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The Northwest Indian College Herbarium Brian D. Compton, Ph.D., Sheila McCoy, si ˀ ic, Cathy Ballew, Robindawn Hamilton and Terry Phair Native Environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "The Northwest Indian College Herbarium Brian D. Compton, Ph.D., Sheila McCoy, si ˀ ic, Cathy Ballew, Robindawn Hamilton and Terry Phair Native Environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Northwest Indian College Herbarium Brian D. Compton, Ph.D., Sheila McCoy, si ˀ ic, Cathy Ballew, Robindawn Hamilton and Terry Phair Native Environmental Science Program Northwest Indian College, Lummi Nation, Washington Background Northwest Indian College is one of 37 tribal colleges and universities affiliated with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). It is the only regional tribal college with its main campus located at the Lummi Nation and several extended campus instructional sites located in the Pacific Northwest. The college has provided academic services to students representing more than 100 tribal entities in the United States and Canada. Since its inception in 1973 as the Lummi Indian School of Aquaculture, the college has evolved in terms of its academic programs of instruction. It currently offers associate’s and baccalaureate degrees in Native Environmental Science. Botanical instruction and research at the college has included the development and delivery of a course initially focused on local vascular plant identification (ENVS 201, Northwest Plants) and subsequent instruction and projects emphasizing botany. These developments led to the creation of the Northwest Indian College Herbarium (Fig. 1). Purpose & Rationale The purpose of the Northwest Indian College Herbarium is to house a collection of accurately identified botanical specimens representative of the flora of significance to local tribes along with associated information, materials, tools and resources to support botanical teaching and research at Northwest Indian College. In addition to the inherent value in helping students to learn more about the natural world around them, this facility and its collections contribute to students’ learning about the roles of plants in traditional and contemporary Native culture and community. It is associated with ongoing student, faculty and tribal research projects and has the potential to expand in the future in response to teaching, research and cultural needs. Future The herbarium at Northwest Indian College can support future botanical efforts of students interested in topics such as bryology, ecology, ethnobotany, lichenology, mycology, phycology and plant phenology. Preliminary discussions with the Collections Manager of the University of Washington Herbarium have included the possibility of working with and possibly housing the Erna Gunther ethnobotanical specimen collection which currently resides in offsite storage in Seattle, WA. Continued expansion of the herbarium collections may include additional vascular plants, algae, bryophytes, fungi, and lichens. In addition, the collections may increasingly relate to local environmental features and concerns and help to support the AAS and BS programs in Native Environmental Science at Northwest Indian College. Literature Cited Collecting herbarium specimens. ( ). Retrieved August , from Botanical Research Institute of Texas website: press/nctexasflora/collecting/ Constantine Proietto: Contributo allo studio delle rose presenti in Italia nel XVI secolo [Constantine Proietti: Contribution to the study of present roses in Italy in the sixteenth century]. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2011, from Luca Ghini. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2011, from Wikipedia website The Navajo Nation Herbarium. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2011, from Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife website: Ross, C. D. (2007, Summer). Preliminary botanical inventory of Lummi Reservation sites. Speech presented at Northwest Indian College, Lummi Nation, Bellingham, WA. Acknowledgements Thanks to the following people who have offered their assistance and guidance regarding the development of the Northwest Indian College Herbarium: David Giblin, Ph.D., Collections Manager, University of Washington Herbarium, Seattle, WA; Judith Harpel, Museum Research Associate, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, WA; Olivia Lee, Collection Manager, Lichens, Bryophytes and Fungi, University of British Columbia Herbarium, Vancouver, BC; and Peter Thut, Stockroom Supervisor/Instruction and Classroom Support Technician, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA. Through their interest in plants and generous efforts, the following students have contributed substantially to the development of the Northwest Indian College Herbarium and its associated projects: Cathy Ballew, Jack Dunn, Robindawn Hamilton, Rosa Hunter, Sheila McCoy, si ˀ ic, Terry Phair, Chelsea Ross, Holly Williams and many other students in ENVS 201, Northwest Plants. Thanks also to Mark Moss, Native Environmental Science Faculty and GIS Program Manager, Northwest Indian College for assistance in the production of this poster. Funding in support of the herbarium and related student research has been provided by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense. What is an Herbarium? The first herbarium is attributed to Luca Ghini ( ), who created an hortus siccus (Latin for “dry garden”), drying plants by pressing them between sheets of paper and gluing them onto cardboard (Luca Ghini, n.d.). Ghini’s herbarium no longer exists, but an herbarium produced by Ghini’s pupil Gherardo Cibo based upon collections made between and bound into five book-like volumes has survived until today (Constantine