TORCH VIII and iDigBio Workshop

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This wiki provides resources for the TORCH VIII + iDigBio Workshop at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, TX, May 23-24, 2014. TORCH is the Texas Oklahoma Regional Consortium of Herbaria ( and has received NSF support from the CSBR program for a series of workshops focusing on collections digitization. iDigBio was invited to give a one-day workshop to TORCH curators and students. Deb Paul and Joanna McCaffrey are leading.

Texas Oklahoma Regional Consortium of Herbaria

Quick Links for Torch VIII
Torch VIII Event Agenda
iDigBio/TORCH VIII Biblio Entries
Torch VIII Report 1 Torch VIII Report 2

Workshop Report

Workshop Photos


Registration is now open for TORCH’s 2014 meeting, which will be held at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, TX, May 23-24 (Memorial Day Weekend). Three activities are planned:

  1. Friday May 23 there will be an opportunity for a botanically-exciting field trip to Livermore Ranch,
  2. Friday evening we will hold the TORCH business meeting / curators’ meeting, and
  3. Saturday May 24 there will be an all-day workshop led by Deb Paul and Joanna McCaffrey from iDigBio on delivering your herbarium’s data to the national iDigBio Portal. Also, this year we are again offering TORCH workshop student travel awards.

Inexpensive lodging will be available at the Sul Ross dormitories. The agenda is now finalized and can be seen in detail in the TORCH VIII 2014 Information Packet (link to PDF below). The deadline for registration is Friday May 2.

  • Fieldtrip: The May 23 fieldtrip to Livermore Ranch ( in the Davis Mountains is optional and free, but requires registration. Those who wish to go should plan to arrive Thursday afternoon or evening and spend the night at Sul Ross, as we will depart early in the morning Friday. We will return to Sul Ross in the early afternoon.
  • TORCH Business Meeting/Curators’ Meeting: This will be held the evening of Friday May 23, starting with a BYOB mixer at 5pm. The business meeting is from 6-6:30, followed by a special presentation from our colleagues at Texas Parks & Wildlife. This is followed by a group dinner out in Alpine. The mixer, meeting, and dinner are open to all. The dinner is self-paid but registration is required to get a reserved seat. Those who are not participating in the Saturday workshop are free to depart following this meeting, though you have the opportunity to register to stay in the Sul Ross dorm until Sunday morning if you wish to spend more time in the area.
  • The iDigBio Workshop is open to anyone who is interested in participating, but requires registration and has a limited capacity. The workshop is intended for those who are interested in digitizing their collections, those who are actively digitizing, and those who have already digitized their collections and wish to make their data available to the iDigBio National Portal for Biocollections. In other words, it is intended to be relevant to the entire TORCH membership. The iDigBio Workshop (9am-5pm Saturday May 24) has a limited capacity for 25 curators and 5 students. Those who wish to attend this workshop should e-mail TORCH Co-Chairs Amanda Neill & Wayne Elisens as soon as possible to have their names put on the participant list. Workshop participants will receive travel & registration reimbursement not to exceed $400 (with travel receipts and/or mileage documentation) for their attendance, thanks to some residual funds from the NSF CSBR grant that supported the 2011 and 2012 TORCH workshops. Unfortunately these funds are limited and restricted in their purpose, and reimbursement is only available to the 30 workshop participants.
  • We are seeking TORCH members who will volunteer to present in the “lightning round” portion of this workshop. We seek very brief presentations (5-10 minutes) on any subject related to digitization of your personal collections, digitization projects at your herbarium, or on the use of digital herbarium data in your research. Please indicate on the registration form if you are willing to present something. Both curator and student presentations are welcome!
  • Student Travel Awards: Once again, we are looking for five undergraduate or graduate students associated with TX-OK herbaria who would benefit from attending this workshop. If you know such a student, please let them know they should start preparing a letter about why they want to attend the iDigBio Workshop, and they should request a letter of recommendation from their advisor OR the curator of the collection with which they are associated. These should be sent to both Amanda Neill & Wayne Elisens. The deadline for this competitive student travel award application (travel & registration reimbursement not to exceed $400) will be Friday Apr 25. The deadline for registration for the meeting/workshop is Friday May 2.

