Museum receives grant to digitize collections

Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.

Florida Museum of Natural History invertebrate zoology researchers recently received a National Science Foundation grant to further digitize the department's collection, one of the nation's largest. The three-year, $339,000 award funds digitization of "relinquished collections" outside researchers have given the museum for research and curation.

The project coincides with the National Science Foundation's recent initiative to digitize all U.S. biological collections so information stored in museums may be accessed worldwide.

The Florida Museum has one of the largest digitized collections of invertebrate specimens, second only to the Smithsonian Institution. Invertebrate animals include crustaceans, corals and mollusks.

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Akito Kawahara, an assistant curator of Lepidoptera at the Florida Museum of Natural History, recently received a $24,000 one-year grant from the National Geographic Society to research the evolutionary relationships of an agricultural pest known as the tobacco hornworm and its relatives. The tobacco hornworm is a hawkmoth that occurs worldwide and causes great damage to the leaves of tobacco and tomato plants.

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Newberry resident Kamryn Jaymes Johnson hit the runway recently at a fashion show sponsored by Karma Kloset Consignment in Jacksonville and hosted at Da Big Kahuna Restaurant and Tiki Lounge in Jacksonville Beach. Johnson is an eighth-grader and football player at St. Patrick Interparrish School in Gainesville.

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Lynetta Usher Griner, a generational logger and landowner from Chiefland, is the newly elected president of the Florida Forestry Association and the first woman to serve as president in the Association's 90-year history.

The Florida Forestry Association is the oldest statewide, forestry trade organization to represent the interests of forest landowners, loggers, foresters, the wood-using industry and silvicultural contractors, which work to promote proper management of forest ecosystems.

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