New York City's Community Biolab

Projects > Alaska Barcoding Project


Collaborators: Ellen D. Jorgensen, Ph.D.
DNA barcoding is a new way to develop taxonomies and distinguish between species that look alike but may not be closely related evolutionarily. It also can be used to identify the components of scat or mixtures of organisms. Since it is such a new science, most species on earth have not yet been barcoded. Dr. Ellen Jorgensen fell in love with Alaska ten years ago, particularly the area of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. She immediately bought land and, with several patient friends, built a cabin on her property using logs from trees they felled and peeled. In the summer of 2012 she led a Genspace expedition to the Skolai Valley which collected numerous specimens for barcoding. The samples are being processed at Genspace during Open Barcode Nights where the general public is invited to participate and add to the Alaskan barcode knowledge base.