What's New in Botanical Science
What's New in the Botanical Science Division




Newest Version of Virtual Herbarium Express Databasing Software is now available
The New York Botanical Garden is making available a database so that small to mid-sized herbaria can computerize their collections and make those data available for searching on the Internet. Virtual Herbarium Express is designed in the popular Microsoft Access XP format and is freely customizable. Specimen data from Virtual Herbarium Express can be hosted by NY on its web site.

New Update of Online Version of Index Herbariorum 
As of 3 February 2003, updated information for 3210+ herbaria in 165 countries, with updates for more than 80% of these herbaria since INDEX HERBARIORUM, edition 8, was published in 1990, is available for searching. Information available for searching includes addresses of herbaria, names of those to write to for use of the collections via loans or visits, names of staff members associated with herbaria, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail and URL addresses, and research specialties.

New York Botanical Garden's Joins with International Team to Address Biodiversity Issues facing the Caribbean
THE CARIBBEAN, AMONG THE MOST CRITICAL OF "HOTSPOTS" ACROSS THE GLOBE, DRAWS SCIENTISTS, POLICYMAKERS, AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS TO ADDRESS URGENT BIODIVERSITY ISSUES

Only 11.3% of the Caribbean's primary vegetation remains. The Caribbean is home to 2.3% of the world's endemic plant species and 2.9% of endemic vertebrate species- significant percentages considering that the Caribbean contributes to only .15% of the Earth's surface.

These findings have prompted Conservation International to designate the Caribbean as one of 25 "Hotspots"-relatively small regions containing high percentages of native species-across the globe. In fact, the Caribbean ranks among the top 8 of those "Hotspots," requiring the highest priority for conservation.

July 26 - 29, 2001 CARIBBEAN BIODIVERSITY: AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE INTEGRATING SCIENCE AND POLICY

This "Caribbean Hotspot" initiative will provide an assessment of the amount and distribution of Caribbean biodiversity and threatened species. Environmental policymakers from the region will speak to the challenges their respective countries face concerning threats to biodiversity and the often conflicting needs to sustain their economies. Finally, technical workshops will address the policymaker's challenges through a proposal for a long-term research and development strategy aimed at integrating biodiversity, science, and policymaking decisions. Participants are some of the most knowledgeable scientists, conservationists, and policymakers on Caribbean biodiversity.

Hosts and speakers include:
Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, Chief Biodiversity Advisor at the World Bank
Theodore W. Kheel, New York labor mediator, lawyer, philanthropist
Oscar de la Renta, couturier (list connection to Punta Cana?)
Dr. Sylvia Earle, former Chief Scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Dr. Brian M. Boom, Vice President for Botanical Science and Pfizer Curator of Botany, The New York Botanical Garden
Dr. Michael Smith, Caribbean Biodiversity Research Program Fellow, Conservation International
Dr. Eloy Rodriguez, Director, Cornell University Biodiversity Laboratory
Dr. Alejandro Herrera, Executive Director, Punta Cana Ecological Foundation

Dr. Brian Boom of The New York Botanical Garden and Dr. Michael Smith of Conservation International are the principal organizers of Caribbean Biodiversity. It is co-sponsored by The New York Botanical Garden, The Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International, Cornell Biodiversity Laboratory at Punta Cana, The Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic.

Caribbean Biodiversity will be held at the Punta Cana Ecological Reserve in the Dominican Republic.

July 24 - 25, 2001 FLORA OF THE GREATER ANTILLES WORKING GROUP

Prior to the Caribbean Biodiversity conference, a coalition of the international scientific community will meet to continue development on the most comprehensive scientific program ever for the understanding of Antillean biodiversity and biogeography. The Flora of the Greater Antilles Working Group is producing the definitive guide (expected to be a forty-volume guide) to the plants and fungi of the Greater Antilles-Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Navassa.

Dr. William R. Buck, Senior Curator, Institute of Systematic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden, is the principal organizer for the Flora of the Greater Antilles Working Group.


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