Idaho Museum of Natural History Honors Late Volunteer

The Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) at Idaho State University (ISU) is selling cards to promote the extraordinary photography of their late volunteer, Dick Anderson, and to raise funds for hosting a botany foray.

Anderson volunteered at IMNH’s Ray J. Davis Herbarium until he passed away earlier this year. He was a professional photographer and his love of native plants shows in how he captured the many beauties of the individual flowers, many which are no larger than your thumb. His career in photography started as a U.S. Naval photographer. He went on to work in photography at Inkley’s and Ritz in the Berkeley area.

The late Dick Anderson  imaging plant specimens in the Ray J. Davis Herbarium.

The late Dick Anderson imaging plant specimens in the Ray J. Davis Herbarium.

“He passed away in 2015 and we just want to keep these beautiful images alive” said Janet Bala, IMNH Ray J. Davis Herbarium collection manager.

The cards are blank note cards with pictures of native plants of Idaho on the front. The cards are sold in sets of 5 for $8.00 or buy 2 or more sets for $7.50 per set. The proceeds will help the Ray J. Davis Herbarium host the annual Idaho Botany Foray in June 2016 and in order to do that they need to raise approximately $1000. This money will be used for vehicle rentals, gas, and plant collecting supplies.

Example of the native Idaho plants that appear on the cards being sold by IMNH.

Example of the native Idaho plants that appear on the cards being sold by IMNH.

The Foray, or as referred to around the museum as “Plant Camp,” is an annual meeting of the four major herbaria in Idaho. They gather to collect plants specific to an area in Idaho. This coming year’s foray will be in the Pahsimeroi area of the Lemhi’s in Central Idaho.

Bala describes the importance of the foray as “this sort of work is very important for historical purposes and the new collections can be compared with historical collections of the same area to see changes in the plant species and communities. With warming temperatures we are seeing larger changes in where plants can survive and this is very important for the future of our native plants. Where the plants grow will affect the entire food chain that depends on particular plant communities.”

The plants collected will be processed by the Ray J. Herbarium. This includes drying, freezing, and making labels with all the pertinent information about the plant and the location where it was collected. The herbarium will keep one set of each specimen collected and the other sets will be distributed to the other herbaria for their collections. The specimens will be preserved and will be imaged. These images will be available to the public on our website at the Consortium of the Pacific Northwest Herbaria, http://www.pnwherharia.org. The images are available for public use and research.

The cards can be purchased at the Museum Store during gallery hours (Tuesday-Friday 12pm-6pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, or Sunday 12pm-5pm). The IMNH is located at 698 E Dillon St in Pocatello. For information about IMNH please visit imnh.isu.edu.