The source materials associated with biodiversity collections often contain the most complete and sometimes most accurate descriptions of localities, collecting events, and even the collection objects themselves of any extant documentation.
iDigBio, Archbold Biological Station, Tall Timbers Research Station (TTRS), and the Godfrey Herbarium at Florida State University (FSU) teamed up the weekend of January 18th and part of the following week to image Archbold’s entire herbarium collection. Gil Nelson and Joanna McCaffrey hauled a carload of contributed technology, including camera stations and equipment provided by TTRS and FSU as well as iDigBio’s new OR Technologies light box to the south-central Florida field station for the event.
The Education and Outreach Workshop, held in Gainesville, FL from January 15-17, 2014, brought together representatives from each TCN to broaden our knowledge of E&O opportunities, resources, and strategies. Education and outreach are critical components of iDigBio TCNs. These activities are as wide-ranging and diverse as the TCNs themselves, and have likewise engaged a variety of students.
Canada's Museum of Nature is part of an international movement to put archives online for researchers. CLICK HERE to read full article on CBC News site.
By Max Paris Environment Unit, CBC News Posted: Jan 05, 2014 9:00 PM ET Last Updated: Jan 05, 2014 12:21 PM ET
The CITSCribe Hackathon, co-organized by Zooniverse's Notes from Nature Project and iDigBio brought together over 30 programmers and researchers from the areas of biodiversity research and digital humanities for a week to further enable public participation in the transcription of biodiversity specimen labels.
Any doubt about the importance of small herbaria or the enthusiasm of their curators was certainly dispelled at the recent Mobilizing Small Herbaria workshop held at Florida State University the week of December 9th. Co-sponsored by iDigBio, the Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium at Florida State, the North American Network of Small Herbaria, and the Small Collections Network (SCNet), the event brought together about 30 collections professionals from 25 institutions representing 16 states.
by Deborah Paul, on Twitter @idbdeb
The iDigBio Summit III was held in Tallahassee, Florida, at the Aloft Hotel, November 18-21, 2013. Sixty attendees from more than 31 institutions met and focused on shared goals, challenges and opportunities, and collaboration among stakeholders.
More than 60 paleontologists representing 41 institutions assembled in New Haven, CT the week of September 23rd, 2013 to share ideas, protocols, preferences, and strategies. This was iDigBio’s most populous workshop to date, with an assortment of excellent presentations and ample opportunities for rich discussion.
There was no dearth of enthusiasm or expertise at the recent Fluid-preserved Arthropod and Microscopic Slide Imaging workshop held at the University of Michigan September 16-18, 2013. For those whose interests span the gamut of cameras, lenses, microscopes, and the myriad gadgets and creative solutions that make it possible to capture images of difficult subjects, this workshop was the place to be.
Austin Mast interviews Libby Ellwood, our newest postdoctoral scholar.
Mast: It's my pleasure to welcome you as iDigBio's newest postdoctoral scholar, Libby. Your research focus will be on broadening public participation in the digitization of biodiversity research specimens. This is a goal to which your previous research background is well suited. What do you see as the most relevant aspects of your previous graduate and postdoctoral research for this new position?
Ellwood: Thanks, I’m thrilled to be a part of iDigBio’s dynamic team. I learned quickly in my graduate career that there is a wealth of information contained in museum specimens and that they are extremely useful in contemporary scientific research.
I earned my PhD in Biology from Boston University where my research focused on the effects of climate change on plants and animals. The metric I used to assess how much plants and animals were affected was phenology, the timing of biological events. Phenology includes the timing of when plants flower, when insects emerge and when migratory birds arrive, and many of these annual activities are impacted by temperature. In order to evaluate whether an organism’s phenology has changed, I first needed to understand the historical phenology—the date that a certain plant was flowering a hundred years ago, for example. Old journals, including those of Henry David Thoreau, were invaluable for this research. Some of these resources I found digitized online, while many others were tucked away deep in the special collections of museums and libraries. These records, combined with modern-day observations of the same plants and animals, allowed me to track phenology over 160 years. Several interesting discoveries came from this research, including the finding that many plant species are now flowering up to three weeks earlier now than they were in the 1850’s when Thoreau was observing them!
