National Systematics Laboratory
Nat'l Museum of Natural History
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012 USA
The informal origin of the National Systematics Laboratory of NOAA's Fisheries Service can be traced to 15 August 1942. On this date, Samuel F. Hildebrand of the United States Bureau of Fisheries moved into the Division of Fishes of the National Museum of Natural History. This move followed the merger of the Bureau of Fisheries fish collection with that of the U. S. National Museum and allowed Dr. Hildenbrand to continue his ichthyological research for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Fisheries.
In 1970, the laboratory took on its present name when it was transferred from the Department of the Interior to the newly created National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This name change came after Dan Cohen and Bruce Collette hired Ken Boss as a malacologist and then Isa Canet (Dr. Isabel Pérez Farfante) as a shrimp specialist and the 'Ichthyological' was no longer appropriate. Although the lab has national responsibilities, it is administered by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service.