California Phenology Thematic Collections Network

Ahart Herbarium has received NSF funding to digitize the university's plant collection as part of a large California wide collaboration to understand the effects of climate change on flowering time.  The Nation Science Foundation has awarded $1.8 million for this project, called Capturing California's Flowers.  Ahart Herbarium is one of 22 participating herbaria throughout the state.

The project will produce nearly 1 million digital images of the plant specimens housed in herbaria throughout California.  These plant records go back almost 200 years and have data about when and where the plant specimen was collected.  This project will capture the time and place of each collection as well as data about the flowering and fruiting condition of each specimen. This will allow researchers to combine the historical data with current flowering time trends to track change through time.  All of the images and data will also be made available to the public via a new online database.

Ahart Herbarium will receive $33,660 to image 30,000 records.  Ahart Herbarium just added their 120,000th specimen to their records that supports teaching and research.  This includes 98,000 vascular plants, 3200 bryophytes, 1300 lichens and 10,000 slime molds.  The current project will focus on the vascular plant collection.  The specimens provide a long term reference of the plants for the North Central Valley and beyond.  The funds will also be used to improve herbarium infrastructure and support students who will participate in this effort.

A website has recently been created for this project, called CAP TCN(opens in new window), short for California Phenology Thematic Collections Network.

More information coming soon!

Colleen Hatfield, director
Ahart Herbarium

mimulus kelloggii