Quantcast

PSU Gets National Science Foundation Grant to Create Herbarium D - KOAM TV 7

PSU Gets National Science Foundation Grant to Create Herbarium Digital Database

Updated:
Pittsburg, KS -

A Pittsburg State University  project to create a digital database of more than sixty-five thousand plant specimen gets a giant boost from the National Science Foundation. The project started in 2014 but now with  the $307 thousand dollar grant it helps students locally and scientists worldwide. 

Rachel Wood loaded a stack of manila folders into large cabinet. Each contains dried samples of plants. Wood explained, “It's kind of like a giant library.  So, everything is not only alphabetized but  also has bar code number in the order samples were collected.”

Samples collected since 1946, by several biology professors and others from Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and even other countries and continents including Australia.

Students Rachel Wood and Laramie Unruh  are taking the specimen information and putting it in to a digital database.   Thanks to the  $307 thousand dollar National Science Foundation grant they can get paid to do it.

Wood said, “This is one of my second jobs on campus, so I’m super excited!” She added, “There's not a lot of work  opportunities  that will completely  work around your school schedule. But, when you work for the university, you really get a lot of leeway.  And you get those connections through your professor,  network experience  that means a lot, especially  going into  graduate programs and anything like that.”  

Laramie Unruh boasted, “Getting paid to learn. Getting paid to gain information about something I’m already interested in, it’s pretty nice!”

Unruh was databasing specimens Tuesday.  She explained, “Some of them are pretty old but they’ve got labels on here. It has the species, where they were found, who collected them, the date they were collected.”


She keyed  in a bar code, then other  information.  Then Associate Professor of Biology Alex Snow, who’s director and curator of the Sperry Herbarium,  explained the newest part of the archival process.  “We image the specimen,  it gets transferred over to computer for us to visually confirm,  then we use the  bar code reader to record the bar code and the data with each specimen can then  be linked to the image researchers can look at.”  

And accessed from around  the world and tapped for use. That’s already happened with the more than twelve thousand specimens loaded in the system so far.

Wood explained, "We've actually had other Universities request us send them samples, so they can  extract DNA from them  and they can do all kinds of research, which is incredible."
 

 The grant will also be used to purchase new cabinetry and move the Herbarium to Hartman Hall on campus.   There are forty-five packed into the current herbarium location in Heckert-Wells.  Most are ninety percent full. With the grant, they’ll have  a total at least seventy-seven cabinets. 

Wood said, "We have sixty-five  thousand specimens here that represent over 103 (plant) families."
Snow said he expects the grant to help the herbarium add an average of fifteen hundred specimens each year and said, "This (grant money)  positions the Sperry  herbarium for the next thirty years."
 

The herbarium has an additional twenty-five thousand specimens backlogged and in need of preservation. Snow is open to having community volunteers help add them to the database.

You can volunteer to help calling Neil Snow in the PSU Biology Department at 620-235-4424.

Be the first to know with the KOAM News App. Breaking news alerts, watch live newscasts and get the most up-to-date local news on the go. Click here to download for iOS and Android:

  • NewsMore>>

  • Missouri AG Fires Back at Duck Boat Court Filings

    Monday, September 24 2018 10:23 PM EDT2018-09-25 02:23:49 GMT
    Missouri's Attorney General is firing back in court filings, arguing the court should not dismiss a lawsuit filed against the owner of Branson's "Ride the Ducks" attraction. Ripley Entertainment and Branson Duck Vehicles filed motions to dismiss the case or move it federal court. Hawley says those actions are designed to "hamper and delay the state's enforcement action" and to "thwart judicial review of their actions and evade any court order that would bar ...More >>
    Missouri's Attorney General is firing back in court filings, arguing the court should not dismiss a lawsuit filed against the owner of Branson's "Ride the Ducks" attraction. Ripley Entertainment and Branson Duck Vehicles filed motions to dismiss the case or move it federal court. Hawley says those actions are designed to "hamper and delay the state's enforcement action" and to "thwart judicial review of their actions and evade any court order that would bar ...More >>
  • Veterans Court Mentor Shortage

    Veterans Court Mentor Shortage

    Monday, September 24 2018 7:54 PM EDT2018-09-24 23:54:37 GMT

    Sterling King is a United States veteran who's trouble with addiction led him to the Jasper County Veterans Court. It also led him to fellow veteran and his Veterans Court mentor, Ted Donaldson. 

    More >>

    Sterling King is a United States veteran who's trouble with addiction led him to the Jasper County Veterans Court. It also led him to fellow veteran and his Veterans Court mentor, Ted Donaldson. 

    More >>
  • Cattle Theft, $5000 Reward in Crawford County, KS

    Cattle Theft, $5000 Reward in Crawford County, KS

    Monday, September 24 2018 7:39 PM EDT2018-09-24 23:39:19 GMT
    The Crawford County Sheriff's Office says nearly 30 head of cattle have been stolen from an area farm. On September 22nd, 2018, authorities responded to the area of south 520th Ave (Country Club Rd) and 205th Street about the theft of cattle. The cattle, belonging to Wood Farms, are 600 to 650 lbs, all black in color with some having white faces except one all red steer. Authorities say the cattle had yellow tags in the left ear and purple tags in the right ear. The the...More >>
    The Crawford County Sheriff's Office says nearly 30 head of cattle have been stolen from an area farm. On September 22nd, 2018, authorities responded to the area of south 520th Ave (Country Club Rd) and 205th Street about the theft of cattle. The cattle, belonging to Wood Farms, are 600 to 650 lbs, all black in color with some having white faces except one all red steer. Authorities say the cattle had yellow tags in the left ear and purple tags in the right ear. The the...More >>
Powered by Frankly

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by Frankly, Inc. All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.