Developing a Synthesis of Systematic Resources (SYNTHESYS)
contributors: Deborah Paul, Vince Smith, Laurence Livermore
Research Spotlight: June 2017
Hole-y Plant Databases! Understanding and Preventing Biases in Botanical Big Data
Inaugural Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference
iDigBio and the University of Michigan’s Herbarium (MICH), Museum of Paleontology, and Museum of Zoology were pleased to co-host the Inaugural Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference, 5-6
Resources for Collections-Based Undergraduate Education Workshop
Resources for Collections-Based Undergraduate Education Workshop
Research Spotlight: July 2017
Data Curation Profiles—An Information Science framework for data managers
-- Contributed by Wade Bishop and Kelly White, The University of Tennessee, School of Information Sciences
Data curation profiles (DCPs). DCPs give scientists, researchers, and data managers an enhanced and detailed understanding of the “data story” from the perspective of the data. A DCP “captures requirements for specific data generated by researchers articulated by the researchers themselves” (http://datacurationprofiles.org/purpose) and provides data managers a framework to acquire an in-depth understanding of the particular data curation needs of producers and their intended users. Read more about Wade & Kelly's work with the iDigBio community here.
2017 WiSE Girlz Spring camp
Digital Photography 101 Workshop
Bering Land Bridge and the MyCoPortal
Contributed by: Teresa Iturriaga, Rhianna Baldree, Alex Kuhn, Andrew Miller
Mycologists long to collect
areas remote to most men
where fungi today may thrive
keeping plants, trees, and cycles alive.
Research Spotlight: May 2017
Using specimens to create a pollinator community assessment of restored tallgrass prairie
-- Contributed by Heather Cray, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo
Animal species need space – a place to forage, grow, and nest. This is especially true of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), whose caterpillars generally feed exclusively on one genus or species of host plant (think monarch butterflies and milkweed). For the 4,000 or so species of native bees in North America, required forage plants and nesting sites vary from common suburban offerings (e.g., patches of bare ground, maples, willows, clover), to specialized needs which are ecosystem-specific. Enter tallgrass prairie – a grassland ecosystem with high forb diversity that supports a dizzying array of invertebrate life. As our continent’s most endangered ecosystem, the 1-3% that remains is a mix of remnant and restored habitat, and restoration efforts-- both large and small, are ongoing. Read more here.
Darwin Core Hour: DwC Standards in Practice: Introduction to the GBIF IPT
Using Digitized Paleontological Data in Research Workshop
National Science Teachers Association Conference 2017
iDigBio staff members Bruce MacFadden, Libby Ellwood, and Molly Phillips attended the 2017 National Science Teachers Association National Meeting held on March 30-April 2 in the L.A. Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles. The conference was massive – attended by thousands of K-college science teachers from around the country and world.
Darwin Core Hour: Evolution of Darwin Core Terms and Extensions - two extant examples for community input
UPDATE: link to recordings for Darwin Core Hour #4
Darwin Core Hour #4 (mp4)
Darwin Core Hour #4 (Adobe Connect version)
Research Spotlight: April 2017
Publishing a new species? Add the unique identifiers!
Citation of voucher specimen data can be problematic. There are currently no formulated rules for how to cite a digital specimen in a publication, but data aggregators such iDigBio, GBIF, and VertNet offer suggestions. Pensoft is leading the way by providing efficient methods for publishing digital data (see their blog post here) - but it still rarely happens, or occurs in a non-systematic way. Recently, with my colleague Dr George Argent, a new species of Rhododendron from Mount Yule, Papua New Guinea was published in the February 2017 online volume of the Edinburgh Journal of Botany. The digital data for the isotype housed at the Bishop Museum is available through iDigBio and we wanted to cite this information in the published paper. As a test case, we added the Darwin Core occurrenceID and a link to the iDigBio record page. Read more here.
Strategic Planning for Herbaria Short Course
The Society of Herbarium Curators and iDigBio are pleased to announce a 6-week "Strategic Planning for Herbaria” short course.
Take this opportunity to introduce new purpose and excitement into your organization. Learn how to relate your collection’s compelling vision to stakeholders and communicate long-term objectives and strategies to administrators.
Portal Curiosities: Asa Gray and the quest for Shortia galacifolia – a case study for the importance of collections
Contributed by: Donald H. Pfister, Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany and Curator, Farlow Library and Herbarium, Harvard University, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
AIBS Communications Boot Camp
The scientific view from behind the microphone
Imagine it. The sweaty palms, the nervous fidgeting. You're sitting in the waiting room of the radio station, the governors' office, or waiting to speak with the Chair of your Department. You begin question your preparation - What is the key message and main talking points? Is there an engaging and relevant story to highlight the science? Does it fit with the audience you will be engaging with? You begin cursing that you didn't have more practice!
GSA 2017 Technical Session Announcement: Natural history museums in the 21st century
Photo: Andrew Waits
Natural history museums in the 21st century - programming for the future while preserving the past
Darwin Core Hour: Thousands of Shades for “Controlled” Vocabularies
Software Carpentry goes to TDWG and Costa Rica - Two Firsts
By Deborah Paul, with contributions by Matthew Collins and Alex Thompson
Research Spotlight: March 2017
Collecting trends: how wars and human history influence biological collections
-- Contributed by Vaughn Shirey, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
A large portion of my research in The Gelhaus Lab at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University relies heavily on digitized specimen data and metadata, specifically the who, when, and where of specimen collection. “Big data” research has risen in popularity since high-performance computing has made it easier for researchers to conduct analyses of groups of organisms overnight; however, additional considerations to the use of large datasets should be taken into account. My research focuses on the historical biases present in natural history collection data, including identifying collection bias and gaps in data due to human history. Read more here.
Research Spotlight: February 2017
Allocating more memory to OpenRefine - and other helpful information for handling large datasets
-- Contributed by Chris Evelyn, University of California - Santa Barbara, along with Deborah Paul and Shelley James, iDigBio
This month's Research Spotlight contribution resulted from a recent iDigBio workshop where participants learned the basics of OpenRefine. Finding a limitation to the size of the dataset that could be manipulated, Chris found the following solution to working with large datasets from iDigBio and other biodiversity data aggregators. OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) is a powerful tool for helping with the cleaning of messy data - ideal for natural history collection managers, data managers, and researchers using biodiversity data alike. Read more here.
Final Update: Inaugural Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference, 5-6 June 2017, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Registration and Abstract Submission are now open for the Inaugural Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference, 5-6 June 2017, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Conference sponsors include iDigBio, the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, the University of Michigan Herbarium, and the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology.
iDigBio's Big Data Methods Symposium at TDWG 2016
iDigBio Update for 2016
Dear iDigBio Enthusiasts,
Research Spotlight: January 2017
TDWG 2016: Highlights for biodiversity research
-- Contributed by Shelley James & Libby Ellwood, iDigBio
The Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) annual meeting in 2016 had the theme of "Standards Supporting Innovation in Biodiversity and Conservation". Understanding the use of biodiversity standards, and having clear and concise documentation, is essential for the creation, aggregation and downstream use of biodiversity data, and it is exciting to see the diverse TDWG community helping to clarify and expand on the already existing data standards. Read more here.
IBC2017: Call for abstracts
Green digitization: online botanical collections data answering real-world questions
An iDigBio-hosted Symposium at the XIX International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen, China
SPNHC 2017: Call for Abstracts
The Society for Preservation of Natural History Collection's (SPNHC) 2017 Conference, "The Next Generation in Best Practices" is being held in Denver, Colorado, from June 18 - 24, 2017, hosted by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Botanic Gardens.