The College of Idaho is a liberal arts college focusing on high-quality undergraduate education. The H.M. Tucker Herbarium is operated under the Biology Department and has served for over a century as a means of enabling undergraduate students to participate in research in floristics, systematics, and evolutionary and conservation biology. The botanists of the Biology Department have curated the herbarium since the beginning days when Presbyterian minister, botanist, and college founder William Judson Boone first collected plants with his students in the 1890s.

The area of focus is southeastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho. Most collections are from south of the Salmon River and west of Cassia County in Idaho and from Harney and Malheur Counties in Oregon. The collections in mostly Harney County allowed curator Don Mansfield to prepare the Flora of Steens Mountain (Oregon State University Press, 2000).  Current collection efforts focus on developing a Flora of the Owyhee.