Collection Use and Access

The Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center’s (CPBC) collections are available for research, education, and public outreach.  In providing access to or use of specimens, the governing consideration is the long-term conservation of specimens and collections. In addition to the following general CPBC policies, each division has specific policies for the use of its collections.

Collection Access

Access to CPBC collections for research and educational purposes requires the approval of the appropriate Division Curator or his/her designee, usually the Collection Manager. Individual Division Curators also have the discretion to grant access to individuals or organizations seeking to profit from the use of CPBS collections. Commercial users may be charged a service fee.

Access to the collections may be denied for the following reasons: a history of misuse and mishandling of collections materials at the CPBC or other institution, unauthorized consumptive use of specimens, misrepresentation of credentials and affiliations, excessive costs to the CPBC for staff time and use of facilities, compromised security of the CPBC collections and buildings, a history of criminal activity, or disorderly or disruptive conduct.

Loan Policy

Specimens and other collections materials such as collateral material may be loaned to researchers at established, scientifically recognized institutions. Loan requests must be made in writing to the appropriate Division Curator and should include a description of the research for which the loaned materials are to be used. Student requests for specimen loans and collections information may require their supporting faculty member’s signature, thereby acknowledging the acceptance of responsibility for the loaned materials. Email requests must be followed by a signed letter of request on institutional stationery. Facsimile requests on letterhead are sufficient.

Loans may be denied or limited because of the size or number of specimens requested or because of the fragility, rarity, or uniqueness of the specimen(s). Borrowing institutions must meet minimum standards for security, storage environment, and professional handling of specimens, as defined by professional organizations. Future loans are contingent on the appropriate care of loaned specimens. Shipping and handling costs may be passed on to the borrowing researcher or institution.

The duration of each loan, which may not exceed one year, is specified by the division making the loan. A renewal period may be negotiated before the specified return date of loaned materials. Loan shipments are made in accordance with the Lacey Act of 1900 (16 U.S.C. §§ 3371–3378) and the United States Department of Interior regulations concerning the Import, Export, and Transportation of Wildlife (50 C.F.R § 14).

The CPBC requests that two copies of the resulting published work be sent to the division that provided the specimens.

With permission of the appropriate Division Curator, loans to individual NAU faculty, students, and staff are allowed for research, teaching, and demonstration purposes. NAU barrowers are subject to the conditions specified above. Any person removing specimens, materials, or equipment from the CPBC without following the standard loan policy may be denied access to the CPBC's collections in the future.

Collection Visits
If you would like to visit the collections, please call or write the appropriate Division Curator or Collection Manager in advance of your visit. First-time collections users will be trained in specimen handling and collection arrangement before access to the collections is granted. CPBC staff will reinstall all specimens used for study. No food or drink is allowed in the collection areas. Individual collections may have specific visitation requirements
Consumptive Analysis
Please send a written request to the appropriate Division Curator when seeking the consumptive analyses of CPBC specimens. Prior written approval by the appropriate Division Curator is required for consumptive sampling, and researchers must refer to that division’s guidelines on how consumptive sampling is to be accomplished and documented. Residual products resulting from consumptive sampling (e.g., parasites, DNA strands, gut contents, karyotype test slides) are to be returned to the CPBC with two copies of any resulting data, written reports, and published results.
Loans of material for exhibits must comply with long-term storage, security, and environmental conditions. Additionally, before a specimen is displayed, it must be correctly identified to species (if possible) and cataloged, and the CPBC must be acknowledged. CPBC specimen tags are to remain on specimens at all times.
If you would like to schedule an educational tour of the collections, please call or write the appropriate Division Curator.
Special Collections

Special collections are any collection of specimens isolated for special purposes, including a division’s teaching collections, cryptogam collection, collection of os genitalia, and synoptic collection. Most divisions maintain teaching collections. Representative taxa in these collections are used on a regular basis by students in courses or in exhibits and demonstrations. Specimens in teaching collections are documented and stored separately from the main accessioned collections.

Reference collections are a treated as a loaned portion of research collections that may be on loan for periods of time in excess of the normal loan period. Although a reference collection is remote from the main collections, users must comply with CPBC policies as to care and management of the specimens.

Unprocessed or Uncataloged Research Material
All unpublished products of research activities, including data sheets, owl pellet remains, electrophoretic gels, field books, and blood samples may be loaned to another organization or researcher with the written permission by the original researcher or her/his designated agent (e.g., major advisor). Even if material was uncataloged at the time it was loaned, researchers using such materials are required to cite CPBC catalog numbers in published reports.
All materials housed by, donated to, or produced by the CPBC are property of Northern Arizona University and the Arizona Board of Regents. Federal specimens curated and housed by the CPBC remain the property of the United States Government and will be cared for in accordance with all pertinent federal regulations.