Montserrat Virtual Museum of Natural History
The Montserrat Virtual Museum of Natural History (MVMNH) has its origins in the need to find a way to connect those doing research on Montserrat's biodiversity at overseas institutions with those managing, protecting and living with it on-island. Traditional models of overseas scientists holding data that is not immediately available to on-island users is not acceptable in today's world, if it ever was. The desire to find a way to return this critical information in a form that was current and easy to understand has led to this product. Data scientists from The Ohio State University and West Indian entomologists at Montana State University teamed up with the Montserrat National Trust and the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, with the support of the Darwin Initiative to create the MVMNH. The original narrow concept to deliver insect data from an inventory of the Centre Hills funded by the RSPB, Durrell Wildlife Trust and Montana State University's Montana Agriculture Experiment Station was expanded after consultation with the Montserrat community to provide a platform that can serve a broader range of information across the entire range of terrestrial environments and biodiversity elements. The Virtual Museum will be started with information linked to thousands of insect specimens, and will grow to cover more and more groups. A Library of related documents linked to those specimens and the species they represent will come next, and data from other biodiversity elements will follow.