Taxonomist Qualifications: How to evaluate?

Richard E. Hill REHill at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Jan 21 09:06:08 CST 1999


We recently had a discussion about the lack of quality of inexperienced
keyers compared to expert taxonomists.  I was disappointed in the
resutls of that discussion because I did not find cure in the messages.

Of course I understand the frustrations felt by many who have long had
the desire, and perhaps the work, without the pay.  I have been
promoting the case that we need to learn more about the species we want
to save, and the ecosystems they require.  Botanists deserve credit for
their success in protecting plants.  Mamalogists and ornithologists have
also done well.  Invertebrate biologists have much left to do.
Especially in the western US.

I need to find and evaluate potential qualified taxonomists to verify or
correct determinations of vernal pool invertebrates from the San Joaquin
Valley of California.  Please offer your wisdom...what makes a
taxonomist qualified?

The following list is not exhaustive, but provides a quick look at the
taxa considered by some to be important.  I know no one willing to look
at some of our material, and a few willing to look at others (sometimes
not willing to be recognized as an expert or an authority).  Your
thoughts will be appreciated.  (Contacts are also appreciated).  Thank
you for your comments and thoughts.

Turbellaria
Gastrotricha
Rotifera
Nematoda
Mollusca
Annelida
Tardigrada
Arthropoda
  Acari
  Insecta
     Ephemeroptera
     Odonata
     Trichoptera
     Hymenoptera
     Coleoptera
     Diptera
  Crustacea
     Ostracoda
     Cladocera
     Anostraca
     Notostraca
     Conchostraca
     Copepoda




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