|With NSF funds (DEB 0071655) now in hand for an initial Sakhalin expedition in summer 2001, we will make a full circumnavigation of the island, collecting at no less than 10 major sites (a total of at least 10 transects). This initial full “overview” is required to help consolidate our ideas of how the work should best be parceled out during the succeeding four expeditions. Pending success of the present proposal, and hoping that funds can be made available by 1 January 2002, a series of four annual expeditions will take place in July and August of each year of funding. In summer 2002, we will survey the southwest quarter of the island, encompassing the southern tip and all the territory that lies along the western slope of the Western Sakhalin Mountains as far north as the town of Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsk. In 2003, we will survey the northwest quarter, extending from Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsk to the mouth of the Bolshaya River on Baykal Bay. In 2004, we will survey the northeast quarter, from the mouth of the Bolshaya to Mount Lopatin and the northern terminus of the Eastern Sakhalin Mountain range. In 2005, we will survey the southeast quarter, covering the Tym-Poronaiskaya Valley and the outer and inner slopes of the Eastern Sakhalin Mountains.
Following each annual expedition, members of each team will return, along with their collections, to their home institutions where sorting, identifying, and curating will continue; during this time, we will also complete the task of entering all field data into the locality database. The intervening autumn, winter, and spring of each project year will be devoted to additional curation and identification, assembling the taxonomic database, preparing loans of material to specialists around the world (and otherwise making the database and specimens widely available), preparing checklists and keys, and planning for the next field season. Following the fifth and final expedition, every effort will be made to complete the production of keys, guides, annotated checklists, etc., prior to the termination of the grant in September 2005.