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Botanical Collaborative Receives $1.4 Million Grant

Posted on | January 28, 2011 | Comments Off

girl looking at plant specimen

Student examining a plant specimen from the Joseph F. Rock Herbarium.

Mānoa’s Department of Botany, in collaboration with the Bernice P. Bishop Museum and National Tropical Botanical Garden, has received $1.4 million from the National Science Foundation to develop a Consortium of Pacific Herbaria.

CPH is based at Mānoa’s Joseph Rock Herbarium and includes new collaborations between more than a dozen herbaria in Hawaiʻi, American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, Palau, Guam and Fiji. The network will manage plant and algal collections from the Polynesia-Micronesia biodiversity hotspot region. The Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot is a center of biodiversity that harbors approximately 5,350 native vascular plant species.

“The major goals of CPH include curating and digitally imaging nearly one million dried plant specimens from Polynesia, Micronesia and Fiji; creating a standardized plant checklist; and making collections data and digital images available online from a single web portal,” says Department of Botany Chair Tom Ranker.

“Increased access to digital data for plants and algae of the Pacific Basin through the CPH will create new regional research opportunities to discover and use collection data,” adds Michael Thomas, Joseph F. Rock Herbarium collections manager. Thomas referred to the partnership as “a milestone opportunity for regional collection managers and scientists to work together offering digital access to essential biological research collections.”

The project will develop an authoritative checklist of Latin and common plant names that will facilitate the research of biologists and work of land-use managers who monitor invasive and endangered species throughout the Pacific. Other initiatives include a new course in herbarium curation and plant identification workshops will be offered.

Read the news release.

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