Archive by Author | mwdenslow

WeDigBio 2020 appreciation

We closed out the last day of WeDigBio with almost 9,000 classifications (8,999 to be exact)! That puts Notes from Nature at 28,956 for the entire event.

We are so very thankful and in awe of your contributions the last several days. WeDigBio was another huge success! We logged over 28,900 classifications, hosted well attended science talks. On top of that we continue to see lots of great activity today (> 4,000 classifications today so far).

We want to express our appreciation to everyone who contributed. Thanks to all the data providers, scientists, moderators, talk presenters and the Zooniverse team for keeping the system running behind the scenes. Most of all our appreciation goes out to all the volunteers, whether you did 1 classification or 1,000 your contributions are sincerely appreciated and every classification that is completed brings us closer to filling gaps in our knowledge of global biodiversity and our natural heritage.

There are still lots of expeditions from a wide variety of organisms. We hope you found the event rewarding and return again soon.

— The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio 2020, Day 3 Summary

Thanks to everyone that joined us during Day 3 of WeDigBio 2020! Notes from Nature received over 6,600 classifications. That’s an amazing amount of effort.

We hope everyone is enjoying the last day of WeDigBio 2020 and if you get and extra moment please consider helping some expeditions reach completion today. You can always check progress on our main stats page. We got a few over 90% complete.

As always we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave us some thoughts on the main Notes from Nature Talk board or you can always send a direct message to the Project Coordinator Michael @md68135 too.

— The Notes from Nature

WeDigBio 2020, Day 2 Summary

It was another productive and exciting day of WeDigBio. Notes from Nature received over 6,900 classifications. Again, Expedition Arctic Botany and Invertebrate Time Machine saw lots of great activity. In addition, 5 projects saw over 500 classifications each. A special shout out to the Plants of Arkansas group who hosted a wonderful online talk. They will be another one tomorrow.

We hope everyone enjoys Day 3! While we always encourage you to work on the expeditions that most interest you, it’s also nice to see some expeditions completed during the event. You can always check out our statistics page to see the status of the various expeditions. At the time of writing two expeditions are over 90% complete and could use some love to help them get across the finish line. They are Plants of Northern Arkansas: Glade Quest (Part 2) and Spring Poppies, Jacks, Sedums, Beauties, Valerians, and Violets – Spring Refresher.

— The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio 2020, Day 1 Summary

It was an exciting first day of WeDigBio. We started off with 13 Projects, 32 expeditions. There is really something for everyone from plants to butterflies and marine invertebrates to name a few. So please stop by Notes from Nature over the next few days and give them a try.

We even launched a new Project (Invertebrate Time Machine), which had a great day yesterday with over 800 classifications. Expedition Arctic Botany also had a fantastic day with over 1,300 classifications. In total Notes from Nature received over 6,300 classifications.

We are excited and ready for Day 2. A reminder that we have a public talk today as well. We also hope that some of you are enjoying your new badge right about now.

In gratitude,

— The Notes from Nature Team

Podcast featuring Notes from Nature

Cultural Heritage Institutions and Citizen Science – Part 2 is a podcast that was released today.

Here is a summary:

This episode, our second that looks at community and citizen science in cultural heritage institutions, explores how natural history museums use crowdsourcing to unlock the potential of biodiversity collections for research and education. Justin Schell talks to researchers and volunteers involved in the Notes From Nature project, which is one of the largest crowdsourcing projects focused on natural history information. 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

We hope you enjoy it.

— The Notes from Nature Team

Jumping into the Field Museum Flea Collection

The Field Museum is participating in the NSF-funded Terrestrial Parasite Tracker (TPT), a collaboration of taxonomists and curators from 22 institutions with vertebrate and invertebrate collections, aiming to digitize 1.2+ million arthropod specimens to trace parasite-host associations and predict the spread of vector-borne disease in the U.S.. This digitization effort integrates millions of vertebrate records with vector and disease monitoring data shared by state and federal agency collaborators, creating a novel foundation for integrative, long-term research – and you can help!

Join us on our new Notes from Nature expedition “Jumping into the Field Museum Flea Collection”. Fleas (Order Siphonaptera) are small, highly-specialized external parasites of mammals and birds. Adults have no wings, their mouthparts are adapted for sucking blood, and their enlarged hind legs allow them to jump many times their body size. There are approximately 2,500 different species of fleas known to science, and many are mechanical vectors of disease, with the potential to transmit pathogens from mammalian hosts to humans. For this expedition, we digitally imaged over a thousand slide-mounted specimens from the Lewis Flea Collection, one of the largest in the world. You will help us transcribe the information from the slides’ labels, such as the species name, when and where the specimen was collected, on what host it was found, who was the collector, and so on. Hope you will join us!

