Dombroskie ecn2013

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Dombroskie ecn2013

  1. 1. Mission Possible? The Modern Role of Insect Collections in Land Grant Universities JASON J. DOMBROSKIE, JAMES K. LIEBHERR CORNELL UNIVERSITY INSECT COLLECTION, DEPARTMENT OF ENTOMOLOGY
  2. 2. Outline  CUIC basics  importance of collections in land grant universities  outreach  funding  CUIC projects
  3. 3. Cornell University Insect Collection (CUIC)  started in 1871  ~7 million specimens  ~200 000 species  7400 types (2700 primary)  global in coverage
  4. 4. Early days  Started by John Henry Comstock  Local specimens  Focus on agricultural pests  Extensive trading and donations (Venez. beetles, European microleps, etc.)  Contributions from intl students (esp. China)  Later collecting expeditions across the US, Brazil, Panama, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands  Trend towards taxonomy
  5. 5. The modern CUIC  Incorporation of the Cornell Insect Diagnostic Lab  Physical expansion by 40% supported by the Entomology Department  Curator (Liebherr), Associate Curators (Danforth, Reed), Collection Manager (Dombroskie)  12 undergraduate students  Website, facebook
  6. 6. Importance  Train students  Deposition of research vouchers / careers (Bradley, Dietrich, Evans, Forbes, Franclemont, Ne edham, Pechuman, Wood, etc.)  Archival role needs to be emphasized to administrators & faculty  poorly prepared / documented material  expectation on us to clean up  not following through  Basis for research and accountability  Outside researchers
  7. 7. Outreach  Support a strong diagnostic lab used by general public & government (CAPS, invasives, etc.)  Provide training for extension agents, master gardeners, etc.  Sacrifice – split position (dominant IDL in summer)  Not just NY State also the US & the world  web presence, easy way to pay international other US NY
  8. 8. Funding  modern funding programs have focused on documenting biodiversity changes over time through digitization  digitization of useful images  must not lose sight of our original missions  continue to build collection (new mat. & cur. old)  become more efficient with current levels of funding while addressing our growing taxonomic impediment
  9. 9. Efficient and useful uses of funding  Should produce something useful for society  Data should be of high quality  Multi-institutional grants are efficient  Need to try to incorporate student training, esp. undergrad, HS  Produce something that administrators can proudly point to (discover strengths, emphasize and build them)
  10. 10. Focus databasing efforts on expertly curated groups  Reduced chance of bad data  Optimally determined, taxonomy updated  Larger multi-institutional collaborations  Aphididae, Cicadidae, Apoidea  future: Aculeata, lep gen images
  11. 11. Create taxon lists as first step  Students get curational & taxonomic experience, ownership so good job, community  Useful for diagnostic purposes  Ready for databasing  Lets researchers know what we have  No pointless data-grabbing
  12. 12. Taxon Lists  PREVIOUS YEAR: Cicadoidea, Membracidae, Megaloptera, Raphi dioptera, Neuroptera, Trichoptera (alcohol), Mimallonidae, Saturniidae, Mecoptera, Strepsiptera, Rhinophoridae, Tachinidae, Oestrida e  IN PROGRESS: Acari, Mantodea, Aphididae, Cicadellidae, Corei dae, Miridae, microhymenoptera, Formicidae, Tric hoptera (pinned), microlepidoptera, Lepidoptera (alcohol), Sphingidae, Muscidae  3362 species curated & listed last year
  13. 13. Franclemont larval slide collection  Recently rediscovered  >1000 Kodachromes of macrolepidopteran larvae scanned  Online through the CUIC website  Used by many lepidopterists  Contains several species previously unknown as larvae  Kodachromes available for loan  FUTURE: 8800+ genitalia slides
  14. 14. Conclusions  Our original missions can be maintained through student engagement and active outreach   archival preservation of biodiversity   IDs for agriculture / public vouchering research materials Combine student training with curation and quality data gathering

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