Algae Herbarium Debuts at the 2nd Annual California Seaweed Festival!

Mon, 11/01/2021 - 09:47 -- Ann Bishop

We are thrilled to find ways to bring the Cheadle Center’s natural history collections to the community and generate new excitement about the organisms of the Santa Barbara Coast. Last Saturday, October 23, 2021, the Algae of the Pacific Coast Collection was featured at California Seagrants’s second annual California Seaweed Festival at Santa Barbara City College. The festival featured presentations, panels, vendors, and demonstrations focused on the important role seaweed plays to California’s environment and people. The festival was a marvelous blend of science, art, and culture and all things related to seaweed. 

The UCSB Cheadle Center seaweed collection was featured at a demonstration booth, “Harnessing herbaria: exploring seaweed collections through time."  Ann Bishop, CCBER Herbarium Technician and Algae Curator, and Karina Arzuyan, phycology master’s student from San Diego State University collaborated to teach festival participants not only what herbariums are but why they are important to understanding seaweed today. Participants learned about the specimens of the CCBER Seaweeds of the Pacific North West Collection and digitization project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences Grant (MA-245711-OMS-20). Festival participants were encouraged to examine the diversity of algae and the information on the specimen labels, look at microscope slides using a computer monitor.  Ann also led demonstrations on how to create a homemade plant press and how participants could press seaweed at home.Herbarium specimens show us the diversity of shape and structure seaweed can present, and have been used for hundreds of years to teach and create art. They are also now becoming a valuable source of historic environmental data, DNA, and other research inspiration. The California Seaweed festival was great success including over 400 participants of all ages who came to enjoy the day and learn about algae.


More information about the California Seaweed Festival can be found here. You can follow Karina Arzuyan @karzuyan on Instagram. This article was written and photographs by CCBER Natural History Collections Herbarium Algae Technichian Ann Bishop.



Monday, November 1, 2021 - 09:45