I am a big fan of crowd sourced funding and in the past few years a couple of really good research programs could be started using such a large community based resource. For that reason and because I know both researcher and proposed research location I am happy to support a UC San Diego project by spreading the word through this blog.
Yesterday, Heather Henter from the Natural Reserve System group at the UCSD wrote to me (and I believe to many, many others): My students and I are working on an effort to document biodiversity at the Scripps Coastal Reserve, a UC nature reserve adjacent to campus. The students are a group of spider enthusiasts that are using DNA barcoding to identify and inventory all of the spider species at the reserve. This is really important because the diversity of little animals like insects and spiders is so poorly known and because San Diego is such a hotspot of endangered biodiversity. There are a lot of species that only occur here, and a lot of habitat that is disappearing. We think that the first step to conserving biodiversity is just knowing what is there! We hope you can help us, or pass along our video to others that might be interested.
No problem, consider it done:
Are you interested in supporting Heather and her students to build a DNA Barcode reference library? Here is how.