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A Renaissance for the Oregon State Ichthyology Collection

The OSU Libraries’ Library Faculty Association invites colleagues and friends to the February 2017 Seminar Series Presentation: A Renaissance for the Oregon State Ichthyology Collection, with Dr. Brian Lee Sidlauskas, Associate Professor in OSU’s Department of Fisheries & Wildlife and Curator of the Ichthyology Collection. The seminar will be on February 24th from 10:00am-11:30am.

The Oregon State Ichthyology Collection (OSIC), which contains approximately a quarter million preserved fish specimens, has been a major center of research and education on the biology of fishes since its establishment in 1935.  Despite continued scientific use, the OSIC’s physical facilities declined in the late 20th century due to a lack of space for growth and insufficient funding.  Simultaneously, a lack of computerization discouraged researchers elsewhere from accessing its specimens.  Curator Brian Sidlauskas will discuss how we restored the scientific and educational value of the OSIC, and highlight recent science using the collection.  One component of the restoration upgraded the collections’ physical facilities by installing mobile compact shelving in a renovated space that now meets modern fire and earthquake safety codes. We also upgraded the collection’s digital presence by modernizing the collection’s catalog of specimens and making the holdings searchable online at ichthyology.oregonstate.edu. Through the completion of this project, one of the most important libraries of ichthyological diversity on the west coast of the US is again stable, safe, properly curated, and accessible to the world’s community of scientists. It regularly accessions new specimens, loans material to researchers at other institutions, hosts researchers from around the world, and supports research and teaching on taxonomy, genetics, biogeography, parasitology, evolution, ecology and conservation biology.

Brian Lee Sidlauskas is an associate professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University.  The son of a fisherman and an art teacher, he grew up along the coast of historic Salem, Massachusetts.  As an ichthyologist, Dr. Sidlauskas works to help reveal and protect the world’s tremendous biodiversity of fishes.  He teaches courses dealing with ichthyology, systematics, biodiversity and conservation biology, and his research seeks to understand the evolution, ecology and diversity of freshwater fishes on scales ranging from local to global. He achieved a measure of internet fame for his use of Facebook to community source fish identifications from photographs. Dr. Sidlauskas has involved nearly two dozen undergraduates in the research and management of the quarter-million preserved fishes in the Oregon State Ichthyology Collection, which he curates.  In 2014 he was named OSU’s Undergraduate Mentor of the Year.

The seminar will take place in the Autzen classroom on the main (2nd) floor of the Valley Library (Valley 2082). Light refreshments will be provided. Please contact Beth.Filar-Williams@oregonstate.edu or Uta.Hussong-Christian@oregonstate.edu with any questions. Library visitor info (including campus map and parking info can be found online: http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/visit)

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