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The Virtual Herbarium provides an introduction to the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan using interactive keys and botanical glossaries supported by visual examples of specimens deposited in he main collection of the W. P. Fraser Herbarium. It is part of a larger project to digitize the entire plant collection.

The objectives of the Virtual Herbarium are but are not limited to:

  1. Providing the students with general knowledge about plant structure and the necessary terminology to identify plants using interactive glossaries, and
  2. Learning the major plant families and genera characteristic of the local and regional flora of Saskatchewan and Canada using dichotomous interactive keys.

The Virtual Herbarium project has been sponsored by the Province’s Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) program and is intended to support undergraduate teaching in botany-related courses at the U of S. In addition to provide course development, teaching and research support, and training in the use of interactive taxonomic keys to students majoring in Agriculture, Biology, Horticulture, and Plant Sciences, the Virtual Herbarium has been designed for out-reach purposes. The online delivery of the Virtual Herbarium addresses priorities at the Univeristy and department levels, such as:

  • To build bridges and develop shared vision for distance education between the U of S and general society unable to attend university.
  • To develop linkages between biological science and general communities, including outreach of first nations people.

Funding for the Virtual Herbarium has been possible by a TEL grant awarded to Dr. Hugo Cota-Sánchez, project leader and curator of the W. P. Fraser Herbarium. This project would have not been possible without the technical support of the project team. The project leader is indebted to the following persons for their input and content development of the Virtual Herbarium.

Kathy Schwartz – Project Coordinator
Randy Olson – Herbarium Technician
Frank Bulk – Manager DMT Multimedia Unit
Dion Rowney – Database Specialist
Shawn Zheng – Media Artist


To the following institutions for authorizing the use of previously published teaching material:

University of Saskatchewan 2003


To the following departments of the U of S for providing technical support, database and website development: Division of Media Technology, Extension Division, and Information Technology Services.