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Abstract Detail

Colloquia: SERNEC: Four years of development of a herbarium Research Coordination Network

Murrell, Zack E. [1], Poindexter, Derick B. [1], Denslow, M.W. [1].

SERNEC: SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections - Progress and potential.

In the Information Age, the scientific community has a grand opportunity to amass very large datasets. To take advantage of this opportunity, scientists must develop efficient strategies for acquiring “legacy” data while continuing to generate new data. Within the museum community, collections vary from small personal collections, to teaching collections at various academic institutions, and research collections at universities and museums. These collections vary tremendously in terms of size, level of curation, and resource availability. Guidelines for appropriate data capture are widely available and new methods to increase throughput of data capture are under development. Given this progressive environment, the National Science Foundation funded the SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections ( to help mobilize the informatics effort for the 217 herbaria in the Southeast. We are in year four of a five-year project and can now identify areas of progress and impediment to advancement. One critical aspect of this project is the need for significant assistance from information technologists and computer scientists. Although most attention has been focused on curators, it is clear that there is a need to mobilize IT and CS specialists and to share their expertise. The fundamental issues of scale and efficiency can be addressed in various ways, using fundable units at the state or regional level, or even within specific taxonomic groups. As we wrestle with these issues within one taxonomic domain (i.e., plants), there appears to be significant opportunity for collaboration with other domains within the region to avoid redundancy of effort and expense.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
SERNEC Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections

1 - Appalachian State University, Department of Biology, Box 32027, Boone, North Carolina, 28608, U.S.A.


Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C3
Location: Ballroom C/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 1:00 PM
Number: C3001
Abstract ID:703

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