copenhagen, known for his discovery of the light cure for lupus, died on Sep-

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