— Maureen Turcatel, Collections Manager, Insects The Field Museum

Cool Colias

The Orange Sulphur, Colias eurytheme is a bright orange butterfly that is one of the most common butterflies in the United States, southern Canada and north Mexico. The common name is Alfalfa Butterfly. As a caterpillar it likes to munch on alfalfa, and clover, and other legumes. This species looks similar to other species and often hybridizes. However Colias eurytheme has a slightly different UV reflectance pattern on the wings and produces unique pheromones to attract mates.

Most specimens (but not all) have three images per moth, dorsal and ventral, and label data. Occasionally there are 2 label data images. The reason for this is because there sometimes is critical information on the back of labels. So be sure to check all images! While checking both images, look at the amazing shapes and minute coloration of the moth. Thank you so much for your help!

Transcription generally follows standard Notes from Nature protocols. Please be sure to write all pertinent information to the corresponding field. Please type all label data exactly as written on the label. The one field that is unique to McGuire is sampling protocol (collection method). This is how the person collected the specimen. It could be net, but often with moths it is some type of trap or light. Please write verbatim what is on the label.

— Laurel Kaminsky,

Digitization Manager, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity

WeDigBio Badge

We are excited to roll out a new badge just in time for WeDigBio 2020. Our hope is to have a new badge for each event, so this one is the WeDigBio 2020 badge.

You can earn the badge by doing 10 classifications anytime during the event (between October 15th and October 18th, 2020). 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 in a previous blog post.

Thanks and we hope you enjoy this year’s event!

— The Notes from Nature Team

CU Boulder WeDigBio: Alaskan Exploration! Join us for our First Adventure!

The University of Colorado Herbarium is a section of CU Boulder’s Natural History Museum. Here, over 500,000 preserved plant specimens- including wildflowers, ferns, grasses, lichens, mosses and more are held! This herbarium emphasizes the flora of the southern Rocky Mountains and contains one of the largest collections of Colorado plants in the world!

This year, the CU Herbarium is launching our first WeDigBio expedition. WeDigBio is a global data campaign that gives community members to take part in the creation of digital data about biodiversity specimens. During this event, you will have the opportunity to aid our Herbarium in the transcription of labels on specimens in our collection.

For this expedition, CU Boulder’s Herbarium will be focusing on the extraordinary and rich plant life of Alaska. With nearly one third of land covered in forests, its unique thaw lakes, and its vast areas of frozen grounds, Alaska makes for a beautiful expedition! Of course, you will complete this expedition of specimen digitization right from the comfort of your own home! 

Click here to participate!

–The CU Herbarium Team

Log historical marine biodiversity with Invertebrate Time Machine

We’re excited to launch a new Notes from Nature Project, Invertebrate Time Machine! Our mission: to unearth and mobilize data from historically important marine invertebrate museum specimens which are not yet available to researchers for addressing pressing scientific questions. The California Academy of Sciences has tens of thousands of old 3×5 index card copies of specimen jar labels. Their data were never entered in an online database, and remain largely invisible to the greater scientific community. Once captured, the potential of this data to inform science and marine conservation will be unlocked, permitting scientists to “travel” back in time by viewing historical occurrence records for marine animals including where, when and how they were collected, enabling new discoveries and important comparisons with current marine populations. Open access to this type of data has become increasingly important as marine habitats and ocean conditions change through time. Understanding the natural state of habitats towards their conservation requires documenting their history.

Think you’re not familiar with marine invertebrate animals? Well you probably are! These sponges, worms, corals, snails, crabs, starfish (and many more) lack backbones…invertebrates have a huge diversity of forms, from giant squid to tiny “sea pea” urchins. There are 35 major groups (phyla) of these familiar creatures, whereas all vertebrate animals make up part of one phylum. Marine invertebrates are more poorly known than fish and other marine vertebrates, yet they comprise about 97% of all marine animals so studying them is crucial to understanding marine biodiversity. If you’re already familiar with invertebrates, you might also know that scientists believe only 10% of marine species are known to science so far. Museum collections help us to document and study animal diversity to better inform conservation of both species and marine habitats.

Our old card cataloging system is no longer in use, and data for most of these cards were never captured digitally. We’ve made scans of these cards available for transcription using the Invertebrate Time Machine and we’re excited to embark on the first Notes from Nature expeditions to capture global data for diverse marine invertebrate phyla. We need your help entering card data into the correct fields, where they will then be searchable and visible online by scientists and members of the public around the world. Will you help marine scientists travel back in time by joining our project? We look forward to traveling with you!

— Christina Piotrowski, Collections Manager of Invertebrate Zoology, California Academy of Sciences

%d bloggers like this: