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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Wilkinson-Lamb, Sara [1], Barkworth, Mary [2].

Digitization, Inmates, and Beyond.

The Intermountain Herbarium has been working with inmates at the Daggett County Jail beginning in late fall 2012, when the herbarium received approximately 4,000 specimens mounted on non-archival, overlong paper. Wilkinson-Lamb, who helps inmates complete their high school graduation, approached the Sheriff and the high school principal about having the inmates assist in remounting the specimens in return for pocket money and high school science credits. We discovered that the inmates appreciated the pocket money, but also took an inordinate amount of pride in working for the university.  So, together we three developed a plan to continue their involvement with Utah State University by having them help us with another enormous task: data capture. This required creating an offline database, complete with nomenclatural and geographical reference files, for the inmates’ use. Barkworth created such a database but it was vastly improved by one of the inmates. The result of the inmates’ work was that the herbarium doubled the number of specimens data-based that year.  In addition, some of the inmates developed a great interest in geography and in learning more about the lives of the people who had collected the specimens. One inmate, the database designer, expressed concern about falling behind in his programming skills. Other subjects of interest included mathematics, philosophy, physics, biology, classical music, ancient history, and gourmet cooking. We are now exploring, with Don Wright, president of the PrisonEd Foundation, more ways to offer these often overlooked individuals educational benefits during their incarceration as well as providing them with work opportunities without conflicting with the private sector.  Such opportunities afford these individuals the chance to develop knowledge, skills, and confidence that will benefit them upon their release.

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1 - Dagget County School District, Adult Education, PO Box 118, Manila, UT, 84046, USA
2 - Utah State University, Department Of Biology, 5305 OLD MAIN HILL, Logan, UT, 84322-5305, USA

informal education.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 19
Location: Cottonwoods North/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: 19007
Abstract ID:271
Candidate for Awards:None

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