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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Wilkinson-Lamb, Sara [1], Barkworth, Mary E. [2], Gayou, Sean Anthony [3].

Specimens and Inmates: A synergy that benefits many.

Herbarium specimens are information-rich records of plant and fungal material that are essential to development of the taxonomic knowledge and critical to biodiversity. In 2012, the Intermountain Herbarium was the fortunate recipient of a private collection consisting of nearly 4,000 specimens, donated by Tim and Sally Walker. Understanding that providing knowledge of preserved specimens is an invaluable resource for conducting scientific research, preserving information and providing data to projects for decades, if not centuries, we decided to assess some of the ways in which the Walker collection had enhanced the holdings of the Intermountain Herbarium. Inmates at the Daggett County Jail, supervised by Wilkinson-Lamb, the adult education specialist assigned to the jail, entered label information from the specimens into an Access database, from which the records were uploaded to the online herbaria network by Barkworth. Barkworth then downloaded all UTC records in the network and a select team of inmates used Access to analyze that entire database. They found that over 1000 taxa were represented in the collection only by specimens collected by the Walkers. We are also examining how many new geographic areas are represented in the collection as a result of the Walker’s donation. Herbarium digitization and the assistance of the inmates to determine the unique aspects of the Walkers’ donation and to inform others of the existence of these specimens, many of which are of species whose distributions were poorly understood before the Walkers rediscovered them. Digitization also increases the visibility of these records, both nationally and internationally, making it possible for others to access the information they contain and request a loan of specimens that interest them. The Walker collection has significantly increased the holdings of Utah State University's Intermountain Herbarium and the willingness of inmates to work on databasing has made it possible to make information from the specimens available in a timely manner.

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1 - Dagget County School District, Adult Education, PO Box 118, Manila, UT, 84046, USA
2 - Utah State University, Department Of Biology, 5305 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT, 84322-5305, USA
3 - 4009 South 1100 East, Holladay, UT, 84124, USA

new taxa.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 34
Location: Salon 9/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 34010
Abstract ID:706
Candidate for Awards:None

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