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University of California, Santa Cruz
Fiscal Year: 
Santa Cruz
Recipient Type: 
National Leadership Grants for Museums
Program Categories: 
Collections Stewardship

The University of California at Santa Cruz will advance the stewardship of natural history collections by developing new tools and resources to support both museum curators and the community of researchers that use these collections. The first component of the project will assess the influence of temperature and preservation approaches on the survival of biomolecules in museum collections. The project team will then develop and refine a new protocol to recover genomic data from specimens preserved in formalin, as is common in natural history collections. The project will culminate with the development of resources for museum professionals that will assist in protecting, preserving, and making use of natural history collections using state-of-the-art genetic and proteomic approaches. Resources will include training documents and workshops, led by a collaborative team of genomic and museum professionals, at which participants will perform hands-on experiments and explore best-practice recommendations for sample storage and conservation, and approaches to and likelihood of biomolecular recovery.