Welcome to the website for the Oregon State Arthropod Collection (OSAC), a research and learning facility devoted to the documentation, archiving, and sharing of specimen-based biodiversity data for insects, spiders, mites, and the rest of the members of the diverse group known as the Arthropoda.
The facility is housed in Cordley Hall at Oregon State University in Corvallis Oregon and is part of the Department of Integrative Biology in the College of Science. With ~3 million specimens, the OSAC is the largest entomological research collection in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and the largest repository collection of PNW insects in the world. The specimens we care for and the data associated with them are part of a global network of biodiversity research repositories that together form the foundations of how scientists empirically document, describe, and test our growing knowledge of Earth's biodiversity. Although this mission extends back nearly 300 years, it is perhaps never more important today, with historically unprecedented threats to biodiversity and rates of extinction.
Repositories such as the OSAC provide a means for scientists, conservationists, and members of the public to examine biodiversity across geographic regions and time scales not possible otherwise. Museum specimens not only provide the empirical basis for understanding where and when a particular species exists, they allow us to continue to examine this biodiversity using ever advancing technologies. Technologies including genomic sequencing, isotope analysis, and e-DNA are advancing our capacity to reconstruct both the evolutionary histories for these organisms as well as the biotic and abiotic environments they were sampled from. It's an exciting time for collection-based science - and we are proud to be part of it!