Welcome to the National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank Project contract seed collector's page. Here you can find information on how to make a seed collection, how to ship your collections including seeds, herbarium specimens and data forms to us,and how to get paid.
We are collecting and seed banking seeds of native plants of Tallgrass Prairie region in collaboration with the National Seeds of Success (SOS) Project. All participating partners in the SOS follow the same collecting protocols. These protocols have been modified a bit to fit our program and can be viewed under the Forms and Protocols section of Seed Collectors' Corner on this website. The protocols may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but we have found them quite easy to implement in the field, and they are necessary for a quality collection. So please don't be put off!!
The best collections are made when target populations can be frequently visited and monitored for seed maturity, thus we are looking for collectors who can contribute to the project by collecting in their local region. It is often necessary to secure a collecting permit before collecting, which often entails providing a list of species. We can help you secure this permit but keep in mind that the process can take some time, so early planning is essential. Our contract collectors are individuals who work in natural areas, students working at specific sites or preserves, or avid botanists who want to contribute to an organized conservation effort.
Contract seed collectors work independently and are expected to locate their target species, collect herbarium vouchers, DNA samples, and complete data forms for each collection they make. A complete collection includes a GPS location.
Chicago Botanic Garden staff can provide training to contractors. Please contact Dave Sollenberger, Seed Bank Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming a contract seed collector and help conserve the biodiversity of the tallgrass prairie.