Infrastructural Upgrade and Expansion for the Pinned Collections in the UW Insect Research Collection
The Wisconsin Insect Research Collection (WIRC) is a natural history collection and research core located in the Department of Entomology. Its mission is to support the global research community by working towards several interrelated collections management goals. These include serving as a permanent repository for more than three million curated scientifically valuable specimens and collections event data, facilitating collections-based research and conducting field surveys.
Insect research voucher specimens, along with the tens of thousands of additional specimens added every year, provide the associated collection data that allow us to document the entomofauna of the Great Lakes Region, the United States and selected insect groups worldwide.
Insects and their collection data provide the baseline information that allow us to determine what species of insects are present in a given place at a given time. The demand for this information is growing exponentially with our increasing awareness of climate change and potential impacts on biodiversity, the shifting distribution of insects that carry infectious diseases, the crucially important role that pollinators play in agriculture, and the threats to our agricultural and forest products industries caused by invasive species of insects.
The physical care and protection of our specimens is imperative and would will be tremendously improved by replacing old, pest-susceptible natural history cabinets and insect drawers with new, archival-quality storage—ensuring that our unique and valuable collection will be safeguarded for the use of generations to come.
This project funds support for critical infrastructure and allows upgrade/replacement of the current natural history cabinets and insect drawers that physically hold the insect specimens in the heavily used Wisconsin Insect Research Collection core facility.
Daniel K. Young, professor of entomology
Craig M. Brabant, academic curator of the Wisconsin Insect Research Collection
Wisconsin Insect Research Collection