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Dan,  Two points in your comments stand out, and maybe are worth pondering
further.

On Sat, May 29, 2021 at 1:27 PM Dan Young <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>
> ...cut, cut...
>  We were offered a five year "temporary space" allocation under the
> condition we not modify the existing lab space. As you might imagine, a wet
> lab - bench space is not conducive to housing cabinets & bulk wet
> collections as we intended. And what does five years do for us?!
>
> At a recent faculty meeting wherein the request was briefly further
> considered, a parting comment & question were offered. I'll paraphrase: *You
> know, a collection can't simply grow forever. When is enough, enough?*
>

It's not a question of "grow forever", but to become more strategically
valuable and more used so as to capitalize better on the values imbued by
the (more enriched) holdings.

So, how many ways might the collection "become more strategically
valuable"?  Certainly, some (new?) value can (must?) be found in the
existing collection --what may they be? And what critical and immediate
expenditure / allocation of new resources would be needed to cause that
value to materialize in a practical, measurable way? Also, if indeed
acquiring new specimens is indicated as one way to increase the strategic
value of the collection, then how would such acquisitions be focussed,
directed, and implemented, and what are the housing / storage implications
for making such a change in the collection's values 'profile'.


> ...cut, cut... The WIRC has been recognized nationally, regionally,
> throughout the state, across the UW System and campus - even the Chancelor
> and her husband have eagerly visited. *Yet, not a single faculty member
> of our department has set foot in the collection* unless to drop off
> someone for a tour of the facilities (or likely has the first idea as to
> what we do or why we exist).
>

Perhaps no faculty has been informed of the collection's value (to the
Department, to the State, to Society) --e.g., out of sight (mostly inside
sealed cabinets and vials?), out of mind? Do they know what has been
published, and by whom, as a result of those authors "valuing" specific
materials in the collection? What does (should) it matter to the faculty
that anyone bothered to study and publish based on an examination of some
specimens in your collection? What did 'our' collection do for us today?,
they might want to know.

"*When is enough, enough?*"

When we know what Humankind is losing through its ignorance of Environment,
Ecology, and Biodiversity. Presumably, before we get to "know" that, we
should have the wisdom to not allow ourselves to get to that state of
affairs!  Isn't there sufficient evidence that we're racing toward
irretrievable and irreconcilable losses --that only then, we won't need a
more valuable Collection, one more fully capable of revealing the
intricacies, and interdependencies, of Life on Earth?

Peter

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>