Continuing from Part 1, this post documents the ongoing process of accessioning a large donation corresponding to the Ira Nadborne insect collection. Having frozen all donated material for an entire week, we can now safely sort through the specimens and curate them into our main collection. The first part of this journey is to determine which specimens we are keeping, and to move them out of their dermestid frass-filled boxes.
Posts tagged ‘collection’
Earlier this month (December, 2014), ASU’s Hasbrouck Insect Collection received a valuable permanent loan of ca. 11,500 specimens (50 drawers) pertaining to 115 species of Orthoptera – grasshoppers. This valuable contemporary collection was transferred to us from the USDA-PPQ group in Lincoln, Nebraska, through an effort led by Larry Jech and Timothy Miller. The transfer arrangement is part of a collaboration that ASUHIC and the USDA Center for Plant Health Science Technology – Phoenix Lab started in 2014. Our collection will further curate and digitize these specimens to facilitate access by interested parties.
Today marked our first full day of work to transfer a very generous donation to the ASUHIC from David Ceizyk (and family). The Ceizyk donation contains large amounts of material originally from the Collection of Ira Nadborne, a long-time collector whose collection is rumored to number around 2,000,000 specimens. This post is the first of a series which will show not only the progress of processing this donation, but also walk through the steps of accessioning; that is, bringing new material into a research collection. View Part 2 here.
1. The Nadborne material
Pictured above is perhaps a fifth of the material contained in this large collection. Many of the specimens are pinned into various boxes (Schmidt boxes, Cornell drawers, European style museum boxes, and a vast array of homemade cardboard storage boxes). A large number of specimens are also unmounted, and stored between sheets of paper in the boxes seen on the left of the aisle.
(Front row left to right: Stefan Sommer, Joe Cook, Neil Cobb)
(Back row left to right: Melvin Foster, Corey Welch, Gary Albert, Melody Basham, Ed Galindo, Beverly Maxwell)
Education and Outreach specialist Melody Basham spent this past weekend (August 16-17, 2014) in Flagstaff attending an AIM-UP workshop at Northern Arizona University (NAU) where the focus was on natural history collections as teaching tools serving undergraduate Native Americans. Joe Cook from the University of New Mexico is the Principal Investigator of this National Science Foundation funded program: http://www.aim-up.org/ (“Advancing integration of Museums into Undergraduate Programs”) which has been active for the past four years in developing learning modules that connect and teach undergraduates using natural history collections. This past weekend scientists, students, and educators and representatives from several Native American tribes attended the workshop aimed at addressing the challenges and needs to involve and retain undergraduate Native American students in the natural sciences.
This week has been the most productive of my summer so far. While it is wonderful and necessary to spend time in the field, the same amount of time spent in a collection allows you to benefit from the generations of workers who came before you. This week I have been imaging the type specimens of Eleodes Eschscholtz held at the USNM (Smithsonian Natural History Museum) insect collection.
The value and importance of natural history collections cannot be overstated. Even specimens which some would assume have very little value often turn out to be quite important to future work. One such instance is the story of Eleodes compositus Casey 1891, pictured above.
Indeed, we hauled. More than 2,000 insect drawers, in fact, from the old to the new location in the Alameda Building (734 W Alameda Drive) where they will find their new and permanent home. Follow this link to see additional “moving” images from April 15, 2014. It was a lot of hard, physical work but went very smoothly. Now it is time to get settled into the new place.
Very special thanks to Andrea, Andrew, Charlotte, Catherine, Chelsey, David, Guanyang, Lin, Melody, Naomi, Ray, and Sarah for all your tireless help!
The Hasbrouck Insect Collection had its new system of compactors installed last week. The collection is thereby doubling its storage capacity, compared to the (pre-) 2011 infrastructure. Dramatic upgrades that validate our efforts and the support given to the insect collection by many entities and people. Tuesday, April 15, is our big moving day when all ~1800 insect drawers will make the trip to the Alameda Building. Stay tuned for more; as previously we are documenting the process of moving and new developments on our Flickr page .