Making more of our specimens publicly available
Summer can be a quiet time in the Zoology Department. It is the main fieldwork season with staff making discoveries outside, traveling, or even enjoying a bit of vacation. This summer we reached another milestone in our efforts to make our collections better available to the scientific community and the public. We crossed the 50,000 mark of databased entomology specimens! Most of this was due to the diligent work of our indefatigable databasing volunteers, guided by our curatorial assistants, David Bettman and Chris Grinter. All the records can be accessed through the data portal of the Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network (SCAN). Specimen ZE.50,000 is a flower scarab, Trichiotinus assimilis, collected by our research associate, Ken van der Laan, in the early 1960s up Coal Creek Canyon in Colorado, and databased by volunteer Kristin Chiesi. The whole effort was made possible by two grants from the National Science Foundation (CSBR and SCAN) to entomology curator, Frank Krell, arachnologist, Paula Cushing, and collections manager, Jeff Stephenson. As of today, we have 51,602 records in the database and we will not be stopping.
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