Leveraging Natural History Collections
Natural history collections in museums, herbaria, seed banks, and tissue banks provide some of the most valuable information sources in an ecologist’s toolbox: time series data. These collections not only permanently archive preserved specimens, but hold critical historical and contemporary information about how species distributions, interactions, and phenotypes respond to global change across time scales. Whether specimens are serving as indicators of environmental change or as the measurement of an ecological response, they remain critical to understanding ecological impacts of global change. However, despite the existence of these studies, the value of collections is still under-appreciated and much more knowledge can be gained from investigating this rich data resource. This is a hybrid event on the contributions and potential of natural history collections to address global change questions with talks, panel discussions, collection tours and networking.