More than 2,500 species of plants, fish and molluscs will be invading the internet soon.

It’s an effort by more than 20 museums and universities around the Great Lakes region (including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University). They’re teaming up to digitize their collections of species that are not native to the Great Lakes.

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is a major participant through its Herbarium and Museum of Zoology collections. This effort is being led by Rich Rabeler, associate research scientist at the U-M Herbarium and Tom Duda, associate professor of EEB, who is based at the U-M Museum of Zoology.

Ken Cameron directs the Wisconsin State Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he’s leading the project. He and his collaborators will be pulling fish and mollusks out of jars and taking dried plants out of drawers, taking photos of them, and uploading them to the online collection along with data about the species. He and his colleagues around the region will be doing this for 1.73 million specimens.

Michigan Radio “The Environment Report” podcast and article

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