This project was initiated in 2003 as an effort to document the diversity and distribution of the lichen biota of the grassland region of central North America. Ongoing fieldwork in support of the project has resulted in collection of approximately 38,000 specimens from throughout the region. Included among our findings are genera and species new to science, many species newly documented for the Great Plains and adjacent regions, and species newly documented for North America.
The herbarium currently ranks among the fifty largest lichen collections in North America, with noteworthy strengths in lichens of the Great Plains. In addition to housing specimens collected by herbarium staff and research associates, the lichen collection includes approximately 6,500 specimens from incorporated herbaria of North Dakota State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Wichita State University; the lichen holdings of Kansas State University are housed at KU on long-term loan. Specimen-level data are fully digitized and georeferenced, and are made available to the public and researchers through several biodiversity web portals, including our Specify Lichen Collection database.