Proietto: Contributory, n.d.). Carl Linnaeus ( ), who established the foundations for modern binomial nomenclature choose instead to mount his specimens on loose sheets that could be organized horizontally and rearranged to allow for the inclusion of additional specimens (Collecting Herbarium Specimens, ). Modern herbaria comprise collections of (usually) pressed dried plant specimens identified in scientific terms, organized according to an established taxonomic arrangement and stored for optimal preservation. The specimens document plants in time and space. They contain information regarding anatomical, phytochemical, molecular, ecological and ethnobotanical information as well as representing historical aspects of investigations regarding plants. In addition, they contain valuable information for future consideration as conditions change and new research questions and technologies emerge. The first tribal college herbarium is the Navajo Nation Herbarium, which was established in 2003 and is currently the only tribal college herbarium to be listed in the Index Herbariorum (The Navajo Nation, n.d.). Development Student field collections made as part of the ENVS 201, Northwest Plants course formed the basis for the herbarium’s collections. As this collection grew in size so did its value as a permanent collection for use in teaching and research. Beginning in the summer of 2007, students began to learn about herbarium development and curation in addition to aspects of local plant collection and identification. Chelsea Ross’ 2007 summer science internship project was the first to combine a dual focus on an inventory of local botanical species and herbarium development and curation (Ross, 2007). Several other students have now participated in the further development of the NWIC Herbarium through their engagement in ENVS 201 coursework throughout the year and by participating in summer botany internships involving plant collections. During the summer 2011 science internship program Sheila McCoy, si ˀ ic has assisted in the digital documentation of the herbarium specimens and Robindawn Hamilton has assisted field researchers Rosa Hunter, Terry Phair, Sheila McCoy, si ˀ ic and Cathy Ballew on botanical research projects and voucher specimen identification and preparation based upon standard methods and expert advice (Fig. 3). Past & Current Projects In addition to field collections of ENVS 201 students, the herbarium includes botanical collections associated with the following projects: Preliminary Inventory of Lummi Reservation Sites by Chelsea Ross (2007) Smuggler’s Slough Biodiversity Baseline Study: Summer 2009 by Jack Dunn and Charlotte Clausing (2009) The Significance of Vascular Plants in Cherry Point Salt Marsh by Rosa Hunter, Justin Johnny, Mariya Williams, La Belle Urbanec, B.S. and Brian D. Compton, Ph.D. (2010) Bryophytes of Whatcom County, Washington by Jack Dunn (2011) Ethnobotany of semexws (Smuggler’s Slough) Summer 2011 by Sheila McCoy, si ˀ ic (2011) Botany of Picture Lake, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest by Holly Williams (2011) Botany of semexws (Smuggler’s Slough) Summer 2011 by Terry Phair, Robindawn Hamilton, Cathy Ballew, Sheila McCoy, si ˀ ic and Brian D. Compton, Ph.D. (2011) Tardigrades Associated with Bryophytes in the Pacific Northwest by Rosa Hunter (2011) 9 Dangerous Plants of semexws, Smuggler’s Slough 2011 by Cathy Ballew (2011) Collections Having roots in student field collections associated with coursework, the herbarium’s collections primarily consist of local vascular plants collected during the spring season when ENVS 201 has traditionally been offered. As that course has begun to be offered in other academic quarters, the collections have expanded to include plants at different stages of growth, including several woody species representing dormant material useful in teaching winter twig identification. The collections now comprise hundreds of specimens which are being added to by 2011 summer science interns in botany (Figs. 4-6). They are currently housed in SCI-1 (Biology Room) in the Science Building (Bldg. 11) on the north side of the Lummi Campus. Many herbarium activities also take place in NES 113 in the Native Environmental Science Building (Bldg. 16) on the south side of the Lummi Campus. Materials & Resources The herbarium includes standard collection and identification tools and materials, specimen preparation materials, a wide range of dissecting, compound and digital microscopes, and taxonomic references useful for the identification of Pacific Northwest flora. It also contains a reference library consisting of the following titles and other resources: Flora of North America (all published volumes) Flora of the Pacific Northwest Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest (5 volumes) The herbarium is further supported with numerous plant taxonomy volumes held in the collections of the Lummi Library, including: California Mosses Lichens of North America Mosses and Other Bryophytes: An Illustrated Glossary The herbarium also includes a website hosted by Northwest Indian College at.http://blogs.nwic.edu/herbariumblog/ Fig. 1: Herbarium specimen storage cabinets, specimens and computer for digital recordkeeping Fig. 2: Plant specimens pressed and dried Fig. 3: Botany interns getting expert advice on how to mount specimens from Dr. David Giblin, Collections Manager at the University of Washington’s herbarium Fig. 5: Botany interns identifying specimens Fig. 6: Botany interns sorting specimens for storage in herbarium cabinets Fig. 4: Botany interns collecting specimens in a quadrat at semexws (Smuggler’s Slough) as part of ongoing research involving changes in vegetation in the slough associated with restoration efforts


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