Value/Cost of Collections

Les Kaufman lesk at BIO.BU.EDU
Fri Mar 27 10:13:51 CST 1998

A lot of the cost of a collection ins in the collecting.  American Airlines
lost a month of larval fish work in Jamaica once, and I complained to both
them and the insurance company that I had to go or send somebody back to
repeat the whole effort.  I was actually reimbursed and we did get more
specimens, minus the most valuable ones, which were caught by chance.
(Immediately after this my insurance policy was cancelled).  But in
reviewing some recent work in Africa, it occurred to me that a lot of
specimens are priceless because having gone through the experience of
getting them once, I'd never repeat the crazy stunts that it took to get
them, nor would I put anybody else at that risk.  I think such material
should be evaluated with some kind of surcharge for risk, like moon rocks.

Les Kaufman
Boston University Marine Program
Department of Biology
Boston University
5 Cummington Street
Boston, MA 02215

e-mail: lesk at
phone: 617-353-5560
fax:   617-353-6340

"It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back
to the tide pool again."
                        -J. Steinbeck and E. Ricketts

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