Herbarium

College of the Atlantic/Acadia National Park Herbarium


Collections

The College of the Atlantic/Acadia National Park Herbarium (HCOA) maintains a collection of over 13,400 dried  vascular plants, algae, liverworts, mosses, lichens, and mushrooms. Most of these specimens are from coastal Maine, but our collection also includes plants from elsewhere in the United States and Canada. The herbarium's major collections include the Plants of Acadia National Park and the Plants of Coastal Maine — the latter collection was compiled by the noted naturalist Dr. William H. Drury, Jr., one of COA's earliest faculty members.

 Group Number of Specimens
Vascular Plants 10326
Algae
583
Marchantiophytes 121
Lichens 751
Mosses 990
Fungi 653

In addition, the herbarium has a large collection of plant specimens and original botanical notebooks from Dr. Craig Greene, COA's botany professor from 1980-2003. Greene's records were instrumental to the production of The Plants of Acadia National Park, a popular guide to the flora of Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic Peninsula, and Isle au Haut. The herbarium is also a repository for botanical specimens from senior projects and other student research.

Uses

The herbarium is a cooperative project of College of the Atlantic and Acadia National Park and serves as an important resource for both institutions. Its collections record the past and present flora of Mount Desert Island and surrounding areas, allowing botanists to observe differences in species with respect to time and geography. The dried specimens are used to identify unknown samples by macroscopic and microscopic comparison, for which the herbarium has a selection of microscopy equipment. The herbarium also has a small but comprehensive library of books and periodicals about botany in New England.

Several COA classes utilize the herbarium, including:

  • Trees and Shrubs of Mount Desert Island
  • Edible Botany
  • Plant Systematics
  • Lichen Biology
  • Mycology
  • Bryophyte Biology
  • Numerous senior projects and independent studies

Research

HCOA houses voucher specimens for the following publications co-authored by COA’s students, alumni, and faculty:

Medeiros, I. D., A. M. Fryday, and N. Rajakaruna. 2014. Additional lichen records and mineralogical data from metal-contaminated sites in Maine. Rhodora (in press).

Mansfield, M., N. Pope, G. Mittlehauser, and N. Rajakaruna. 2014. Diversity and Soil-Tissue Elemental Relations of Vascular Plants of Callahan Mine, Brooksville, Maine, USA. Rhodora (in press).

Barton, J., B. Ciccotelli, J. E. Gall, F. C. Olday, B. Connery, T. B. Harris, A. M. Fryday, and N. Rajakaruna. 2014. Lichens of six vernal pools in Acadia National Park, ME, USA. Evansia 31: 31-39 (PDF)

Harris, T.B., N. Rajakaruna, S.J. Nelson, and P.D. Vaux. 2012. Stressors and Threats to the Flora of Acadia National Park, Maine: Current Knowledge, Information Gaps, and Future Directions. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 139: 323-344. (PDF)

Rajakaruna, N., T. B. Harris, S. Clayden, A. Dibble, and F. S. Olday. 2011. Lichens of Callahan Mine, a copper and zinc-enriched Superfund site in Brooksville, Maine, U.S.A. Rhodora 113: 1-31 (PDF)

Ciccotelli, B., T. B. Harris, B. Connery, and N. Rajakaruna. 2011. A preliminary study of the vegetation of vernal pools of Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine, USA. Rhodora 113: 260-279 (PDF)

Pope, N., Harris, T. B., and N. Rajakaruna. 2010. Vascular plants of adjacent serpentine and granite outcrops on the Deer Isles, Maine, USA. Rhodora 112:105-141. (PDF)

Rajakaruna, N., N. Pope, J. Perez-Orozco, and T. B. Harris. 2009. Ornithocoprophilous Plants of Mount Desert Rock, a Remote Bird-Nesting Island in the Gulf of Maine, USA. Rhodora 111: 417-448. (PDF)

Briscoe, L. R. E., Harris, T. B. Harris, E. Dannenberg, W. Broussard, F. C. Olday, and N. Rajakaruna. 2009. Bryophytes of adjacent serpentine and granite outcrops on the Deer Isles, Maine, USA. Rhodora 111:1-20. (PDF)

Harris, T. B., Olday, F. C., and N. Rajakaruna. 2007. Lichens of Pine Hill, a periodotite outcrop in Eastern North America. Rhodora 109: 430-447. (PDF)

Greene, C.W., L.L. Gregory, G.H. Mittelhauser, S.C. Rooney, J.E. Weber. 2005. Vascular Flora of the Acadia National Park Region, Maine. Rhodora 107: 117-183. (PDF)

Additionally, HCOA specimens have been examined by outside researchers for various papers, including those listed below:

Haines, A. 2004. Draba glabella (Brassicaceae), New to Maine. Rhodora 106:55-59.

Brunton, D. F., and D. M. Britton. 1993. Isoetes prototypus (Isoetaceae) in the United States. Rhodora 95:122-128

Staff

Dr. Nishanta Rajakaruna (COA '94) serves as the herbarium director. The current herbarium curator is Geneva Langley (COA '94); her work is supported by students who perform curatorial work for work-study or community service. Ellen Iida, Linnea Harold, Abbe Urban, and Ian Medeiros are the current curatorial assistants. Ellen is entering specimens from Wooden Ball Island, ME into the HCOA catalogue; Ian is mounting plant specimens collected by Luka Negoita for his 2011 senior project on Little Duck Island and confirming lichen species identifications; and Linnea is photographing our macrofungi collection for inclusion in a nationwide database.



Botany Faculty

Dr. Susanne Morse
Dr. Nishanta Rajakaruna

Dr. Fred Olday

Dr. David Porter


Contact Information

HCOA Herbarium

c/o  Dr. Nishanta Rajakaruna

105 Eden Street

Bar Harbor, ME 04609


herbarium@coa.edu

207.288.5015 x5809

Location and Hours

The herbarium is located on the second level of the Arts and Sciences building, adjacent to the botany lab. See the campus map for more information.


Due to a small staff the herbarium has no standard hours; if you wish to use the herbarium please contact us to schedule an appointment.