On Friday, September 6th, Nelson Rios from Tulane University and the FishNet2 project, presented a lecture covering advanced use of GEOLocate software and services available through the web-based Application Programming Interface (API). Using Adobe Connect meeting software, over 30 people came to find out what they can do with GEOLocate tools and services beyond the online public user-interface. The recorded meeting was IT-oriented, but those new to "just what is a service?" were also welcome. Many of the participants were from the recent iDigBio 2nd Train-the-Trainers Georeferencing Workshop and they were eager to pick-up where the TTT2 GEOLocate material ended. (TTT2 Workshop) (TTT2 Blog)
From across the continent, a diverse group of 26 participants, 10 remote participants, and five instructors gathered in Gainesville from August 12 – 16 for a week-long intermediate to advanced course on georeferencing natural history museum legacy specimen data, emphasizing how to present and teach these skills to others. Please see our TTT2 wiki, TTT2 participant list, TTT2 Course Topics Summary List, Training Videos on Vimeo, and photos on facebook for details.
iDigBio, Specify Software Project, and the Biodivesity Institute at University of Kansas joined forces the week of August 12–16, 2013 to offer its first “progressive” Specify workshop. The recent release of Specify 6.5 made the event a timely adventure. Twenty on-site participants representing 16 institutions were joined by up to 20 remote attendees for the occasion. The workshop began with basic installation of Specify, followed by four days of progressively advanced topics.
The Tri-Tropic Database Thematic Collection Network recently finished up an exciting course about present best practices for specimen-level data management.The two-week Short Course on Biological Specimen Informatics was designed as a first introduction to biological informatics with early career graduates students in mind.
Authors: Jeremy Frank (Short Course Participant) & Katja Seltmann (TTD Project Manager, AMNH)
The expansive scope of iDigBio’s activities places it in the forefront of national and international digitization and data aggregation efforts. Recognizing the importance of its numerous international partners and encouraged by the NSF to expand international collaborations, iDigBio accepted an invitation to join a digitization symposium featured at the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress held at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and to follow the symposium with a digitization workshop for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), in Canberra, Australia.
Demo Camp live demonstrations are a highlight of the annual SPNHC conferences. This year, iDigBio took this great opportunity to show the natural history collections community all we've accomplished in two years’ time. iDigBio Principal Investigator, Pam Soltis, stepped up to show off the iDigBio Data and Image Portal.
On May 6th and 7th, 2013, in a barn 3 hours from the home of iDigBio at University of Florida in Gainesville, the entire staff of iDigBio from UF and Florida State University gathered at Tall Timbers Research Station just north of Tallahassee for a two day retreat. Getting together at one time and in one place to work together was a rare opportunity everyone appreciated. We shared stories, celebrated almost two years of our project, and worked on our strategic plan.
Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH) turned out to be the perfect venue for iDigBio’s April 23–25 (2013) Dried Insect Digitization workshop. Overlooking Grant Park and the Chicago lakefront, FMNH provided an exceptionally attractive and hospitable environment with outstanding amenities. About 50 entomologists and digitization professionals from the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom attended, bringing together a diverse assemblage of knowledge and skill to address the complex job of digitizing pinned insect collections.
Digitization was a hot topic at the 2013 Association of Southeastern Biologists’ (ASB) meeting held in Charleston, West Virginia the week of April 10. Well before the beginning of the ASB–iDigBio-sponsored digitization symposium and workshop, several conference goers had already offered important papers outlining strategies and successes in digitizing small herbaria and incorporating digitization into biodiversity field research.
iDigBio Announces the Second Train-the-Trainers Georeferencing Workshop (TTT #2)
UPDATE: Participants Selected, GWG Second Train the Trainers Workshop Agenda
NOTE: AdobeConnect set up for REMOTE participation. Join us!
Save the Date Now and Join us remotely! See you August 12th - August 16th.
Application submission deadline was Thursday May 9th, 2013.
- Application via Google Form: http://tinyurl.com/gwgttt2app
Natural history collections have always played a crucial role in organismal biology, serving both as repositories for biological specimens that document biodiversity in space and time and sources of materials for scientific study.
iDigBio is actively compiling a list of DNA banking facilities and genetic resources repositories in the United States... more
iDigBio, the National Science Foundation’s national HUB for Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC), in collaboration with the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology, is pleased to announce the fifth in a series of preparation-specific workshops focusing on biological collections digitization. The workshop announced here focuses on imaging techniques for fluid-preserved invertebrates and microscopic slides.
iDigBio, in collaboration with Yale Peabody Museum, is pleased to announce the fourth in a series of preparation-specific workshops focusing on organizing, launching, maintaining, and/or enhancing a collections digitization program. This new workshop will focus on digitizing paleontology collections, including invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants.