Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Museum and Field Studies

First Advisor

Robert P. Guralnick

Second Advisor

Christy M. McCain

Third Advisor

Mariko Kageyama


Natural history collections play an important role in the accumulation of biodiversity knowledge through specimen collection and conservation. When combined with other sources of biodiversity data such as observations, these collections can achieve a greater potential. This thesis involves the development of an observational biodiversity database for the CU Museum of Natural History comprised of occurrence records, based on Darwin Core standards. The database will also be robust enough to include ecological data captured in the field. The flexibility of the database to store multiple data types was tested, as was the effort needed to prepare and import each dataset into the database. The database captured the majority of data from five of six datasets, and preparation of those took eighteen hours in total, which is more efficient than manual data entry. Sharing this database through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is a key downstream objective of this project.