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ACCOMPLISHMENTS

These are divided into five categories: increasing knowledge of plant diversity, assisting others in research, databasing, development of identification tools, and outreach.


Increase knowledge of plant diversity, particularly within the Intermountain Region

· 2,660 specimens were added to the collection during 2001, bringing the total number of accessioned specimens to 232,757. The average number for the previous four years was 2,645.

· Dr. Robert Fogel donated 250 specimens of fungi from the Intermountain Region to the herbarium. Among these specimens were a number of isotypes and paratypes.

· The effort to add geographic coordinates to records for specimens of North American grasses, begun in 2000, was continued in 2001. The grass records are used in plotting maps for the Manual project that are made available over the Web. Because records based on the herbarium’s holdings are shown in a different color from other records, these maps draw attention to the contribution of the Intermountain Herbarium.

· The Forage and Range laboratory donated four cabinets of specimens prepared in connection with research on the Triticeae that has been conducted by their personnel. Several cultivars developed from this research have been released for use in pasture improvement and revegetation.

· The Illinois Natural History Survey donated over 400 specimens of grasses from Kyrgyzstan, in return for identification by Barkworth. Many of the specimens are of species that also grow in the Intermountain Region. Those that are not help provide a context for evaluating species that are found in the region.

Staff Collecting Activity: Herbarium staff members collected a total of 344 specimens. This is considerably down from previous years. We are committed to increasing this number in future years, but it will require securing outside funding to support the work involved.

Dissemination of Results: Publications that reflect, in part, use of the herbarium are now posted to the Web. Maps showing the origin of the herbarium’s specimens were also posted to the Web to provide an indication of the scope of the herbarium’s holdings. Although not obvious, it also demonstrates that we have an unusually large number of specimens with geographic coordinates.

There have been no printed publications relating directly to development of the collection, but copies of portions of the database have been made available to various individuals in the form of a computer file. These are considered part of the herbarium’s service function.

Various faculty members have brought their students to her herbarium in connection with their classes. Some of these students involved have subsequently returned to make use of its resources.

Assist others in conducting research

· Staff members spent over 87 hours responding to inquiries during 2001. These inquiries are diverse in nature, ranging from requests for help in plant identification to suggestions as to references that would provide particular kinds of information.

This is a considerable decrease over previous years. As before, the cause is not easy to identify. One reason for the decline may be failure to recognize the importance of recording time spent in answering inquiries. It is also possible that people are now able to acquire some of the information they used to seek in the herbarium from the Internet, for instance, the authorities for a particular scientific name, or the general distribution of a species, can now be found over the Web.

· We continue to receive requests for locations where particular species have been found to which we respond with a digital file.

· Staff members have collected material for use in molecular studies by individuals at other institutions. In all cases, a voucher specimen is deposited in the Intermountain Herbarium and an additional specimen is sent to the receiving institution.

· Barkworth collected seeds of several Spanish species of Stipeae for use in work by the International Stipeae Working group. The seeds are being grown by Dr. Tom Jones of the USDA-Forage and Range Laboratory. Voucher specimens for the seeds are being deposited at the herbarium of the Argentinean Museum of Natural History, together with material preserved for anatomical study; material preserved for DNA studies was sent to the Australian National Museum.

· 233 specimens were sent on loan during 2001, and 257 were received. Most of those received were borrowed by Barkworth for work in connection with the

· There were 215 visits to the herbarium, a decrease over the average of 262 for the previous four years. Many of those that do find their way to the herbarium have complimented us on the facility and the assistance that they have received.

· Several books have been added to the herbarium library, many of which were donated by R.J. Shaw, Director Emeritus, and Barkworth, Director. Merrill Library continues to incorporate all additions to the herbarium's library into the university's integrated library catalog. There are now over 4,900 herbarium holdings in this catalog. These include books, maps, compact disks, and videos.. There is also a large number of reprints and photocopies that are not cataloged. The existence of a well-stocked reference library within the herbarium is a critical element in the herbarium’s claim to the status of “Major Regional Herbarium”.

· During 2001, 31 visits to the herbarium were made primarily to consult its library. This is a significant increase over the number of visits made in the previous year.

Increase the utility of the herbarium's database

· Kelly converted the herbarium database to Specify, a much more powerful, but also much more complex, program than we had previously been using. Because of the switch, data entry had to be halted for almost two months. This conversion will make the next step, implementation of the Web compatible version of Specify, easier. The Web version was shipped in January 2002. A major impetus for converting the database program was the desire to make the database Web-accessible. We are not there yet, but we are very much closer than we have ever been before.

· 4,667 records were added to herbarium database. The number would have been higher but the conversion to Specify made it impossible to enter data for approximately 8 weeks. As before, the added records come from newly accessioned specimens, newly annotated specimens, specimens being sent on loan, or specimens of species for which we had been asked to provide distributional information, but we have also made a conscious effort to database the grasses in the collection in order to improve the quality of the distributional information available to the Manual of Grasses for North America project. As noted earlier, we have also estimated the geographic coordinates for a large number of these grass specimens.

Develop identification tools to meet specific needs

· Kelly worked with students in a technical writing class taught by Dr. Kelli Cargile Cook to develop a compact disk for interactive identification of 44 of northern Utah’s common tree, shrub, and wildflower species. The CD also contains a gallery of selected photos from the herbarium’s slide collection.

· Piep (employed on the Manual project) developed an initial draft of a field guide to the macrofungi of northern Utah that was used in teaching Biology 2410.

Increase interest in the region's flora by a conscious effort at outreach

· Shaw led a training session for naturalists at Grand Teton National Park and led a group of emeriti around Tony Grove Lake.

· The herbarium provided flyers for display at the Utah Native Plant Society stand at the Logan Farmer’s Market. One benefit from this activity was acquisition of a volunteer, Dr. Eric Meyer who has been working about 8 hours a week in the herbarium since fall, 2001.

It is still our goal to offer professional workshops concerning the local flora, or groups in which herbarium staff members have particularly strong backgrounds, but the pressures of other obligations such as the Manual project effectively precluded such activities in 2001.

Another major deterrent is the lack of appropriate facilities within the herbarium. This means that any workshop offered could not take full advantage of the university’s most valuable resource for work in plant taxonomy, the Intermountain Herbarium; it also increases the effort required to offer work shops.


Home page. Report for 2001: Objectives, Activities, Plans, Publications, Practical results, Numerical summary