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Outreach

Bob & Betsy Campbell Museum

Logo for Bob & Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History.

Driven by a passion to engage and educate the community, the small but extraordinary Bob & Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History offers personalized behind-the-scenes guided tours in addition to off-campus outreach activities designed to instill a sense of respect and understanding of the natural world. The Bob & Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History serves as a resource for both classroom and community.

The Museum of Natural History includes the vertebrate collection and the herbarium. The vertebrate collection is housed in the museum building, and has a specimen workroom and two vertebrate storage areas. The teaching collection is kept in Jordan Hall G20, which was renovated specifically for teaching labs using the vertebrate animal collections. The Herbarium is housed in the basement of Long Hall and has a small classroom-library, a specimen workroom, a plant drying room and several rooms to house the collections.

The vertebrate collection contains 4,000 mammals, 7,000 birds and 5,000 egg clutches, as well as 2,500 reptiles and amphibians and more than 7,000 jars of fish. The Clemson University Herbarium maintains an extensive collection of local, regional and worldwide floras and boasts the largest collection of plants in South Carolina.

 

Vertebrate Collection

Student speaking with two visitors to the Bob & Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History.The vertebrate collection is available for research and as a teaching tool for university educators, outreach coordinators, and more. Two vertebrate storage areas contain 4,000 mammals, 7,000 birds and 5,000 egg clutches, as well as 2,500 reptiles and amphibians and more than 7,000 jars of fish.

Use of Collection

The museum’s specimen collection is available for research and as a teaching tool for educators.

Only a very small percentage of the contents of this building is displayed in the public gallery on the first floor that features 32 whole taxidermy mounts, 76 head mounts and 26 skeletons, including deer, antelope, buffalo, big cats and birds. There’s an enormous eland, the largest of antelopes. And there’s the tiniest of antelopes, the dik-dik, which looks as if it ought to be featured in a fantasy movie about incredibly small woodland creatures. A small rhebok can be seen — spelled “reebok” in Afrikaans, it’s the inspiration for the Reebok athletic brand. The skeleton of a tiny hummingbird is posed next to one of an emu, a flightless running bird as tall as a person. Mounted iPads with touch screens allow visitors to explore information about the various animals.

  • Tour requests, loans, classroom or workroom use, seminar requests, or any other needs should be addressed to Melissa Fuentes.

Herbarium

The Clemson University Herbarium maintains an extensive collection of local, regional and worldwide floras and boasts the largest plant collection in the state. An herbarium — a collection of dried, pressed and documented plant specimens — is an important research tool that can contribute to work in botany, biology, ecology, environmental studies, conservation and other fields. The Clemson University Herbarium is one of the largest collections in the state and serves as a more or less permanent documentation of the flora of South Carolina. The herbarium is an important research tool that contributes to work done in the fields of botany, biology, ecology, environmental studies, conservation and more.

First organized over a century ago by a group of Clemson botanists to help them identify plant specimens for the general public, today the herbarium remains an important resource for the study of plants in the southeastern United States.

Collections consist of dried and pressed plant specimens as well as a moss and lichen collection that was organized more than a century ago by a group of Clemson botanists. It has become an indispensable resource for the study of plants, particularly those in the southeastern United States.

  • For additional information, contact Lorena Endara.
  • Read more about the 2020 renovation of the herbarium on ClemsonNews.
  • Mission of the Herbarium

    The Clemson University Herbarium is dedicated to the acquisition and distribution of information on the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of native species of the Southeastern United States. The herbarium is maintained as a research and educational tool available to Clemson University students, faculty and staff as well as interested individual researchers from throughout the world.

  • Accessing the Collection

    In summer 2020, the herbarium moved into new space in Long Hall. Contact the curator, Lorena Endara, to make an appointment to visit the herbarium.

  • Herbarium in the News

    Read more about the herbarium in these stories and blogs.

  • History and Future

    The History of the Herbarium

    The herbarium at Clemson University was initially organized between the turn of the century and 1905 by a group of botanists who lectured and were often called upon to identify plant specimens for the general public. The herbarium was used to verify identifications and keep a more or less permanent documentation of the flora of South Carolina. These remain the primary uses of the Clemson University herbarium today.

    The Early Days

    Much of the original plant collection was lost in 1925 when Sikes Hall, the site of the natural history collections, was destroyed by fire. After this disaster, two Clemson professors, Duane B. Rosenkrans and Myron A. Rice, took on the challenge of rebuilding the herbarium. Rice remained at Clemson until 1938 when he left for Cornell University to pursue a Ph.D. Rosenkrans remained on the faculty for over 40 years, and retired in 1975. Both men contributed numerous specimens to the Clemson Herbarium, greatly adding to our botanical knowledge of the Palmetto State. Another noteworthy professor of this period, Henry W. Barre, taught a course in cryptogamic botany and probably was instrumental in starting the mycology (fungus) collections. Most importantly, he saved this part of the collection from the fire of 1925.

