The Chadron State College Herbarium is the physical plant record of the flora of Western Nebraska and surrounding areas including the historic Sand Hills region. The herbarium not only serve the scholars of botanical natural history but provides information of a practical nature for farmers, ranchers, and agencies serving the environment of the region.
It took 60 years of the existence of the College for the Herbarium to acquire some 2400 specimens. In the last quarter of a century the Herbarium has grown to more than 42,200 specimens and 3 major archives. It has grown from a small college plant collection used primarily to supplying reference specimens for teaching to the size of a herbarium appropriate for a regional university, allowing the physical foundation for fulfilling all major aspects of the role and mission of Chadron State College in the areas of teaching, research, and public service for the academic disciplines of the plant sciences. The herbarium and its accompanying facilities, the Greenhouse for example, serves students in both the Biology and Agriculture Departments, each in its own School at the college, thus covering half the Schools present on campus.
Mari Sandoz’s sister, Flora Sandoz, a trained botanist, has added specimens to the collection.