iDigBio survey and webinar

Here’s an announcement that might interest GNOMO members. Participation in the NSF grant proposal is limited to US field stations, but the survey, the webinar, and digitizing collections are open to anyone, of course. Your participation is valuable.


iDigBio and OBFS are pleased to invite your participation in a joint digitization working group and subsequent development of a multi-institution NSF proposal to support the digitization of scientific collections in field stations and marine labs. After reading the information below, please join us by completing the RSVP at the following link:
Please note that participation is not limited to OBFS members.

iDigBio, the National Science Foundation’s national resource and coordinating center for biodiversity specimen digitization, was pleased to participate in this year’s OBFS meeting and is looking forward to strengthening collaborations established during the Wednesday digitization workshop, Thursday lunch discussion group, and Friday collections digitization session.

One issue that emerged from the discussions at RMBL is the potential development of an NSF proposal or proposals focused on collections digitization. To explore this, the working group will be scheduling a series of 3 webinars in January/February 2016 focused on NSF funding sources, proposal preparation, and organizing a proposal writing team.These webinars will be announced via the OBFS mailing list and are open to any OBFS member.

Small museum-type collections, like those in OBFS member institutions and other field stations, are the buried treasure of global change research. Preserved birds, mammals, plants, and other biota provide invaluable information about past species presence, distribution, isotopes, and chemistry that can be revisited to evaluate changing ecosystem conditions. Even tiny, seemingly insignificant teaching collections hidden away at field research stations are turning out to be unexpectedly precious when combined with hundreds of others around the world.

The National Science Foundation’s recognition of the importance of uncovering and publishing these dark data led to the establishment of the Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program and the establishment of iDigBio to encourage the digitization and sharing of specimen data online to facilitate future research. As a bonus, participating field stations see new research requests and new publications for their efforts.

We encourage you to join this effort by

  1. completing the RSVP
  2. participating in the webinars,
  3. participating in the grant proposal,
  4. launching a digitization program for your collections (with our
    help, if needed).

Please complete the RSVP, even if you elect not to be involved. Your answers are only an indication of interest, not a commitment!

Gil Nelson, PhD
Assistant Professor/Research
iDigBio Steering Committee
Integrated Digitized Biocollections
Institute for Digital Information and Scientific Communication
College of Communication and Information

Courtesy Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium
Florida State University
Twitter: @idiggilnelson