    The Herbarium in Recent Times

    In the past the curators of the herbarium were often also faculty members. Their duties included the collection, identification, and preparation of plant specimens along with the maintenance and organization of the collection itself. Two professors/curators of recent times include Andrew C. Matthews, who served as curator from 1957 to 1968, and John E. Fairey III, who carried the duties of professor and curator from 1968 to 1977. In 1977 Caroline C. Douglass was hired as curator and served for 10 years until Steven R. Hill replaced her in 1987. In 1995, John F. Townsend began his tenure as curator and remained until 2001, when Patrick D. McMillan was hired for the position. McMillan later became director of the Bob & Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History, and currently is director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden on the Clemson campus. Dixie Z. Damrel was named curator in 2008 and held that position until she retired in April 2020.

    Lorena Endara was named curator and lecturer in August 2021.

    The Future of the Herbarium

    While the mission of the herbarium continues to be documentation of the flora of South Carolina and the Southeastern United States, a growing percentage of the herbarium’s specimens come from other regions of the country as well as other parts of the world. The Clemson University Herbarium is a crucial resource for the identification of plant specimens and an important source of plant material for classroom instruction. Botanists from the southeast and across the nation often borrow specimens from Clemson’s herbarium for use in plant research. The herbarium strives to be a significant resource for the study of the natural world that accommodates research specialists, Clemson students and the general public.

  • Herbarium Database

    The Clemson database is available through the search engine, managed by SERNEC — the Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections — is a consortium of over 230 herbaria in 14 states in the Southeastern United States. These data span 200 years of botanical information housed in herbaria in the Southeast and are vital to studies in biodiversity, evolution, ecology and systematics and to help serve the general public.

    To explore the Clemson University Herbarium Database:

    • Visit the SERNEC portal: http://sernecportal.org/portal/.
    • From the Specimen Search drop-down menu select “Search Collections.”
    • Remove the checkmarks by clicking the Select/Deselect All box.
    • Scroll down to Clemson and then check the box (or boxes) of the collections you wish to search. Then click Search, top right.
    • In the Search Criteria screen, look for plants by entering all or part of their common name, scientific name or other categories
    • When ready to search, select “List Display.”
    Matching specimens will appear.

    The Clemson University Herbarium is also searchable online through the Flora Caroliniana (search for CLEMS), an interactive and flexible interface that is constantly adding new features.

    Clemson University Herbarium also has a mycology specimens collection available online through the Mycology Collections Portal.

  • Policies

    Visitation Policy

    The Clemson University Herbarium welcomes students and researchers Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4 p.m. Due to field work and staff teaching schedules, it is advisable to contact the curator (at cendara@clemson.edu) to confirm opening hours. Arrangements to visit at other times must be made in advance with the curator. Visitors should sign the guest log and include their name(s), date of visit, research project, taxa examined and institutional affiliation.

    Incoming Plant Material

    All plant material brought into the herbarium must be first be treated to remove any threat of insect contamination. Plant material should be given to a staff member for freezing prior to use in the herbarium.

    Collection Use Policy

    The collections at Clemson University are available to all researchers during normal business hours. Researchers are expected to treat and handle the specimens with great care. If you are unsure about the proper handling of herbarium specimens, please consult a staff member. Researchers are asked not to refile specimens, and any specimens used should be placed in the designated area for refiling by herbarium staff.

    Annotation Policy

    Researchers are encouraged to annotate specimens they examine. Annotations should be made with archival ink or typed on acid-free paper. The labels should include the determination, researcher's name, date, and institution of affiliation. Annotation labels should be placed either above or to the left of the specimen label if possible. Please consult the herbarium staff for assistance.

    Loan Policy

    The specimens housed at the Clemson University Herbarium are available to scientists for research and education. The herbarium maintains an archival collection and a separate teaching collection. Loans utilized for educational purposes may be obtained from the teaching collection. All loan requests must be made in writing to the curator. Specimens are packed to assure their safe arrival and are to be returned in the same manner. Loans are made for either a six-month or 12-month period. Loan extensions may be requested in writing before the termination of the requested loan period.

  • Projects
Man holding tray of bird specimens.

Making It Grow

Visiting the Bob & Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History

The SCETV Emmy-award-winning show “Making It Grow” visited biological sciences and the Bob & Betsy Campbell Museum of Natural History and interviewed museum curator Melissa Fuentes. This episode features the natural history museum and its many animal inhabitants and examines the process behind the display of animals from South Carolina and the rest of the world. The episode also explores the Clemson University Herbarium that contains 100,000 specimens of plants.

Watch the Episode

Museum Faculty and Staff

Saara DeWalt, Ph.D.
Herbarium
Faculty Director

Professor and Chair,
Department of Biological Sciences

Office: Long Hall 132
Phone: 864-656-1112
Email: saarad@clemson.edu

Lorena Endara, Ph.D.
Herbarium Curator
and Lecturer

Office: Long Hall 132
Phone: 864-656-7234
Fax: 864-656-0435
Email: cendara@clemson.edu

Richard Blob, Ph.D.
Faculty Director,
Vertebrate Collection

Alumni Professor

Office: Long Hall 342
Phone: 864-656-2328
Email: rblob@clemson.edu

Melissa Fuentes
Curator,
Vertebrate Collection

Long Hall B07, B07A
Research Laboratory Service

Office: Long Hall 138
Phone: 864-656-2328
Email: fuente2@clemson.edu

Department of Biological Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences | 132 Long Hall, Clemson, SC 29634