UAM Herbarium (ALA), Cryptogam Collection (Arctos)
The Herbarium (ALA) at the University of Alaska Museum is the major regional herbarium in Alaska and part of a network of similar collections with an interest in the origin and evolution of the circumpolar flora. ALA contains more than 235,000 specimens of vascular and non-vascular plants. Data for the Vascular Plant and Cryptogam collections are managed separately in Arctos. Most lichen collections in the ALA date from the early post WWII period, after the Alcan (now Alaska Highway) was completed, including specimens from John Thomson’s first of two Alaska expeditions in 1958 on the Arctic Slope as well as his 1967 expedition along the Alaska Highway. The contributions of three other people, H. Persson and W. C. Steere (bryophytes) and H. Krog (lichens), further strengthened the foundation for ALA’s cryptogamic collections. Barbara Murray’s collecting started in the 1970s just after the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay on the arctic coast of Alaska. Use of helicopters became frequent and as a result Murray has collected large number of specimens at over 250 Alaskan localities. The ALA cryptogamic collection has recently been supported by two NSF grants (NSF- 1023407: Toward Documenting Biodiversity Change in Arctic Lichens: Databasing the Principal Collections, Establishing a Baseline, and Developing a Virtual Flora (with University of Wisconsin) and NSF NSF-1115056: TCN Collaborative Research: North American Lichens and Bryophytes: Sensitive Indicators of Environmental Quality and Change) to help with digitization of specimen data and taking care of large backlogs of specimens. The majority of the cryptogam collections are from Alaska, while numerous collections are also from Russia, Fennoscandia, Canada and the lower 48 United States.
Living time period: 1940 to present
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Oct 27, 2015
Apr 30, 2013