THE CUTTING EDGE

 

Volume IX, Number 1, January 2002

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NEWS AND NOTES I LEAPS AND BOUNDS I GERMANE LITERATURE I SEASON'S PICK I

MUSEO ON THE MARCH. The Museo Nacional has recently initiated an ambitious project to enter all of the information associated with its natural history collections into a database system. Leading the way is the Herbario Nacional (CR), which began databasing all new collections as of January, 2000, and has also begun entering data from its type collection and from collections accessed prior to 2000. To date, 9650 collections are in the bag, and an intensive program will be launched this year with the ultimate goal of databasing all of the more than 230,000 collections presently housed at CR. This information comes from an article by Armando Estrada Ch. in the latest issue of the trimestral bulletin Museo, in which a graphic portrayal of the database structure is also presented.

MORALES ON THE PROWL. Manual heavyweight Francisco (Chico) Morales (INB) spent the holiday season (19 December–14 January) vacationing and working (on Apocynaceae, Ericaceae, Oxalidaceae, Sabiaceae, and Sapindaceae, at HUA and JAUM) in Colombia, the land of charming acccents (fríjoles) and wonderful but mostly unrequited views of forests still certainly chock full of novelties. He reports that a whole bevy of possible new spp., about which he had been communicating via e-mail, fell into synonymy, and he was left to work with one new sp. there, which he also had the good fortune to study in detail, live, in the field.

ZAMORA ON THE RAMBLE. Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (INB) was in Vienna from 4–19 November, helping put the final touches on a new guide to the flowering plants of the Golfo Dulce region (see Weber et al., 2001, under "Germane Literature"). Nelson was, of course, duly impressed by this museum city, and especially by the Naturhistorisches Museum, wherein the herbarium (W) houses perhaps four million specimens, many of historical importance, but apparently has only one curator, Bruno Wallnöfer.

VISITOR IN COSTA RICA. Fern mentor John T. Mickel stopped briefly at both INB and CR to study their pteridophyte collections for a neotropical fern guide that he has in preparation.