Herbarium Techniques Course

Monday, August 20, 2012 | 12 a.m.–11:59 p.m.

Offered by Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

This two-week seminar is a collaboration between Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Hosted by Brooklyn Botanic Garden and drawing much of its content from the Kew International Diploma Course in Herbarium Techniques, the course will also include input from SPECIFY and the US Fish & Wildlife Service and benefit from a visit to The New York Botanical Garden.


Course details

With their wide-ranging collections of preserved plant specimens, well-curated herbaria represent a vital resource for plant diversity research, enabling the accurate identification and classification of plant materials that underpin any other botanical studies or conservation activities.

Recognizing the key position that good curation plays in the ability of any herbarium to function at its fullest potential, we will review techniques employed and investigate possibilities to enhance our work, consider international standards and local practices, and investigate ideas to promote our collections to the wider audience beyond the scientific community.

Course venue: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Fee: $600
The fee covers the cost of tuition, course notes, daily coffee breaks, a reception, and organized field trips. It does not include accommodation, subsistence, or transport to Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Free accommodations may be available to participants who inquire. A reduced rate of $219 per night for course participants is available at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. A list of area B&B’s is also available.

Registration Deadline: May 31, 2012
Download course application (pdf).

Who is the course designed for?

This course provides an ideal opportunity for herbarium managers, curators or technicians to gain or review skills and experience that will enable them to develop and make use of their own herbaria. Candidates should be well motivated, have a genuine and practical interest in herbarium management and preferably be employed by a recognized institution.

Participants from the United States and Canada are welcome to apply. There are no restrictions or formal qualifications, but English proficiency is essential including some knowledge of the appropriate technical terms.

Participants completing the course will receive a certificate of attendance.
Number of participants: 20

Course Content

Herbarium Management

  • Collections management
  • Materials
  • Purpose and arrangement of herbaria
  • Ancillary collections
  • Preventative conservation and pest management
  • Good and bad practice
  • Managing visitors to the herbarium
  • Engaging with the public
  • Incorporation of specimens into the herbarium
  • Implementing a new revision
  • Duplicates and loans
  • Databasing
  • Digitization
  • Mounting
  • Data repatriation and exchange
  • Dissection and removal of parts
  • Essential literature and on-line resources
  • Checklists
  • An example of a Plant Family Identification presentation (Fabaceae)

Plant Collection and Preservation

  • Equipment for field trips
  • How and what to collect
  • Different collecting techniques and drying procedures
  • Collecting special taxa
  • Collecting for ancillary disciplines
  • Data and labels

The Herbarium and Conservation

  • Introduction to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
  • IUCN Red Listing Permits

Tours and Fieldtrips

  • Tour of Brooklyn Botanic Garden herbarium (BKL)
  • Field trip to the New Jersey Pine Barrens
  • Tour of The New York Botanical Garden herbarium (NY)

Upcoming Dates

Monday, August 20, 2012
Image, top of page: