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Save the date for Spring WeDigBio : 7-10 April

Save the date: Spring 2022 WeDigBio is only a month away! The event will take place on 7-10 April 2022. People from all over the world join together to digitize specimen data and to celebrate biodiversity collections. We hope you join us!

This is a fun and festive weekend at NfN. We’ll have “classifying blitz” here online at Notes from Nature, where we’ll classify as many Subjects as we can during the event. There will be new expeditions, and some of our data providers will host events such as online talks, tours, and discussions (and possibly some in-person events), so you’ll have opportunities to meet them and learn about their work.

Please invite your family, friends, and colleagues to participate too: as you already do, they can support support biodiversity research by digitizing natural history collections data.

— The Notes from Nature Team

Digitizing Bird Bones

The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Biology Department is an accredited natural history collection of ~170,000 specimens. Highlights include the largest collection of mammals in the state, dense sampling of the flora and fauna of targeted locations within Minnesota, and specimens collected during expeditions throughout the Upper Midwest and to the Arctic, Antarctic, and Mexico. Our mission is to support and advance biological research and education, especially in the areas of evolution and climate change, by maintaining and growing a collection of regional strength and global importance. 
Right now, the biggest barrier to the access of our specimens by researchers, educators, and other members of the public is the lack of a digital database of our holdings, so we are excited to launch our first Notes from Nature expedition. This first expedition will digitize the records for our osteological specimens of birds, which are used for identification by scientists who work in and visit the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Paleontology and Anthropology Departments as well as the Biology Department. 


The tags being digitized in this expedition were photographed by Kari Myhran, a Macalester College student who received a Macalester Summer Internship Grant to work at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This work would be impossible without her and your contributions, which we deeply appreciate. We hope you enjoy learning about the birds in our osteology collection!

To check it out go to Notes from Nature

Select the ‘Labs’ Project from the ‘Active Projects’ list then look for ‘Digitizing Bird Bones’ on the middle of the page.

– The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Biology Department

WeDigBio Appreciation

We closed out the last day of WeDigBio with over 4,400 classifications. That puts Notes from Nature at 21,834 for the entire event. We are so very thankful for all the contributions and support. WeDigBio was another success and Notes from Nature is thrilled to be involved in this ongoing event.

Thanks to all the data providers, scientists, moderators, presenters and the Zooniverse team for keeping the system running behind the scenes. Most of all, our appreciation goes out to all the volunteers. Your contributions are critical and every classification that is completed brings us closer to filling gaps in our knowledge of global biodiversity.

We also passed an amazing milestone of 3 million classifications during the event making it extra special this time around. We hope you found the event rewarding and that you will come back soon. There are still lots of expeditions from a wide variety of organisms available on our site. 

— The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio 2021, Day 3

Notes from Nature received over 4,000 classifications during day 3. We also celebrated a big milestone yesterday. Stop by Notes from Nature and check out our new background image in honor of the occasion.

We ended the day with a fascinating and well attended talk by Theo Witsell about rare plants of Arkansas. It featured many amazing plants and habitats and was complimented by Theo’s wonderful photography. Stay tuned for a video of the talk for those that want to see it.

Ouachita Twistflower (Streptanthus squamiformis), a Ouachita Mountains endemic, grows in sandstone and shale glades in three counties of southwestern Arkansas and one county in southeastern Oklahoma, photo by Brent Baker.

There is still lots of content on Notes from Nature to choose from. Please stop by, do a few classifications today and help spread the word.

— The Notes from Nature Team

3 Million

This week Notes from Nature reached another big milestone. We reached over 3 million classifications on our current platform.

The first million took 994 days and we reached 2 million 493 days later and now 3 million 455 days after that! Thanks to all of you that have contributed and helped spread the word.

We have reached some big milestones before as we have upgraded our platform a few times over the years. This puts our current total well over 4 million for the life of Notes from Nature.

These big milestones are great, but remember that each classification is important and we value each and every volunteer who has helped get us to this point!

— The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio 2021 – Day 2

It was a fun and productive day 2 of WeDigBio. Notes from Nature received over 5,100 classifications. We had a well attended public talk with Joe Miller from GBIF. Remember that our last public talk will be later today. More information and registration.

Our friends at Oregon State University had a particularly productive event which captured over 900 classifications. Check out some of the pictures from the event on their Twitter page.

We hope everyone is enjoying Day 3. We may even reach a major milestone today, so keep an eye out for announcements about that too.

— The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio 2021 – Day 1 

It was a fun and productive first day of WeDigBio. In total Notes from Nature received over 6,000 classifications. Our Florida plants and California beetles were particularly popular.

A specimen (left) and field image (right) of Oblique-lined Tiger Beetle Cicindela tranquebarica. Left image Dan MacNeal CC BY.

Remember that we have another science talk today featuring Joe Miller who will talk about GBIF. More information and registration. Also keep an eye on our stats page as we may just reach another milestone!

— The Notes from Nature team

WeDigBio starts tomorrow and a milestone

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 will be hosting lots of exciting expeditions featuring plants, beetles, flies, mammals, and even fleas. Remember to complete 10 transcriptions to earn your WeDigBio 2021 badge.

We are also hosting 3 live science talks: 

Lastly, Notes from Nature is approaching a major milestone: 3 million transcriptions completed on our current platform. With your help, it might even happen during the event.Log on and help us celebrate this amazing milestone.

We will also be using the hashtag #WeDigBio on Twitter and Facebook. We will also postsome blog updates during the event.

With appreciation, 

The Notes from Nature Team

WeDigBio Talk (How GBIF integrates and shares biodiversity data)

We are excited to announce the last in our series of talks for WeDigBio. This talk will be presented by Dr. Joe Miller, Executive Secretary of GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility).

The talk is titled: After digitization – how GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) integrates and shares biodiversity data.

It will take place this Friday, October 15th at 2pm eastern (UTC -4).

GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth. The world has thousands of natural history museums holding billions of records about where and when a species has been observed. GBIF combines all this information together so that anyone can easily access it for scientific research, government policy or for general interest. GBIF also tracks how the data is used so that museum workers, administrators and volunteers can see the remarkable and unintended ways people use free and open access data.  GBIF has grown to share many types of data besides museum specimens and now share nearly 2 billion data points. This talk will describe what happens to digitized data once it is set free.

To register in advance for this meeting:
https://ufl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMtcO6pqTkjGNYow79HLnxeREV1DTFVKqof

We hope to see you there,

— The Notes from Nature team

WeDigBio, coming soon!

WeDigBio is happening later this week. This 4 day event will take place from October 14-17.

We hope you’ll join us for transcription fun, science talks and other activities. You can preregister for the science talks happening Thursday and Saturday.

Remember you can also earn your WeDigBio badge by doing 10 classifications anytime during the event!

Looking forward to it,

— The Notes from Nature Team

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