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Abstract Detail


Economic Botany: Applied Plant Biology

Alden, Harry [1], Casavan, Will [2].

What the heck is that? : The creation of a microscopical database/visual atlas for the identification of North American ethnobotanical materials a modest proposal.

THIS study seeks collaboration to amass microscopic information, along with accompanying digital macrographs and micrographs into a visual database of vegetative plant anatomy. This information (using Media Cybernetics IQbase software) will be used, initially, to identify materials used in ethnobotanical objects (wooden objects, baskets, mats, clothing, etc.), but will later be expanded to include other plants, as well as regions beyond North America. This database will be of invaluable use in the identification of trace evidence to forensic scientists, archaeologists, anthropologists, art conservators and museum curators. The project will be comprised of three parts, 1) the collation of known microscopical vegetative plant characters currently available in text form (Metcalf, 1979, 1983 & 1987; Tomlinson, 1961 & 1969, etc.), 2) prepared slides from classes and research projects collecting dust in universities and colleges and 3) the collection of characters from fresh and preserved plant material that are not readily available from 1 & 2. Fresh and preserved plant material will be sectioned and digitally imaged using optical and scanning electron microscopy. In this project, IQbase software will allow users at remote locations to access the database (at no cost), via the Web to identify ethnobotanical materials from museum collections and archaeological sites. The keys use text and photomicrographs to guide the user to an accurate identification. IQbase is a powerful system that enables one to construct and view interactive identification or diagnostic keys to any group of organisms or array of materials.


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1 - Alden Identification Service, 3560 Brookeside Drive, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, 20732, USA
2 - Media Cybernetics, 8484 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910, USA

Keywords:
database
identification
ethnobotany
Plant Anatomy.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 54-6
Location: 304/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 2:00 PM
Abstract ID:706


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