Rick Williams, Curator of Life Sciences, is a Co-PI on the National Science Foundation Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections Grant establishing the Thematic Collections Network: Using Herbarium Data To Document Plant Niches In The High Peaks And High Plains Of The Southern Rockies – Past, Present, And Future, that was recently recommended for funding. This is a
collaborative network of 20 herbaria participating in digitization plus 14 National Parks, the US National Museum, Denver Botanic Garden, and Colorado State University contributing existing data. The collaborative will digitize and mobilize geographically referenced data from over 2.0 million herbarium specimens. These can be used to document and model plant niches in this ecologically important region in light of global environmental change. Funding is approximately $2M for 4 years.