Volunteering at the Western Australian Herbarium

The Western Australian Herbarium, located in Kensington, is responsible for describing and documenting Western Australia’s botanical diversity.  It is the State’s principal botanical research facility dealing with the taxonomy, distribution and status of native and introduced plants.

The State collection includes more than 780,000 dried specimens of plants, algae, mosses, lichens and fungi.

The Herbarium plays a vital role within the Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions providing information that is essential for biodiversity conservation planning and management. The collection and its data are a dynamic resource, with material continually added or reclassified in light of new scientific knowledge.

Information on the State’s flora is made freely available through the Herbarium’s flagship portal FloraBase and the journal Nuytsia. Staff and associates also maintain an active Facebook page to promote Western Australia’s biodiversity and the activities of Herbarium staff and volunteers.

The Herbarium’s popular volunteer program has been running for more than 30 years. Volunteers are involved in many aspects of Herbarium work ranging from mounting, incorporating and identifying specimens, processing images for FloraBase, creating electronic keys and maintaining the Reference Herbarium.

“Volunteers assist us in many areas and are an integral part of our achievements,” said Collections Manager Karina Knight.

“We try to make their day with us as interesting and friendly as possible, and they reward us by returning to help every week, and some have for many years.”

Register your interest in volunteering by contacting: Collections Manager Karina Knight on 9219 9130 or Karina.Knight@dbca.wa.gov.au.

For more information about the Herbarium: https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/plants-and-animals/wa-herbarium

Picture: In the Herbarium’s mounting room, volunteers attach (sew and/or tape) specimens onto card.