Updated: Digitizing Plant Collections Workshop

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Digitizing Vascular and Non-Vascular Plant Collections

Valdosta State University, Valdosta GA

September 17th - 18th, 2012


iDigBio is offering a series of preparation-specific workshops focusing on organizing, launching, and maintaining a biological collections digitization program. The first of these workshops will focus on vascular and non-vascular plant digitization and will be held at Valdosta State University, September 16­–18, 2012. We have funding to support travel and per diem for up to 25 participants.

The primary goal of these workshops is to prepare participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to launch or maintain a digitization program individually, through collaboration with an existing Thematic Collections Network (TCN), or through collaboration with iDigBio. The target audience includes collections managers, curators, and herbarium directors.

The original impetus for this training included a focus on institutions–large and small–in the initial stages of implementing or planning a digitization program. However, the content is evolving and will likely prove useful to those somewhat more experienced with digitization protocols. Workshop topics will include: 1) an overview of iDigBio, ADBC, and nationwide digitization activities, 2) how to organize and launch a digitization program, 3) a detailed overview of digitization tasks, 4) hands on use of several camera systems and lighting configurations, including step-by-step configuration guidelines, 5) an introduction to and overview of several database management systems including Specify, KE EMu, Symbiota, Apiary, Salix, and strategies for custom-designed solutions, 6) hands-on use of several imaging software packages, including Lightroom, Photoshop, Canon Digital Photo Professional, and Nikon Capture NX2, 7) a consideration of barcodes and file-naming strategies, 8) how to develop effective workflows and protocols, 9) strategies for evaluating hardware and software, 10) a detailed overview of procedures for image and data capture, including a detailed overview of image types, image manipulation, and image conversion, 11) strategies and  considerations for georeferencing, including to online and collaborative tools, and 12) methods for moving digitized data to the internet via data aggregators and harvesters. Sample printed workflows, protocols, hardware specifications, and comparisons of software and hardware features will be distributed. Workshop sessions will focus on specific digitization content, practical application, hands-on implementation, and informal discussion.

Workshop leadership is still being confirmed, but currently includes:

  • Richard Carter, professor of Botany, director of the herbarium at Valdosta State University, and co-PI on a collaborative digitization project with the University of Georgia
  • Mike Bevans, imaging expert, digital photographer, and Information Manager for Digitization at the New York Botanical Garden
  • Herrick Brown,  specimen database specialist, Assistant Botanist with the South Carolina Heritage Program, and Assistant Curator at the University of South Carolina’s A. C. Moore Herbarium
  • Gil Nelson, iDigBio’s digitization specialist, former coordinator of the Deep South Plant Specimen Imaging Project, and co-PI on an NSF-funded digitization project at Tall Timbers Research Station
  • Deb Paul, iDigBio’s user services specialist, MorphBank expert, and specialist in data migration and harvesting.

Those desiring to attend this workshop should complete the application and return it to Cathy Bester (cbester@flmnh.ufl.edu) on or before July 1, 2012. For more information see iDigBio.org or e-mail Gil Nelson.

What: Workshop for Digitizing Vascular and Non-vascular Plant Collections.

Where: Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia.

Who: Vascular and non-vascular plant collections managers, curators, and directors who are in the planning stages or early initiation of collection digitization.

When: September 17-18, 2012.

Contact: For further information, contact Gil Nelson (gnelson@bio.fsu.edu)

Start Date: 
Monday, September 17, 2012 (All day) to Tuesday, September 18, 2012 (All day)