Take this opportunity to introduce new purpose and excitement into your organization. Prepare to relate your herbarium’s compelling vision to stakeholders and discuss long-term goals and strategies with administrators.
The “Strategic Planning for Herbaria” online course will meet 8 times on Wednesdays at 3:00–4:00 PM Eastern Time during the period March 15–May 24, 2023 (see the summary syllabus for details and exact dates). We anticipate that the course will require approximately 5 hours of work per week, including the 1 hour in-class. The goal is to produce a short (5–10 pages) strategic plan for each represented herbarium. Each plan will address vision, mission, values, stakeholders, strategies, goals, objectives, evaluation, and sustainability, among other things. The process is at least as valuable as the product, and you might find that the exercises benefit your herbarium in unexpected ways.
The course will be capped to ensure adequate opportunities to participate in discussions. We are looking for creative, committed participants who can help us to continue building momentum for this as an annual event. If multiple individuals from a herbarium are interested in participating in the course, we ask that one formally apply and the others participate in the out-of-class exercises and brainstorming sessions.
There is no charge for participation in the course. We invite anyone affiliated with a herbarium from anywhere in the world to apply to participate, but we do note that the course is taught in English. Please note that the course is focused on strategic planning, and not on teaching collecting, curation, or data mobilization skills. Class meetings will be recorded to benefit class participants who wish to review content asynchronously.
A summary syllabus for the course is available here.
To apply, please complete this short Google Form by March 8, 2023. Admission decisions will be made shortly thereafter. Admissions are based on a mix of considerations, including diversity of career stages and herbaria, urgency for the herbarium, the herbarium’s concrete plans to leverage the strategic planning in the near future (e.g., for funding), and sustained interest in the class as evidenced by application again this year after an unsuccessful application in the previous year.
While this course offering is focused specifically on herbaria, we plan to continue offering a version of the course with a scope broadened to include all types of biodiversity collections later this year. If you are interested in this topic but are involved in, e.g., an insect, fossil, or fish collection, please watch for that opportunity to be announced this fall.
With best regards,
Austin Mast (Director of iDigBio’s Digitization, Workforce Development, and Citizen Science Domain) and David Jennings (iDigBio’s Project Manager)