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Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC) Project

WILLI is actively participating in the {{http://www.sernec.org/, SERNEC project}} to create an on-line network of plant data. This NSF-supported research coordination network is part of a global effort to make biological information easily available for students, teachers and researchers. The herbaria in the Southeast house several million plant specimens that can provide information about plant migrations and plant diseases. These collections can provide information about plant distributions, migrations, abundance, and ecological associations of past and present conditions. This information can facilitate a variety of studies in fields such as conservation biology, environmental science, systematics, biogeography, ecology, and plant pathology.  The role of WILLI and other SERNEC-affiliated herbaria is to coordinate on-going digitization efforts to produce a single searchable database in a web-based plantform.

The SERNEC project is funded by a grant issued by the {{http://www.nsf.gov/, National Science Foundation}} to {{http://www.appstate.edu/, Appalacian State University}}, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey's {{http://www.nbii.gov/portal/server.pt, National Biological Information Infrastructure}} (NBII), and its Southern Appalachian Information Node; and the {{http://sunsite.utk.edu/, SunSITE}} information technology office of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.