Profile of Notes from Nature Team Member: Joan Ball

Name: Joan Ball

Title: Ph.D. Student

Where do you work primarily?  UC Berkeley, Essig Museum of Entomology

What you do in your day job? I study aquatic insects as indicators of freshwater ecosystem health.

What’s your role with NfN and what do you hope to gain from it?  If relevant, how will your research benefit?  I work on the Science team for Calbug and I’m compiling data from dragonfly and damselfly specimens for my dissertation research. Notes from Nature will provide historical records of species occurrences throughout California that I am using to study changes in dragonfly communities and species distribution over the past century.

What’s the most exciting aspect of citizen science work from your point-of-view?  I’m excited for online volunteers to see our insect specimens from wherever they are in the world, and to learn how we use specimen data in research.

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2 responses to “Profile of Notes from Nature Team Member: Joan Ball”

  1. Dave Shaw says :

    I have transcribed 10 so far but there seems to be no systematic approach to recording on the old cards. What are the brackets for after the species name is that the name you want. Do I use abbreviations or should I carry on using the full North, South, Highway or exactly as on the cards. Will the new transcriptions be used as new labels for the specimens or a new database?

    • Joan says :

      The name in parentheses after a species name is the author of the species, which we do not need. For the locality descriptions, you should enter the information exactly as it says on the label. We now have more clear instructions about this in the help text.

      Previously, the information from these specimens was ONLY on the labels and not in a database. The purpose of transcribing label information is to continue building a searchable database of the data associated with each specimen.

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