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Abstract Detail

Digitized natural history collections records in traditional research, collaborative research, and big data research

Von Konrat , Matt [1], Smith, Arfon [2], Carstensen, Brian [3], Whyte, Laura [4], Campbell, Tom [5], Greif, Matt [6], Larrain, Juan [7], Gaus, Eve [8], Sanzenbacher, Beth [9], Aronowsky, Audrey [10], Bryson, Michael [11], Crownover, Beth [7], Shaw, Blanka [12], Shaw, Jonathan [13], Scheffel, Jonathan [14], Hasan, Lauren [8], D'Lavoy, Charles [5], Briscoe, Laura [7], Carter, Benjamin [12], Zillen, Zak [5], Reidy, Brendon [5], Shelley, Tia [15], Lugo, Kristina [16], Lücking, Robert [17].

Crowd-sourced science: digitized natural history collections extends its branches to education and outreach.

Alarmingly, the world's biodiversity is diminishing rapidly and undergoing an extinction crisis. Biological collections of museums and academic institutions, documenting the fossilized and living members of the world’s ecosystems and their changes over time, are uniquely poised to inform the stewardship of life on Earth. The NSF program Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) is enhancing and expanding the national resource of digital data documenting biological and paleontological collections at a rapid pace. We here provide a collaborative model founded on these digitization efforts that work towards addressing the critical urgency of the loss of taxonomic expertise and the rapid decline of biodiversity. Scientists and educators of The Field Museum (Chicago) are partnering with leaders in online Citizen Science, Zooniverse (see Adler Planetarium), and have a coordinated network including students and professionals at universities and partnering high schools and middle schools to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery. The underlying theme is to connect biological research and collections with education and outreach. The project has the specific goal of engaging a broader audience; especially students (K-12 and university level) and citizen scientists to partner with our efforts in recording critical data sets from digitally rendered images. This is illustrated with an NSF ARTS research program focusing on the mega-diverse early land plant lineage, Frullania. This project partners with, demonstrating a model approach to aid in relieving some of the taxonomic impediment, accelerating biodiversity documentation and discovery. A web-based tool has been developed (see which could be broadly applied to other organisms to aid in collecting data that would be impossible to generate without large-scale volunteers. To date, over 3000 participants have generated over 50,000 data points that are being utilized by researchers and has led to the indication of several new species to science. The online tool has also been mapped to the recent Next Generation Science Standards and provides participation in authentic science research, which is an important component in moving youth toward engaging in meaningful scientific thinking and a critical strategy for preparing youth to enter a modern workforce where STEM plays a central role. Several universities have also implemented the project into their curriculum for both biology and non-biology majors.

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Related Links:
Online Citizen Science web tool for collecting morphological data

1 - The Field Museum, Botany, 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL, USA
2 - Adler Planetarium, Zooniverse, 1300 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL, USA
3 - Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL, USA
4 - Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lakeshore Dr., Chicago, IL, USA
5 - Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL, USA
6 - Wilbur Wright College, Chicago, IL, USA
7 - The Field Museum, 1400 S Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL, USA
8 - The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL, USA
9 - Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Chicago, IL, USA
10 - The Field Museum, Education, 1400 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL, USA
11 - Roosevelt University, Sustainability Studies, Chicago, IL, USA
12 - Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
13 - 130 Science Drive, Box 90338, Durham, NC, 27708, USA, 919/660-7344
14 - The Field Museum, 1400 S Lakeshore Dr, Chicago, IL, USA
15 - University of Illinois – Chicago, Computer Science & Learning Sciences, Chicago, IL, USA
16 - The Field Museum, Chicago, IL, USA
17 - The Field Museum, Science and Education, Chicago, IL, USA

Citizen Science

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY05
Location: Snake/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: SY05007
Abstract ID:646
Candidate for Awards:None

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