The project is made possible by funding awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The online database will make it possible for other scientists, land managers and citizen scientists to correctly identify all plants in the region, including the non-native species that often threaten the native species.
“Presenting the data online makes our collections accessible to the world, helps reduce damage to specimens from excessive handling, and will be of critical importance for helping to conserve the many rare and endangered plants in the Pacific,” said Neil Snow, a botanist at the Bishop Museum’s Natural Science Department.
Bishop Museum botanists Napua Harbottle, Shelley James and Snow are lead investigators on the program.
The database will incorporate the thousands of plant and algae species that Bishop Museum has collected, preserved, documented and cataloged for over 100 years.