Thursday, February 09, 2012

Settling Into A New Home

I have been very preoccupied with the planning, implementation, and supervision of the move of our alcohol-preserved specimens into our new wet facility at Varsity Drive. Planning for this started almost exactly 4 years ago, and now about half of the insects from our wet collection have moved in. This facility is not just for Insects, but all of the UMMZ wet collections, and space-wise this means mostly the Ichthyological and Herpetelogical collections. I have already written about the changes in the December 2011 issue of the Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society, and you can read that page here.
Now, all the Odonata that are in vials and jars are at the new Biodiversity Research Collections (BRC) at Varsity Drive. We have plenty of expansion space, and better yet, an excellent place to work in a modern facility built especially for work with wet collections. I look forward to having researchers use our collections here, and once we are fully operational, I would like to plan ahead for a regional meeting that makes use of our large collection of larvae and exuviae.

As seen in the jar above, we have many specimens of exuviae from Kennedy and from Williamson. In the late 1990s we transferred hundreds of exuviae collected by those two from pill-boxes, tobacco tins, and so forth, into vials and jars with ethanol. Now, they are much easier to deal with. The new facility will provide an opportunity to work with these types of collections in a much better environment.

A few more shots of just the insect part of the BRC:

As you can see, the collection is in compacted storage, allowing for easy access without having to deal with opening and closing cabinet doors. I am sure that neither Williamson or Kennedy ever thought their their exuviae collections would be in a facility like this.

For your enjoyment, here is a new, short video from UM.

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