Tales from the iDigBio Booth: American Society of Mammalogists Conference

We (Deb Paul, Cathy Bester, and Molly Phillips) had a fun and productive time staffing the iDigBio exhibit at the 95th Annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, June 12-15, 2015. We set up the 10’ exhibit with the TV displaying the iDigBio Explore Research video series (thank you to Kevin Love and Chris Baker for helping us set up!). During the conference, we were on hand to give iDigBio portal demos for researchers, educate collections staff about ADBC, talk with graduate students and share information with everyone about opportunities to participate in iDigBio workshops and working groups.

We met many mammalogists associated with collections from around the world (Lebanon, China, Argentina, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Nigeria, and USA) and we gave demonstrations on how they can check their collection’s information on both GRBio (global) and the iDigBio collections list (United States). We also collected contact information from collections interested in publishing data with iDigBio to share with our data mobilization team.

We also spent a great deal of our time giving demonstrations of the iDigBio portal. We talked with researchers with diverse interests (global change, species distribution, morphometrics) and taxonomic foci (Canids, Equids, rodents, bats, shrews). Depending on the researcher’s interests, we demonstrated how to do searches and filter results, how to download and open data sets from iDigBio, and how to use some of the tools linked to the portal such as LifeMapper (sample search). We also introduced some researchers to newer resources like Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL).

During the meeting, we gave away over 50 iDigBio brochures and had 30 people sign up for the iDigBio e-newsletter. We are hoping that the four days spent interacting with the amazing ASM crowd has increased iDigBio’s visibility within the mammalogy community. We definitely feel more aware of the exciting work being done by researchers working on mammals!

There is talk about a biodiversity informatics or digitization workshop at next year's ASM 2016, so stay tuned!

Photos courtesy of the American Society of Mammalogists.

Watch the ASM 2015 Memories slideshow.