Student working on a research project.

Buffalo Botanical Gardens Database

The Buffalo Botanical Gardens is seeking to expand its comprehensive database for cataloging its collection of over 20,000 plant species.

The system will satisfy the American Association of Museums requirement that a facility provide on-line access to its collection. The system must be easily accessible via the web, allow for maintenance and administration by secure personnel, and provide users with the ability to search for plants, link to US Dept. of Agriculture information on that plant, see photos, and view & print a map for location of the plant at the Botanical Gardens facility.

The effort will involve a small student team under Prof. (Emeritus) Mike Buckley. Weekly meetings are anticipated. The project can be used for undergraduate or graduate credit, or as the basis for a Master’s project.

This is a combination of many technologies that need careful design:
- Database, which will grow to over 100,000 entries
- Web access
- Complete user experience
- Different levels of community and administration access
- Data population by manual entry, and from existing Access, and Excel files
- Ability to archive and retrieve from archive

The information stored for each record will include:
- Botanical Gardens location
- Genus
- Species
- Common Name
- Family
- Origin
- Quantity
- Labeled
- Current Status
- Picture
- Map to locality
- Botanical Gardens house #
- Misc info


• A relational database in mySQL or MS SQL Server, with a central server and several on-site clients for editing:
o A subset of the web user screens in a mobile app, to be used as people walk about the facility.
o A subset of the web user screens in a mobile app, to be used for quick data entry and corrections by facility staff.
• Web access for full data display but only limited editing.
• Construction of maps to show the location of plants within the facility.
• Complete descriptions of special exhibits and the plants they contain.
• Links to other botanical gardens throughout the country.
• A blog for users and staff to use for communications, centered around botanical concerns.

Research Project Information

Student Skill-Set Needed: Enthusiasm and some web savvy
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer
Available: Spring


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Michael Buckley
Title: Professor
Affiliation: Buffalo Botanical Gardens
Department: Computer Science And Engineering
Office: Baldy 19
Phone: 716-645-1145