Dr. Karen McBee of the Department of Zoology was awarded a $160,000 National Science Foundation Grant to upgrade the Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates (COV). The grant will fund replacement of damaged and deteriorated cabinets for mammals in COV. The COV holds more than 13,250 specimens representing 26 of the 29 orders of mammals on earth today. These specimens represent biodiversity of mammals from every continent except Antarctica with an especially strong collection of Ethiopian animals. Some specimens are more than 100 years old. Materials from the COV are used in teaching and research activities throughout OSU life sciences disciplines. The specimens are the basis for research on patterns of habitat and climate change, genetic and evolutionary relationships, impacts of environmental contamination, morphology, and ecology. They are an important part of outreach activities with K-12 groups, with numerous school and groups and youth organizations touring the COV every year. Specimens have been stored in three different locations in a variety of cabinets and boxes including ones hand made by Curator Emeritus Bryan P. Glass and his students during the 1950s. New cabinets will alleviate currently poor storage conditions and improve use of space renovated in 2009. Skeletal material will be housed in dust-free cabinets, and fragile tanned hides will be moved into custom cabinets similar to those for large, fragile textiles. NSF funding ensures protection of irreplaceable specimens, consolidation of specimens in one location, increased accessibility, and enhanced long-term management of mammals, which, in turn, facilitates collaborations with programs throughout OSU including the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engineering, Architecture, and Technology, and Education. Funding for the project also will provide direct support to 1 doctoral and 3 undergraduate students who will be trained in curation and collection management.