Plants | Birds | Mammals | Insects | Wet specimens | Museum specimens | Direct observations | Photos
Sagehen Basin Collections
Sagehen maintains synoptic teaching collections on site of plants, mammals, birds, and insects. The majority of specimens were collected in the 1960s, and largely ignored in the subsequent fifty years.
With the assistance of a dynamic volunteer-turned-graduate-student, Erica Krimmel, Sagehen began in 2011 to focus on the dark-data resource and untapped research and outreach potential of the station’s modest teaching collections of plants, mammals, birds and insects. Digitization of Sagehen collections included photographing the specimens, capturing label data, and publishing this captured information. Gaps that emerged between the herbarium collection and our basin plant list led to targeted collecting that provides volunteer and citizen science opportunities, triggers research requests, expands the Sagehen herbarium collection, and added 16 new species to the basin plant list by 2015.
These discoveries demonstrate the surprising power of a structured collecting program in that it adds to our understanding of the basin ecology and provides new research, outreach and education opportunities, even after 65-years of unstructured collecting in the basin. The Sagehen Collections Program dovetails with our outreach programs like California Naturalist and iNaturalist, providing opportunities for community engagement. Citizen scientists are now providing us with our first-ever documentation of geo-referenced species presence and distribution in the basin, data that will help document future climate change response. As of spring 2018, we are at 601 taxa observed and 6,725 total observations from 174 naturalists.
North Fork American River Collections
Sagehen also worked to update, digitize and consolidate the plant list, research bibliography, and historic botanical records for the North Fork of the American River, making them available online, and beginning an herbarium collection for the area that to date has collected over 200 vouchers, uncovered 17 species new to the basin list, and triggered at least 3 research requests in this sparsely used research area. Digital collections are a strategic way to encourage remote research in this logistically difficult area.
We also created a citizen science project through iNaturalist for the basin that provides species lists and observational data.
- 2014 Collections Activity Report
- Instances of recent published research resulting from Sagehen specimens.
- Annual Sagehen BioBlitz: 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018
Major Partners: Berkeley Initiative on Global Change Biology (BIGCB), Berkeley Natural History Museums, iDigBio, North American Network of Small Herbaria (NANSH), iNaturalist, Consortium of California Herbaria (CCH).
Sagehen’s on site herbarium contains approximately 1600 voucher specimens from the Sagehen Basin, and 200 from the North Fork of the American River. Our herbarium data is made available through the North American Network of Small Herbaria (NANSH).
To access the Sagehen herbarium records:
- Uncheck all the other collections (make sure Sagehen is still checked), then press search
- Enter the state parameter, “California” and press search
This will show all Sagehen records, or you can search for more specific specimens using other search parameters.
If you prefer, you can also find the same records in the Consortium of California Herbaria:
“You can trick the website by selecting SCFS as “Source” and entering some very recent date (e.g. 1 Jan 2012) and “before” on the “Collection Date/s” section below. That should give you a full list of the specimens we submitted–I think there are slightly under 1,000.” — Erica Krimmel
Wildflower ID Tools
Downloadable Field Guides
Use these customized field guides in your smart device for making IDs in the Sagehen basin, using only candidates actually observed here. Guides are available for wildflowers, mammals, birds, herps, primitive plants, and more.
Volunteer Al Grigarich created this online collection to aid with plant IDs at Sagehen. Find your flower (or tree) in the albums below, then look up its 4-digit code in the spreadsheet key.
Sensitive Plants & Fungus
Please help us identify sensitive species within the basin and larger Tahoe Forest by notifying the Station Manager if you are aware of occurrences of any of the species on this list
Approximately 160 specimens.
Approximately 450 specimens (200 study skins, 7 pelts, 199 bone sets, 24 hair slides, 18 scat samples).
Sagehen has a small insect collection (approx. 1000 specimens), but a wealth of knowledge about the insect fauna of the basin and surrounding region, thanks to our longest running course: UC Davis’ ENT 109. Students in this semester-long course must collect and identify 200 Families of insects.
Sagehen has a small teaching collection of wet specimens, including a variety of fish, herps, birds and mammals.
Museum specimens collected at Sagehen
Search for Berkeley museum specimens from Sagehen, as well as live observations from GBIF on the Berkeley ReserveMapper.
Photos are available to use under a CC x 4.0 license. Proper credit is generally (but not always):
- For contemporary collections: “Faerthen Felix / UC Berkeley, Sagehen Creek Field Station”
- For historic collections: “UC Berkeley, Sagehen Creek Field Station”
Please submit a reserve use application before using Sagehen photos.
- A wide variety of contemporary subject matter
- Recent projects
- Sagehen’s teaching collections
- Historic photo collections