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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Great Project for Learning at Prescott College

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Natural History Institute
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2016 at 2:16 PM
Subject: We're excited--our herbarium is now online!
To: Graham Arader



Erin and Lisa look at Butterfly Milkweeds together

Now you can search inside the Natural History Institute’s herbarium (NHI) by going online
Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona—June 1, 3016

Our Big News—
Some of the most common inquiries we get about the Natural History Institute Herbarium (NHI) are people asking if we have a particular species of plant. Now, thanks to the hard work of many staff and students, anyone, anywhere can search inside the herbarium cabinets by first going online to the SEINet data portal athttp://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/.   

What is SEINet?
SEINet is like “Google” for herbarium specimens in the Southwest. The site has many features, including plant profiles, images, species lists, and an interactive map that shows where plant specimens were originally found.

Why would I use SEINet?
By going onto SEINet, you can find information on all of our 8,000+ plant specimens, most of which were collected in Arizona's Yavapai County sometime in the last 50 years. Searching our herbarium online may help patrons determine if their plant of interest is found in the herbarium, or if it grows in their region, and will help students and community members make decisions on which plants need to be collected and added to the herbarium.

What is an herbarium?
Our physical herbarium at the Natural History Institute on the Prescott College campus could be thought of as a plant library. Our seven cabinets are filled with plants that were pressed, dried, affixed to a large sheet of paper, and then filed according to plant family. Each herbarium sheet also includes a label that provides important documentation about where and when a plant was found on the landscape. Anyone may access the physical herbarium during our weekly open lab time of Wednesdays 1-5pm, and by appointment, at 310 Grove Avenue.

There is more to be done, and volunteers are needed
Right now all of our specimens have their names, and the date they were collected, entered into SEINet, however additional information on many of the specimens—like where the plants were found and in what habitats—still needs to be transcribed. We are already getting requests for more information on our plants. We could use your help! Once we’ve received enough volunteer inquiries, we will set up an orientation and help you get started. Entering habitat and location information into SEINet is easy and fun, and increases the scientific value of our specimens. Even two hours a week would be a big help. Plant enthusiasts the world over will thank you!

How to search NHI herbarium specimens on SEINet
A single search in SEINet can reveal information on plants found in dozens of herbaria all at once. To search inside the NHI herbarium alone, follow these easy steps:

1.) Go to this link: http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/collections/index.php
2.) Click on the blue box with the white check next to "Select/Deselect All"
3.) Scroll down and check the box next to "Prescott College Natural History Institute Herbarium"
4.) Scroll back up and click on "search" (in light green, to the right)
5.) Search for a specific plant or within a geographic area (keep in mind, only 1% of our specimens are georeferenced and will show up on the map, at least for now.) 

For more information on contributing specimens to our herbarium, accessing our herbarium online or in person, please e-mail us at naturalhistory@prescott.edu.

The Natural History Institute at Prescott College integrates art, science, and humanities to inspire harmonious relationships between humans and nature, through public programming, research, and education. We are located at 312 Grove Ave, off the northwest corner of Grove and Sheldon, in Prescott, AZ, on the creek-facing side of the building. If you see a pollinator garden in bloom, and a giant mural of local flora and fauna, you'll know you've found us.

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You can also find us online here --> www.NaturalHistoryInstitute.org
here --> https://instagram.com/naturalhistoryinstitute/
or here --> www.Facebook.com/NaturalHistoryInstitute


Integrating Art, Science and Humanities

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