Crowdfund UC Davis thanks all of the donors who gave to this important project in October. This campaign has closed, but we are grateful for your support!
The flora of Africa, particularly in the sub-Saharan tropics, is bio-diverse and listed as one of the world’s “hotspots for conservation.”
Here at the Center for Plant Diversity, UC Davis’ herbarium, among our collection of 300,000 dried plant specimens from around the world, are approximately 750 specimens from Africa, including East Africa (Madagascar, Tanzania), West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Nigeria, and Gabon), North Africa (Egypt, Algeria, Morocco), as well as South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Our specimens have been collected over decades by our faculty and students, such as Grady Webster’s Euphorbiaceae collection, or acquired through specimen exchange with other North American herbaria. Typically, researchers come here to use our specimens as a reference tool for identifying plant species, and to study their variation. The problem for researchers working on African botany in Africa is that our specimens are housed far from where they are most needed.
We would like our specimens to become part of a new global movement of “virtual repatriation” of African plant knowledge through digital dissemination of specimen images and label information over the internet. Providing specimen images and data-free online both enhances the information available for research and conservation projects on African plants and improves the value of collections such as ours through their use in more projects. We propose to turn participation in this global effort into a local hands-on learning project for undergraduate students, funded by you!
About the fund request:
Through participating in the African Plant Specimen Imaging project, our students will gain experience in a range of museum curator activities, and find satisfaction in being the manager of their own start-to-finish project. This fund covers the time of one or more interns, over the period of several months, to complete the series of tasks involved in transforming physical specimens into an online data trove.
Thank you from the Crowdfund Team at the Center for Plant Diversity:
--Alison, Teri, Jennifer, Dan, and Summer
Your gift of $5 will cover the entire process cost of posting the image and data of one African plant specimen online.
Your gift of $25 will pay for the imaging training session of our African Specimen Imaging Project intern.
Your gift of $75 will cover the cost of the imaging and data capture of 20 African plant specimens.
Your gift of $125 will take a big bite out of the collections reorganization needed for this project, allowing us to locate and refile 25% of our African collections in dedicated folders.