Tiny Costa Rica boasts an estimated 4 percent of the entire world’s biodiversity, and soon the country’s most impressive biological collection will be on display at the Museo Nacional. María del Rocío Fernández Salazar, the museum’s new director, said the transfer of these collections from the Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad stands as one of her major goals.
“This is a very important task we have in front of us,” Ms. Fernández said during a recent telephone interview. “The delivery is divided into two platforms between the physical aspect with infrastructure and control, and the digital platform with organizing the databases.”
The biodiversity institute known as INBIO boasts more 3.5 million specimens that fall under arthropod, plant, fungus, and mollusk classifications. A committee made up of related ministry heads, like the minister of Agriculture y Ganadería and the minister of Ambiente y Energía, is in charge of deciding which of those millions of pieces will be put up for display.
Ms. Fernández said those board of directors will meet again for the second time this week to discuss delivery logistics. The physical portion of delivery implies a lengthy process that requires the museum to install proper housing for the species with humidity controlled rooms.
She added that the construction will require a load of investment from the state, as these high-end facilities must be extremely stable and sanitary.
On the digital side of things, Ms. Fernández said the Ministerio of Sciencia and Technología is in charge of transferring the computer database from INBIO to the museum. Currently INBIO’s digital source allows free access to academics with an appointment. From scientific papers and manuals to web pages and books, the research information is immense.
The committee has a stated goal of completing the advanced infrastructure by the end of 2015, said Ms. Fernández, and the chosen collections should begin to roll in for display by 2016.
Earlier this month Ms. Fernández returned to her post as director at the Museo Nacional, as she also headed the museum from 2008 to 2010.