Thursday, May 17, 2012

Volunteer Power: The New CNHP Wetland Mini-Herbarium

After several months of hard work and attention to detail from our awesome aspiring-botanist volunteers, we now have a mini-wetland herbarium at CNHP. As a result, Julie White, a wildlife biology major/restoration ecology minor at Colorado State University, has achieved five-star celebrity status at our wetlands program. She dedicated several hours per week of volunteer time for an entire semester to this project; sorting plants, updating nomenclature, and identifying high quality pressed specimens from 4 years of field survey plant samples. She has been involved in this project from beginning to end, her organizational skills are excellent, and there is no doubt she’s learned to sight-ID many wetland families and genera in the process.

CNHP volunteer Julie White completing the last bin from the herbarium project.
 Not only will this wetland herbarium be invaluable to botanical training for many field seasons to come, but an in-office wetland herbarium will streamline post-field plant identification. We expect that this new resource will save us huge amounts of time each year. Alex Dameron and Sere Williams were also key contributors who gave many volunteer hours to the earlier stages of the herbarium project. We can’t thank our volunteers enough for their generous time contributions and hard work!

This 4-foot stack of empty plastic bins was once full of pressed plants from many sites and years of field surveys. Now to our wetland team’s delight, these have been distilled into the best specimens of each species, organized and sorted by taxonomy for future reference!

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