An $187,632 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is allowing the Entomology Department at Michigan State University (MSU) to develop a 1,000 square foot space for its A.J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection.
The 1,000 square foot space is being renovated and will include two protective barriers against pests that feast on dead animal and plant matter. The funding will allow for the construction of cabinets and drawers that will protect the specimens from exposure.
“We will specifically get 13 cabinets, about 1,200 drawers and 35,000 trays,” says the collection's director and MSU Associate Professor Anthony Cognato.
When Cognato joined the department in 2006, nearly 90 percent of the collection space was filled.
“We didn’t have any floor space, either. We had part our butterfly collection out in the hall,” he says. "Now with this storage and new space, we should have enough for growth for the next 10 years. It will take about 10 years to fill up this space.”
The grant will fund what Cognato hopes will be a two-part renovation.
“We still have a room in the main part of the collection that has our vintage 1950s cabinets that we wish to replace because those do not close and are broken,” he says.
Cognato is from New York and worked at Texas A&M University before joining MSU.
Source: Anthony Cognato, MSU
Ivy Hughes is the managing editor of Capital Gains and can be reached here.