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Abstract Detail


Murrell, Zack E. [1].

SERNEC: a regional herbarium network; history, progress and challenges.

The SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC) is comprised of 233 active herbaria in 12 states in southeastern North America. The group is of interest as a case study in development of human infrastructure to generate regional scale research and teaching capabilities. SERNEC grew out of annual gatherings of regional herbarium curators at the Association of Southeastern Biologists meeting. The inclusion of “Expertise” in the SERNEC acronym was utilized to acknowledge that the taxonomic and curatorial capabilities were as undervalued as the herbarium specimens themselves. The SERNEC NSF-supported Research Coordination Network (RCN) provided support from 2005-2011 for training and idea exchange among the curators in the Southeast. Our more recent NSF-supported Thematic Collection Network (TCN), with funding from 2014-2018 for 94 herbaria and six Information technology entities, provides us with a technical infrastructure to capture herbarium images and transfer them to various portals, where they can be transcribed and georeferenced. This effort includes Symbiota, GEOLocate, Notes from Nature, Specify and iPlant as web and software based entities that provide our “data pipeline”. There are currently 61 collections serving data through the SERNEC portal, providing 945,518 specimens records with 84,601 (9%) of those records georeferenced. Of the total records, 91,830 are skeletal or partial records and 114,622 specimen images are available. During year 1, the project provided mentoring for 5 graduate students, 43 undergraduates, 2 post baccalaureates, 1 technician (collections manager), and 1 postdoctoral student -- all trained in museum protocols. The ultimate goal of the NSF TCN effort is to use this pipeline to link the scientific expertise of the curators with their affiliate users, such as state and federal agency scientists and consulting biologists in the private sector, with the greater public through the World Wide Web. Our concept is to build synergy among the curators and affiliates and interface this collaboration with the greater public. Together, our intention is to engage this human infrastructure in building a specimen-based research engine that can generate regional scale research capabilities.

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Related Links:

1 - APPALACHIAN ST UNI, Department Of Biology, 572 RIVERS ST. RANKIN SCI BLDG, BOONE, NC, 28608, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 47, Systematic Methods, Herbarium Digitization & Floristics
Location: 203/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Time: 4:45 PM
Number: 47013
Abstract ID:896
Candidate for Awards:None

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