snake specimens in jars

Please read the following guidelines before requesting a destructive sampling loan.

Permission must be granted to perform any type of destructive or invasive sampling on UCM specimens. The term “destructive or invasive sampling” applies to any procedure performed on a UCM specimen that results in the alteration of the condition of that specimen. This can include: dissection, preparation for SEM photography, removal of tissues for DNA analysis, clearing and staining, skin clips, hair and feather sampling, or any other destructive or invasive procedure.

In order to balance the need to preserve specimens for future use with the demand to conduct appropriate research, the following guidelines will be used in making decisions about use of UCM specimens:

1. To the extent possible, specimen(s) will be kept in their original condition during destructive procedures.

2. Any material remaining after the analysis will be returned to UCMThis includes:

  • Specimens and all dissected parts (including stomach contents). Detached parts should be rehoused in vials or an appropriate container, and labeled with the associated UCM catalog number, determination and identification of contents.
  • SEM stubs.
  • Histology and karotypic slides (slides should be labeled with UCM catalog number and determination).
  • Unused tissues (dry, frozen, or ethanol-preserved), feathers, and hair.

3. Decisions to grant or not grant permission for destructive sampling will be based on:

  • Rarity of the species and its representation within our collections. Any procedure that will destroy Type specimens or endangered species will be denied.
  • Degree of destruction/invasiveness.
  • Qualifications of the investigators.
  • Physical condition of the specimen(s).
  • Significance of the proposed research.

Data Reporting & Citation

Copies of any ancillary data generated from loans such as  images, CT scans, measurements, scale counts, sex and reproductive data, genetic sequences, etc. must be sent and/or reported to UCM so that it may be appended to the associated specimen record(s). Any sequence data extracted from UCM tissue samples should be provided to GenBank, with GenBank accession numbers reported back to UCM for cross-referencing in the specimen record.

A copy of publications resulting from work on material loaned from UCM must be sent to the UCM Vertebrate Collections. Credit must be attributed to the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Vertebrate Collections, citing all relevant UCM catalog numbers.

All requests for destructive sampling will be made in writing, and will contain the following information:

  1. Full name of requestor (and sponsor, if applicable), institutional affiliation, mailing address, email, and phone number.
  2. UCM catalog numbers and complete taxonomic information of requested specimens (see Databases).
  3. The proposed study and research methods.
  4. Justification for the project, including why museum material as opposed to freshly collected field material is required.
  5. Why, in particular, UCM specimens are required (as opposed to material from other museums).
  6. The methodology to be used, including previous experience and success of the researcher using such techniques.
  7. Scientific merit of the proposed study and assurance that the results will be published in a peer-reviewed publication.
  8. Summary of specimens requested from other institutions.
  9. Requested borrowing period of material (loan duration will ultimately be decided by UCM Curator and Collections Manager).

Please direct destructive or invasive sampling loan requests to Emily Braker, Vertebrate Collections Manager.