Hollister Herbarium

Mission & Goals

The mission of the Hollister Herbarium is to facilitate botanical education, to support research on the flora of Tennessee and the southeastern United States, and to aid in conservation efforts for rare plant species in Tennessee. The herbarium fosters leadership and expertise in our students through collections-based research opportunities and mentorship; HTTU engages the public through educational programs focused on botany and natural history collections. The herbarium contributes to botanical knowledge through the collection and curation of plant specimens that document regional and global flora, with special efforts to digitize collection data that further rare-plant conservation efforts in Tennessee.


Specific Goals (from HTTU's Strategic Plan updated 11.18.19, and following TN Tech's 2018 Strategic Plan, "Tech Tomorrow")


Goal 1. Education for Life. Tennessee Tech provides education that unleashes the potential and passion within our students and prepares them for successful careers and culturally enriched lives. TN Tech also provides educational opportunities, programs, credentials, and degrees to fuel the lifelong learning necessary for enduring achievement.

HTTU Goal 1a. Provide inclusive research and mentorship opportunities for TN Tech students.

  • Expand the curatorial experience courses offered through the herbarium. Actively recruit underrepresented students to participate in these courses.
  • Encourage undergraduate students to complete studies using herbarium specimens and present this work at TN Tech's Undergraduate Research Day.

HTTU Goal 1b. Increase knowledge and awareness of botany and conservation in Tennessee.

  • Actively seek students to pursue Master’s degrees in botany with a focus on floristic studies.
  • Publicize research activities on social media and HTTU webpage.
  • Encourage staff and students to attend regional and national meetings to present research.

Goal 2. Innovation in All We Do. Tennessee Tech innovates in all we do, embracing and deploying our technological foundation in our education, research, service, and stewardship.

HTTU Goal 2. Provide high quality, fully digitized specimen data to the scientific community. 

  • Continue to accession and process backlogged specimens that need imaging, databasing, or filing.
  • Transition from skeletal databasing to providing complete database records for each specimen.  

Goal 3. Exceptional Stewardship. Tennessee Tech is committed to optimizing resources and continuously improving effectiveness, efficiency, and return on investment for students.

HTTU Goal 3. Identify new sources of funding (public or private) to support education and research.

  • Engage with the TN Tech Foundation regarding potential donors interested in setting up scholarships or endowments to support students using the collections.

Goal 4. Engagement for Impact. Tennessee Tech fosters partnerships with government, business, and non-profit organizations to advance economic and workforce development, create and disseminate knowledge, serve the public good, and generate cultural impact.

HTTU Goal 4a. Create and participate in outreach opportunities that increase engagement with the public.

  • Display citizen science opportunities prominently on the home page of the Hollister Herbarium website.
  • Provide workshops and wildflower walks through the Tennessee Native Plant Society, Tennessee Master Gardener Program, and the Nashville Chapter of Tennessee Wild Ones.
  • Continue to provide tours of the Hollister Herbarium for local school groups, classes at TN Tech, and the general public.

HTTU Goal 4b. Foster collaborations with the scientific community and state and federal agencies. 

  • Expand partnership with The Nature Conservancy to complete inventories on TNC lands in White, Jackson, and Putnam Counties.
  • Work with the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas, private landowners, and other land managers to determine a priority list of areas in need of floristic inventories.
  • Collaborate with professors across the TN Tech campus to encourage students to utilize the herbarium for research projects that span disciplines.
  • Collaborate with the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas to identify regions in middle Tennessee that have of significant phylogenetic diversity and endemism.


Experience Tech For Yourself

Visit us to see what sets us apart.

Schedule Your Visit
Department of Biology