What is a species steward? A species steward can be anyone who has specific knowledge of a particular species, or is just interested in a particular species. The LSF wants its members to become involved and share their knowledge and their passion for Lilium species, share that with other members of the group, and we want to publish your work.
Here's how it works. Go to the species database page and read it. Be sure to understand what a species is first (as opposed to a hybrid lily frequently grown and sold at a nursery). Then scroll down and look for any species that isn't already underlined in blue, indicating there's already an active page for it. If you see a species you have expert or specific knowledge about, contact us at @izunamyojin and @gordonhogenson. We will give you access to contribute to the site. If the page is already active, and you would like to co-author with another Species Steward who is already stewarding that species, contact the author or us for more specific instructions. Or maybe your passion is researching the genus Lilium from a broader perspective, either as a passionate cultivator, or as an academic researcher. Husbandry of the genus Lilium, or more specific pursuits, like DNA analysis of the genus, population genetics (what is related to what), or studying the metabolic differences between wetland and dryland lilies; what role pollinators play in flower morphology, etc. The possibilities are endless. But we need members who are passionate about lily species and who have an itch to dig in and investigate.
First, this isn't Wikipedia, it's not open source. This is a professional, academic group and the work published must meet academic standards. What that means is this. We use the scientific method when researching and writing. You might think you know all there is to know about a certain species. I promise you, you don't. The Buddha said the quest for all truth begins with the affirmation, I do not know. This is how we must approach each species. Humbly, with an open mind. Use the scientific method to guide you. You must cite your sources (don't just copy and paste, that's plagiarism). If you're not sure how to do academic research, or what the scientific method is, or how write academic papers, here are some websites that can help you. Scientific papers are not literary works of art. There is a way to write scientific papers, and it's not very flashy, but it is specific to the science and serves it's purpose. Before your post can be finalized and published, your work will be peer-reviewed. That sounds daunting, but it's not that bad. All that means is a fresh pair of unbiased eyes and synapses to review your research and offer feedback. We might want to know more about where you got your information, or your sources, or point out an aspect of the topic you didn't consider. More likely, we might point out contradictions, or offer constructive criticism. No one is trying to show you up or one-up you. That's not what the LSF is about. It's about a passion for knowledge and understanding of Lilium species, their cultivation, and most importantly, their preservation. We're here to support each other, and learn from one another.
So if you, or you and a friend, are interested in sponsoring a Lilium species, let us know. There's so much information already out there that just needs to located and dusted off and made available. That in and of itself is a huge undertaking. The amount of knowledge on any one species that can be researched and shared is so vast that you could study a single species and never discover all there is to discover about it. We hope you are as obsessed with lily species as we are. And we invite you to geek out with us, and become true hortophiles and lily nerds. Really, you know there's nothing like being at a party and being the only lily species geek in the room. Who else would expound the LSF creed better than its members.