TML> Koblitz, Bonnie* and Neil Snow. The objective of this study was to create an on-line, interactive identification key to the vascular plants of the Laramie Foothills region in northcentral Colorado using Lucid Professional software. Computerized interactive keys are an important component of the bioinformatics revolution and soon will be ubiquitous as diagnostic tools in systematics. Some of the many advantages that Lucid has over traditional dichotomous keys include: 1) an expedited ability to make correct identifications; 2) characters of the unknown specimen can be entered in any order; 3) vegetative characters often have equal diagnostic value as reproductive characters; 4) taxa that do not match the selected characters are discarded as potential matches, thereby enabling the user to see on-screen the names of potential matches; 5) numerical characters can be entered directly, instead of choosing between two ranges; 6) an error tolerance function enables Lucid to retain taxa as a potential match that differ by one or more characters; and 7) the user can confirm the tentative identification of the unknown specimen by calling up digital images and text boxes that further describe the taxon. The Laramie Foothills region is an area defined by The Nature Conservancy because of high levels of rare taxa and habitat types. The region is a transitional zone between the Great Plains and the Laramie Mountains, and harbors a wide array of vegetation communities. The Interactive Key to the Vascular Plants of the Laramie Foothills includes 498 taxa, 251 characters and their states, photographs for 80% of the taxa, frequently used synonyms, common names, and voucher numbers. The key soon will be accessible through the website of the University of Northern Colorado Herbarium, currently under construction. It will be useful to private, state, and federal land use agencies and have value as a teaching tool for local classes in plant taxonomy.

Key words: Colorado, conservation, Interactive keys, Lucid, teaching, vascular plants