Andrew Sutton and Davon Goodwin Serve as Herbarium Curators
If you are curious about the diversity of plant life in North Carolina, you might take a look inside the UNCP Herbarium. You’ll need to get permission first, however, from Andrew Sutton or Davon Goodwin, who are serving as the herbarium’s Curator and Assistant Curator, respectively. A herbarium (as in “herb”) is a collection of dried, pressed plants. The fledgling University herbarium, housed on the second floor of the Oxendine Science Building, has a collection of ~ 4500 specimens, which are used in teaching and research in the Biology Department. Photo above: Andrew Sutton, left, and Davon Goodwin
Andrew Sutton began serving as Curator during spring 2012, when he received a Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity (PURC) Undergraduate Scholar Assistantship (USA). A second PURC USA allowed him to continue serving in the fall of 2012. Besides collection management (pasting specimens, creating labels, filing, and repairing specimens), Andrew completed a research project, involving an analysis of the woody flora of Sampson’s Landing --- a nature preserve on the Lumber River, owned by The Lumber River Conservancy. In April, he presented a poster of this research at the 109th Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Academy of Science (held on the campus of Campbell University) and at the Sixth Annual Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium. Andrew’s exceptional work in botany was recognized last spring by way of the Biology Department’s Robert F. Britt Award. Andrew’s work this fall has expanded to include a wildflower field guide. This requires hours of pouring over technical manuals to extract physical descriptions of the wildflowers. But if all goes as planned, Andrew will soon turn his attention to sophisticated software (Specify 6.0) to database the collection.
Davon Goodwin began working as Assistant Curator this fall, thanks to a paid Hawk Assistantship through the Office of Financial Aid. Davon quickly learned to prepare and process voucher specimens, in part because of his experiences last spring in Plant Systematics. Of course, Andrew provided guidance during the first few weeks. Many of the specimens Davon is pasting and filing were collected by former undergraduate student, Elizabeth Workman. Elizabeth’s collection was made during the summer of 2010, in connection with a floristic survey of Sampson’s Landing. Clocking between five and ten hours each week in the herbarium, Davon also files voucher specimens prepared by Plant Systematics students last spring. Davon’s herbarium work comes on the heels of his work, last summer, on the Veterans Fire Corps. Davon worked in the South Dakota portion of the Black Hills National Forest, where he learned about forest management and how to fight forest fires. This opportunity was made possible by the Student Conservation Association. Davon presented a poster about his work on campus during the August Research and Creativity Poster Session, sponsored by the RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) Program.
Both students are scheduled to graduate in December. Andrew is earning a B.S. in Environmental Science, and Davon is earning in B.S. in Biology with a track in Botany. Determined to be busy, both men are active in the Biology Club, currently making plans for a big plant sale in the spring. Their work in the herbarium will be sorely missed after their graduation.
Photo above (from left to right): Andrew Sutton, Davon Goodwin, Jasmine Rowlett, and Kayla Jordan promote the Biology Club during Pembroke Day.
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012
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