461 – Vertebrate Collections Management

Vertebrate collections are indispensable to the teaching of all whole organism biology courses. They are the repositories of Study of DNA, study skins, hides, preserved specimens, and comparative osteological material. Collections contain regional and global reference collections, provide secure storage for specimens of regional and historic importance, support a library of DNA samples and the specimens from which they were collected and also serve as the repository for type specimens. Maintenance of biological collections not only requires space and money but also require a highly dedicated and trained staff in order to be useful. Without constant maintenance even the smallest collections will deteriorate to the point of uselessness. Today many collections are being orphaned and/or discarded by colleges and universities. Qualified preparators, collections managers and curators are few and far between. During the course of this semester we will learn how to legally obtain, prepare, catalogue, and store new specimens and maintain an historic collection of vertebrate specimens. There will be one weekly lecture and at least 3 additional hours of lab per week. Lectures meet for 2.5 hrs. (6:00 ¬ 8:30 PM).

Fulfills biology core requirement area(s):

Evolution and Biodiversity

Fulfills plant requirement for biology majors?

No

Fulfills lab requirement for biology majors?

No

Fulfills general education requirement for non-biology majors?

No