Type Specimen Database
Plant/Bird Atlas on Google Earth
P.O. Box 121390
San Diego, CA 92112-1390
The Botany Department of the Museum is spear-heading an exciting new
research project focused on scientifically documenting the floristic diversity
of San Diego County. The San Diego County Plant Atlas Project came
to life in 2002, when a group of interested professional biologists and
land managers met to discuss the need to work together to build on current
botanical collections and study the county's flora in a more coordinated
and comprehensive manner. The San Diego Partners for Biodiversity took
the first steps towards making this vision a reality by developing a common
mission to document local floristic diversity over the next five years.
Plant Atlas Project Goal
To improve our scientific knowledge and documentation of the flora of
San Diego County by training members of the public how to collect voucher
specimens of native and naturalized plants throughout the county. The
Atlas will fulfill the need for accurate botanical information
that will be freely accessible and available for land management, scientific,
conservation, and educational purposes. The end product will be an internet-accessible,
databased plant atlas based upon vouchered specimensboth those historically
and new collections to be made by community volunteers and professionals.
San Diego County is the most botanically diverse county in the contiguous
United States. This county alone is more diverse than many states, and
it has even been identified as an international 'hotspot' of biodiversity.
Our county has a combination of climatic, geographic, geologic, and floristic
features that are unique in the USA. It represents the SW region of the
California Floristic Province and the Sonoran Region of the Desert Province,
spanning a range of habitats from the Pacific coast to mesas, foothills,
mountains, and desert. Over 1500 native plant species and almost 500 non-native
species have been identified and documented to date.
The project will provide more accurate and detailed geographic information
on the flora of our County for science, education, the interested public,
and land managers. The Plant
Atlas is based upon a highly successful project recently undertaken
by SDNHM called the Bird
Atlas of San Diego County. That six-year project, now in the final
publication phase, used 300 trained volunteer observers to survey both
breeding and non-breeding birds with planned products including a 500-page
volume of distribution maps and interpretive text plus a web-accessible
database. The Plant Atlas is designed to complement and integrate with
the Bird Atlas and the San Diego Mammal Atlas project that is now in progress.
What is the Parabotanist
The foundation of the Plant Atlas is on-the-ground, in-the-field work that tells us what plants are found where in our County. With an eye to satisfying this need, a was developed to insure proper collection of voucher plant specimens and on recording field data. At this time there are no upcoming trainings. If you complete an online application we will keep it on file should our needs change in the future.
Who is Involved?
The Plant Atlas is sponsored by the San Diego Natural History Museum
Botany Department and supported by an Advisory Group representing stakeholders.
Money from many sources will be sought to fund the project. The California
Native Plant Society, the Cleveland National Forest, State Parks, the
County and the City of San Diego, the California Department of Fish and
Game and The San Diego Foundation are some of the supporting partners.
How Can I Help?
Only part of the effort involves field collection of plants. Cooperation
and support of many government agencies and private landowners is crucial
to our success. The broader the participation, the better will be the
results. Are you involved with an organization that can provide funding,
permits, or legal access to property? Can you provide professional services
or donate equipment? Help will be needed in the herbarium to process the
incoming specimens and their associated data. Your help with these efforts
is critical to the success of the project and will be just as important
as field work.