There were no changes in the primary objectives of the Intermountain Herbarium in 1999. They remain:
- Increase knowledge of plant diversity within the Intermountain Region
- Assist others conducting research on plants
- Increase the utility of the herbarium's database
- Develop identification tools to meet specific needs
- Increase interest in the region's flora by a conscious effort at outreach
Appendix A presents a summary of the herbarium's regular activities for 1995-1999. It shows increases in some areas of activity, decreases in others.These are discussed in more detail below.
There are two concerns for the herbarium at this time:
· The impact of collecting for the plant taxonomy course on the herbarium's resources.
In 1998, Barkworth requested $1000 from the Department of Biology to help defray the costs of obtaining and organizing material for use in the plant taxonomy class. She grossly underestimated the time required for this task and the amount of material needed to provide students with a semester's worth of experience in plant taxonomy.
- The location of the herbarium.
The present location of the herbarium, about 0.25 mi and across the street from any related academic department, creates several problems.Many students who could benefit from its resources do not become aware of the herbarium until late in their undergraduate studies; few faculty members use its resources; the herbarium has to duplicate many of the resources of the Biology office; it is impossible to use the department's secretarial resources, even during periods, such as the summer, when other demands on such resources are low; the herbarium and its staff have minimal visibility in the department. We have attempted to ameliorate some of the problems created by the herbarium's physical isolation, but any long term building plans for the Department of Biology should include a plan for bringing the herbarium into physical proximity with those academic departments which it serves.This will ensure that Utah State University, and the State of Utah, will receive greater benefit from the facility than at present.