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Three-year NSF funding
Conner Museum grant will double its scientific collection
Monday, June 25, 2012
By Emily Smudde, WSU News intern
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Charles R. Conner Museum has been awarded a $400,102 from the National Science Foundation. This three-year grant will allow the museum to expand its storage capacity, prepare and catalogue research specimens and add new equipment.
In addition to more than 700 mounts of birds and mammals, Conner Museum houses a collection of about 65,000 scientific specimens and tissue samples, said Kelly Cassidy, the museum curator. To relieve over-crowding and allow room for expansion, the Conner museum will purchase additional metal cabinets and two new freezers.
The grant also will be used to prepare a backlog of older specimens, Cassidy said. The museum has a freezer of unprepared specimens that were donated over the years and stored for future use. Staff members will select about 500 specimens to prepare based on their scientific value and difficulty to obtain again. Some of these include kangaroo rats, caribou calves and egrets, which were given to the museum as far back as the 1980s.
The museum also will computerize and finish cataloguing a collection of more than 15,000 small mammals that were collected in northeastern Washington in the 1990s as part of a timber harvesting study. The collection will be entered onto the online database and merged with the museum’s existing collection, Cassidy said. This will be the most time-intensive project, she explained, and will double the museum’s mammal collection.
Conner Museum is part of the WSU School of Biological Sciences and is located on the first floor of Abelson Hall. For more information on the museum and its collection, visit the Charles R. Conner Museum website.