Consortium of California Herbaria on NfN

California has the most diverse native flora of any state in the United States, containing more than 1/3 of all U.S. plant species. Over 7,400 plant species, subspecies, or varieties occur in this state, and 2,331 (32%) of these are endemic. The California Phenology Thematic Collections Network (CAP TCN) was established in August 2018—thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation—to better understand this diverse and beautiful flora and how it will be affected by anthropogenic change. This network of 22 California herbaria aims to fully digitize (image, transcribe, and georeference) nearly 1 million specimens over four years and capture reproductive data (i.e., phenology) from specimen images.

Many herbaria in this project have transcribed herbarium specimen data in the past in collaboration with the Consortium of California Herbaria; however, there are still many specimens for which there are no associated data. Moreover, the majority of herbaria in this project have never before imaged their specimens. The CAP TCN provides an exciting opportunity to discover specimens previously locked away in cabinets and make these data publically available for research, education, and other uses. Data and images are being produced daily and can be found on the project portal: cch2.org.

You can help make this possible by participating in our California Phenology Notes from Nature expeditions. Our first several expeditions will be label transcription projects like many other great projects on Notes from Nature. In later expeditions, we will introduce scoring reproductive structures on herbarium sheets. Determining the phenology (timing of reproductive events) of these plants is crucial for understanding biotic change in this biodiversity hotspot.

For more information and updates on the project, visit the CAP TCN website at capturingcaliforniasflowers.org, follow the project on Twitter (@CalPhenologyTCN), or contact the project manager, Katie Pearson at kdpearso@calpoly.edu.

The California Phenology Thematic Collections Network is composed of the following herbaria: CSU Chico (CHSC), CSU Los Angeles (CSLA), UC Davis (DAV), CSU Fresno (FSC), CSU Humboldt (HSC), UC Irvine (IRVC), UC Los Angeles (LA), CSU Long Beach (LOB), CSU Fullerton (MACF), California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (OBI), Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSA), CSU San Bernardino (CSUSB), Colorado Desert District, California Dept. of Parks and Recreation (BSCA), Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG), San Diego Natural History Museum (SD), San Diego State University (SDSU), CSU Northridge (SFV), San Jose State University (SJSU), UC Berkeley (UC/JEPS), UC Santa Cruz (UCSC), UC Santa Barbara (UCSB), and UC Riverside (UCR). Acronyms follow Index Herbariorum.

Katelin Pearson, Project Manager, California Phenology Thematic Collections Network

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