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Welcome to the UTEP Biodiversity Collections Home Page


The UTEP Biodiversity Collections unit includes the biological collections resources and the research activities of its associated personnel. It concentrates primarily on the collections on which research into the natural history of the Greater Chihuahuan Desert Region is based, although it also supplies teaching materials for biology classes at the undergraduate and graduate level.

The UTEP Biodiversity Collections unit was founded as part of the Department of Biological Sciences of what was then Texas Western College in 1965 under the name of the Museum of Arid Land Biology (thus the acronym MALB used for many years; the acronym for attribution of published specimens became "UTEP" under the Laboratory for Environmental Biology and is maintained under the new name). For arcane reasons beyond local control, it eventually changed its name to the Laboratory for Environmental Biology and, in August of 2012, to the UTEP Biodiversity Collections. At its initiation, it incorporated some biological sciences faculty collections; since 1965, it has grown primarily through the activity of Biological Sciences faculty and students. We are associated with UTEP's Centennial Museum through a memorandum of understanding.


MISSION: The mission of the UTEP Biodiversity Collections includes collections-related research in the biological sciences, curatorial responsibility for the biological research collections and for collections utilized primarily for teaching within the Department of Biological Sciences; provision of work space, equipment, and other facilities to classes, individual students, staff, and visiting professionals; interaction with professional institutions and societies; provision of informational services to the professional and general public; and both formal and informal interaction with non-traditional students.

Our web pages cover a variety of topics: collections (plants and both Recent and fossil vertebrates and invertebrates), LEB curators, checklists of vertebrates (modern and Pleistocene) and of butterflies of the El Paso region. Other natural history material can be accessed by going to the Natural History subsection of the Centennial Museum pages.

We would appreciate any feedback (phone, fax, and e-mail information is at the bottom of this page).

The Mammalogy, Ornithology, Herbarium, and a portion of the Vertebrate Paleobiology collections databases are online. On the first visit to these databases, please go first to the database introductory page. The Herpetology Collection database is accessible through HerpNET.

A website specifically focused on the Chihuahuan Desert was funded by a NASA MUSPIN grant to the Centennial Museum. The web pages are now integrated on the Centennial Museum site with other materials formerly spread among the several sites sponsored by the Centennial Museum and UTEP Biodiversity Collections. New material on the Chihuahuan Desert is added periodically.

A university-mandated overhaul of the Centennial Museum website has rendered a number of pages unavailable, at least temporarily. We are currently working to restore accessibility to those pages.

Especially featured on these pages is the Pleistocene Vertebrates of New Mexico and Trans-Pecos Texas, a book-length web production based on the UTEP Biodiversity Collections and the technical literature. The same material is being presented as e-books: the first covers the fish, amphibians, reptiles, turtles, and birds; the second, mammals; the third, the fossil sites. All became available in August of 2012. Access is from the E-BOOK page.

The UTEP Biodiversity Collections is a member of the Natural Science Collections Alliance, and the mammalogy collections are accredited by the American Society of Mammalogists.

Original materials on this web site are copyrighted. Limited use for educational purposes is allowed provided proper credit is given; however, some images are presented by permission of others, so please query us before using images. For textual material, please inform us of use as a matter of courtesy. Commercial use of images or text, in whole or in part, is expressly forbidden without formal, written approval. Contact us for further information.

University of Texas at El Paso
500 W University Avenue,
UTEP Biodiversity Collections,
Biological Sciences,
El Paso, TX 79968-0519

Telephone: (915) 747-5553
E-mail: egreenbaum@utep.edu
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