Support Species Exploration
Please consider making a gift to the ESF Foundation to support the Institute's focus on species exploration. Donations are tax deductible and will be used exclusively to advance species exploration, taxonomy, and/or collections. Naming opportunities exist at a variety of gift levels.
- An endowed professorship designated to assure curatorial support and leadership for an ESF collection. Such professorships bring prestige and recognition to leading faculty and provide to them flexibility for field and museum studies through an unrestricted research account. It assures continued expertise in an area such as botany, mycology, or entomology as well as leadership for collection development.
- An endowed student fellowship or scholarship to assist in educating and inspiring the next generation of species explorers.
- A contribution to our Species Explorers Fund that provides unrestricted support to the IISE's activities.
- A visiting fellowship to allow leading experts from around the world to work at the IISE from a few weeks to a year.
- Funds to expand and improve ESF collections that include the historic Roosevelt Wildlife Collection.
- Funds to support (a) an annual lecture, (b) a symposium or workshop, (c) an international "knowledge community" focused on a taxon, (d) our signature "Top 10 New Species" list, (e) production of SOS reports, (f) our development of a Species Hall of Fame, or (d) travel by IISE students, faculty and partners.
In-kind gifts from corporate partners are another way to support the goals of IISE and species exploration.
We also encourage you to support your local natural history museum and botanical garden who are essential partners in exploring and documenting the world's species. These institutions play an instrumental role in documenting species diversity and in making society aware of its natural heritage. They deserve your patronage.
Another way to support species exploration is to get involved. We welcome volunteers and contributions of specimens from amateurs who engage in exploration with us or on their own. It is essential to comply with all laws and regulations associated with making collections of specimens and to properly prepare such material for a museum or herbarium collection. If in doubt, please contact the curator of our collection or that of a partner institution.
The Need for Support
We are the last generation with the opportunity to fully explore and document the diversity of species on our planet. The biosphere of earth will look very different a hundred years from now, as species disappear and their distributions become altered. It is urgent that we explore and inventory our world's species. Species and their characters are the only evidence of billions of years of evolutionary history on the only biologically diverse planet within our reach. Unless we preserve specimens and observations of these species today, no future generation will be able to study, admire or comprehend evolutionary history in detail.
Species are also the components of the ecosystems that deliver essential services for our survival and welfare. How can we sustain such ecosystems in near complete ignorance of their elemental parts? Without a baseline understanding of what species exist and their distributions how can we detect increases or decreases in biodiversity, introductions of agents of disease, or acts of bio-terrorism? Scientists estimate that as many as 75 percent to 90 percent of all living species remain unknown to science.
If we are to explore and document earth's species it is literally a "now or never" proposition. Thus, our mission is urgent and of unparalleled importance to human, environmental, and economic welfare. Unfortunately, taxonomy has been sidelined in recent decades due in large part to myths and misperceptions. Leading by example, the IISE and its partners will demonstrate what taxonomy can do when it is coordinated, given proper tools, and supported at an appropriate level. We welcome you as a partner in this revolutionary change in taxonomy and its role in science and society.