Imaging the Tall Timbers Biological Collections
By Kevin Roberston, PhD, Fire Ecology Scientist
The Fire Ecology Program recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to provide high resolution images of the Tall Timbers museum specimens online. The program is called Improvements to Biological Research Collections, which has the goal of "providing improvements to network, secure, and organize established natural history collections for sustained, accurate, and efficient accessibility of the collection to the biological research community," with an emphasis on incorporating small collections into larger, more accessible networks. With this in mind, we will capture high resolution images of the 10,025 plant specimens in Tall Timbers' Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium, 3,925 bird specimens collected mostly by Herbert Stoddard as part of his long-term bird migration study, 933 mammal skins, and 988 butterfly and moth specimens collected mostly by Lucien Harris, Jr. for publication of The Butterflies of Georgia. With the help of plant taxonomist, author, and Tall Timbers Beadel Fellow Gil Nelson and Florida State University professor of taxonomy Austin Mast, these images will be made accessible through the FSU herbarium online database and Morphbank biological specimens web portal for world-wide accessibility. Although provided through the FSU system, specimen images and their collection data will be flagged for their location at Tall Timbers.