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PlantCollections A Community Solution An Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant Building Digital Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "PlantCollections A Community Solution An Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant Building Digital Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 PlantCollections A Community Solution An Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant Building Digital Resources

2 A collaboration between: Chicago Botanic Garden American Public Gardens Association North American Plant Collections Consortium University of Kansas Natural History Museum & Biodiversity Research Center

3 Project Design and Evaluation Plan Data from a single institution or small groups of institutions rarely contain enough information to support comprehensive analysis of evolutionary lineage, geographic region or environmental condition. Distributed networks achieve economies of scale because they represent coordinated, collaborative efforts among many institutions rather than a single-investigator or a single-institution project. PlantCollections is a coordinated community project that none of the participating institutions could implement or finance on their own. A Community Solution

4 National Impact and Intended Results The Chicago Botanic Garden and AABGA (APGA) will work with University of Kansas Biodiversity Research Center to adapt WASABI to access shared data resources held by living plant collections nationwide. This will enable collaborative research using previously tested technology and collaboration frameworks to create a distributed community information network of almost 47,100 plant taxa from 16 American botanic gardens and arboreta. Improvements in management and conservation will result from this work by identifying vacancies in existing plant collections.

5 National Impact and Intended Results Long-term impact will be to significantly improve the primary activity of botanic gardens and arboreta; collecting, studying and conserving living plants. Improve the process of collecting plants and will identify rare and endangered species with impacts on both in situ and ex situ conservation.

6 National Impact and Intended Results Application to multiple audiences nationally and internationally Interoperability of databases and a nationwide reach are primary objectives. Beginning with a small group (15) of botanic gardens and arboreta, the project will lay the groundwork for all interested APGA institutions with living plant collections to participate.

7 Assessment of Need Technological disparities between interested institutions and lack of institutional resources. Example: 23 NAPCC members use 9 different database management applications. Example: Institutions that do offer data on the Internet provide different fields of data and reference different taxonomic names (lumpers versus splitters) However, proven, readily available and relatively inexpensive software applications are no longer a limiting factor. Limiting Factors

8 Assessment of Need Curatorial: estimated at 500. Plant collections data is directly tied to assigned job duties. Taxonomy: estimated at 100. Systematic research on plant taxa depends upon having access to plants of known and varying provenances. Conservation: estimated at 500. Ex situ conservation is based upon plants in cultivation. This project will identify rare and endangered taxa in cultivation; and as importantly, identify those that need to be collected. Audiences

9 Weed Science: estimated at 1,000. Non-native plants held for long periods of time can advance the understanding of what characteristics predispose a taxa to become invasive versus simply weedy. Assessment of Need Ecology: estimated at 250. A growing number of botanic gardens and arboreta manage natural areas. These well documented collections of native taxa are ideal sites for the study of natural ecosystem functions. Horticulture: estimated at 3,000 – 5,000. Ongoing searches for new, improved or historic cultivars is a response to changing environmental conditions and landscape aesthetics. Audiences continued

10 Assessment of Need Education: estimated at 3,000 – 5,000. Easily accessed data contributes to the education of the next generation of plant scientists and environmental stewards. Visitors: in 2002, 5,760,450 visitors attended 10 of the leading botanic gardens. Visitors are the ultimate beneficiaries whenever botanic gardens and arboreta improve their collections management, conservation and plant diversity. Audiences continued

11 Project Design and Evaluation Plan Objectives: Develop a ‘federated schema’ for botanic garden data; don’t reinvent the wheel Install WASABI data providers at all participating institutions. Install at least one, (optimally 1 per institution) portal for accessing the data through the Internet. Establish a training protocol so new participants can maintain WASABI. Strengthen the relationships between the participating institutions and foster further sharing of information between members of the community and the public.

12 Sustainability Training of staff at each institution to handle ‘normal’ maintenance. Use IT ‘rich’ institutions as regional resources to support less ‘rich’ institutions after the grant funds are gone. 20 institutions are next in line to join; some of whom do not need financial support. Expand project to include zoo horticulture and institutions outside of the United States.

13 Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University Ganna Walska Lotusland The Huntington Library, Museum and Botanic Garden Highstead Arboretum Landis Arboretum Missouri Botanical Garden The Morton Arboretum Mt. Cuba Center, Inc.

14 United States National Arboretum Washington Park Arboretum Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College San Francisco Botanical Garden Santa Barbara Botanic Garden The North Carolina Arboretum, University of North Carolina Norfolk Botanical Garden

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