Research

The Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center’s (CPBC) Digital Imaging Facility has been used for studies and projects by faculty and students. In the future, the facility will play a key role in the Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network, or SCAN, which will bring together 10 regional institutions to create an online library of the Southwest’s ground-dwelling arthropods. A selection of current digital imaging projects is listed below.

Zion Digital Image Library

The Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity houses the entomology collection for Zion National Park, Utah. This collection includes more than 400 species and 3,300 specimens. The Zion Digital Image Library includes images of the specimens in the collection to help park visitor’s identify the insects that they encounter while visiting the park. The website is also designed to share images with taxonomic specialists to obtain species-level identifications where this information is missing or uncertain.

The Navajo Ant Project

The Navajo Ant Project is the first comprehensive scientific field study of the distribution and abundance of the ants of the Navajo Nation, which covers more than 27,000 square miles of parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The Navajo Ant Project research team will use the latest in Global Information System (GIS) technology and field collecting techniques to study the role of native ants in the ecology and conservation of biodiversity. The Navajo Ant Project, which is a participating member of the Global Ant Project, is a collaborative effort between the Navajo Nation’s Diné College and Harvard University. The Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity has a joint research agreement with the Navajo Ant Project.