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Exploring Plant Phenology using Herbarium Specimens: Lab or Workshop

Author(s): Katie Pearson1, Tadeo Ramirez Parada2, Susan Mazer2, Natalie Rossington Love1, Jenn Yost1

1. California Polytechnic State University 2. University of California, Santa Barbara

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In this workshop or lab exercise, participants will examine the effects of climate on the phenological events of a selected species using herbarium specimen data.


Volumes of data on plant diversity, the locations of wild and cultivated species, and the dates of plant collection are becoming available due to the digitization of herbarium specimens. Images of herbarium specimens provide a rich resource that can be harvested for data on plant form and phenology. In this lab or workshop, participants will examine the effects of climate on the timing of phenological events of a selected species. Participants will learn to search for and download herbarium specimen data from the Consortium of California Herbaria online database, CCH2 ( They will then use RStudio Cloud to visualize, clean, and analyze prepared datasets from CCH2 to answer real scientific questions.

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