9th Anniversary!

Happy 9th Anniversary to Notes from Nature!

It’s been 9 amazing years. We wouldn’t be here without our wonderful volunteers, science partners, data providers, the Zooniverse team and of course for our sponsor the National Science Foundation, so today we are celebrating all of you and the contributions that you’ve made.

As always we’d love for you to visit Notes from Nature and do a few transcriptions today! We’d also like to invite you to join our new email list. You can sign up here: https://mailchi.mp/b98cfe95091f/notes-from-nature . This is a new list we are going to use for occasional announcements and information about the project. Note that we won’t share the list with anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time.

With gratitude,

The Notes from Nature Team

Label Babel 3 – Rise of the Machines

We are excited to announce our next installment in the Digi-Leap series. The Digi-Leap project is focused on developing workflows to accelerate specimen digitization and make the data broadly available to museums and stakeholders alike. 

In this newest installment we’ll be asking for your help again with the label segmentation part of our workflow. Label segmentation is the process of automatically pulling the labels off of the specimen images. This process makes the next step of text extraction more effective since there will be less clutter in the image. The results of our previous expedition were promising, but we recently realized that we wanted to further refine the model. For this expedition we’ll focus on showing you how the labels are getting segmented and ask you to evaluate the results.

Please give Label Babel 3 – Rise of the Machines a try and let us know what you think.

– The Notes from Nature Team

Celebrate Earth Week and Earth Day with Notes from Nature

It’s Earth Week and Earth Day is coming up on April 22. We can all help the planet by continuing to document natural history specimens all around the world! Remember that all of the data generated on Notes from Nature makes its way to public biodiversity portals for anyone to use for science, education, art or whatever.

Please consider logging into Notes from Nature this week and classifying some specimens. There are lots of fun expeditions to work on.

— The Notes from Nature Team

That’s a wrap! WeDigBio 2022

We closed out the last day of WeDigBio with over 2,902 classifications. That puts Notes from Nature at over 13,300 for the entire event. It was also a big week in general with over 18,500 classifications.

Thanks to all the moderators, presenters and as always the Zooniverse team for keeping the system running behind the scenes. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all the volunteers without whom we literally wouldn’t exist! Your contributions are critical and every classification is so important.

The good news is that Notes from Nature is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so if you enjoyed yourself please come back and consider spreading the word.

There are still lots of expeditions from a wide variety of organisms available on our site. 

— The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio 2022 – Day 2 Highlights

There was lots of great WeDigBio activity yesterday. We received over 3,500 classifications. With that said, what really stood out from yesterday was all the wonderful activity and engagement. There was an enthusiastic talk about the history of the University of Arkansas herbarium, whose history spans almost 150 years.

Slide from Jennifer Ogle presentation on the history of the University of Arkansas herbarium.

The library symposium was very well attended. In case you missed it, The Biodiversity Heritage Library slides by Martin Kalfatovic have already been posted.

We also noticed a lot of new people commenting on our Talk boards and trying out new expeditions. We wouldn’t be where we are without all of your comments, thoughts and suggestions. We so appreciate each and every one of you.

We hope everyone is enjoying Day 3. Please help us spread the word and encourage others to participate.

— The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio 2022 – Day 1

It was a fun and exciting first day of WeDigBio. In total Notes from Nature received over 4,700 classifications. Our Florida and Arkansas plant expeditions were particularly popular. The highest numbers were for our recently launched Digitizing Biological Collections in Canada Project. It received over 1,200 classifications as well as lots of great questions and observations.

Remember that we have a symposium today on the Critical Roles of Libraries in Understanding Earth’s Biota. There is still time to register and join in.

Thanks,

— The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio starts tomorrow!

The Notes from Nature team is excited for the start of WeDigBio tomorrow! WeDigBio (Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections) is a global data campaign, virtual science festival, and local outreach opportunity all rolled into one. This 4-day, twice-a-year event mobilizes participants to create digital data about biodiversity specimens.

Notes from Nature is hosting lots of exciting expeditions featuring plants, moths, mammals, fleas and more! Remember to complete 10 transcriptions to earn your WeDigBio 2021 badge.

Also, be sure to check out our newest Project, Digitizing Biological Collections in Canada.

There are lots of cool events that you can attend online. There is still time to register for the special Symposium on The Critical Roles of Libraries in Understanding Earth’s Biota which will take place on Friday.

— The Notes from Nature Team

Specimens of Knox County, Tennessee Through Time

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville Herbarium (TENN) is excited to announce a Notes From Nature expedition focusing on vascular plants collected in Knox County, Tennessee! A couple years ago we were approached by a nonprofit environmental education center located in Knoxville, Ijams Nature Center. They hoped we could provide a list of specimens in our collections that were collected there in order to assist them with a species inventory. During the beginning of the pandemic TENN staff and students worked to transcribe all our Knox County, TN vascular specimens, over 5,000 of them, and although only a handful were found to be from Ijams (or the Bird Sanctuary as it was once called) we were still able to provide a species list based on what had previously been collected in surrounding areas of the county.  

There are thousands of additional Knox County specimens housed in other herbaria and now we hope to focus our efforts on those. Through the help of volunteers like you we’ll be able to further ‘leaf out’ the list of species we can share with Ijams and hopefully this expedition with be just the beginning. Come help us transcribe historical specimens from as early as the mid-1800’s! 

You can try it on the Southeastern US Biodiversity Project. Look for Knox County Plants Through Time, Part 1.

— Margaret Oliver, Herbarium Collections Manager, University of Tennessee Herbarium (TENN)

WeDigBio Event: Symposium on The Critical Roles of Libraries in Understanding Earth’s Biota

The WeDigBio Board is pleased to announce a 1-hour symposium entitled “The Critical Roles of Libraries in Understanding Earth’s Biota” on April 8 from 3–4 PM ET.  Three thought leaders will reflect on the central roles of libraries in humanity’s race to understand and preserve life on our planet.

3:00 PM ET Welcome!

3:05 Libraries as Venues for Citizen Science by Darlene Cavalier  (SciStarter & Arizona State University)

3:20 The Biodiversity Heritage Library by Martin Kalfatovic (Smithsonian Institution)

3:35 Libraries and Wildlife Conservation by Madeleine Thompson (Wildlife Conservation Society)

3:50 Panel Discussion

Register to join us for the event at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/symposium-on-the-critical-roles-of-libraries-in-understanding-earths-biota-tickets-302947633527

The 4-day WeDigBio event runs during Citizen Science Month from April 7–10 and occurs again from October 13–16.  To learn more about WeDigBio, visit wedigbio.org; to learn more about Citizen Science Month, visit https://scistarter.org/citizensciencemonth.  We’re here to help you make participation in WeDigBio and Citizen Science Month a regular part of your organization’s outreach activities—just reach out to us at wedigbio@gmail.com.

WeDigBio 2022 Badge

We are keeping the tradition of the yearly WeDigBio badge going. We just rolled out another new badge just in time for WeDigBio 2022.

You can earn the badge by doing 10 classifications anytime during the WeDigBio event (April 7th – April 10th). Remember that you can see your earned badges as well as the ones you are still working towards on your Field Book. Note that Field Books are specific to a project, so you’ll need to do 10 in the same project to earn the badge. You can find out more about the Field Book and how it works in a previous blog post.

We are getting excited this years event and hope you are too.

— The Notes from Nature Team

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