Botanical Inventories in the Rocky Mountains Subject of Talk at AMK Ranch

June 8, 2010

Plant species, especially those in the Greater Yellowstone Area, are the topic of the first summer seminar Thursday, June 17, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, north of Leeks Marina and will feature the dedication of the Grand Teton National Park Virtual Herbarium. A barbecue will be held at 5:30 p.m. with a $5 per person fee; reservations are not required. For more information, call the UW-NPS Center at (307) 543-2463.

The featured speaker is Ron Hartman, UW professor of botany and Rocky Mountain Herbarium (RMH) director/curator. The RMH is the largest collection of Rocky Mountain plants in the U.S.

A national peer-review study recognized UW's RMH as the nation's leader in plant inventory and regional vascular plant biodiversity documentation. The study, the first of its kind that documents plant collecting activity across the United States, was recently published in "Systematic Botany," a journal devoted to taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of all plant groups, including fossils.

The authors wrote that UW has produced "remarkable" results in local plant collecting and "the number of specimens in RMH from the 1990s (3,677) is more than 40 times that of the average for the other 70 herbaria."

A presentation and demonstration of the Grand Teton virtual herbarium by UW Coe Library's Larry Schmidt and Mary Ann Harlow follows Hartman's talk. They will demonstrate how to access from a home computer pictures of more than 6,000 plant specimens within Grand Teton National Park.

The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and governmental scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Area.

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