Please get your names to Amanda and Wayne ASAP to save a spot in the Saturday iDigBio workshop.

Registration and Information

Registration is now open for TORCH VIII + iDigBio Workshop, 23-24 May! The downloadable information packet and registration forms are below.

Pre-Workshop Meeting


Agenda for TORCH VII + iDigBio Workshop, Saturday May 24 (Sul Ross State University, Alpine TX)

  • 8:00 a.m. Continental breakfast provided (at the workshop venue)
  • 8:45 a.m. Check-in (name tags)
  • 9:00 a.m. Welcome, Workshop Goals & Logistics (Wayne & Amanda & Martin & Deb)
  • 9:20 a.m. Participant self-introduction
  • 9:45 a.m. Introduction to iDigBio (Deb)
  • 10:00 a.m. Overview of iDigBio Resources
    • Website, Wikis, Workshops, Listservs, TCNs, Portal, Working Groups (Deb)
  • 10:30 a.m. Coffee break
  • 11:00 a.m. Herbarium digitization projects: lightning round presentations
    • 3 slide max, ~10 min each, TORCH member herbaria
  • 12:00 p.m. Lunch provided
  • 1:00 p.m. Herbarium digitization protocols & workflows
    • for flat sheets and packets—from DROID I (Amanda, Tiana & Deb)
  • 1:30 p.m. Imaging equipment & standards & workflows (Joanna, Jason & Tiana)
  • 2:00 p.m. Data standards & delivering your data to the iDigBio Portal (Joanna)
  • 2:30 p.m. Coffee break
  • 2:50 p.m. Group photo (Tiana and Joanna)
  • 3:00 p.m. Data extraction & identifiers (Deb)
  • 3:30 p.m. Q&A, Public Participation in Digitization, Wrap-up
  • 5:00 p.m. End of formal workshop and iDigBio Survey
  • Workshop Photographers: Joanna and Tiana


  • Photos from field trip!
  • Twitter handles @iDigBio,@jason_brit, @idbdeb, twitter hashtag #idigtorch

Collaborative Notes and Communication


  1. Intro to iDigBio (pptx) pdf (Paul)
  2. Overview - iDigBio Resources (pptx) pdf (Paul)
  3. Lightning Talk:Augmenting Optical Character Recognition (aOCR) WG (Jason Best)
  4. Lightning Talk:Herbarium Digitization Activities in Oklahoma (Wayne Elisens, OKL)
  5. Lightning Talk:The East Texas Natural History Collections (Will Godwin, ETNH)
  6. Lightning Talk:The Macrofungi Collections Consortium (Wayne Elisens, OKL presenting for D. Shannon Ascensio (NY), Clark Ovrebo )
  7. Lightning Talk:Modernization and Digitization of the Angelo State Natural History Collections (Marcia A. Revelez, ASNHC)
  8. Lightning Talk:ScioQualis (Jocelyn Fenstermacher, SRSC)
  9. Lightning Talk:Pineywoods Plants Digital Gallery (James Van Kley, ASTC)
    1. LUNCH
  10. Hebarium Digitization & Workflows] (pptx) pdf (Paul)
  11. Imaging equipment and guidelines for herbaria (McCaffrey)
  12. Specimen Digitization @ the Botanical Research Insitute of Texas: Imaging Equipment & Protocols (Rehman&Best)
  13. Data standards for iDigBio's portal (McCaffrey)
  14. How to submit data to iDigBio (McCaffrey)
  15. Data extraction and identifiers (pptx) pdf (Paul)

Workshop Recordings

Related Articles and Papers

Local Resources