[HERBARIA] accreditation of herbaria

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Thu Sep 4 10:11:31 CDT 2003

At 09:57 AM 9/4/03 -0500, Alison Mahoney wrote:

 >>My herbarium will likely never have a full-time curator<<

Um, that's *you*, isn't it?

I know you have teaching and other duties, but the point is, you are a
full-time employee responsible for curation.  That would seem to be a
"full-time curator" even if you only get a few hours a week to work on
collections directly.  If by "full-time curator" we mean someone with
SOLELY curatorial duties, a LOT of herbaria would fail to qualify.

Tom Lammers

>  and I'll be lucky to get transient student
>staff.  If accreditation of the facility becomes the means of judging
>its value, I'll lose the meager support I currently have.  Knowledge of
>and respect for herbaria should be an integral part of all biology
>curricula, especially at the university level.  A small herbarium's
>primary value may be in giving students first-hand experience with plant
>collection, curation, and research.  If we let the small herbaria go,
>loss of interest in the big ones will only accelerate.
>Dr. Alison M. Mahoney
>Department of Biological Sciences
>Minnesota State University-Mankato
>242 Trafton Science Center South
>Mankato, MN 56001
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Deb Trock [mailto:trock at msu.edu]
>Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 8:30 AM
>To: herbaria at scarab.science.oregonstate.edu
>Subject: [HERBARIA] accreditation of herbaria
>1) Is accreditation a good idea?
>It seems to me that for some herbaria accreditation could be a bad idea.
>We are talking about criteria like growth, full-time curators,
>etc. etc.  Those are certainly all things to strive for.
>But wouldn't these kinds of requirements simply drive some of the
>herbaria out of existance?
>1) Some of them are not growing, but the collections are still valuable.
>2) A small herbarium may have only a part-time curator, or a curator who
>an ecologist or specializing in some other field, but that may be
>for the circumstances.
>3) At small institutions, publication may not be an important component
>their overall position - i.e. schools that emphasize teaching over
>The original reason for starting this list is to try to keep from losing
>herbaria no matter how large or small.  Placing even more administrative
>requirements on already overtaxed curators and collections managers
>be a detriment.
>Just playing devil's advocate!!
>Dr. Debra Trock, Assistant Curator, MSU Herbarium
>166 Plant Biology
>Michigan State University
>East Lansing, MI  48824-1312
>Phone: 517-355-4696
>FAX: 517-353-1926
>email:  trock at msu.edu
>HERBARIA mailing list
>HERBARIA at scarab.science.oregonstate.edu
>HERBARIA mailing list
>HERBARIA at scarab.science.oregonstate.edu

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at uwosh.edu
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and biogeography
of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

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